|Birth: ||Jun. 12, 1161|
|Death: ||Sep. 5, 1201|
Constance of Penthièvre, hereditary Duchess of Brittany
Constance was the only child of Conan IV, Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond, and Margaret of Huntingdon, later called Countess of Hereford, granddaughter of David I of Scotland.
As part of a diplomatic settlement in 1181, Constance was forced into marriage with Geoffrey Plantagenet, the fourth son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. She was twenty when they were married and they had three children:
Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany
Matilda/Maud of Brittany, died young
Arthur, born after his father's death
Constance was the hereditary Duchess of Brittany, yet at her marriage, Geoffrey took total control as de jure uxoris Duke. In 1186, in a riding accident in Paris, Geoffrey was stamped to death during a tournament. Constance then became the ruler of Brittany.
Soon after, King Henry II of England arranged her marriage to Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, on the 3rd of February 1188. They had no issue.
King Richard I proclaimed his heir to be her youngest son, Arthur, in 1191 when signing the peace treaty with Philip II of France, and Constance stepped down in his favor in 1194. She and her husband were not on the best of terms as he had her imprisoned in 1194, but released in 1198 after the Bretons rebelled in support of Constance.
Constance had her marriage annulled and married Guy Thouars in 1198 at Angers. They had twin daughters:
Alix, wife of Pierre Mauclerc
Katherine, wife of Andre III de Vitre
Some sources name a third daughter, Margaret of Thouars
England's King Richard I died in 1199, and Phillip of France made thirteen year old Arthur the Count of Anjou, Maine and Poitou in exchange for his loyalty. Arthur was captured at the instruction of King John Lackland during a siege of Mirabeau, transferred to Rouen with William de Braose in charge of the young political pawn, who vanished without a trace in April of 1203. Eleanor was then captured and held prisoner at Corfe Castle until her death in 1241.
Constance died aged 40, on the 5th of September 1201 at Nantes. She was buried at Villeneuve Abbey in Nantes. Her death is still debated, believed to have been leprosy and complications from the birth of her twin daughters.
Conan Duke Of Brittany (1142 - 1171)
Margaret de Huntingdon (1145 - 1201)
Geoffrey II Plantagenet (1158 - 1186)
Guy de Thouars (1160 - 1214)*
Ranulf de Blondeville (1172 - 1232)*
Arthur Plantagenet (1187 - 1203)*
Alix de Thouars (1201 - 1221)*
Catherine de Thouars (1201 - 1254)*
Constance Penthièvre Plantagenet-de Bretagne (1161 - 1201)
Henry de Bohun (1176 - 1220)**
Abbaye Notre-Dame de Villeneuve
Departement de la Loire-Atlantique
Pays de la Loire, France
Maintained by: Anne Shurtleff Stevens
Originally Created by: Jerry Ferren
Record added: Dec 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62575454