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Research Coins: Feature Auction


The Great-Grandfather of William the Conqueror

Triton XXII, Lot: 1455. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $1600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

WORLD. France, Provincial. Lot of twenty-three (23) AR deniers. All coins: Rotomagus (Rouen) mint issues of Richard I Sans Peur (the Fearless) Majority are the monogram (Legros 209) type (14 coins), but the temple (Legros 191-2) type is also included (9 coins). Coins VF, some toned. LOT SOLD AS IS, NO RETURNS. Twenty-three (23) coins in lot.

Richard was the son of William I Longsword and grandson of the Viking chieftain Rollo, the founder of the duchy. He was a child when his father was murdered by Arnulf of Flanders in 942, and was nearly killed soon thereafter, when the Carolingian king of France, Louis IV d'Otremer, invaded Normandie with Hughes le Grand, count of Paris. He faced another crisis when Louis' successor, Lothaire, invaded with the counts of Anjou, Blois-Chartres, and Flanders in the 960s. Richard made peace with his neighbors at Gisors in 965, and thereafter concentrated on solidifying his rule in Normandy by making family alliances with the various Scandinavian tribes in the region. He also gained ecclesiastical support by promoting Christianity and rebuilding a number of churches. Richard was first married to Emma, daughter of Hughes le Grand, but she died young, and childless. He had a number of children with his second wife, Gunnor, including his heir, Richard II le Bon, and Emma of Normandy. Through Emma's marriage to two kings of England, Aethelred II the Unready and Cnut the Great, Richard was grandfather of the English kings Harthacnute and Edward the Confessor. Through his son, Richard II, Richard was the great-grandfather of William 'the Conqueror.'