Charles III "Le Simple" CAROLING, King of the Franks
- Born: 17 Sep 879
- Married (1): Apr 907
- Married (2): Between 917 and 919
- Died: 7 Oct 929, Péronne, Austrasia
- Buried: monastère de Saint-Fursy, Péronne, Austrasia
The Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis names (in order) "Karolum quoque postumum et Irmintrudim" as children of "Hlodovicus rex…ex Adelheidi regina". His parentage is also given in the Annalista Saxo. Regino specifies that he was born posthumously. On the death of King Louis II, Emperor Charles III "le Gros" was elected King of the West Franks, and on the latter's death in 888, Eudes [Capet] was elected king. Louis II's son, Charles, sought refuge with Ramnulf II Comte de Poitou.
Regino names "Folcone episcopo, Heriberto et Pippino comitibus in Remorum civitate" when recording that they supported the accession of Charles as king in 892 in opposition to King Eudes. Supported by Foucher Archbishop of Reims, he was crowned 28 Jan 893 at Reims as CHARLES III "le Simple" King of the West Franks, as anti-king to Eudes, who later agreed to appoint him as his successor and whom he succeeded from 1 Jan 898. The early years of his reign appear to have been dominated by Viking raids in the north which led to the treaty with Rollo in 911 and the grant of territory in the future duchy of Normandy.
He was chosen as CHARLES King of Lotharingia 1 Nov 911, in succession to Ludwig IV "das Kind" King of the East Franks and Lotharingia, representing a significant extension of the royal domain. He used the title "King of the Franks/rex francorum", and later "King of France/rex franciæ". He captured Alsace early in 912, and fought the army of Konrad I King of Germany three times in Lotharingia. From , he fell under the influence of Haganon, a Lotharingian described in a charter of 921 as his cousin on his mother's side. This triggered the revolt of Robert Marquis en Neustrie [Capet] and other nobles during which King Charles was obliged to seek refuge with Hérivé Archbishop of Reims. Although the king was restored after seven months, tension continued and Charles's award of the monastery of Chelles to Haganon in 922 triggered another revolt which led to the king's deposition 30 Jun 922 in favour of Robert, who was elected as Robert I King of France. Ex-king Charles fled to Lotharingia. All these events are recorded by Flodoard. He returned, but was defeated at Soissons 15 Jun 923, although King Robert was killed in the battle: Flodoard records in 923 that "Karolus cum suis Lothariensibus" crossed “Mosam...ad Atiniacum...et...super Axonam” where he lost the battle near Soissons in which “Rotbertus...rex” was killed. Raoul de Bourgogne was elected king of France 13 Jul 923. Ex-king Charles was tricked into capture by Héribert II Comte de Vermandois and imprisoned at Château-Thierry: Flodoard records in 923 that "Heribertus comes" sent “Bernardum consobrinum suum” with a delegation “ad Karolum” who was “in castello suo super Somnam apud Sanctum Quintinum”, and who was detained “in...munitionem suam...Castellum Theoderici super Maternam fluvium”. He was transferred in 924 to the château de Péronne, where he remained captive for the rest of his life. He was briefly declared king once more in 927 by Comte Héribert during the latter's unsuccessful attempt to capture Laon. According to Thietmar of Merseburg, Heinrich I King of Germany secured his release from prison and in return was rewarded with "the right hand of St Denis and the entire kingdom of the Lotharingians". 1
Charles married Frederuna in Apr 907. (Frederuna died on 10 Feb 916/7 in Paris, Île-de-France, France.
Charles also married Eadgifu DE WESSEX, daughter of Eadweard I "The Elder" DE WESSEX, King of England and Ælfleda DE WESSEX, between 917 and 919. (Eadgifu DE WESSEX was born between 902 and 905, died on 26 September, after 951, and was buried in Abbaye de Saint-Médard de Soissons.)