1902 Encyclopedia > Louis IV of France

Louis IV
(commonly called: Louis D'Outremer)
King of France

LOUIS IV., surnamed D'Outremer (Transmarinus), son of Charles III. ("The Simple") and grandson of Louis II., was born in 921. In consequence of the disasters which befell his father in 922, Louis was taken by his mother Odgiva, sister of Athelstan, to England, where his boyhood was spent,—a circumstance to which he owes his surname. On the death of Raoul or Rodolph of Burgundy, who had been elected king in place of Charles, the choice of Hugh the Great, count of Paris, and the other nobles, fell upon Louis, who was accordingly brought over the Channel and consecrated in 936. His de facto sovereignty, however, was confined to the countship of Laon. In 939 he became involved in a struggle with Otto I. (" The Great") of Germany about Lorraine, which had transferred its allegiance to him ; the victory remained at last with the emperor, who married his sister Gerberga to Louis. After the death of William Longsword, duke of Normandy, Louis endeavoured to strengthen his influence in the duchy by obtaining possession of the person of Richard the infant heir, but a series of intrigues resulted only in his own captivity at Bouen in 944, from which he was not released in the following year until he had agreed to surrender Laon to his powerful vassal Hugh the Great. By the interposition of Otto, the brother-in-law of Louis, Hugh, who for some years had effectually resisted both the carnal resources of the empire and the spiritual weapons of the church, was at last persuaded to restore Laon. The last years of this reign were marked by repeated Hungarian invasions of France. Louis died in 954, and was succeeded by his son Lothaire.

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