On this day, 3 April 963, Guillaume III d’Aquitaine died. He was both my two-times 32nd and my 33rd great-grandfather.
Born circa 915 in Poitiers, France, Guillaume III, nicknamed Towhead because of his hair color, was the son of Ebalus (Ebles) “Manzer” and Emilienne.
After his father’s death in 935, Guillaume III claimed the Duchy of Aquitaine; however, the royal chancery did not officially grant his ducal title until 962. Guillaume III was Count of Poitou from 935, Count of Auvergne from 950, and Count of the Duchy of Aquitaine from 959 until his death.
Circa 936, Guillaume III married Adèle (Gerloc) de Normandie, daughter of Rollo de Normandie and Poppa de Bayeaux. Together, Guillaume III and Adèle had two known children: Guillaume IV (my 32nd great-grandfather) and Adelaide (my 31st and 32nd great-grandmother).
In 936, Louis IV de Francia (my 31st great-grandfather) forced Guillaume III to forfeit some of his land to Hugh “le Grand” de Francia (my 32nd great-grandfather). Although Guillaume III complied, this edict eroded the positive relationship he had with Hugh “le Grand”.
In 950, Louis IV granted the duchies of Burgundy and Aquitaine to Hugh “le Grand”. Hugh “le Grand”, with the assistance of Louis IV, tried to conquer Aquitaine; however, Guillaume III defeated them.
Louis IV’s son and successor, Lothair, feared Guillaume III‘s power. In August 955. Lothair joined forces with Hugh “le Grand” to besiege Poitiers. Guillaume III gave battle but was defeated.
With the death of Hugh “le Grand” in 956, his son Hugh Capet was named Duke of Aquitaine. Hugh Capet married Adelaide, daughter of Guillaume III.
At some point, Guillaume III tuned over control of Aquitaine to his son Guillaume IV. Guillaume III then retired to the Abbey of Saint-Cyprien in Poitiers. On 3 April 963, Guillaume III d’Aquitaine died in Saint-Maixent-l’École, France.