Louis IV Carolingian from Overseas, King of Western Francia, was born circa 10 September 920 in London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom to Charles the Simple (879-929) and Eadgifu of Wessex (902-aft955) and died 30 September 954 Reims, France of unspecified causes. He married Gerberga von Sachsen (913-969) 939 JL . Charlemagne (747-814), Alfred the Great (849-899).

Louis IV from Overseas, King of Western Francia

He was only two years old when his father was deposed by the nobles, who set up Robert I in his place. When he was only three years old, Robert died and was replaced by Rudolph, duke of Burgundy. Rudolph's ally, a Carolingian himself, Count Herbert II of Vermandois, took Charles captive by treachery and the young Louis's mother took the boy "over the sea" to the safety of England, hence his nickname.

Charles died in 929, but Rudolph ruled on until 936, when Louis was summoned back to France unanimously by the nobles, especially Hugh the Great, who had probably organised his return to prevent Herbert II, or Rudolph's brother Hugh the Black, taking the throne. He was crowned king at Laon by Artald, archbishop of Rheims, on Sunday 19 June 936. The chronicler Flodoard records the events as follows:

"The Bretons, returning from the lands across the sea with the support of King Athelstan, came back to their country. Duke Hugh sent across the sea to summon Louis, son of Charles, to be received as king, and King Athelstan, his uncle, first taking oaths from the legates of the Franks, sent him to the Frankish kingdom with some of his bishops, and other followers. Hugh and the other nobles of the Franks went to meet him and committed themselves to him[;] immediately he disembarked on the sands of Boulogne, as had been agreed on both sides. From there he was conducted by them to Laon, and, endowed with the royal benediction, he was anointed and crowned by the lord Archbishop Artold, in the presence of the chief men of his kingdom, with 20 bishops."

Effectively, his sovereignty was limited to the town of Laon and to some places in the north of France, Louis displayed a keenness beyond his years in obtaining the recognition of his authority by his feuding nobles. Nonetheless, his reign was filled with conflict; in particular with Hugh the Great, count of Paris.

Louis IV fell from his horse and died September 10, 954, at Rheims, in the Marne, and is interred there at Saint Rémi Basilica.


Offspring of Louis IV from Overseas and Gerberga von Sachsen (913-969)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Lothair (941-986) 2 March 941 Laon 968 Emma of Arles (c948-aft988)
Mathilde (943-?) 943 26 November 981 Conrad III de Bourgogne (c925-993)
Hildegarde (944-?) 944
Carloman (945-bef953) 945 953
Louis (948-c954) 948 954
Charles (953-993) 953 Laon, France 993 Orleans, France Adelaide de Troyes (c955-c991)
Bonne d'Ardennes (?-?)
Henri (953-953) 953 953

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General

Robin Patterson

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