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CHLOTHAR I, King of the Franks

HUSBAND:
CHLOTHAR I, King of the Franks.
Born about 497AD in Soissons; son of CLOVIS I, King of the Franks, and Chlotilde.

Called the Old (le Vieux), also spelled Chlothachar, Chlotar, Clothar, Clotaire, Chlotochar, or Hlothar, giving rise to the name Lothair.

On the death of his father in 511, he received, as his share of the kingdom, the town of Soissons, which he made his capital; the cities of Laon, Noyon, Cambrai, and Maastricht; and the lower course of the Meuse River. But he was very ambitious, and sought to extend his domain.

Chlothar's first marriage was to Guntheuc, widow of his own brother Chlodomer, sometime around 524. They had no children.

He was the chief instigator of the murder of his brother Chlodomer's children in 524, and his share of the spoils consisted of the cities of Tours and Poitiers. He took part in various expeditions against Burgundy and, after the destruction of that kingdom in 534, obtained Grenoble, Die, and some of the neighbouring cities.

When the Ostrogoths ceded Provence to the Franks, he received the cities of Orange, Carpentras, and Gap. In 531AD, he marched against the Thuringii with his nephew Theudebert I.

His second marriage, which occurred around 532AD, was to Radegund, daughter of Bertachar, King of Thuringia, whom he and his brother Theuderic defeated. She was later canonized. They also had no children.

In 542 he marched with his brother Childebert I against the Visigoths of Spain. On the death of his great-nephew Theodebald in 555, Chlothar annexed his territories. On Childebert's death in 558 he became sole king of the Franks.

He also ruled over the greater part of Germany, made expeditions into Saxony, and for some time exacted from the Saxons an annual tribute of 500 cows. The end of his reign was troubled by internal dissensions, his son Chram rising against him on several occasions. Following Chram into Brittany, where the rebel had taken refuge, Chlothar shut him up with his wife and children in a cottage, which he set on fire. Overwhelmed with remorse, he went to Tours to implore forgiveness at the tomb of St Martin, and died shortly afterwards at the royal palace at Compiègne.

His third and most successful marriage was to Ingund, by whom he had five sons and two daughters.

His next marriage was to a sister of Ingund, Aregund, with whom he had a son, Chilperic, King of Soissons.

His last wife was Chunsina (or Chunsine), with whom he had one son, Chram, who became his father's enemy and predeceased him.

Chlothar may have married and repudiated Waldrada.

He died on 29 November 561AD at Braines. On Chlothar's actual death in 561, the Frankish kingdom was divided between his sons in a new configuration. Each son ruled a distinct realm, which was not necessarily geographically coherent but could contain two unconnected regions, from a chief city after which his kingdom is called. Charibert received Neustria (the region between the Somme and the Loire), Aquitaine, and Novempopulana with Paris as his capital. His chief cities were Rouen, Tours, Poitiers, Limoges, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Cahors, and Albi. Guntram received Burgundy, then Sigebert received Austrasia (including Rheims) with his capital at Metz, and the youngest brother Chilperic received a compact kingdom with Soissons as its capital.

WIFE (1):
Guntheuc.


WIFE (2):
Radegund.


WIFE (3):
INGUND.


CHILDREN of CHLOTHAR I, King of the Franks and INGUND:
  1. Gunthar. Predeceased his father.
  2. Charibert I, King of Paris. (c. 517 - December 567) was the Merovingian King of Paris. He married Ingoberga. Thier daughter Billihild married Ansbertus of Schelde, Gallo-Roman senator in the Narbonne district.
  3. Guntram, King of Burgundy. Died 593AD.
  4. Sigebert I, King of Austrasia. (Sigisbert). Died 575, king of Austrasia 561-575, married Brunhild, daughter of a Visigoth king.
  5. Childeric. Predeceased his father.
  6. Chlothsind, married Alboin, King of the Lombards


WIFE (4):
Aregund. (Arnegonde), princess of Thuringia.
Sister of Ingund. Daughter of BADERIC. She died 13 AUG 587. CHILDREN of CHLOTHAR I, King of the Franks and AREGUND:
  1. CHILPERIC I, King of Neustria and Soissons. (561-584).


WIFE (5):
Chunsina (Chunsine).


CHILDREN of CHLOTHAR I, King of the Franks and Chunsina:
  1. Chram.


WIFE (6):
Waldrada. (Wultrade) of Lombardia.
Born about 531. She died 572.

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