Alix, Duchess of Brittany

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Duchess of Brittany
Reign April 1203 – 21 October 1221
Predecessor Arthur I
Successor John I
Co-ruler Peter I (as Duke jure uxoris)
Born (1201-09-05)5 September 1201
Died 21 October 1221(1221-10-21) (aged 20)
Burial 24 November 1225
Villeneuve Abbey, Nantes
Spouse Peter I
Issue John I, Duke of Brittany
Yolande, Countess of Penthièvre
House House of Thouars
Father Guy of Thouars
Mother Constance, Duchess of Brittany
Religion Roman Catholicism

Alix of Thouars[lower-alpha 1] (5 September 1201 – 21 October 1221) (in Breton Alis) was hereditary Duchess of Brittany and 5th Countess of Richmond[lower-alpha 2] from 1203 to her death.[1][2]


Alix was born on or shortly before 5 September 1201. She was the daughter of Constance, Duchess of Brittany and Guy of Thouars.[3] Constance died after giving birth to Alix and her sister Catherine. Alix's older half-brother was Arthur I, Duke of Brittany and her half-sister was Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany, the children of Constance and Geoffrey Plantagenet. Upon the death of Richard I of England, a power struggle commenced between her half-brother Arthur and John, King of England. At the Battle of Mirebeau in 1202, Arthur and Eleanor were captured. Arthur was imprisoned at the Château de Falaise and in 1203 disappeared. Eleanor was imprisoned at Corfe Castle.

The Breton barons recognized Alix as Duchess of Brittany after the death of Arthur, instead of Eleanor. This was due to fears that John might claim to rule Brittany as regent for the imprisoned Eleanor. Alix's father Guy became regent for Alix until 1206, when Philip II of France made himself the regent of the duchy in Alix’s name. King Philip II broke off the betrothal of Alix and the Breton prince Henry of Penthièvre [lower-alpha 3], and turned to his French cousin Peter of Dreux, as Alix's husband. [4] [5] Pierre married Alix on 27 January 1213, and paid homage to the French king for Brittany.

Alix died in childbirth, without having exercised much control over her own inheritance. She was succeeded in the duchy by her son John I, but Peter remained the de facto ruler of Brittany as John I's regent until 1237.


  1. John I, Duke of Brittany (ca. 1217-1286)[6]
  2. Yolande of Brittany, (1218 - 1272), married Hugh XI of Lusignan, Count of Angoulême and Count of Marche
  3. Arthur of Brittany (1220–1224), betrothed to Jeanne de Craon, daughter of Amaury I de Craon and Jeanne des Roches




  1. Chronicon Britannicum
  2. Judith Everard and Michael Jones, The Charters of Duchess Constance of Brittany and her Family (1171-1221)
  3. John W. Baldwin, The Government of Philip Augustus: Foundations of French Royal Power in the Middle Ages, (University of California Press, 1986), 239.
  4. Chronique de Guillaume de Nangis
  5. Brittany, Julia M.H. Smith, Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, Ed. William W. Kibler, (Garland Publishing Inc., 1995 ), 148.
  6. Chronicon Ruyensis Cœnobii


  1. Her name is sometimes spelled Alice (See Everard and Jones, The Charters of Duchess Constance of Brittany and her Family (1171-1221))
  2. Although Eleanor of Brittany was styled Countess of Richmond as well as titular Duchess of Brittany from 1203 to 1219 by her uncle John, this was only a titular title, as Alix herself was styled Countess of Richmond and even made charters about this estate (See Everard and Jones, The Charters of Duchess Constance of Brittany and her Family (1171-1221), p 169).
  3. Henry and his family would later become dispossessed of the Countship of Penthièvre by Pierre Mauclerc, who would then bestow the title on Alix's daughter Yolande of Brittany

See also

Alix, Duchess of Brittany
Born: 5 September 1201 Died: 21 October 1221
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Arthur I
Duchess of Brittany
with Eleanor (1203-1214)
Peter (1213-1221)
Succeeded by
John I
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Arthur I
Countess of Richmond
with Eleanor (1203-1219)
Peter (1213–1221)
Succeeded by
John I