Hugh Capet

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Hugh Capet (938-996) established Capetian Dynasty in France, extending up to Charles IV in 1328, when they ran out of direct male heirs.

His father was Hugh the Great, duke of the Franks, whose first wife had been sister to Athelstan of England; on her death he married Hedwige, the sister of Emperor Otto the Great. Hugh Capet (meaning cape-wearer) was their son. His first ambition was to become a lay abbot, but on his father's death he inherited his position as the most powerful noble in the French kingdoms, and he was elected king after the death of both King Lothair and his son. He was crowned on 3 July 987, and founded the Capetian dynasty, succeeded by his only son Robert by Adelaide of Aquitaine, daughter of Duke William.

He was not a strong king, as 'France' was still a jumble of petty fiefdoms, with hardly any lands ruled directly by the Crown.