Frankish and French Kings

The Franks were a collection of Germanic tribes who settled in Roman territory in the 4th century. They were accepted as foederati (allies) by the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate. Unity of all the Franks was achieved by Clovis in the early 6th century. Clovis was a descendant of the semi-legendary king Merovech, for whom the Merovingian dynasty was named.

In 743 the Merovingians were formally replaced by Pépin the Short and the line of the Carolingians, the de facto rulers of the state for several generations, who were named for Pépin's father Charles Martel. Pépin's son was Charlemagne (Charles the Great) who became Emperor and controlled a vast region of Europe. Charlemagne's son was Louis the Pious; after his death the kingdom of the Franks was divided amongst his children. The western portion, eventually called the Kingdom of France, went to Charles the Bald. (See Kings of Germany and Holy Roman Emperors for other descendants of Charlemagne.)

As the Carolingian dynasty waned, France was ruled by the Counts of Paris starting with Odo in 888. His line led to Hugues Capet, who began the Capetian dynasty late in the 10th century. After the main Capetian line became extinct the throne was taken over by the Valois branch of the family, though claims by the English king Edward III led to the Hundred Years War in 1339. In 1589 the Valois dynasty was succeeded by the Bourbon kings, who ruled until being forcefully removed by the French Revolution, though they were later reinstated for a time.

France had two emperors in the 19th century: Napoleon and later his nephew Napoleon III.

     More Options
NameYearsOther Names
Merovechc. 447-c. 457
Childeric I457-481
Clovis I481-511(Chlodovech, Louis)
Theuderic I511-534(Thierry)
Childebert I511-558
Chlothar I the Old511-561(Clotaire, Lothair, Lothaire)
Theudebert I533-548(Thibert)
Charibert I561-567
Sigebert I561-575
Chilperic I561-584
Guntram561-592(Contran, Gontran, Guntramnus)
Childebert II575-595
Chlothar II the Great584-629(Clotaire, Lothair, Lothaire)
Theudebert II595-612(Thibert)
Theuderic II595-613(Thierry)
Sigebert II613
Charibert II629-632
Dagobert I629-639
Sigebert III634-656
Clovis II639-655(Chlodovech, Louis)
Childebert the Adopted656-661
Chlothar III656-673(Clotaire, Lothair, Lothaire)
Childeric II662-675
Theuderic III673; 675-691(Thierry)
Clovis III675-676(Chlodovech, Louis)
Dagobert II676-679
Clovis IV691-695(Chlodovech, Louis)
Childebert III the Just695-711
Dagobert III711-715
Chilperic II715-721
Theuderic IV721-737(Thierry)
Childeric III743-752
Pépin the Short752-768(Pippin)
Carloman I768-771
Charles I the Great768-814(Charlemagne)
Louis I the Pious813-840
Charles II the Bald840-877
Louis II the Stammerer877-879
Louis III879-882
Carloman II879-884
Charles the Fat884-887(Karl)
Odo Count of Paris888-898(Eudes)
Charles III the Simple898-922
Robert I Count of Paris922-923
Rudolf Duke of Burgundy923-936(Raoul, Rudolph)
Louis IV the Foreigner936-954
Louis V the Indolent986-987
Hugues Capet987-996(Hugh)
Robert II the Pious996-1031
Henri I1031-1060(Henry)
Philippe I1060-1108(Philip)
Louis VI the Fat1108-1137
Louis VII1137-1180
Philippe II Augustus1180-1223(Philip)
Louis VIII the Lion1223-1226
Louis IX1226-1270
Philippe III the Bold1270-1285(Philip)
Philippe IV the Fair1285-1314(Philip)
Louis X1314-1316
Jean I1316(John)
Philippe V the Tall1316-1322(Philip)
Charles IV the Fair1322-1328
Philippe VI1328-1350(Philip)
Jean II the Good1350-1364(John)
Charles V the Wise1364-1380
Charles VI the Mad1380-1422
Charles VII the Victorious1422-1461
Louis XI the Spider1461-1483
Charles VIII1483-1498
Louis XII of Orleans1498-1515
François I1515-1547(Francis)
Henri II1547-1559(Henry)
François II1559-1560(Francis)
Charles IX1560-1574
Henri III1574-1589(Henry)
Henri IV1589-1610(Henry)
Louis XIII1610-1643
Louis XIV the Sun King1643-1715
Louis XV1715-1774
Louis XVI1774-1792
Napoleon I1804-1815
Louis XVIII1814-1824
Charles X1824-1830
Louis Philippe1830-1848
Napoleon III1852-1870(Charles, Louis)