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Childeric III

Childeric III (died about 751), king of the Franks, was the last king of the Merovingian dynasty.

The throne had been vacant for seven years when the mayors of the palace, Carloman and Pippin the Short, decided in 743 to recognize Childeric as king. We cannot say whose son he was, or how he was related to the Merovingian family.

He took no part in public business, which was directed, as before, by the mayors of the palace. When in 747 Carloman retired into a monastery, Pippin resolved to take the royal crown for himself; taking the decisive step in 751 after having received the celebrated answer of Pope Zacharias that it were better to name king him who possessed the power than him who possessed it not.

Childeric was dethroned and placed in the monastery of St Omer; his son, Theuderich, was imprisoned at Saint-Wandrifie. See W Junghans, Die Geschichte der fränkischen Konige Childerich und Clodovech (Göttingen, 1857); JJ Chiflet, Anastasis Childerici I Francorum regis (Antwerp, 1655); JBD Cochet, Le Tombeau de Childeric I, roi des Francs (Paris, 1859); and E Lavisse, Histoire de France, tome ii. (Paris, 1903).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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