Hugh Capet (kā´pĬt, kăp´Ĭt), c.938–996, king of France (987–96), first of the Capetians. He was the son of Hugh the Great, to whose vast territories he succeeded in 956. After the death of Louis V, last Carolingian king of France, the nobles and prelates elected him king, setting aside the last Carolingian claimant, Charles I of Lower Lorraine. In order to secure the succession, Hugh took as his associate his son Robert (later King Robert II); he gave away much of his land to secure the dynasty. He spent much of his reign fighting Charles and later became involved in a controversy with the papacy—unsettled at his death—over deposition of the Carolingian archbishop of Reims.