Charles II, Duke of Guelders

Last updated
Charles II, Duke of Guelders
Karl von Egmond.JPG
Charles II, Duke of Guelders
Born9 November 1467
Grave, Netherlands
Died30 June 1538(1538-06-30) (aged 70)
Noble family House of Egmond
Spouse(s) Elisabeth of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Father Adolf of Egmond
Mother Catharine of Bourbon

Charles II (9 November 1467 – 30 June 1538) was a member of the House of Egmond who ruled as Duke of Guelders and Count of Zutphen from 1492 until his death. He was the son of Adolf of Egmond and Catharine of Bourbon. He had a principal role in the Frisian peasant rebellion and the Guelders Wars.



Charles was born either at Arnhem [1] [2] or at Grave, Netherlands [2] and raised at the Burgundian court of Charles the Bold, who had bought the duchy of Guelders from Adolf of Egmond in 1473. He fought in several battles against the armies of Charles VIII of France, until he was captured in the Battle of Béthune in 1487.

King Maximilian subsequently managed to acquire the Burgundian lands for the Habsburgs by marriage. In 1492, the citizens of Guelders, disenchanted with Maximilian's rule, ransomed Charles and recognized him as their Duke, as Duke his regent was his aunt Catherine [3] . Charles was supported by the French King, but in 1505, Guelders was regained by King Maximilian's son Philip the Handsome. Charles had to accompany Philip to Spain to attend Philip's coronation as King of Castile but at Antwerp, Charles managed to escape. Shortly afterwards, Philip died in Spain and by July 1513 Charles had regained control over the whole of Guelders. In his conflict with the Habsburgs, Charles also became a major player behind the scenes of the Frisian peasant rebellion and at first financially supported the rebel leader Pier Gerlofs Donia. After the tides turned against the rebels, Charles stopped his support and switched sides together with his military commander Maarten van Rossum. In the Treaty of Gorinchem (1528), Emperor Charles, son of Philip the Handsome, proposed to recognize Charles of Egmond as Duke of Guelders under the condition that he would inherit the Duchy should the Duke die without issue. The Duke, who at the time did not have any children, delayed signing the treaty. Another battle ensued, after which the passage was removed from the treaty. In 1536 there was finally peace between Guelders and Burgundy with the Treaty of Grave.

Charles died at Arnhem, and is buried in the St. Eusebius Church there. [4]


In 1519, Charles married young Elisabeth of Brunswick-Lüneburg (b.1494-d.1572). The marriage remained childless. Charles however fathered several illegitimate children.

His only legitimate (twin) sister, Philippa (1467–1547), survived him and died during the reign of her great-grandson, Charles III, Duke of Lorraine (1543–1608).


Charles II, Duke of Guelders
Born: 9 November 1467 Died: 30 June 1538
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Philip I
Duke of Guelders
Succeeded by
William II

Related Research Articles

Guelders Historical county in the Low Countries

Guelders or Gueldres is a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.

Mary of Burgundy 15th-century Duchess of Burgundy

Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, reigned over the Burgundian State, now mainly in France and the Low Countries, from 1477 until her death in a riding accident at the age of 25.

Burgundian Netherlands The Netherlands from 1384 to 1482

In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands were a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy in the period from 1384 to 1482 and later their Habsburg heirs. They constituted the Northern part of the Burgundian State. The area comprised the major parts of present-day Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Hauts-de-France.

House of Egmond Dutch noble family

The House of Egmond or Egmont is named after the Dutch town of Egmond, province of Noord Holland, and played an important role in the Netherlands during the Middle Ages.

Burgundian Circle imperial circle of the Holy Roman Empire

The Burgundian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire created in 1512 and significantly enlarged in 1548. In addition to the Free County of Burgundy, the Burgundian Circle roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e., the areas now known as the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and adjacent parts in the French administrative region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

Arnold, Duke of Guelders Duke of Guelders

Arnold of Egmond was Duke of Guelders, Count of Zutphen.

Guelders Wars Series of conflicts in the Low Countries

The Guelders Wars were a series of conflicts in the Low Countries between the Duke of Burgundy, who controlled Holland, Flanders, Brabant, and Hainaut on the one side, and Charles, Duke of Guelders, who controlled Guelders, Groningen, and Frisia on the other side.

Treaty of Venlo 1543 treaty ending the Guelders Wars

The Treaty of Venlo of 7 September 1543 concluded the Guelders Wars (1502–1543), and the definitive acquisition of the Duchy of Guelders and the adjoining County of Zutphen by the House of Habsburg, adding them to the Habsburg Netherlands. William V, Duke of the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg had to relinquish his claims to Guelders and Zutphen in favour of the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, Charles V of Habsburg.

House of Valois-Burgundy noble family

The House of Valois-Burgundy, or the Younger House of Burgundy, was a noble French family deriving from the royal House of Valois. It is distinct from the Capetian House of Burgundy, descendants of King Robert II of France, though both houses stem from the Capetian dynasty. They ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482 and later came to rule vast lands including Artois, Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainault, the county palatine of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), and other lands through marriage, forming what is now known as the Burgundian State.

Habsburg Netherlands Historical region in the Low Countries, 1482–1581

Habsburg Netherlands, also referred to as Belgica or Flanders, is the collective name of Holy Roman Empire fiefs in the Low Countries held by the House of Habsburg. The rule began in 1482, when the last Valois-Burgundy ruler of the Netherlands, Mary, married Maximilian I of Austria. Their grandson, Emperor Charles V, was born in the Habsburg Netherlands and made Brussels one of his capitals.

Burgundian inheritance in the Low Countries

The Burgundian inheritance in the Low Countries consisted of numerous fiefs held by the Dukes of Burgundy in modern-day Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The Duke of Burgundy was a member of the House of Valois-Burgundy and, after 1482, of the House of Habsburg. Given that the Dukes of Burgundy lost Burgundy proper to the Kingdom of France in 1477, and were never able to recover it, they moved their court to the Low Countries. The Burgundian Low Countries were ultimately expanded to include Seventeen Provinces under Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The Burgundian inheritance then passed to Philip II of Spain, whose rule was contested by the Dutch revolt, and fragmented into the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch republic.

Upper Guelders

Upper Guelders or Spanish Guelders was one of the four quarters in the Imperial Duchy of Guelders. In the Dutch Revolt, it was the only quarter that did not secede from the Habsburg Monarchy to become part of the Seven United Netherlands, but remained under Spanish rule during the Eighty Years' War.

Count Adolf III of Nassau-Wiesbaden-Idstein was a son of Count John II of Nassau-Wiesbaden-Idstein and his wife Maria of Nassau-Dillenburg (1463–1504). After his father's death in 1480, he ruled Nassau-Wiesbaden and his brother Philip ruled Nassau-Idstein. After Philip's childless death in 1509, Adolf III ruled also ruled Nassau-Idstein.

Lordship of Frisia

The Lordship of Frisia or Lordship of Friesland was a feudal dominion in the Netherlands. It was formed in 1524 when Emperor Charles V finally conquered Frisia.

Utrecht war of 1481–83 War over influence in Utrecht, Holland

The Utrecht war of 1481–83 was a diocesan feud in the Prince-Bishopric of Utrecht between 1481 and 1483, influenced by the ongoing Hook and Cod wars in the neighbouring County of Holland. It was also a battle for control over Utrecht between the Dukes of Burgundy in the person of ruling Bishop David of Burgundy, and the Duchy of Cleves, which sought to replace him with Engelbert of Cleves.

War of the Burgundian Succession

The War of the Burgundian Succession took place from 1477 to 1482, immediately following the Burgundian Wars. At stake was the partition of the Burgundian hereditary lands between the Kingdom of France and the House of Habsburg, after Duke Charles the Bold had perished in the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477.

Burgundian State Historical government in what is now France and the Netherlands

The Burgundian State is a concept coined by historians to describe the vast complex of territories that is also referred to as Valois Burgundy. It developed in the Late Middle Ages under the rule of the dukes of Burgundy from the French House of Valois, which was composed of French and imperial fiefs. That territorial construction outlasted the properly 'Burgundian' dynasty and the loss of the Duchy of Burgundy itself. As such, it must not be confused with that sole fief.


  1. P. C. Molhuysen and P. J. Blok, ed. (1937). "Karel (van Egmond)". Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek (in Dutch). 10. pp. 441–447.
  2. 1 2 A. J. van der Aa, K. J. R. van Harderwijk and G. D. J. Schotel, ed. (1862). "Karel, hertog van Gelre". Biographisch woordenboek der Nederlanden (in Dutch). J. J. van Brederode.
  3. Kloek, Els (8 November 2018), "1001 Vrouwen en de 'achterkant' van de geschiedenis.", Hedendaagse biografieën over vroegmoderne lieden, Universitaire Pers Leuven, pp. 73–86, ISBN   978-94-6166-268-2 , retrieved 14 June 2020
  4. Busken Huet, Conrad (1882–84). Het land van Rembrand (in Dutch). H.D. Tjeenk Willink/dbnl.