House of La Marck

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von der Mark coat of arms Counts of Mark Arms.svg
von der Mark coat of arms

La Marck (German : von der Mar(c)k) was a noble family, which from about 1200 appeared as the counts of Mark.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.



The family history started with Count Adolf I, scion of a cadet branch of the Rhenish Berg dynasty residing at Altena Castle in Westphalia. In the early 13th century Adolf took his residence at his family's estates around Mark, a settlement in present-day Hamm-Uentrop. Adolf had inherited the Mark fortress from his father Count Frederick I of Berg-Altena (d. 1198) together with the older county around Altena and began to call himself count de La Mark.

Adolf I, Count of the Mark son of Frederick I, Count of Berg-Altena and Alveradis of Krickenbeck

Adolf I, Count de la Mark, until 1226 also known as Adolf I, Count of Altena-Mark. He was son of Frederick I, Count of Berg-Altena and Alveradis of Krickenbeck, daughter of Reiner of Krieckenbeck-Millendonk.

Altena Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Altena is a town in the district of Märkischer Kreis, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The town's castle is the origin for the later Dukes of Berg. Altena is situated on the Lenne river valley, in the northern stretches of the Sauerland.

Westphalia State part and historic region of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany

Westphalia is a region in northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of 20,208 km2 (7,802 sq mi) and 7.9 million inhabitants.

Originally liensmen[ clarification needed ] of the archbishops of Cologne in the Duchy of Westphalia, the family ruled the County of Mark, an immediate state of the Holy Roman Empire, and, at the height of their powers, the four duchies of Julich, Cleves, Berg and Guelders as well as the County of Ravensberg. Members of the family became bishops in the Prince-Bishoprics of Liège, Münster and Osnabrück, and Archbishops in Cologne. Later collateral lines became dukes of Bouillon, a title which was later inherited by the House of La Tour d'Auvergne, princes of Sedan, dukes of Nevers, counts of Rethel and so forth.

Electorate of Cologne the secular dominion of the Archbishops of Cologne

The Electorate of Cologne, sometimes referred to as Electoral Cologne, was an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire that existed from the 10th to the early 19th century. It consisted of the Hochstift — the temporal possessions — of the Archbishop of Cologne and ruled by him in his capacity as prince-elector. There were only two other ecclesiastical prince-electors in the Empire: the Electorate of Mainz and the Electorate of Trier. The Archbishop-Elector of Cologne was also Arch-chancellor of Italy and, as such, ranked second among all ecclesiastical and secular princes of the Empire, after the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz, and before that of Trier.

Duchy of Westphalia Principality of the Holy Roman Empire

The Duchy of Westphalia was a historic territory in the Holy Roman Empire, which existed from 1180. It was located in the greater region of Westphalia, originally one of the three main regions in the German stem duchy of Saxony and today part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The duchy was held by the Archbishops and Electors of Cologne until its secularization in 1803.

Notable members

Adolph II von der Mark was the Prince-Bishop of Liège from 1313 until his death in 1344.

Adolph II of the Marck was Count of the Marck.

Engelbert III of the Mark (1333–1391) was the Count of Mark from 1347 until 1391.

In 1591 the heiress of one of the collateral lines of the family, Charlotte de la Marck, was married to Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Marshal of France. In 1594 Charlotte died without issue, and her claims to Bouillon passed to her husband.

Simplified genealogy

Counts of Mark

La Mark coat of arms, 14th century Mark-St-Wappen.png
La Mark coat of arms, 14th century
  1. Adolf I (d. 1249), first documented as comes de Marca in 1202
    1. Engelbert I (d. 1277)
      1. Eberhard (d. 1308)
        1. Engelbert II (d. 1328)
          1. Adolf II (d. 1346), married Margaret of Cleves in 1332
            1. Engelbert III (d. 1391)
            2. Adolf III (1334–1394), Count of Cleves from 1368 → see below
          2. Engelbert (1304–1368), Prince-Bishop of Liège 1345–1364, Archbishop of Cologne 1364–68
          3. Eberhard I (d. about 1378), Count of Arenberg → see below
        2. Adolf (1288–1344), Prince-Bishop of Liège 1313–1344

Dukes of Cleves—La Mark

Cleves-La Mark coat of arms, 15th century Cleve-Scheibler3ps.jpg
Cleves-La Mark coat of arms, 15th century
Cleves-La Mark coat of arms, 15th century Johann I. Herzog von Kleve-Graf von der Mark-Wappen.png
Cleves-La Mark coat of arms, 15th century
  1. Adolf III (1334–1394), second son of Adolf II with Margaret of Cleves, Prince-bishop of Münster 1357–1363 and Archbishop of Cologne in 1363, inherited the County of Cleves upon the death of his maternal uncle Count Johann in 1368 and became Count of Mark upon the death of his elder brother Engelbert III in 1391
    1. Adolph I (1373–1448), Duke of Cleves from 1417
      1. Margaret of Cleves, Duchess of Bavaria-Munich (1416–1444)
      2. Catherine of Cleves, Duchess of Guelders (1417–1479)
      3. John I (1419–1481)
        1. John II (1458–1521)
          1. John III (1490–1539), married Maria of Jülich-Berg in 1509, inherited the duchies of Jülich and Berg and the County of Ravensberg upon the death of his father-in-law Duke William IV of Jülich-Berg, ruled the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg upon the death of his father in 1521
            1. Sybille (1512–1554), married to Elector John Frederick of Saxony
            2. Anne (1515–1557), married to King Henry VIII of England
            3. William the Rich (1516–1592), married Maria of Habsburg, Archduchess of Austria and daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I, claimed the Duchy of Guelders upon the death of Duke Charles in 1538
              1. Marie Eleonore (1550–1608), married to Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia
              2. John Frederick (1555–1575)
              3. John William (1562–1609), extinction of the line, followed by the War of the Jülich succession
            4. Amalia (1517–1586)
        2. Engelbert, Count of Nevers (1462–1506)
      4. Elisabeth (1420–1488), Countess of Schwarzburg
      5. Agnes (1422–1446), Queen of Navarre
      6. Adolph of Cleves, Lord of Ravenstein (1425–1492)
      7. Mary (1426–1487), Duchess of Orléans
    2. Dietrich II (1374–1398)

Counts of Marck—Arenberg

Arenberg coat of arms, Siebmacher, about 1605 Arenberg Siebmacher007 - Herzogtum.jpg
Arenberg coat of arms, Siebmacher, about 1605
  1. Eberhard I (d. about 1378) Lord of Arenberg
    1. Erard II von der Mark, Lord of Sedan & Arenberg
      1. Johann II von der Mark, Lord of Sedan & Arenberg
        1. Erard III von der Mark (+ 1496), Lord of Arenberg whose issue will die into the house of Ligne, by the marriage of Marguerite de la Marck-Arenberg with Jean de Ligne
        2. Robert I de la Marck (+ 1487), Lord of Sedan, chatellain de Bouillon
          1. Robert II de la Marck (1460–1536), Lord of Sedan, Duke of Bouillon
            1. Robert III de la Marck (1491–1537), Lord of Sedan, Duke of Bouillon
              1. Robert IV de la Marck (1520–1556), Duke of Bouillon, Earl of Braine & Maulevrier, Lord of Sedan.
                1. Henri Robert de la Marck (1539–1574), Duke of Bouillon, sovereign Prince de Sedan,
                  1. Guillaume Robert de la Marck (1563–1588), Pr of Sedan, Duke de Bouillon, Marquess of Cotron
                    1. Charlotte de la Marck (1574–1594), Dss of Bouillon, Pss de Sedan oo Henri de La Tour D'Auvergne
          2. Erard de la Marck (1472–1538), Prince-bishop of Liège 1506–1538
        3. William von der Marck Le Sanglier des Ardennes
          1. Johann I von der Marck, Baron of Lummen
            1. Johann II von der Marck, Baron of Lummen (1500–1552)
              1. William II de la Marck, Baron of Lummen, admiral of the Gueux de mer (1542–1578)

See also

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Margaret of Cleves, also spelled Margaretha or Margarethe was the wife of Count Adolf II of the Marck and mother of Adolf III of the Marck. She was a daughter of Count Dietrich VIII of Cleves and Margaret of Guelders, who was a daughter of Reginald I of Guelders.

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Godfrey de Heinsberg, Lord of Daelenbroeck, Count of Looz and Count of Chiny (1361-1362), son of John of Heinsberg, Lord of Daelenbroeck, son of Arnold V, Count of Looz and Chiny, and Catherine de Vroon.

Notable peple with name Engelbert include:


  1. 1 2 Neil Jeffares Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800, LA MARCK
  2. Honoré-Gabriel de Riquetti Mirabeau (comte de), Auguste Marie Raymond Arenberg (prince d', comte de La Marck), Adolphe Fourier de Bacourt. Correspondance entre le comte de Mirabeau et le comte de La Marck: pendant les années 1789, 1790 et 1791 volume 1, V. Le Normant, 1851 p. 280 (French)

Genealogy de la Marck on :