Isabella of Hainault

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Isabella of Hainault
Seal of Isabella of Hainaut.jpg
Isabella's seal as queen shows her holding a sceptre and fleur-de-lis
Queen consort of France
Tenure28 April 1180–15 March 1190
Coronation 28 May 1180
Born5 April 1170
Valenciennes
Died15 March 1190(1190-03-15) (aged 19)
Paris, France
Burial
Notre-Dame, Paris
Spouse Philip II of France
Issue Louis VIII of France
House Flanders
Father Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut
Mother Margaret I, Countess of Flanders
Religion Roman Catholicism

Isabella of Hainault (5 April 1170 in Valenciennes – 15 March 1190 in Paris) (Also spelled: Ysabella de Hainault or Ysabelle de Hainaut) was Queen of France as the first spouse of King Philip II. She was also formally a ruling countess of Artois de jure between 1180 and 1190.

Valenciennes Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Valenciennes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.

Philip II of France King of France from 1180 to 1223

Philip II, known as Philip Augustus, was King of France from 1180 to 1223, the seventh from the House of Capet. His predecessors had been known as kings of the Franks, but from 1190 onward, Philip became the first French monarch to style himself "King of France". The son of King Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne, he was originally nicknamed Dieudonné (God-given) because he was a first son and born late in his father's life. Philip was given the epithet "Augustus" by the chronicler Rigord for having extended the crown lands of France so remarkably.

In law and government, de jure describes practices that are legally recognised, regardless whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, de facto describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally recognised. The terms are often used to contrast different scenarios: for a colloquial example, "I know that, de jure, this is supposed to be a parking lot, but now that the flood has left four feet of water here, it's a de facto swimming pool". To further explain, even if the signs around the flooded parking lot say "Parking Lot" it is "in fact" a swimming pool.

Contents

Early life

Isabella was born in Valenciennes on 5 April 1170, the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut, and Margaret I, Countess of Flanders. [1] Her father had her betrothed at the age of one to Henry, the future Count of Champagne. [2] He was the nephew of Adèle of Champagne, who was Queen of France. In 1179, both their fathers swore that they would proceed with the marriage, but her father later agreed to her marrying Philip II of France.

Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut Margrave of Namur, Count of Hainaut and Flanders

Baldwin V of Hainaut was count of Hainaut (1171–1195), margrave of Namur as Baldwin I (1189–1195) and count of Flanders as Baldwin VIII (1191–1195).

Margaret I, Countess of Flanders Countess suo jure of Flanders

Margaret I of Flanders was ruling countess of Flanders suo jure from 1191 to her death. She was the daughter of Thierry, Count of Flanders, and Sibylla of Anjou, and the heiress of her childless brother, Philip of Flanders.

Henry II of Champagne was count of Champagne from 1181 to 1197, and ruler of Jerusalem from 1192 to 1197, although he never used the title of king.

Queen of France

Isabella married King Philip on 28 April 1180 at Bapaume, and brought as her dowry the county of Artois. The marriage was arranged by her maternal uncle Philip, Count of Flanders, who was advisor to the King. [3] The wedding did not please the queen dowager, for it meant the rejection of her nephew and the lessening of influence for her kinsmen.

A dowry is a transfer of parental property, gifts, or money at the marriage of a daughter. Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price and dower. While bride price or bride service is a payment by the groom or his family to the bride's parents, dowry is the wealth transferred from the bride's family to the groom or his family, ostensibly for the bride. Similarly, dower is the property settled on the bride herself, by the groom at the time of marriage, and which remains under her ownership and control. Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it. Dowries continue to be expected and demanded as a condition to accept a marriage proposal in some parts of the world, mainly in parts of Asia, Northern Africa and the Balkans. In some parts of the world, disputes related to dowry sometimes result in acts of violence against women, including killings and acid attacks. The custom of dowry is most common in cultures that are strongly patrilineal and that expect women to reside with or near their husband's family (patrilocality). Dowries have long histories in Europe, South Asia, Africa and other parts of the world.

County of Artois countship

The County of Artois was a historic province of the Kingdom of France, held by the Dukes of Burgundy from 1384 until 1477/82, and a state of the Holy Roman Empire from 1493 until 1659.

She was crowned Queen of France at Saint Denis on 28 May 1180. As Baldwin V rightly claimed to be a descendant of Charlemagne, the chroniclers of the time saw in this marriage a union of the Carolingian and Capetian dynasties.

Charlemagne King of the Franks, King of Italy, and Holy Roman Emperor

Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was king of the Franks from 768, king of the Lombards from 774, and emperor of the Romans from 800. During the Early Middle Ages, he united the majority of western and central Europe. He was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonized by Antipope Paschal III.

The Capetian dynasty, also known as the House of France, is a dynasty of Frankish origin, and a branch of the Robertians. It is among the largest and oldest royal houses in Europe and the world, and consists of Hugh Capet, the founder of the dynasty, and his male-line descendants, who ruled in France without interruption from 987 to 1792, and again from 1814 to 1848. The senior line ruled in France as the House of Capet from the election of Hugh Capet in 987 until the death of Charles IV in 1328. That line was succeeded by cadet branches, the Houses of Valois and then Bourbon, which ruled without interruption until the French Revolution abolished the monarchy in 1792. The Bourbons were restored in 1814 in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat, but had to vacate the throne again in 1830 in favor of the last Capetian monarch of France, Louis Philippe I, who belonged to the House of Orléans.

Though Isabella received extravagant praise from certain annalists, she failed to win Philip's affections owing to her inability to provide him with an heir, though she was only 14 years old at the time. [4] Meanwhile, in 1184, King Philip was waging war against Flanders; angered at seeing his wife's father Baldwin support his enemies, he called a council at Sens for the purpose of repudiating her. According to Gislebert of Mons, Isabella then appeared barefooted and dressed as a penitent in the town's churches, thus gaining the sympathy of the people. Her appeals angered them so much that they went to the palace and started shouting loud enough to be heard inside. [5]

Annalists, were a class of writers on Roman history, the period of whose literary activity lasted from the time of the Second Punic War to that of Sulla. They wrote the history of Rome from the earliest times down to their own days, the events of which were treated in much greater detail. Annalists were different from historians, in that an annalist was more likely to just record events for reference purposes, rather than offering their own opinions of events. There is, however, some overlap between the two categories and sometimes annalist is used to refer to both styles of writing from the Roman era.

Flanders Community and region of Belgium

Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language, politics and history, and sometimes involving neighbouring countries. The demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, and the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as (Flemish) culture and education.

Gislebertof Mons was a clergyman in the administration of the County of Hainaut and a chronicler whose Chronicon Hanoniense is an essential eyewitness source for events affecting his patron Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut.

Robert, the king's uncle, successfully interposed; no repudiation followed, for repudiating her would also have meant the loss of Artois to the French crown. [6]

Robert I, Count of Dreux Count of Dreux (1137-1184)

Robert I of Dreux, nicknamed the Great, was the fifth son of Louis VI of France and Adélaide de Maurienne. Through his mother he was related to the Carolingians and to the Marquess William V of Montferrat.

Finally, on 5 September 1187, she gave birth to the desired heir, the future King Louis VIII of France.

Death

Isabella's second pregnancy was extremely difficult. On 14 March 1190, she gave birth to twin boys named Robert and Philip. Owing to complications in childbirth she died the next day, aged not quite 20, and was buried in the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. She was mourned greatly in the capital, having been a popular queen. [7]

The twins lived only four days, both dying on 18 March 1190. [8]

Her son Louis succeeded her as Count of Artois. Isabella's dowry of Artois eventually returned to the French Crown following the death of King Philip, when her son Louis became king.

Appearance

"Queen Isabelle, she of noble form and lovely eyes." [9] In 1858, Isabelle's body was exhumed and measured at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. At 90 cm from pelvis to feet, she would have stood about 1.72-1.75 m, (5'8"-5'9") tall. It was during this exhumation that a silver seal (now in the British Museum) was discovered in the queen's coffin. Little used during her lifetime, it is one of the few medieval seals with a royal connection to survive from the Middle Ages.

Ancestry

Related Research Articles

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The count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the county of Flanders, beginning in the 9th century. The title was held for a time by the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. During the French Revolution in 1790, the county of Flanders was annexed to France and ceased to exist. In the 19th century, the title was appropriated by Belgium and granted twice to younger sons of Belgian kings. The most recent holder died in 1983.

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Philip I of Namur Margrave of Namur

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Count of Hainaut Wikimedia list article

The Count of Hainaut was the ruler of the county of Hainaut, a historical region in the Low Countries. In English-language historical sources, the title is often given the archaic spelling Hainault.

House of Flanders noble family

The House of Flanders—also called the Baldwins —was founded by Baldwin I Iron Arm, husband of Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald.

House of Dampierre noble family

The Dampierre family played an important role during the Middle Ages. Named after Dampierre, in the Champagne region, where members first became prominent, members of the family were later Count of Flanders, Count of Nevers, Counts and Dukes of Rethel, Count of Artois and Count of Franche-Comté.

References

  1. Bouchard 1987, p. 294.
  2. Nolan 2007, p. 79.
  3. Bradbury 1997, p. 55-56.
  4. Bradbury 1997, p. 58-59.
  5. Nolan 2007, p. 83.
  6. Bouyer 1992, p. ?.
  7. Nolan 2007, p. 87.
  8. http://membres.lycos.fr/behgnam/ Archived 2008-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  9. From the Chronique rimee of Philippe Mouskes

Sources

Attribution
French nobility
New title Countess of Artois
28 April 1180 – 15 March 1190
Succeeded by
Louis
French royalty
Preceded by
Adele of Champagne
Queen consort of France
1180–1190
Succeeded by
Ingeborg of Denmark