Richilde, Countess of Hainaut

Last updated
Richilde
Countess of Mons and Hainaut
Margravine of Valenciennes
Died(1086-03-15)15 March 1086
Mesen
Spouse(s) Herman of Mons
Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders
William Fitzosbern, 1st Earl of Hereford
FatherReinier of Hasnon
MotherAdelheid of Egisheim

Richilde, Countess of Mons and Hainaut (c.1018 – 15 March 1086), was a ruling countess of Hainaut from c. 1050 until 1076, in co-regency with her husband Baldwin VI of Flanders and son Baldwin II of Hainaut. She was also countess of Flanders by marriage to Baldwin VI. She ruled Flanders as regent during the minority of her son Arnulf III in 1070-1071.

Contents

Origin

Richilde is most likely a daughter of Reinier of Hasnon (died c.1049) and Adelheid of Egisheim. [1] She was born c. 1018. [2] In 1040, she married Herman of Mons, who became Count of Hainaut. [2]

Countess of Hainaut

For a long time, Richilde's own rights and position were not well understood. She is counted as ruling countess of Hainaut for different periods in different sources. In a first phase, she followed in the marche of Valenciennes c.1049 as only heir of her father, Reinier of Hasnon, who was installed in 1047 as margrave of Valenciennes to replace Baldwin V of Flanders (who rebelled against the Empire and lost his fiefs). Her first husband, Herman of Mons, count of Hainaut, died c.1050/1051, and left Richilde in the position of "heiress of Hainaut". As such, she was countess in her own right in Valenciennes and in her husband's rights in Hainaut.

Her position as "heiress of Hainaut", made her an attractive bride, but this placed the county in a dangerous position. She was forced by Baldwin V of Flanders to marry his eldest son Baldwin. It was indeed her future father-in-law Baldwin V who, under threat of force, arranged the marriage between his son and Richilde. [3]

As Hainaut and Valenciennes were imperial fiefs and Henry III had not been consulted, the marriage resulted in a war between the emperor and the Baldwin's, ending in a total defeat of the latter in 1054. [3] [4]

Her husband Baldwin became ruling count of Hainaut jure uxoris . Her father-in-law also arranged to disinherit the two children she had with Herman, Hainaut and Valenciennes being inherited by the count of Flanders.

Baldwin VI followed as count of Flanders in 1067, unifying as such Hainaut, Valenciennes and Flanders, and ruled until his death (17 July 1070).

Regency of Flanders

Baldwin VI left Flanders to their eldest son, Arnulf III, and the County of Hainaut to the younger son, Baldwin II, with the provision that if either son preceded the other in death, he would inherit the other's county as well. [5] Baldwin VI also obtained assurances from his brother Robert who gave his oath of homage and promised to protect his nephew. [5] After Baldwin VI's death their son Arnulf III became Count of Flanders, but as he was a minor, Richilde served as Regent of Flanders. [6]

Almost immediately Arnulf's uncle, Robert the Frisian, broke his oath to his brother Baldwin VI and disputed Arnulf's right to Flanders. [7] Richilde asked for help from William Fitzosbern of Normandy who married her. Despite help from King Philip I of France, her forces were defeated at the Battle of Cassel and William Fitzosbern was killed along with her oldest son, Arnulf. Richilde herself was captured and released, [8] King Philip later recognized Robert as Count of Flanders. [9]

Later reign

Richilde and her younger son, Baldwin II, retained Hainaut, but made subsequent unsuccessful attempts to recover Flanders. [9] Richilde built the castle at Beaumont along with a chapel there dedicated to St. Venantius. [10] She, along with her son Baldwin, founded the monastery of Saint-Denis-en-Broqueroie. [11]

At the end of her regency she retired to the Abbey of Messines. [10] In 1076, she was evidently deposed by her son.

Richilde died on 15 March 1086. [12]

Family

Richilde married Herman, Count of Hainaut. They had two children:

Richilde married secondly Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders. They were the parents of:

In 1071 Richilde married thirdly William Fitzosbern, 1st Earl of Hereford (c. 1025 – 1071). [4]

Notes

    Related Research Articles

    Baldwin I, Latin Emperor Latin Emperor of Constantinople (1172 - c.1205)

    Baldwin I was the first emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople; Count of Flanders from 1194-1205 and Count of Hainaut from 1195-1205. Baldwin was one of the most prominent leaders of the Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the sack of Constantinople in 1204, the conquest of large parts of the Byzantine Empire, and the foundation of the Latin Empire. He lost his final battle to Kaloyan, the emperor of Bulgaria, and spent his last days as his prisoner.

    Baldwin V, Count of Flanders Count of Flanders

    Baldwin V was count of Flanders from 1035 until his death. He secured the personal union between the counties of Flanders and Hainaut and maintained close links to the Anglo-Saxon monarchy, which was overthrown by his son-in-law, William the Conqueror, near the end of his life.

    Baldwin VI, also known as Baldwin the Good, was Count of Hainaut from 1051 to 1070 and Count of Flanders from 1067 to 1070.

    Robert I, Count of Flanders Count of Flanders

    Robert I, known as Robert the Frisian, was count of Flanders from 1071 to his death in 1093. He usurped the countship after defeating his nephew Arnulf III and his allies, Robert's sister Matilda and King Philip I of France. He made peace with Philip, who became his stepson-in-law, but remained hostile to his sister and brother-in-law, King William the Conqueror of England.

    Marie of Champagne was the first Latin Empress of Constantinople by marriage to Emperor Baldwin I. She acted as regent of Flanders during the absence of her spouse from 1202 until 1204.

    County of Hainaut countship

    The County of Hainaut, was a territorial lordship within the medieval Holy Roman Empire, straddling what is now the border of Belgium and France. Its most important towns included Mons, now in Belgium, and Valenciennes, now in France.

    Arnulf III was Count of Flanders from 1070 until his death at the Battle of Cassel in 1071.

    Baldwin II (1056–1098?) was count of Hainaut from 1071 to his death. He was an unsuccessful claimant to the County of Flanders. He disappeared in Anatolia during the First Crusade.

    Baldwin III (1088–1120) was count of Hainaut from 1098 to his death.

    Baldwin IV was count of Hainaut from 1120 to his death.

    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).

    Dirk V, Count of Holland First Count of the Northern Netherlands

    Dirk V was Count of Holland from 1061 to 1091.

    Reginar V, Count of Mons, was the eldest son of Reginar IV, Count of Mons and Hedwig of France. His maternal grandparents were Hugh Capet of France and Adelaide of Aquitaine.

    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.

    The Battle of Cassel was fought on 22 February 1071 between Robert I of Flanders and his nephew, Arnulf III. The battle was a victory for Robert, and Arnulf was killed in the battle.

    Henry II, Count of Louvain Count of Louvain from 1054

    Henry II was Count of Louvain (Leuven) from 1054 through 1071 (?). Henry II was the son of Lambert II, Count of Louvain and Oda of Verdun. His maternal uncles included Pope Stephen X and Godfrey the Bearded, Duke of Lorraine.

    Albert III was the Count of Namur from 1063 until his death. He was the son of Count Albert II and Regelinde of Verdun.

    Herman, Count of Mons and Hainaut, son of Reginar V, Count of Mons, and Mathilde of Verdun, daughter of Herman, Count of Verdun.

    Ida, Countess of Hainaut , daughter of Henry II, Count of Louvain, and Adela of Thuringa. Ida was sister to Godfrey I, Count of Louvain.

    Arnulfof Valenciennes, was a 10th and 11th century count and perhaps sometimes a margrave, who was lord of the fort of Valenciennes, which was at that time on the frontier with France, but not in France.

    References

    1. Van Droogenbroeck, F. J., "De markenruil Ename – Valenciennes en de investituur van de graaf van Vlaanderen in de mark Ename", Handelingen van de Geschied- en Oudheidkundige Kring van Oudenaarde 55 (2018) 47–127
    2. 1 2 Karen S. Nicholas, 'Countesses as Rulers in Flanders', Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, Ed. Theodore Evergates (Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), p. 115
    3. 1 2 Renée Nip, 'The Political Relations Between England and Flanders (1066–1128)', Anglo-Norman Studies 21: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1998, Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1989), p. 147.
    4. 1 2 3 4 Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafle 5
    5. 1 2 Gilbert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2005), p. 5
    6. Renée Nip, 'The Political Relations between England and Flanders (1066–1128)', Anglo-Norman Studies 21: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1998, Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999), p. 154
    7. Jim Bradbury, The Capetians: The History of a Dynasty (987–1328) (London & New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007), p. 114
    8. Karen S. Nicholas, 'Countesses as Rulers in Flanders', Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, Ed. Theodore Evergates (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), p. 116
    9. 1 2 Gilbert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2005), p. 6
    10. 1 2 Karen S. Nicholas, 'Countesses as Rulers in Flanders', Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, Ed. Theodore Evergates (Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), p. 116
    11. Gilbert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2005), p. 11
    12. George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant Extinct or Dormant, Vol. VI, Ed. H. A. Doubleday & Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), p. 449
    13. 1 2 Gilbert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge, The Boydell Press, 2005), pp. 3 & n. 8
    Richilde, Countess of Hainaut
    Born: c. 1018 Died: 15 March 1086
    Preceded by
    Herman of Mons
    Countess of Hainaut
    c. 1050–1076
    Succeeded by
    Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders
    Preceded by
    Adela of France, Countess of Flanders
    Countess consort of Flanders
    1067–1070
    Succeeded by
    Gertrude of Saxony