Ermengarde of Hesbaye

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Ermengarde of Hesbaye
Holy Roman Empress
Reign 813–818
Coronation 5 October 816 by Pope Stephen IV
Reims Cathedral
Queen of the Franks
Reign 814–818
Spouse Louis the Pious
Issue Lothair I
Pepin I of Aquitaine
Louis the German
House Counts of Hesbaye
Born c. 780
Died 3 October 818(818-10-03)
Angers, Neustria

Ermengarde (or Irmingard) of Hesbaye (c. 778 – 3 October 818), probably a member of the Robertian dynasty, was Holy Roman Empress from 813 and Queen of the Franks from 814 until her death as the wife of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious.

Life[edit]

She was Frankish by birth, the daughter of one Count Ingerman of Hesbaye, a nephew of the Metz bishop Chrodegang, and Hedwig of Bavaria.

About 794 Ermengarde married Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne, who since 781 ruled as a King of Aquitaine. He had already fathered two children, and Ermengarde may had been his concubine. Ermengarde gave birth to six children:

  • Lothair I (795–855), born in Altdorf, Bavaria
  • Pepin I of Aquitaine (797–838)
  • Adelaide, born ca. 799
  • Rotrude, born about 800, married Gérard de Auvergne (c. 800 – d. 25.6.841) Comte de Auvergne and they had Ranulf I of Poitiers.
  • Hildegard/Matilda, born about 802, abbess of Notre-Dame in Laon
  • Louis the German (805–876), King of East Francia

Charlemagne initially intended to divide his Carolingian Empire between Louis and his brothers Pepin and Charles, who nevertheless died in quick succession in 810/11. On 10 September 813, Charlemagne designated Louis his successor and had him proclaimed co-emperor. Ermengarde's husband became sole ruler as Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks upon his father's death on 28 January 814. The couple was anointed and crowned Emperor and Empress by Pope Stephen IV on 5 October 816 in Reims Cathedral.

She died at Angers, Neustria (in present-day France) on 3 October 818. A few years after her death, her husband remarried to Judith of Bavaria, who bore him Charles the Bald.

Preceded by
None
Holy Roman Empress
813–818
Succeeded by
Judith of Bavaria
Preceded by
Luitgard
Queen of the Franks
814–818