Godfrey I, Count of Verdun

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Godfrey I, Count of Verdun
Spouse(s) Matilda Billung of Saxony
Noble family House of Ardennes-Verdun
Father Gozlin, Count of Bidgau and Methingau
Mother Oda of Metz
Died 1002

Godfrey I (died 1002), called the Prisoner or the Captive (le Captif), sometimes the Old (le Vieux), was the count of Bidgau and Methingau from 959 and the count of Verdun from 963 to his death. In 969, he obtained the Margraviate of Antwerp and Ename. Between 974 and 998, he was also the count of Hainault and Mons.

He was the son of Gozlin, Count of Bidgau and Methingau, and Oda of Metz. He was the brother of Adalberon, Archbishop of Reims, who crowned Hugh Capet the king of France.

He was the founder of the House of Limburg or House of Ardennes-Verdun, a cadet branch of the House of Ardennes. He was always loyal to the Ottonians, whom he was related through his maternal grandmother.

He appears as the new count of Verdun in 963, though already count of Bidgau and Methingau through inheritance since 959. In 974, he became count of Mons, and Hainault jointly with Arnold, Count of Valenciennes, after the fall of Reginar IV. Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, was a supporter of Reginar and defeated Godfrey and Arnold at Mons in 976, where the former was captured.

After his release, he was at the side of the Emperor Otto II fighting Lothair of France at Verdun in 985, but he was again taken captive and held several years. He was released in 987 by Hugh Capet, whose political ally Godfrey's family was: Adalberon, Godfrey's brother, having crowned Hugh and Godfrey being an enemy of Charles of Lower Lorraine, Hugh's Carolingian rival.

In 989, he was made prisoner a third time by Herbert III of Vermandois. He was liberated before 995, when he appears at the synod of Mousson. In 998, he lost his Hainault portion (the county of Mons) to Reginar.

Family[edit]

In 963, he married Matilda, daughter of Herman, Duke of Saxony, of the Billung family, a widow of Baldwin III of Flanders. He had the following issue:

  • Frederick (d. 1022), count of Verdun
  • Godfrey (d. 1023), count of Verdun and duke of Lower Lorraine (1012–1023)
  • Adalberon (d. 988), bishop of Verdun (984–988)
  • Herman of Ename (d. 1024), count of Brabant (retired as a monk in the abbey of Verdun abt. 1020)
  • Gothelo (d. 1044), margrave of Antwerp, duke of Lower (1023–1044) and later also Upper (1033–1044) Lorraine
  • Bertram de Verdun, grand-uncle of the Bertram I who went to England where he held the manor of Farnham Royal in Buckinghamshire.
  • Ermengarde (d. 1042), married Otto of Hammerstein, count in the Wettergau
  • Ermentrude, married Arnold de Rumigny (d. 1010), lord of Florennes
  • probably also an unnamed daughter, married Count Godizo of Aspelt
Godfrey I, Count of Verdun
Died: 1002
Preceded by
Reginar IV
Count of Mons
974–998
Succeeded by
Reginar IV