Henry I, Duke of Brabant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Henry I
Duke of Brabant
Duke of Lothier
Spouse(s) Mathilde of Boulogne
Marie, Princess of France


Marie of Brabant, Holy Roman Empress
Henry II, Duke of Brabant
Titles and styles
The Duke of Brabant and Lothier
Noble family House of Reginar
Father Godfrey III, Count of Leuven
Mother Marguerite of Limbourg
Born 1165
Died 5 September 1235
Cologne, Kingdom of Germany, Holy Roman Empire
Denier 'au cavalier' with Duke Henry galloping to right; struck in Antwerp after 1210.

Henry I of Brabant (French: Henri I de Brabant, Dutch: Hendrik I van Brabant) (1165 – 5 September 1235), named "The Courageous", Duke of Brabant (from 1183) and Duke of Lower Lotharingia (from 1190) until his death.


He was probably born in Leuven. He became Duke of Brabant in 1183 / 1184 and succeeded his father as Duke of Lower Lotharingia in 1190. He was the son of Godfrey III of Leuven, Duke of Lower Lotharingia and landgrave of Brabant, and Margaret of Limburg.

He was one of the leaders of the crusade begun by King Henry VI of Germany, which he joined in mid-1197. In the October of the same year he took part in the recapture of Beirut and, then moved to Jaffa with the Crusaders: however, before reaching the city he got news of the death of the King of Jerusalem, Henry II of Champagne, and he returned to Acre. Here he acted as regent until the arrival of the new King, Amalric II.

In 1208, after the assassination of Philip of Swabia, King of the Romans, Henry was proposed as successor by King Philip II Augustus. In the war which followed, he reached in Germany emperor Otto IV, but the two were defeated in the Battle of Bouvines.

In 1213, Henry also suffered a heavy defeat against the Bishopric of Liège in the Battle of Steppes.

Grave of duke Henry

Under Henry I, there was town policy and town planning. Henry's attention went out to those regions that lent themselves to the extension of his sovereignty and in some locations he used the creation of a new town as an instrument in the political organisation of the area. Among the towns to which the Duke gave city rights and trade privileges was 's-Hertogenbosch.

In 1235 Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen appointed Henry to travel to England to bring him his fiancée Isabella Plantagenet. Unfortunately, Henry fell ill and died at Cologne. He was buried in St. Peter's chapter church at Leuven where his late Romanesque effigy can still be seen.


He married Mathilde of Boulogne (Mathilde of Flanders), daughter of Marie of Boulogne and Matthew of Alsace 1179. He had six children by his first marriage:

  1. Marie (c. 1190 – May 1260), married in Maastricht after May 19, 1214 Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, married July 1220 Count William I of Holland
  2. Adelaide (b. c. 1190), married 1206 Arnulf, Count of Loos, married February 3, 1225 William X of Auvergne (c. 1195–1247), married before April 21, 1251 Arnold van Wesemaele (d. aft. 1288), ancestor of Joan of Boulogne, second wife of John, Duke of Berry
  3. Margaret (1192–1231), married January 1206 Gerhard III, Count of Guelders (d. October 22, 1229)
  4. Mathilde (c. 1200 – December 22, 1267), married in Aachen in 1212 Henry II, Count Palatine of the Rhine (d. 1214), married on December 6, 1214 Floris IV, Count of Holland
  5. Henry II of Brabant (1207–1248)
  6. Godfrey (1209 – January 21, 1254), Lord of Gaesbeek, married Marie van Oudenaarde

His second marriage was at April 22, 1213 in Soissons to Marie, princess of France, daughter of King Philip II of France. They had two children:

  1. Ysabeau (Elizabeth) (d. October 23, 1272), married in Leuven March 19, 1233 Count Dietrich of Cleves, Lord of Dinslaken (c. 1214–1244), married 1246 Gerhard II, Count of Wassenberg (d. 1255)
  2. Marie, died young

See also[edit]

Henry I, Duke of Brabant
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Godfrey III of Leuven
as Duke of Lower Lorraine
Duke of Lothier
Succeeded by
Henry II of Brabant
Preceded by
Godfrey III of Leuven, landgrave of Brabant
Coat of arms of Brabant.svg Duke of Brabant
Succeeded by
Henry II of Brabant