House of Ligne
|House of Ligne|
|Place of origin||Ligne in Belgium|
|Distinctions||Princes of Ligne|
|Estate||Château de Belœil|
The House of Ligne is one of the oldest Belgian noble families, dating back to the eleventh century. Its name comes from the village in which it originated, between Ath and Tournai. The lords of Ligne belonged to the entourage of the Count of Hainaut at the time of the Crusades.
With the battle of Bouvines in 1214, they were described as "great name and men of honour" by the chroniclers of the time. Their progressive rise in the nobility began as barons in the twelfth century, then counts of Fauquemberg and princes of Épinoy in the sixteenth century, princes of Amblise in 1608. The family became Imperial counts on 18 December 1544, Lamoral I receiving from Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, the title Prince of the Holy Roman Empire as Prince de Ligne on 20 March 1601, for all of his agnatic descendants, male and female.
Compensation for loss of the Imperial County of Ligne (Fagnolles, since that barony had become seat of the county in 1789) as a result of the Peace of Lunéville consisted of substitution of the secularized Imperial abbey of Edelstetten, with guarantee of an individual vote in the Imperial College of Princes in 1803. That principality was, however, sold to Prince Nikolaus Esterházy) on 22 May 1804, before abolition of the Holy Roman Empire, of which Edelstetten had been a constituent Imperial state, in 1806.
The style of Highness was confirmed for all members of extant branches of the family on 31 May 1923, and the titles of Prince d'Amblise and Prince d'Epinoy recognized for the head of the house on 22 October of the same year by the Belgian Crown.
Abbots and abbesses
Within this house, there were the following abbots and abbesses:
- Gérard de Ligne (†1270) Abott de Cambrai
- Mahaut de Ligne (c. 1275) Abbess d'Epinlieu
- Marie de Ligne (c. 1500) Abbess de Mons
- Marie de Ligne (c. 1550) Abbess de Cambrai
- Catherine de Ligne (†1581) Abbess de Thorn (La Thure)
Princes de Ligne
List of the Princes of Ligne:
- Lamoral I, 1st Prince of Ligne and of the Holy Roman Empire (1563-1624).
- Albert Henri, 2nd Prince of Ligne and of the Holy Roman Empire (1615-1641)
- Claude Lamoral I, 3rd Prince of Ligne and of the Holy Roman Empire (1618-1679)
- Henri Louis Ernest, 4th Prince of Ligne and of the Holy Roman Empire (1644-1702)
- Antoine Joseph Ghislain, 5th Prince of Ligne and of the Holy Roman Empire (1682-1750)
- Claude Lamoral II, 6th Prince of Ligne and of the Holy Roman Empire (1685-1766)
- Charles-Joseph, 7th Prince of Ligne and of the Holy Roman Empire (1735-1814)
- Eugène, 8th Prince of Ligne and of the Holy Roman Empire (1804-1880)
- Louis, 9th Prince of Ligne (1854-1918)
- Ernest, 10th Prince of Ligne (1857-1937)
- Eugène II, 11th Prince of Ligne (1893-1960)
- Baudouin, 12th Prince of Ligne (1918-1985)
- Antoine, 13th Prince of Ligne (1925-2005)
- Michel, 14th Prince of Ligne (1951-)
Other members of the House of Ligne
- Charles-Antoine Lamoral, Prince de Ligne de La Trémoïlle (1946-), third cousin once removed of Michel, 14th Prince de Ligne
- Heir: Prince Edouard Lamoral de Ligne de La Trémoïlle (1976-)
Arms of the House of Ligne
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV. "Ligne". C.A. Starke Verlag, 1991, pp. 495-500. ISBN 978-3-7980-0700-4.