Plectrude

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Plectrude

Plectrude (or Plectrudis) (died 717) was the consort of Pepin of Herstal, the mayor of the palace and duke of the Franks, from about 670. She was the daughter of Hugobert, seneschal of Clovis IV, and Irmina of Oeren. She was the regent of Neustria during the minority of her grandson Theudoald from 714 until 716.

Biography[edit]

Plectrude is described as politically active and influential upon her husband and his reign. She brought a large amount of property to the Arnulfing house and this probably helped to save Pepin in his warmaking with the Neustrians.[why?] During the reign of Pepin, she appears as his joint signatory in every legal instrument issued by him that is still preserved. This was unusual during this age.

In 714, her son Grimoald was murdered. She ensured Pepin's assent that Theudoald would be his main heir. When Pepin died soon thereafter (714), she took power in Neustria as regent of the under age Theudoald. To ensure her reign, she imprisoned his dangerous illegitimate son Charles Martel in Cologne. Martell's contemporaries probably did not consider him illegitimate, as he was born during his mother's marriage to Pepins and the Frank noblemen practiced polygamy in this period. In 715, the Neustrian nobility rebelled against her in alliance with Radbod of Friesland and defeated her in the Battle of Compiègne 26 September 715, causing her to take refuge in Cologne, which was the home land of her family clan and where she kept the money of Pepin.

In 716, Chilperic II, king of the Franks, and Ragenfrid, his mayor of the palace, together led an army into Austrasia. Near Cologne, in which Plectrude had shut herself up, they defeated the escaped Charles Martel. The king and his mayor then turned to besiege their other rival in the city and took it, the treasury, and received the recognition of both Chilperic as king and Ragenfrid as mayor.

At this juncture, events turned in Charles' favour. In 717, he chased the king and the mayor to Paris before turning back to deal with Plectrude in Cologne. He took the city and dispersed her adherents. Plectude entered an convent. She died later that year in Cologne, where she is buried.

Issue[edit]

Her sons by Pepin were:

References[edit]