Ralph I, Lord of Coucy

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Ralph of Coucy[1], (c. 1134 – † 1191), lord of Coucy, lord of Marle, La Fère, Crécy (sur-Serre), Vervins, Pinon, Landouzy (la-Ville), and Fontaine (lès-Vervins). He was the son of Enguerrand II, Lord of Coucy. He left for the Holy Land, where he died in the siege of Acre in November 1191.



Coucy, finding himself a widower and desiring a male child, married for the second time with Alix II of Dreux, a royal princess who was a relative by his mother, Agnès de Beaugency, daughter of Mahaut (or Maud or Matilda) de Vermandois, eldest daughter of Hugh I, Count of Vermandois called the Great, brother of King Philip I of France. Alix II of Dreux was the daughter of Robert I, Count of Dreux, grandson of King Philip I, and King Louis VII of France's niece. Alix de Dreux II's mother was Agnès de Baudement, Countess of Braine, third wife of her father Robert I de Dreux, and her brother was Robert II, Count of Dreux (d. December 28, 1218), Count of Dreux and Braine, who was married to Yolande de Coucy, eldest daughter of our Raoul, and Agnès of Hainaut, his first wife. By his two marriages, Raoul became stepfather to a great prince, son-in-law to a son of France, and cousin to Philip Augustus. Raoul attended the King of France in 1181 during the war against Philip I, Count of Flanders, although previously he had received the land of Marle and Vervins in the fief of La Ferte-Beliard that the Count had given him as an homage. But by the peace treaty granted afterward the king ordered that the Count should take this tribute back. The same Raoul became liege of the king for the estates of the fief of La Fère, which had been previously held by the church of Laon.


It is said that before his last breath, Raoul had instructed his squire that after his death, he should take his heart to the woman he loved (which some call the Lady of Fayel and others Gabrielle de Vergy). The squire was surprised by the husband when he was fulfilling his mission. The husband took the heart and forced his wife to eat it. She, who learned too late about her misfortune, swore never to eat food again and let herself die of hunger. This incident provided Pierre Laurent de Belloy the subject of his tragedy of Gabrielle de Vergy.

Preceded by
Enguerrand II
Lord of Coucy
1149(?) – 1191
Succeeded by
Enguerrand III