Richilde, Countess of Hainaut

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Richilde, Countess and Hainaut
Spouse(s) Herman of Mons
Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders
William Fitzosbern, 1st Earl of Hereford
Born c. 1018
Died 15 March 1086(1086-03-15)
Mesen

Richilde, Countess of Mons and Hainaut (c. 1018 – 15 March 1086). She was also Countess and Regent of Flanders.

Life[edit]

Richilde's parentage is unknown, but she was born c. 1018.[1] She was married firstly to Herman of Mons (Count of Hainaut), c. 1040.[1] After the death of Herman, Richilde married Baldwin, eldest son of Baldwin V of Flanders.[a][2] Her husband Baldwin became count of Flanders (as Baldwin VI) in 1067, and ruled both Hainaut and Flanders until his death on July 17, 1070.[2] Before his death, Baldwin VI left Flanders to their eldest son, Arnulf III, and Hainaut to their younger son, Baldwin II, with the provision that if either son preceded the other in death, he would inherit the other's county as well.[3] Baldwin VI also obtained assurances from his brother Robert who gave his oath of homage and promised to protect his nephew.[3] After Baldwin VI's death their son Arnulf III became Count of Flanders, but as he was a minor, Richilde served as Regent of Flanders.[4]

Almost immediately Arnulf's uncle, Robert the Frisian, broke his oath to his brother Baldwin VI and disputed Arnulf's right to Flanders.[5] Despite help from King Philip I of France, her forces were defeated at the Battle of Cassel. Richilde herself was captured and released,[6] Arnulf was killed in the battle, and King Philip later recognized Robert as Count of Flanders.[7]

Richilde and her younger son, Baldwin II, retained Hainaut, but made subsequent unsuccessful attempts to recover Flanders.[7] Richilde built the castle at Beaumont along with a chapel there dedicated to St. Venantius.[8] She, along with her son Baldwin, founded the monastery of Saint-Denis-en-Broqueroie.[9] At the end of her regency she retired to the Abbey of Messines.[8] Richilde died on 15 March 1086.[10]

Family[edit]

Richilde married Herman of Mons, count of Hainaut ( They had two children:

Richilde secondly married Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders. They were the parents of:

In 1071 Richilde married thirdly William Fitzosbern, 1st Earl of Hereford (c. 1025 – 1071).[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Baldwin V, under threat of force, arranged the marriage between Richilde, the widow of Herman of Mons and heiress of Hainaut with his young son Baldwin VI. This in turn enraged Henry III who had not been consulted and Hainaut being a part of the empire caused him to wage war on Count Baldwin V. However, after several years of war Henry III was not successful and finally withdrew. See Renée Nip, 'The Political Relations Between England and Flanders (1066–1128)', Anglo-Norman Studies 21: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1998, Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1989), p. 147.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Karen S. Nicholas, 'Countesses as Rulers in Flanders', Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, Ed. Theodore Evergates (Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), p. 115
  2. ^ a b c d e Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafle 5
  3. ^ a b Gilbert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2005), p. 5
  4. ^ Renée Nip, 'The Political Relations between England and Flanders (1066–1128)', Anglo-Norman Studies 21: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1998, Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999), p. 154
  5. ^ Jim Bradbury, The Capetians: The History of a Dynasty (987–1328) (London & New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007), p. 114
  6. ^ Karen S. Nicholas, 'Countesses as Rulers in Flanders', Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, Ed. Theodore Evergates (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), p. 116
  7. ^ a b Gilbert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2005), p. 6
  8. ^ a b Karen S. Nicholas, 'Countesses as Rulers in Flanders', Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, Ed. Theodore Evergates (Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), p. 116
  9. ^ Gilbert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2005), p. 11
  10. ^ George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant Extinct or Dormant, Vol. VI, Ed. H. A. Doubleday & Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), p. 449
  11. ^ a b Gilbert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge, The Boydell Press, 2005), pp. 3 & n. 8
Richilde, Countess of Hainaut
Born: c. 1018 Died: 15 March 1086
Preceded by
Regnier V of Mons
Countess of Hainaut
1040–1051
Succeeded by
Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders
Preceded by
Adela of France, Countess of Flanders
Countess consort of Flanders
1067–1070
Succeeded by
Gertrude of Saxony