Adèle of France, Countess of Flanders
|Adèle of France|
|Countess of Flanders|
|Died||8 January 1079
|Burial||Benedictine Convent of Messines|
|Spouse||Richard III, Duke of Normandy
Baldwin V, Count of Flanders
|Issue||with Baldwin V:
Matilda, Queen consort of England
|House||House of Capet (by birth)
House of Normandy (by marriage)
House of Flanders (by marriage)
|Father||Robert II of France|
|Mother||Constance of Arles|
Adèle of France,[a] known also as Adela the Holy or Adela of Messines; (1009 – 8 January 1079, Messines), was, by marriage, the Duchess of Normandy (January 1027 – August 1027), Countess of Flanders (1035–1067).
Adèle was the second daughter of Robert II (the Pious), and Constance of Arles. She is usually identified with the noble Adèle who in January 1027 married Richard III, Duke of Normandy. The marriage was short-lived for on 6 August of that same year Richard III suddenly died. Adèle of France married Baldwin V, Count of Flanders in 1028.
Adèle's influence lay mainly through her family connections. On the death of her brother, Henry I of France, the guardianship of his seven-year-old son Philip I fell jointly on his widow, Anne of Kiev, and on his brother-in-law, Adèle's husband, so that from 1060 to 1067, they were Regents of France.
In 1071, Adèle's third son, Robert the Frisian, planned to invade Flanders even though at that time the Count of Flanders was Adèle's grandson, Arnulf III. When she heard about Robert's plans, she asked Philip I to stop him. Philip sent soldiers to support Arnulf including a contingent of ten Norman knights led by William FitzOsborn. Robert's forces attacked Arnulf's numerically superior army at Cassel before it could organize, and Arnulf was killed along with William FitzOsborn. Robert's overwhelming victory led to Philip making peace with Robert and investing him as Count of Flanders. A year later, Philip married Robert's stepdaughter, Bertha of Holland, and in 1074, Philip restored the seigneurie of Corbie to the crown.
Adèle had a strong interest in Baldwin V’s church reforms and was behind her husband’s founding of several collegiate churches. Directly or indirectly, she was responsible for establishing the Colleges of Aire (1049), Lille (1050) and Harelbeke (1064) as well as the abbeys of Messines (1057) and Ename (1063). After Baldwin’s death in 1067, she went to Rome, took the nun’s veil from the hands of Pope Alexander II and retired to the Benedictine convent of Messines, near Ypres. There she later died and was buried at the convent. Honoured as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, her commemoration day is 8 September.
Her possible first marriage was in 1027 to Richard III, Duke of Normandy (died 1027). They had no children.
- Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders (c. 1030–1070).
- Matilda of Flanders (c. 1032–1083). In c. 1053 she married William, Duke of Normandy, the future King of England and had issue.
- Robert I, Count of Flanders (c. 1035–1093).
|Ancestors of Adèle of France, Countess of Flanders|
- Other forms of her name are Adela, Adélaïde, Adelheid, Aelis and Alix.
- Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 11
- Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 79
- Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 5
- Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafeln 5, 11
Adèle of France, Countess of FlandersBorn: 1009 Died: 8 January 1079
Papia of Envermeu
|Duchess consort of Normandy
Matilda of Flanders
Eleanor of Normandy
|Countess consort of Flanders
Richilde of Hainaut