Baldwin II, Margrave of Flanders

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Baldwin II
Margrave of Flanders
Spouse(s) Ælfthryth of Wessex
Issue
Noble family House of Flanders
Father Baldwin I of Flanders
Mother Judith of Flanders
Born c. 865
Died 10 September 918 (aged 52–53)

Baldwin II (c. 865 – 10 September 918), nicknamed Calvus (the Bald), was the second Margrave of Flanders. He ruled from 879 to 918.

Life[edit]

Baldwin II was the son of Baldwin I of Flanders and Judith, the great-granddaughter of Charlemagne.[1] In 884 Baldwin married Ælfthryth (Ælfthryth, Elftrude, Elfrida), the daughter of Alfred the Great.[2] The immediate goal of this Anglo-Flemish alliance was to help Baldwin control the lower Canche River valley.[3]

The early years of Baldwin's rule were marked by a series of devastating Viking raids into Flanders.[4] By 883, he was forced to move north to pagus flandransis, which became the territory most closely associated with the counts of Flanders.[4] Baldwin constructed a series of wooden fortifications at Saint-Omer, Bruges, Ghent, and Kortrijk, and seized lands that were abandoned by royal and ecclesiastical officials.[5] Many of these same citadels later formed castellanies which housed government, militia, and local courts.[4]

In 888, the western Frankish king Charles the Fat was deposed, leaving several candidates for his replacement.[6] As grandson of Charles the Bald, Holy Roman Emperor and King of West Francia, Baldwin could have competed for the crown of western Francia.[5] Instead, Baldwin and others tried to convince the East Frankish King Arnulf to take the West Frankish crown, but Arnulf declined.[6] The Robertine Odo, Count of Paris, was elected king.[7] When Odo did not support Baldwin's attempts to gain control of the abbey of St. Bertin, the two fell out. Odo attacked Baldwin at Bruges, but was unable to prevail.[6] Baldwin continued his expansion to the south and gained control over Artois, including the important abbey of St. Vaast. When the abbey came under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Fulk of Reims in 900, Baldwin had him assassinated.[3] When his attempts to expand further into the upper Somme River valley were opposed by Herbert I, Count of Vermandois, Baldwin had him assassinated too.[3]

Baldwin died on 10 September 918[8] at Blandijnberg (near Ghent) and was succeeded by his eldest son Arnulf I of Flanders. His younger son Adalulf became the first count of Boulogne.

Family[edit]

Baldwin II married Ælfthryth, daughter of Alfred the Great.[1] and had four children:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, Marburg, Germany, 1984), Tafel 5
  2. ^ François Neveux, The Normans; The Conquests that Changed the Face of Europe, Trans. Howard Curtis (Constable and Robinson, Ltd., London, 2008), p. 93
  3. ^ a b c Pierre Riché, The Carolingians; A Family who Forged Europe, Trans. Michael Idomir Allen (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia), p. 236
  4. ^ a b c David Nicholas, Medieval Flanders (Longman Group UK, Ltd., 1992)pp. 17–18
  5. ^ a b Pierre Riché, The Carolingians; A Family who Forged Europe, Trans. Michael Idomir Allen (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia), p. 235
  6. ^ a b c David Nicholas, Medieval Flanders (Longman Group UK, Ltd., 1992)p. 19
  7. ^ Pierre Riché, The Carolingians; A Family who Forged Europe, Trans. Michael Idomir Allen (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia), p. 237
  8. ^ Philip Grierson, 'The Relations between England and Flanders before the Norman Conquest', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 23 (1941), p. 86

Additional references[edit]

Preceded by
Baldwin I
Margrave of Flanders
879–918
Succeeded by
Arnulf I