Count of Flanders

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Coat of arms of the counts of Flanders.

The count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the county of Flanders, beginning in the 9th century.[1] Later, the title would be held for a time, by the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. During the French Revolution, in 1790, the county of Flanders was annexed to France and ceased to exist. In the 19th century, the title was appropriated by Belgium and granted twice to younger sons of Belgian kings. The most recent holder died in 1983.[2]

In 862 Baldwin I was appointed as the first Margrave of Flanders by King Charles II. It was a military appointment, responsible for repelling the Viking raids from the coast of Francia. The title of margrave (or marquis) evolved into that of count. Arnulf I was the first to name himself as count, by the Grace of God. The title of margrave largely fell out of use by the 12th century. Since then, the rulers of Flanders have only been referred to as counts.

The counts of Flanders enlarged their estate through a series of diplomatic marriages. The counties of Hainaut, Namur, Béthune, Nevers, Auxerre, Rethel, Burgundy, and Artois were all acquired in this manner. However, the County of Flanders suffered the same fate in turn. As a result of the marriage of Countess Margaret III with Philip II, Duke of Burgundy, the county and the subsidiary counties, entered a personal union with the Duchy of Burgundy in 1405.[3]

The counts of Flanders were also associated with the Duchy of Brittany prior to its union with France. In c.1323, Joan, the daughter of Arthur II, Duke of Brittany, married the second son of Count Robert III. Joanna of Flanders, the granddaughter of Count Robert III and daughter of his son, Count Louis I, married John Montfort.[4] During Montfort's imprisonment, she fought on his behalf, alongside English allies, during the Breton War of Succession for the ducal crown, which was won definitively by her son John V, Duke of Brittany. It was through this alliance that the Duchy of Brittany was eventually joined to the throne of France.[5]

List of counts[edit]

House of Flanders[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
BaldwinI.jpg Baldwin I c. 830s – 879 862 – 879 Judith of Flanders
c. 861
4 children
Married Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald
Boudewijn II.jpg Baldwin II c. 865 – 10 September 918 879 – 10 September 918 Ælfthryth
c. 893
4 children
Son of Baldwin I and Judith
Arnulf De Grote.jpg Arnulf I c. 893/899 – 27 March 964 10 September 918 – 27 March 964 Adele of Vermandois
934
5 children
Son of Baldwin II
Sanderus, Antonius - Flandria illustrata I - Balduin III.jpg Baldwin III c. 940 – c. 962 958-962 Matilda of Saxony
c. 961
1 son
Ruled jointly with his father Arnulf I
Sanderus, Antonius - Flandria illustrata I - Arnulf II.jpg Arnulf II c. 961 – 30 March 987 965 – 30 March 987 Rozala of Italy
976
2 children
Son of Baldwin III
Sanderus, Antonius - Flandria illustrata I - Balduin IV.jpg Baldwin IV 980 – 30 May 1035 988 – 30 May 1035 (1) Ogive of Luxembourg
1012
1 son
(2) Eleanor of Normandy
1031
1 daughter
Son of Arnulf II
Boudewijn V.jpg Baldwin V 19 August 1012 – 1 September 1067 30 May 1035 – 1 September 1067 Adela of France
1028
3 children
Son of Baldwin IV
Boudewijn VI.jpg Baldwin VI c. 1030 – 17 July 1070 1 September 1067 – 17 July 1070 Richilde, Countess of Hainaut
c.1050
2 sons
Son of Baldwin V; also Count of Hainaut
Arnulf III.jpg Arnulf III c. 1055 – 22 February 1071 17 July 1070 – 22 February 1071 Never married Son of Baldwin VI; also Count of Hainaut
Robrecht de Fries.jpg Robert I c. 1035 – 13 October 1093 22 February 1071 – 13 October 1093 Gertrude of Saxony
1063
5 children
Son of Baldwin V
Robrecht II.jpg Robert II c. 1065 – 5 October 1111 13 October 1093 – 5 October 1111 Clementia of Burgundy
1097
1 son
Son of Robert I
Boudewijn VII.jpg Baldwin VII 1093 – 17 July 1119 5 October 1111 – 17 July 1119 Hawise of Brittany
1105
no issue
Son of Robert II

House of Estridsen[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
CharlesIer.jpg Charles I 1084 – 2 March 1127 1119 – 2 March 1127 Margaret of Clermont
c. 1118
no issue
Son of Canute IV of Denmark and Adela of Flanders, cousin of Baldwin VII and designated by him

House of Normandy[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
Graaf Willem.jpg William I 25 October 1102 – 28 July 1128 2 March 1127 – 28 July 1128 (1) Sibylla of Anjou
c. 1123
no issue
(2) Joanna of Montferrat
c. 1127
no issue
Great-grandson of Baldwin V, designated by Louis VI of France

House of Alsace or House of Metz[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
Graaf Diederik.jpg Theoderic c. 1099 – 17 January 1168 28 July 1128 – 17 January 1168 (1) Swanhilde
before 1132
1 daughter
(2) Sibylla of Anjou
c. 1134
6 children
Grandson of Robert I, recognised by Louis VI of France
Graaf Filips.jpg Philip I 1143 – 1 August 1191 17 January 1168 – 1 August 1191 (1) Elisabeth of Vermandois
1159
no issue
(2) Theresa of Portugal
c. 1183
no issue
Son of Thierry; also Count of Vermandois
Gravin Margareta.jpg Margaret I c. 1145 - 15 November 1194 1 August 1191 - 15 November 1194 (1) Ralph II of Vermandois
1160
no issue
(2) Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut
c. 1169
8 children
Daughter of Thierry

House of Flanders[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
Baldwin8.jpg Baldwin VIII 1150 – 17 December 1195 1 August 1191 - 17 December 1194 Margaret I
c. 1169
8 children
Husband of Margaret I
Baldwin I of Constantinople.jpg Baldwin IX July 1172 – c. 1205 1194 - 1205 Marie of Champagne
6 January 1186
Valenciennes
2 daughters
Son of Margaret I and Baldwin VIII, also Latin Emperor of Constantinople
Joan of Constantinople.jpg Joan c. 1199 – 5 December 1244 1205 – 5 December 1244 (1) Ferdinand of Portugal
1212
Paris
no issue
(2) Thomas of Savoy-Piedmont
2 April 1237
no issue
Daughter of Baldwin IX
D. Fernando, Infante de Portugal e Conde da Flandres - The Portuguese Genealogy (Genealogia dos Reis de Portugal).png Ferdinand 24 March 1188 – 27 July 1233 1212 – 27 July 1233 Joan, Countess of Flanders
1212
Paris
no issue
Husband of Joan
Tomas piedmont.jpg Thomas c. 1199 – 7 February 1259 1212 – 5 December 1244 Joan, Countess of Flanders
2 April 1237
no issue
Husband of Joan
Marguerite 2.jpg Margaret II 1202 – 10 February 1280 5 December 1244 – 29 December 1278 (1) Bouchard IV of Avesnes
c. 23 July 1212
3 sons
(2) William II of Dampierre
18 August/15 November 1223
5 children
Sister of Joan

In 1244, the Counties of Flanders and Hainaut were claimed by Margaret II's sons, the half-brothers John I of Avesnes and William III of Dampierre in the War of the Succession of Flanders and Hainault. In 1246, King Louis IX of France awarded Flanders to William.

House of Dampierre[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
Vilém 2 Flandry.jpg William II 1224 – 6 June 1251 1247 - 6 June 1251 Beatrice of Brabant
November 1247
no issue
Son of Margaret II and William II of Dampierre
Guidonis.jpg Guy c. 1226 – 7 March 1305 6 June 1251 - 7 March 1305 (1) Matilda of Béthune
June 1246
8 children
(2) Isabelle of Luxembourg
March 1265
8 children
Brother of William II
Robertus1.jpg Robert III 1249 – 17 September 1322 7 March 1305 – 17 September 1322 (1) Blanche of Sicily
1265
1 son (died young)
(2) Yolande II, Countess of Nevers
c. 1271
5 children
Son of Guy: also Count of Nevers
Louis2Fl.jpg Louis I c. 1304 – 26 August 1346 17 September 1322 – 26 August 1346 Margaret I, Countess of Burgundy
1320
1 son
Grandson of Robert III
Louis II of Flanders-Lodewijk van Male (1330-1384).jpg Louis II 25 October 1330 – 30 January 1384 26 August 1346 – 30 January 1384 Margaret of Brabant
1347
1 daughter
Son of Louis I; also Count of Burgundy
Flemish School - Lille - Margaret of Dampierre.jpg Margaret III 13 April 1350 – 16 March 1405 30 January 1384 – 16 March 1405 (1) Philip I, Duke of Burgundy
1355
no issue
(2) Philip II, Duke of Burgundy
19 June 1369
9 children
Daughter of Louis II

House of Burgundy[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
16th-century unknown painters - Philip the Bold - WGA23677.jpg Philip II 17 January 1342 – 27 April 1404 1363 – 27 April 1404 Margaret III
19 June 1369
9 children
Husband of Margaret III; also Duke of Burgundy
Flemish School - Lille - John, Duke of Burgundy.jpg John 28 May 1371 – 10 September 1419 27 April 1404 – 10 September 1419 Margaret of Bavaria
12 April 1385
Cambrai
8 children
Son of Philip II and Margaret III
Philip the good.jpg Philip III 31 July 1396 – 15 June 1467 10 September 1419 – 15 June 1467 (1) Michelle of Valois
June 1409
1 daughter (died young)
(2) Bonne of Artois
30 November 1424
Moulins-les-Engelbert
no issue
(3) Isabella of Portugal
7 January 1430
3 sons
18 illegitimate children
Son of John
Charles the Bold 1460.jpg Charles II 10 November 1433 – 5 January 1477 15 June 1467 – 5 January 1477 (1) Catherine of France
19 May 1440
Blois
no issue
(2) Isabella of Bourbon
30 October 1454
Lille
1 daughter
(3) Margaret of York
3 July 1468
Damme
no issue
Son of Philip III
Mary of Burgundy (1458–1482), by Netherlandish or South German School of the late 15th Century.jpg Mary 13 February 1457 – 27 March 1482 5 January 1477 – 27 March 1482 Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
19 August 1477
Ghent
3 children
Daughter of Charles II

House of Habsburg[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
Bernhard Strigel 007.jpg Maximilian I 22 March 1459 – 12 January 1519 19 August 1477 – 27 March 1482 (1) Mary of Burgundy
19 August 1477
Ghent
3 children
(2) Anne, Duchess of Brittany
19 December 1490
Rennes Cathedral
no issue
(3) Bianca Maria Sforza
16 March 1494
Hall in Tirol
no issue
Husband of Mary
Juan de Flandes (^), , Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie - Philipp der Schöne (1478-1506) - GG 3872 - Kunsthistorisches Museum.jpg Philip IV 22 July 1478 – 25 September 1506 27 March 1482 – 25 September 1506 Joanna of Castile
20 October 1496
Lier
6 children
Son of Mary and Maximilian I
Titian - Portrait of Charles V Seated - WGA22964.jpg Charles III 24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558 25 September 1506 – 25 October 1555 Isabella of Portugal
10 March 1526
Alcázar Palace
7 children
Son of Philip IV

Charles V proclaimed the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 eternally uniting Flanders with the other lordships of the Low Countries in a personal union. When the Habsburg empire was divided among the heirs of Charles V, the Low Countries, including Flanders, went to Philip II of Spain, of the Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg.

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
Portrait of Philip II of Spain by Sofonisba Anguissola - 002b.jpg Philip V 21 May 1527 – 13 September 1598 16 January 1556 – 6 May 1598 (1) Maria Manuela of Portugal
12 November 1543
Salamanca
1 son
(2) Mary I of England
25 July 1554
Winchester Cathedral
no issue
(3) Elisabeth of Valois
1559
Guadalajara
2 daughters
(4) Anna of Austria
May 1570
5 children
Son of Charles III
Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain - Frans Pourbus II.jpg Isabella Clara Eugenia 12 August 1566 – 1 December 1633 6 May 1598 – 13 July 1621 Albert VII, Archduke of Austria
18 April 1599
Valencia
no issue
Daughter of Philip V; ruled jointly with her husband Albert VII, Archduke of Austria
Rubens - arquiduquealbertoVII01.jpg Albert 13 November 1559 – 13 July 1621 6 May 1598 – 13 July 1621 Isabella Clara Eugenia
18 April 1599
Valencia
no issue
Husband of Isabella Clara Eugenia
Philip IV of Spain - Velázquez 1644.jpg Philip VI 8 April 1605 – 17 September 1665 13 July 1621 – 17 September 1665 (1) Elisabeth of France
18 October 1615
Bordeaux
8 children
(2) Mariana of Austria
7 October 1649
Navalcarnero
5 children
Grandson of Philip V
King Charles II of Spain by John Closterman.jpg Charles IV 6 November 1661 – 1 November 1700 17 September 1665 – 1 November 1700 (1) Marie Louise d'Orléans
19 November 1679
Quintanapalla
no issue
(2) Maria Anna of Neuburg
14 May 1690
Valladolid
no issue
Son of Philip VI

House of Bourbon[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
Felipe V de España, Rey de.jpg Philip VII 19 December 1683 – 9 July 1746 1 November 1700 – 14 March 1713 (1) Maria Luisa of Savoy
2 November 1701
4 sons
(2) Elisabeth Farnese
16 September 1714
Parma
6 children
Great-grandson of Philip VI

Between 1706 and 1714, Flanders was invaded by the English and the Dutch during the War of the Spanish Succession. The fief was claimed by the House of Habsburg and the House of Bourbon. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht settled the succession and the County of Flanders went to the Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg.

House of Habsburg[edit]

Portrait Name Lifespan Reign Consorts Succession
Workshop of Jacob van Schuppen - Portrait of Emperor Karl VI.png Charles V 1 October 1685 – 20 October 1740 7 September 1714 – 20 October 1740 Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
1 August 1708
Santa Maria del Mar
4 children
Great-grandson of Philip III, also Holy Roman Emperor
Kaiserin Maria Theresia (HRR).jpg Maria Theresa 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780 20 October 1740 – 29 November 1780 Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
12 February 1736
Augustinian Church, Vienna
16 children
Daughter of Charles V, jointly with Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Martin van Meytens 006.jpg Francis I 8 December 1708 – 18 August 1765 21 November 1740 – 18 August 1765 Maria Theresa
12 February 1736
Augustinian Church, Vienna
16 children
Husband of Maria Theresa
Anton von Maron 006.png Joseph 13 March 1741 – 20 February 1790 18 August 1765 – 20 February 1790 (1) Isabella of Parma
October 1760
Vienna
5 children (died young)
(2) Maria Josepha of Bavaria
25 January 1765
Schönbrunn Palace
no issue
Son of Maria Theresa and Francis I
Kaiser Leopold II in Feldmarschallsuniform c1790.jpg Leopold 5 May 1747 – 1 March 1792 20 February 1790 – 1 March 1792 Maria Luisa of Spain
16 February 1764
Madrid
16 children
Brother of Joseph
Joseph Kreutzinger - Kaiser Franz I.jpg Francis II 12 February 1768 – 2 March 1835 1 March 1792 – 17 October 1797 (1) Elisabeth of Württemberg
6 January 1788
Vienna
1 daughter (died young)
(2) Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
15 September 1790
12 children
(3) Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este
6 January 1808
no issue
(4) Caroline Augusta of Bavaria
29 October 1816
no issue
Son of Leopold

The title was abolished de facto after revolutionary France annexed Flanders in 1795. The Emperor Francis II relinquished his claim to the Low Countries in the Treaty of Campo Formio of 1797, and the area remained part of France until the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

Modern usage[edit]

House of Belgium (formerly House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha)[edit]

In modern times, the title was granted to two younger sons of the kings of the Belgians.

House of Bourbon[edit]

The title, Count of Flanders, is one of the titles of the Spanish Crown. It is a historical title which is only nominally and ceremonially used.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Gilliat-Smith, Ernest (1909). The story of Bruges (4th ed.). London: J. M. Den & Co. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-4446-6629-8. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Prince Regent Charles". www.monarchie.be. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Wim Blockmans; Walter Prevenier (3 August 2010). The Promised Lands: The Low Countries Under Burgundian Rule, 1369-1530. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-0070-5.
  4. ^ History of England, by F.Y. Powell and (T.F. Tout). 1885. pp. 228–.
  5. ^ John A. Wagner (2006). Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 182–. ISBN 978-0-313-32736-0.

See also[edit]