Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy

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Seal of Enguerrand III of Coucy.
Enguerrand III de Coucy.jpg

Enguerrand III de Boves, Lord of Coucy (c.1182–1242) was the eldest son and successor of Ralph I, Lord of Coucy and Alix of Dreux.[1] He succeeded as Lord of Coucy (sieur de Couci) in 1191, and held it until his death; he was also lord of Marle and Boves.

Biography[edit]

Enguerrand III was born at the Château de Coucy. He became one of the most ambitious and powerful of all the French nobles, called by one historian "the greatest baron in all Picardy",[2] and earning himself his epithet, Enguerrand le Grand, or Enguerrand "the Great".

Enguerrand had an illustrious military career, helping the King of the French Philip Augustus reduce the French territories of the King of England. Enguerrand campaigned in Anjou in 1205, and in 1214 fought in the French victory over an Anglo-German alliance at the Battle of Bouvines. His arms at Bouvines were blazoned: Barry of six vair and gules. He was a notable member of the French force which invaded the Kingdom of England (1216–1217) to depose King John. He also participated in the Albigensian Crusade.

After the death of Louis VIII of France, Enguerrand was chief among the nobles who resisted the regency of Blanche of Castile for her son Louis IX of France, although he eventually returned to the royal favour. Enguerrand made his mark on the Picardy landscape by constructing Coucy Castle, and he is said by tradition to have started the famous rhyme associated with his successors:

Je suis ni roi, ni prince aussi: Je suis le seigneur de Coucy!   Neither king nor prince am I: I am the Lord of Coucy!  

Relations[edit]

Through his mother Alix de Dreux, Enguerrand III was related to King Louis IX of France. Enguerrand also married into the family of King Henry III of England, taking as his second wife the latter king's cousin, the granddaughter of Henry II of England. He married three times.

His first wife was Beatrix de Vignory,[1] widow of John I, Count of Roucy. They married in 1201. There are no known children from this marriage

His second wife was Matilda (or Richenza) of Saxony (1172–1208/09),[1] the aforementioned granddaughter of Henry II, Duke of Saxony and niece of Richard the Lion-hearted. This marriage took place in 1204. There are no known children.

His third wife was Marie de Montmirail (fr).[3] Enguerrand and Marie had five children:

Enguerrand died in 1242 by falling off of his horse onto his sword. He was succeeded by his eldest son Raoul II, Lord of Coucy.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f M. A. Pollock, Scotland, England and France After the Loss of Normandy, 1204-1296: Auld Amitie, (Boydell & Brewer, 2015), 145.
  2. ^ Michael Brown, The Wars of Scotland, 1214-1371, (Edinburgh University Press, 2004), 141.
  3. ^ (FR)Dominique Barthélemy, Les deux âges de la seigneurie banale, (Publications de la Sorbonne, 1984), 415.
  4. ^ Du Chesne, A. (1631) Preuves de l’Histoire des maisons de Guines, d’Ardres, Gand et Coucy (Paris), p. 395.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Raoul I
Lord of Coucy
1191–1241
Succeeded by
Raoul II