Ida, Countess of Boulogne

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Ida
suo jure Countess of Boulogne
Duchess of Zähringen
Ida of Boulogne.jpg
Spouse(s) Gerard of Guelders
Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen
Renaud, Count of Dammartin
Issue
Noble family House of Lorraine
Father Matthew of Alsace
Mother Marie I, Countess of Boulogne
Born c. 1160
Died 1216 (aged 55–56)

Ida of Boulogne (c. 1160–1216) was suo jure Countess of Boulogne from 1173 until her death.

Life[edit]

She was the eldest daughter of Matthew of Alsace by Marie I, Countess of Boulogne. Her maternal grandparents were King Stephen of England and Matilda I of Boulogne. Her mother, a nun, had been abducted from a convent and forced into marriage by Matthew. As a consequence, her parents' marriage was rather controversial, and was finally annulled in 1170.

Reign[edit]

Her father continued to rule until his death in 1173, when she succeeded. Upon the advice of her uncle, Philip I, Count of Flanders, she married first in 1181, to Gerard of Guelders, but he died the same year. She next married Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen, but he too died in 1186. According to the contemporary historian Lambert of Ardres:

"...so left without a man, [Ida] indulged herself in worldly delights and pleasures of the body. She fell passionately in love with Arnold II of Guînes, and tried as hard as she could to seduce him; or rather, with typical feminine fickleness and deception she feigned that emotion. Emissaries and secret tokens passed back and forth between them as indications of certain love. Arnold either loved her or with masculine foresight and prudence pretended to; for he aspired to the land and dignity of the County of Boulogne once he could gain the Countess' favor through love feigned or true."

This relationship came to naught when Ida was abducted in 1190 by Count Renaud de Dammartin, who carried her off to Lorraine. This was a common enough fate for medieval heiresses. The situation became complicated when Arnold of Guînes received messages of enduring love from Ida. He promptly rode to her rescue, only to be captured and imprisoned by friends of Renaud in Verdun. Arnold was only freed due to the intervention of William, Archbishop of Reims. Ida was supposed to have purposely deceived him to lead Arnold into a trap. Whatever the truth, she remained with Renaud and produced a daughter, Matilda II of Boulogne (died 1258).

References[edit]

  • Dom Paul Grammont, Ide de Lorraine, Saint-Benoit du Sault : éditions Bénédictines, 1978.
Ida, Countess of Boulogne
Born: c. 1160 Died: 1216
Preceded by
Matthew
Countess of Boulogne
1173–1216
Gerard, Berthold, and Renaud
Succeeded by
Matilda II