Plectrude (or Plectrudis) (died 717) was the consort of Pepin of Herstal, the mayor of the palace and duke of the Franks, from about 670. She was the daughter of Hugobert, seneschal of Clovis IV, and Irmina of Oeren. She was the regent of Neustria during the minority of her grandson Theudoald from 714 until 716.
Plectrude is described as politically active and influential upon her husband and his reign. She brought a large amount of property to the Arnulfing house. During the reign of Pepin, she appears as his joint signatory in every legal instrument issued by him that is still preserved. This was unusual during this age.
In 714, her son Grimoald was murdered. She ensured Pepin II's assent that Theudoald, Grimoald's son, would be his main heir. When Pepin died soon thereafter (714), she took power in Neustria as regent of the under age Theudoald. To ensure her reign, she imprisoned in Cologne Charles Martel, Pepin II's son with his second wife Alpaida. Charles is often said to have been illegitimate, but this is considered by many today an anachronistic interpretation of his status. Charles' contemporaries probably did not consider him illegitimate, as he was born while his mother, Alpaida, was married to Pepin; the Frank noblemen practiced polygamy in this period. In 715, the Neustrian nobility rebelled against her in alliance with Radbod of Friesland and defeated her in the Battle of Compiègne 26 September 715, causing her to take refuge in Cologne, which was the homeland of her family clan and where she kept the money of Pepin.
In 716, Chilperic II, king of the Franks, and Ragenfrid, his mayor of the palace, together led an army into Austrasia. Near Cologne, where Plectrude had shut herself up, they defeated the escaped Charles Martel. The king and his mayor then turned to besiege their other rival in the city and took it, the treasury, to receive there recognition as king and mayor.
At this juncture, events turned in Charles' favour. In 717, he chased the king and the mayor to Paris before turning back to deal with Plectrude in Cologne. He took the city and dispersed her adherents. Plectude entered a convent. She died later that year in Cologne, where she is buried.
Her sons by Pepin were:
- "Pippin II (d. 714) extended the family's influence further south by marrying Plectrude, whose family had founded the monastery at Echternach and controlled great tracts of land in the Ardennes and the middle Moselle region." Story, Joanna,; et al. (2005). "Charlemagne's black marble: the origin of the epitaph of Pope Hadrian I". Papers of the British School at Rome 73. pp. 157–190. P. 183
- Joch, Waltraud (1999). Legitimität und Integration: Untersuchungen zu den Anfängen Karl Martells. Husum, Germany: Matthiesen Verlag.
- Gerberding, Richard A. (October 2002). "Review of Legitimität und Integration: Untersuchungen zu den Anfängen Karl Martells by Waltraud Joch". Speculum 77 (4). pp. 1322–1323.
- http://www.inghist.nl/Onderzoek/Projecten/DVN/lemmata/data/Plectrudis (in Dutch)
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