Ada, Countess of Holland

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Countess of Holland
Ada de Hollande.png
Ada as portrayed in 1578
Coat of arms Counts of Holland Arms.svg
Born 1188
Died 1223

Ada (1188–1223) was Countess of Holland between 1203 and 1207.


Burcht van Leiden, remnants of the castle where Ada was first taken prisoner after the death of her father.

Ada was the only surviving daughter of Dirk VII, Count of Holland and his wife Adelaide of Cleves. She succeeded her father but immediately had to deal with her uncle William, who claimed Holland for his own. Ada married Louis II, count of Loon to strengthen her position. She was in such a hurry, that she married even before her father was buried, which caused a scandal.[1] These events led to the outbreak of the Loon War (1203–1206).

Ada was quickly captured by the supporters of William and taken prisoner in the citadel of Leiden. She was first imprisoned on the island of Texel and afterwards she was taken to John Lackland in the Kingdom of England. William had to accept Louis and Ada as count and countess at a treaty of Brugge in 1206. Louis managed to get Ada free in 1206, and the couple returned to Loon in 1207. Their reign was short-lived and William was appointed Count of Holland by Otto IV in 1208. She did not accept the loss of her county, and Ada and Louis continued the fight. Ada remained childless. Louis died in 1218, leaving Ada to live out the rest of her life in obscurity. She was buried next to her husband in Herkenrode Abbey.

The civil war in Holland became part of a major international war between on one side France and the Hohenstaufen dynasty and on the other side England and the Welfs. William could get Holland through good maneuvering between both sides. Louis and Ada had to give up their claims. History has been particularly unkind to her, and many period histories up to the Protestant Reformation don't even count her as a countess, but call William I the next in line from Dirk VII, as if she never existed.


  1. ^ Ada van Holland in Inghist (English)

Further reading[edit]

  • Annales Egmundani - Chroniek van Egmond; Oorkonde van Holland en Zeeland. (1482–1484)
  • Annales sancti Iacobi Leodiensis, (632-683)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dirk VII
Countess of Holland
jointly with Louis II of Loon
Succeeded by
William I