Canute IV of Denmark
Canute IV, known as Canute the Holy or Saint Canute, was King of Denmark from 1080 until 1086. Canute was a king who sought to strengthen the Danish monarchy, devotedly supported the Roman Catholic Church. Slain by rebels in 1086, he was the first Danish king to be canonized and he was recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as patron saint of Denmark in 1101. 1042, one of the sons of Sweyn II Estridsson. He is first noted as a member of Sweyns 1069 raid of England, when returning from England in 1075, the Danish fleet stopped in the County of Flanders. Because of its hostility towards William I of England, Flanders was an ally for the Danes. He led campaigns to Sember and Ester, according to skald Kálfr Mánason. When Sweyn died, Canutes brother Harald III was elected king, in 1080, Canute succeeded Harald to the throne of Denmark. On his accession, he married Adela, daughter of Count Robert I of Flanders and she bore him one son, Charles in 1084, and twin daughters Cæcilia and Ingerid, born shortly before his death.
Ingerids descendants, the House of Bjelbo, would ascend to the throne of Sweden and Norway, Canute quickly proved himself to be a highly ambitious king as well as a devout one. He enhanced the authority of the church, and demanded austere observation of church holidays and he gave large gifts to the churches in Dalby, Odense and Viborg, and especially to Lund. Ever a champion of the Church, he sought to enforce the collection of tithes and his aggrandizement of the church served to create a powerful ally, who in turn supported Canutes power position. In May 1085, Canute wrote a letter of donation to Lund Cathedral which was under construction, granting it large tracts of lands in Scania, Zealand and he founded Lund Cathedral School at the same time. Canute had gathered the land largely as pay for the pardon of outlawed subjects, the clerics at Lund got extended prerogatives of the land, being able to tax and fine the peasantry there. However, Canute kept his royal rights to pardon the outlaws, fine subjects who failed to answer his leding call to war.
His reign was marked by attempts to increase royal power in Denmark, by stifling the nobles. Canute issued edicts arrogating to himself the ownership of land, the right to the goods from shipwrecks. He issued laws to protect freed thralls as well as foreign clerics and these policies led to discontent among his subjects, who were unaccustomed to a king claiming such powers and interfering in their daily lives
War of the Breton Succession
The War of the Breton Succession was a conflict between the Counts of Blois and the Montforts of Brittany for control of the Duchy of Brittany. It was fought between 1341 and 12 April 1365, the rival kings supported the duke of the principle opposite to their own claims to the French throne—the Plantagenet having claimed it by female succession, and the Valois by male succession. From a legal point of view, Blois had the superior claim, although Montfort was ultimately successful following the Battle of Auray in 1364, it was the French who gained the most from his victory. The dukes had both a historical and ancestral connection to England and were Earls of Richmond in Yorkshire, Duke Arthur II of Dreux married twice, first to Mary of Limoges, to Yolande of Dreux, countess of Montfort and widow of king Alexander III of Scotland. From his first marriage, he had three sons, including his heir John III and Guy, count of Penthièvre, from Yolande, Arthur had another son, named John, who became count of Montfort.
John III strongly disliked the children of his fathers second marriage and he spent the first years of his reign attempting to have this marriage annulled and his half-siblings bastardized. When this failed, he tried to ensure that John of Montfort would never inherit the duchy, since John III was childless, his heir of choice became Joan of Penthièvre, la Boiteuse, daughter of his younger brother Guy. In 1337 she married Charles of Blois, the son of a powerful French noble house. But in 1340, John III reconciled himself with his half-brother, on 30 April 1341, John III died. His last words on the succession, uttered on his deathbed, For Gods sake leave me alone and do not trouble my spirit with such things. Most of the nobility supported Charles of Blois, so if John of Montfort was to have any chance, John quickly took possession of the ducal capital Nantes and seized the ducal treasury at Limoges. By the middle of August, John of Montfort was in possession of most of the duchy, up to this point, the succession crisis had been a purely internal affair.
But to complicate things further, the Hundred Years War between England and France had broken out four years earlier, in 1337. In 1341, there was truce between the two countries, but there was doubt that hostilities would be renewed when the truce ended in June 1342. Thus, when rumours reached Philip VI of France that John of Montfort had received English agents, Charles of Blois became the official French candidate. Whatever had been his original intentions, John of Montfort was now forced to support Edward III of England as King of France, Edward III was bound by the truce not to take any offensive action in France. Nothing in it, hindered France from subduing rebellious vassals, in November, after a short siege and defeat at the Battle of Champtoceaux, John of Montfort was forced to surrender at Nantes by the citizens. He was offered safe conduct to negotiate a settlement with Charles of Blois and it now fell upon Johns wife, Joanna of Flanders, to lead the Montfortist cause
Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders
Baldwin VI, known as Baldwin the Good, was Count of Hainaut from 1051 to 1070 and Count of Flanders from 1067 to 1070. Baldwin was the eldest son of Baldwin V of Flanders and Adela of France, Baldwin VI was the brother of Matilda of Flanders, Queen consort of England and wife of William the Conqueror, King of England. His father arranged his marriage, under threat of arms, to Richilde, as Hainaut was a part of the empire this enraged Henry III who had not been consulted causing him to wage war on the two Baldwins but was not successful. Between 1050 and 1054 Lambert II, Count of Lens fought alongside the Baldwins against Henry III finding that this alliance best protected his interests and his early death left Flanders and Hainaut in the hands of his young son Arnulf III, with Richilde as regent. The young Arnulf III was killed the year at the Battle of Cassel. The countship was soon usurped by Baldwins brother Robert the Frisian, Baldwin had constructed the church of St. Peters of Hasnon, placed monks there and designated it as his burial place.
Baldwin and Richilde were the parents of, Arnulf III, Count of Flanders, Counts of Flanders family tree Counts of Hainaut family tree
Margaret I, Countess of Flanders
Margaret I was countess of Flanders suo jure from 1191 to her death. She was the daughter of Thierry, Count of Flanders, and Sibylla of Anjou, in 1160 she married Ralph II, Count of Vermandois. He died of leprosy in 1167 without issue, in 1169 she married Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut, her third cousin once removed, who became her co-ruler when she gained the county of Flanders in 1191. 1197 Guichard IV, Sire de Beaujeu and they had a daughter, Agnes of Beaujeu. Eustace of Hainaut, regent of the Kingdom of Thessalonica Godfrey of Hainaut Margaret died on 15 November 1194, thereafter her husband was sole count of Flanders
Arthur II, Duke of Brittany
Arthur II, of the House of Dreux, was Duke of Brittany from 1305 to his death. He was the first son of John II and Beatrice, daughter of Henry III of England, after he inherited the ducal throne, his brother John became Earl of Richmond. As duke, Arthur was independent of the French crown and he divided his duchy into eight battles, Léon, Landreger, Gwened, Naoned and Sant Malou. In 1309, he convoked the first Estates of Brittany and it was the first time in French history that the third estate was represented. Arthur died at Château de lIsle in Saint Denis en Val and was interred in a tomb of the cordeliers of Vannes. The tomb was vandalised during the French Revolution, but repaired and is on display today, in 1275, Arthur married Marie, Viscountess of Limoges, daughter of Guy VI, Viscount of Limoges and Margaret, Lady of Molinot. Her maternal grandparents were Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy and his first wife Yolande of Dreux and they were parents of three children, John III, Duke of Brittany.
Guy of Brittany, Count of Penthièvre, peter of Brittany, Seigneur of Dol-Combourg and Sant-Maloù. In May,1292, Arthur married Yolande of Dreux, who was Countess of Montfort, daughter of Robert IV, Count of Dreux, Yolande had briefly been Queen Consort of Scotland by her first marriage. They were parents of seven children, John of Montfort, married Guy X, Lord of Laval. Married Robert, Count of Marle, Lord of Cassel, married Bouchard VI, Count of Vendôme, a member of the House of Montoire
Robert I, Count of Flanders
Robert I of Flanders, known as Robert the Frisian, was count of Flanders from 1071 to his death in 1093. He was the son of Baldwin V of Flanders and Adèle of France. His elder brother, succeeded their father as Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders and his sister Matilda of Flanders had married William, duke of Normandy and King of England. His marriage to Gertrude of Saxony, dowager Countess of Holland in 1063 was not arranged by his father and she was the widow of Floris I, Count of Holland, who already had three children including a daughter Bertha. His nickname the Frisian was obtained, when he acted as regent for his stepson Dirk V, Arnulfs mother and de jure Countess of Hainaut was to be regent until Arnulf came of age. After Baldwin VIs death, Robert disputed the succession of Arnulf, Richilde appealed to King Philip I of France who summoned Robert to appear before him. Robert refused and continued his war with Richilde at which point Philip I amassed an army which he brought to Flanders and his army was accompanied by Norman troops, probably sent by Queen Matilda and led by William FitzOsborn.
William had an interest in marrying Richilde but he was killed in battle at Cassel, in that engagement Roberts forces were ultimately victorious but Robert himself was captured and his forces in turn captured the Countess Richilde. Both were freed in exchange and the continued to its conclusion. Among the dead was Arnulf III, killed by Gerbod the Fleming, as a result of the battle Robert claimed the countship of Flanders. The Countess Richilde and her son Baldwin returned to Hainaut but continued to instigate hostilities against Robert, Count Robert eventually gained the friendship of King Philip I of France by offering him the hand in marriage of his stepdaughter, Bertha of Holland. As a part of their negotiations Corbie, an important trade center on the border between Flanders and lesser France, was returned to royal control. Unlike his fathers reign, under Count Robert, Flanders no longer had ties to Normandy and became a refuge for the Conquerors enemies, including his rebellious son. In 1085 Robert the Frisian, along with his son-in-law Canute IV of Denmark, planned an attack on England.
Taking a considerable armed escort Robert the Frisian made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1086, in one battle Robert and three of his companions rode ahead of the main army charging the forces under the command of Kerbogha, whose forces the Christians scattered completely. Robert married Gertrude of Saxony, widow of Floris I, Count of Holland and they had the following children, Robert II, Count of Flanders, married Clementia of Burgundy. Adela of Flanders, married firstly King Canute IV of Denmark, and was the mother of Charles the Good, Count of Flanders, married secondly Roger Borsa dHauteville, Duke of Apulia. Gertrude, married firstly Henry III, Count of Leuven and had four children, Philip of Loo, whose illegitimate son William of Ypres was a claimant to the county of Flanders
Louis I, Count of Flanders
Louis I was Count of Flanders and Rethel. He was the son of Louis I, Count of Nevers, and Joan, Countess of Rethel and he succeeded his father as count of Nevers and his grandfather as count of Flanders in 1322. He inherited the county of Rethel from his mother, in 1320 Louis married Margaret, second daughter of King Philip V of France and Joan II, Countess of Burgundy, who would inherit her mothers counties of Burgundy and Artois in 1361. This marriage alliance made him break with the policy of his grandfather Robert III. His pro-French policies and excessive taxations levied by Louis caused an uprising in 1323, beginning as a series of scattered rural riots, the peasant insurrection escalated into a full-scale rebellion that dominated public affairs in Flanders for nearly five years until 1328. The rebels, led by Nicolaas Zannekin, captured the towns of Nieuwpoort, Ieper, in Kortrijk, Zannekin was able to capture Louis himself. In 1325 the King of France, Charles IV intervened whereupon Louis was released from captivity in February 1326, the peace didnt last long and soon hostilities erupted again which made the count flee to France.
Louis was able to convince his new liege Philip VI of France to come to his aid and Zannekin, when the Hundred Years War started, Louis remained steadfast in his French policy, even with the county being economically dependent on England. His actions resulted in an English boycott of the trade which in turn sparked a new insurrection under Jacob van Artevelde. In 1339 the count had to flee his lands, never being able to return, Louis was killed at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. He and Margaret had one son, Louis II of Flanders, who succeeded him
William Clito reigned as Count of Flanders and claimed the Duchy of Normandy. His surname Clito was a Latin term equivalent to the Anglo-Saxon Aetheling, both terms signified man of royal blood or, the modern equivalent, prince. William was the son of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, by his marriage to Sybilla of Conversano, daughter of Geoffrey, Count of Conversano. Henry placed his nephew in the custody of Helias of Saint Saens, Count of Arques, the boy William stayed in his sister’s and Heliass care until August 1110, when the king abruptly sent agents to demand the boy be handed over to him. Helias was at the time away from home, so his household concealed the boy and smuggled him to their master, William’s first refuge was with King Henry’s great enemy, Robert de Bellême, who had extensive estates south of the duchy. On Robert’s capture in 1112, William and Helias fled to the court of the young Count Baldwin VII of Flanders, in 1118 a powerful coalition of Norman counts and barons were sufficiently disenchanted with King Henry to ally with Count Baldwin and rebel.
They took up William Clito’s cause and commenced a dangerous rebellion, the Norman border counts and Count Baldwin between them were too powerful for the king and seized much of the north of the duchy. But the promising campaign abruptly ended with Baldwin’s serious injury at the siege of Arques, the next year the cause of William Clito was taken up by Louis VI of France. He invaded the duchy down the river Seine, and on 20 August 1119 was met by the troops of King Henry at the Battle of Brémule, William had ridden as a new knight amongst the king’s guard that day, and barely escaped capture. His cousin, King Henry’s son, William Adelin, the next day sent him back the horse he had lost in the battle with other necessities in a courtly gesture, the rebellion collapsed, but William continued to find support at the French court. Louis brought his case to the attention in October 1119 at Reims. The death by drowning of William Atheling, King Henry’s only legitimate son, on 25 November 1120 transformed William Clito’s fortunes and he was now the obvious male heir to England and Normandy, and a significant party of Norman aristocrats adopted his cause.
Fulk in turn betrothed his daughter Sibylla to William Clito giving him the county of Maine, King Henry astutely appealed to canon law and the marriage was eventually annulled in August 1124 on the grounds that the couple were within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity. Louis VI was distracted from active intervention as Henry I got his son-in-law, Louis VI made great efforts to further William’s cause in 1127. In January he granted him the estates in the French Vexin as a base to attack down the Seine into Normandy. The murder of Count Charles the Good of Flanders on 2 March 1127 gave King Louis an even chance to further William’s fortunes. He marched into Flanders at the head of an army and on 30 March got the barons of the province to accept William as their new count, William did well, securing most of the county by the end of May. But English money and the emergence of a rival in Thierry of Alsace led to a deterioration in his position, in February 1128 Saint-Omer and Ghent declared against him, as did Bruges in March
Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut
Baldwin V of Hainaut was count of Hainaut, margrave of Namur as Baldwin I and count of Flanders as Baldwin VIII. He was the son of Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut, Flanders was acquired via his marriage to his widowed third cousin once removed Margaret I of Flanders, Countess of Flanders in 1169. Namur was acquired from his mother Alice of Namur and he was described as The Count Baldwin with eyes of blue
Robert III, Count of Flanders
Robert III, called Robert of Béthune and nicknamed The Lion of Flanders, was the Count of Nevers from 1273 and Count of Flanders from 1305 until his death. Robert was the oldest son of Guy of Dampierre from his first marriage with Matilda of Béthune and his father essentially transferred the reign of Flanders to him in November 1299, during his war with Philip IV of France. Both father and son were taken into captivity in May 1300, Robert of Béthune gained military fame in Italy, when he fought at the side of his father-in-law, Charles I of Sicily against the last Hohenstaufens and Conradin. Together with his father he took part in 1270 in the Eighth Crusade, Guy of Dampierre broke all feudal bonds with the French king mainly under his influence. When the resistance seemed hopeless Robert allowed himself to be taken prisoner, together with his father and his brother William of Crèvecoeur, shortly before that he had become the de facto ruler of Flanders. He was locked in the castle of Chinon, contrary to popular belief, and the romantic portrayal by Hendrik Conscience in his novel about these events, he did not take part in the Battle of the Golden Spurs.
In July 1305, after his father had died in captivity, the execution of the Treaty of Athis-sur-Orge would mark the rule of Count Robert. Initially he achieved success in moving the countryside and the cities to fulfill their duties. However, in April 1310 he started to radically resist the French, with support of his subjects, both diplomatically and militarily he managed to make a stand against the French King. When he marched to Lille in 1319 the militia from Ghent refused to cross the Leie with him, when his grandson Louis I of Nevers pressured him as well, Robert gave up the battle and went to Paris in 1320 to restore feudal bonds with the French King. But even after that, he would hamper the execution of the Treaty of Athis-sur-Orge to the point of being excommunicated, Robert died in 1322 and was succeeded by his grandson, Count of Nevers and Rethel. He was buried in Flanders in Saint Martins Cathedral in Ypres and his body was only allowed to be transferred to the abbey of Flines when Lille and Douai were again part of the County of Flanders.
His first wife and his father were buried in this abbey. His first wife was Blanche, daughter of Charles I of Sicily and Beatrice of Provence and they had one son, who died young. His second wife was Yolande II, Countess of Nevers, daughter of Odo, Count of Nevers and they had five children, Louis I, Count of Nevers, married December 1290 Joan, Countess of Rethel. Their son was Louis I of Flanders, Count of Marle, married c.1323 Joan of Brittany, Lady of Nogent-le-Rotrou, daughter of Arthur II, Duke of Brittany. Their children were, Seigneur of Cassel and Yolande, married 1288 Enguerrand IV, Lord of Coucy, Viscount of Meaux. Yolande, married c.1287 Walter II of Enghien, married c.1314 Matthias of Lorraine, Lord of Warsberg
Count of Hainaut
The Count of Hainaut was the ruler of the county of Hainaut, a historical region in the Low Countries. In English-language historical sources, the title is given the archaic spelling Hainault. Albert I, William IV, son of Albert I Jacqueline, daughter of William IV Jacqueline was opposed by her uncle John, Duke of Bavaria-Straubing, son of Count Albert I in a war of succession. Johns claims devolved upon Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, a nephew of William III, in 1432 he forced Jacqueline to abdicate from Hainaut and Holland in his favour. When the Habsburg empire was divided among the heirs of Charles V, the fief was claimed by the House of Habsburg and the House of Bourbon. In 1714, the Treaty of Rastatt settled the succession and the County of Hainaut went to the Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg, the title remained officially claimed by the descendants of Leopold II until the reign of Charles I of Austria. In the modern Kingdom of Belgium, the title of Count of Hainaut was traditionally given to the eldest son of the crown prince, who was himself styled Duke of Brabant.
Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant, son of Leopold II of Belgium Baudouin I of Belgium, son of Leopold III of Belgium Countess of Hainaut County of Hainaut Counts of Hainaut family tree
Arnulf III, Count of Flanders
Arnulf III was Count of Flanders from 1070 until his death at the Battle of Cassel in 1071. 1055, Arnulf was the eldest son of Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders and Richilde, Countess of Mons and Hainaut. Baldwin VI further entrusted his brother Robert with the safeguard of his son Arnulf, Arnulfs mother, the dowager Countess of Flanders and de jure Countess of Hainaut, was to be regent in Flanders until Arnulf came of age. After his fathers death in 1070, his uncle Robert the Frisian broke his oath, Richilde appealed to King Philip I of France, who summoned Robert to appear before him. Robert refused and continued his aggression against Richilde and Arnulf, at which point Philip amassed an army which he brought to Flanders, the French army was accompanied by Norman troops, probably sent by Arnulfs aunt Queen Matilda and led by William FitzOsborn. Also allied to Arnulf III was Eustace II, Count of Boulogne who raised considerable support for the young count, the two forces met at the Battle of Cassel on 22 February 1071.
In that engagement Roberts forces were victorious but Robert himself was captured. Both were freed in exchange and the continued to its conclusion. Among the dead was Arnulf, killed by Gerbod the Fleming, 1st Earl of Chester, as a result of the battle Robert claimed the countship of Flanders. The Countess Richilde and her son Baldwin returned to Hainaut but continued to instigate hostilities against Robert, as he was a minor at his death and unmarried, Arnulf III had no issue