The World of Grandpa Don

The Royal Line
French Royalty

This page looks at our royal ancestors extending from Robert of Hesbaye who lived about 800 AD to Philip III, King France who lived in the 1200's and who's daughter, Margaret of France married King Edward I of England.

This line of ancestors was confirmed in May of 2011. It consists of ancestors of my 9th Great Grandfather Gen James Cudworth

The relationships of the ancestors and the description of their lives were verified and taken from Wikipedia.

This is their story, as I know it.

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For a detailed chart see:
Relationship: Donald James Plefka to Robert of Hesbaye


The Franks

Our earliest found ancestors in this Royal line were of the Franks and so we begin with this historical note.

The Franks (Latin: Franci or gens Francorum) were a confederation of Germanic tribes occupying land in the Lower and Middle Rhine in the 3rd Century. Some Franks raided Roman territory, while other Frank tribes joined the Roman troops in what was called Gaul, and is currently France.

The Salian Franks formed a kingdom on Roman-held soil that, after 357, was acknowledged by the Romans. After the collapse of Rome in the West, the Frankish tribes were united under the Merovingians who succeeded in conquering most of Gaul in the 6th century. The Merovingian dynasty, descendants of the Salians, founded one of the Germanic monarchies which replaced the Western Roman Empire. The Frankish state consolidated its hold over large parts of western Europe by the end of the eighth century, developing into the Carolingian Empire. This empire would gradually evolve into the state of France and the Holy Roman Empire.

In the Middle Ages, the term Frank was used in the East as a synonym for western European, as the Franks were then rulers of most of western Europe.


Our Ancestors


Robert II

Robert II, Rodbert or Chrodobert was a Frank who was count of Worms and of Rheingau, and duke of Hesbaye around the year 800. He is the earliest known male-line ancestor of the French royal family (including the Capetians, the Valois and the Bourbons, all of them his male-line descendents), and the Spanish royal family.

Robert of Hesbaye is the earliest definitely known ancestor of family known as the Robertians. His son was Robert III of Worms and his grandson was Robert the Strong. Robert of Hesbaye was the great-grandfather of two Frankish kings, Odo and Robert, who ruled in the kingdom of Western Francia.

One of Robert of Hesbaye male-line descendants was Hugh Capet, the founder of the French royal dynasty, which ruled France continuously until as late as 1848 (with a brief interregnum caused by the French revolution). A junior line has held the Spanish Crown since 1700; the current monarch Juan Carlos I and his family are direct descendants.

Robert of Hesbaye's father was likely the son of Thuringbert of Worms and Rheingau, and grandson of Robert I, Duke of Neustria (c. 697–764). It is known that the paternal ancestors of Robert I, Duke of Neustria ascended in line as follows:

  1. Lambert II, Count of Haspengau (c. 682–741)

  2. Chrodobertus II, Count of Haspengau (fl. 650)

  3. Lambert I de Haspengau (c. 620–650)

  4. Chrodobertus I de Haspengau (c. 600–630)

  5. Charibert de Haspengau (c. 555–636)

Robert of Hesbaye's mother was possibly Princess Chrotlind, daughter of Theuderic III, Merovingian king of Austrasia.

It is also possible that Ingerman and Cancor were brothers of Robert of Hesbaye. Landrada, mother of Saint Chrodegang, archbishop of Metz, is likely to have been his sister. Ermengarde, wife of emperor Louis the Pious was most likely his niece.

We know nothing of his wife but Robert was my 36th great grandfather.


Robert III of Worms

Robert III (800–834), also called Rutpert, was the Count of Worms and Rheingau of the illustrious Frankish family called the Robertians. He was the son of Robert of Hesbaye.

By his wife Waldrada of Worms he had his only recorded son Robert the Strong. His niece was Ermengard, wife of the Frankish emperor Louis the Pious. His cousin Chrodogang was Archbishop of Metz and abbot of the Lorsch Abbey. An uncle of Robert was Count Cancor, founder of the Lorsch Abbey. Via Robert the Strong he was grandfather of two kings of Western Francia named Odo and Robert. He was the great-great-grandfather of Hugo Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty that ruled France until the French Revolution.

Waldrada of Worms (aka, Waldraith of Toulouse (born 801, date of death unknown) was the second wife of Conrad II, Duke of Transjurane Burgundy. They had two known children, Adelaide of Auxerre and Rudolph I of Burgundy. However, this marriage has been disputed by some historians. It may be confused with a woman with a similar name.

She was first married to Robert III of Worms, in 819 in Wormgau, Germany. This marriage brought in 820 a son, Robert IV the Strong. The marriage ended when Robert III died in 822. dynasty that ruled France until the French Revolution.

Robert and Waldrada were my 35th great grandparents.


Robert the Strong

Robert IV the Strong († 866), also known as Rutpert, was Margrave in Neustria. His family is named after him and called Robertians. He was first nominated by Charles the Bald missus dominicus in 853. Robert was the father of the kings Odo and Robert I of France. Robert was the great-grandfather of Hugh Capet and thus the ancestor of all the Capetians.

Robert was a son of Robert III of Worms and Wiltrud of Orleans. While very little is known about the beginnings of the Robertian family, historians have been able to adduce evidence that the family of nobles had its origins in Hesbaye or had perhaps descended from the family of Chrodegang of Metz or that Robert was the son of Robert III of Worms. During the reign of Louis the German, the Robertian family moved from East Francia to West Francia. After Robert's arrival in West Francia, Charles the Bald showed favor toward the family defecting from his enemy Louis by assigning him to the lay abbacy of Marmoutier in 852. In 853 the position of missus dominicus in the provinces of Maine, Anjou, and Touraine was given to him and he had de facto control of the ancient ducatus Cenomannicus, a vast duchy centred on Le Mans and corresponding to the regnum Neustriae. Robert's rise came at the expense of the established family of the Rorigonids and was designed to curb their regional power and to defend Neustria from Viking and Breton raids.

For more of his life see

In 866, Robert was killed at the Battle of Brissarthe while defending Francia against a joint Breton-Viking raiding party, led by Salomon, King of Brittany, and the Viking chieftain Hastein. During the battle, Robert had entrapped the Viking commander in a nearby church. Thinking he was not endangered, Robert took off his armour and began to besiege the church. Once Robert was unarmoured, the trapped Vikings launched a surprise attack and killed him before he had time to re-arm. His success against the Vikings led to his heroic characterisation as "a second Maccabaeus" in the Annales Fuldenses.

While there are many conjectures regarding the wife of Robert, her identity and even her name cannot be definitively determined. Robert had two sons, in addition to several speculated daughters whose existence or identity as Robert's daughters cannot be definitively shown:
Odo of France, King of Western Francia
Robert I of France, King of Western Francia.

Robert and his unidentified wife were my 34th great grandparents.


Robert I of France

Robert I (866–923), King of Western Francia (922–923). Before succeeding his brother Odo as king he was the Count of Poitiers, Marquis of Neustria and Orléans and Count of Paris.

Robert was born in 866 the posthumous son of Robert the Strong, count of Anjou, and the brother of Odo, who became king of the Western Franks in 888. West Francia evolved over time into France; under Odo, the capital was fixed on Paris, a large step in that direction. His family is known as the Robertians.

He was present at the Siege of Paris in 885. He was appointed by Odo ruler of several counties, including the county of Paris, and abbot in commendam of many abbeys. Robert also secured the office of Dux Francorum, a military dignity of high importance. He did not claim the crown of West Francia when his brother died in 898; but recognising the supremacy of the Carolingian king, Charles the Simple, he was confirmed in his offices and possessions, after which he continued to defend northern Francia from the attacks of the Norsemen.

The peace between the king and his powerful vassal was not seriously disturbed until about 921. The rule of Charles, and especially his partiality for a certain Hagano, had aroused some irritation; and, supported by many of the clergy and by some of the most powerful of the Frankish nobles, Robert took up arms, drove Charles into Lorraine, and was himself crowned king of the Franks (rex Francorum) at Rheims on 29 June 922. Collecting an army, Charles marched against the usurper and, on 15 June 923, in a battle near Soissons, Robert was killed, but his army won the battle, and Charles was captured.

Robert's first wife was Aelis. By her he had two daughters:
Adele of France (c. 887–aft. March 931) to Herbert II of Vermandois. The second daughter is unknown.

Robert married secondly, c. 890, Béatrice of Vermandois, daughter of Herbert I of Vermandois.[1] Together they had :

  • Emma of France (894–935), married to Rudolph, Duke of Burgundy.

  • Hugh the Great,(898-) who was later dux Francorum. Hugh was the father of Hugh Capet, King of the Franks

This Robert and Béatrice were my 33rd great grandparents.


Hugh the Great

Hugh the Great or Hugues le Grand (898 – 16 June 956) was duke of the Franks and count of Paris.

He was the son of King Robert I of France and Béatrice of Vermandois, daughter of Herbert I, Count of Vermandois. He was born in Paris, Île-de-France, France. His eldest son was Hugh Capet who became King of France in 987. His family is known as the Robertians.

For more of his life and adventures see

Hugh married first, in 922, Judith, daughter of Roger Comte du Maine & his wife Rothilde. She died childless in 925.

Hugh's second wife was Eadhild, daughter of Edward the Elder, king of the Anglo-Saxons, and sister of King Æthelstan. They married in 926 and she died in 938, childless.

Hugh's third wife was Hedwig of Saxony, daughter of Henry the Fowler and Matilda of Ringelheim She and Hugh had:

  • Beatrice married Frederick I, Duke of Upper Lorraine.

  • Hugh Capet.

  • Emma.(c. 943-aft. 968).

  • Otto, Duke of Burgundy, a minor in 956.

  • Odo-Henry I, Duke of Burgundy (d. 1002)

  • Hugh and Hedwig were my 32nd grat grandparents.


Hugh Capet

Hugh Capet (c. 941 – 24 October 996), called in contemporary sources "Hugh the Great" (Latin: Hugo Magnus), was the first "King of the Franks" of the eponymous Capetian dynasty from his election to succeed the Carolingian Louis V in 987 until his death.

The son of Hugh the Great, Duke of France, and Hedwige of Saxony, daughter of the German king Henry the Fowler, Hugh was born in 941. His paternal family, the Robertians, were powerful landowners in the Île-de-France. His grandfather had been King Robert I. His grandmother Beatrice was a Carolingian, a daughter of Herbert I of Vermandois. This makes him the fifth great-grandson of Charlemagne through Pepin of Italy. King Odo was his grand-uncle and King Rudolph the son-in-law of his grandfather, King Robert I. Hugh was born into a well-connected and powerful family with many ties to the reigning nobility of Europe. But for all this, Hugh's father was never king. When Rudolph died in 936, Hugh the Great organised the return of Louis d'Outremer, son of Charles the Simple, from his exile at the court of Athelstan of England. Hugh's motives are unknown, but it is presumed that he acted to forestall Rudolph's brother and successor as Duke of Burgundy, Hugh the Black, from taking the French throne, or to prevent it from falling into the hands of Herbert II of Vermandois or Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy.

In 956, Hugh inherited his father's estates and became one of the most powerful nobles in the much-reduced West Frankish kingdom. However, as he was not yet an adult, his mother acted as his guardian. Young Hugh's neighbours made the most of the opportunity. Theobald I of Blois, a former vassal of Hugh the Great, took the counties of Chartres and Châteaudun. Further south, on the border of the kingdom, Fulk II of Anjou, another former client of Hugh the Great, carved out a principality at Hugh's expense and that of the Bretons.

The realm in which Hugh grew up, and of which he would one day be king, bore no resemblance to modern France. Hugh's predecessors did not call themselves rois de France ("Kings of France"), and that title was not used until the time of his distant descendant Philip II Augustus. Kings ruled as rex Francorum ("King of the Franks") and the lands over which they ruled comprised only a very small part of the former Carolingian Empire. The eastern Frankish lands, the Holy Roman Empire, were ruled by the Ottonian dynasty, represented by Hugh's first cousin Otto II and then by Otto's son, Otto III. The lands south of the river Loire had largely ceased to be part of the West Frankish kingdom in the years after Charles the Simple was deposed in 922. The Duchy of Normandy and the Duchy of Burgundy were largely independent, and Brittany entirely so, although from 956 Burgundy was ruled by Hugh's brothers Otto and Henry.

For his further adventures, election to King and dispute with the Pope see

Hugh Capet died on 24 October 996 in Paris and was interred in the Saint Denis Basilica. His son Robert continued to reign.

Most historians regard the beginnings of modern France with the coronation of Hugh Capet. This is because, as Count of Paris, he made the city his power center. The monarch began a long process of exerting control of the rest of the country from there.

He is regarded as the founder of the Capetian dynasty. The direct Capetians, or the House of Capet, ruled France from 987 to 1328; thereafter, the Kingdom was ruled by cadet branches of the dynasty. All French kings through Louis Philippe, and all royals since then, have belonged to the dynasty. Furthermore, cadet branches of the House continue to reign in Spain and Luxembourg.

Hugh Capet married Adelaide, daughter of William Towhead, Count of Poitou. Their children are as follows:

  • Gisela, or Gisele, who married Hugh I, Count of Ponthieu

  • Hedwig, or Hathui, who married Reginar IV, Count of Hainaut

  • Robert II, who became king after the death of his father

A number of other daughters are less reliably attested

Hugh Capet and Adelaide were my 32nd great grandparents.


Robert II of France

Robert II (27 March 972 – 20 July 1031), called the Pious (French: le Pieux) or the Wise (French: le Sage), was King of the Franks from 996 until his death. The second reigning member of the House of Capet, he was born in Orléans to Hugh Capet and Adelaide of Aquitaine.

Immediately after his own coronation, Robert's father Hugh began to push for the coronation of Robert. "The essential means by which the early Capetians were seen to have kept the throne in their family was through the association of the eldest surviving son in the royalty during the father's lifetime," Andrew W. Lewis has observed, in tracing the phenomenon in this line of kings who lacked dynastic legitimacy. Hugh's claimed reason was that he was planning an expedition against the Moorish armies harassing Borrel II of Barcelona, an invasion which never occurred, and that the stability of the country necessitated a co-king, should he die while on expedition. Ralph Glaber, however, attributes Hugh's request to his old age and inability to control the nobility. Modern scholarship has largely imputed to Hugh the motive of establishing a dynasty against the claims of electoral power on the part of the aristocracy, but this is not the typical view of contemporaries and even some modern scholars have been less sceptical of Hugh's "plan" to campaign in Spain. Robert was eventually crowned on 25 December 987. A measure of Hugh's success is that when Hugh died in 996, Robert continued to reign without any succession dispute, but during his long reign actual royal power dissipated into the hands of the great territorial magnates.

For additional details see

As early as 989, having been rebuffed in his search for a Byzantine princess, Hugh Capet arranged for Robert to marry Rozala, the recently widowed daughter of Berengar II of Italy, many years his senior, who took the name of Susanna upon becoming Queen. She was the widow of Arnulf II of Flanders, with whom she had two children. Robert divorced her within a year of his father's death in 996. He tried instead to marry Bertha, daughter of Conrad of Burgundy, around the time of his father's death. She was a widow of Odo I of Blois, but was also Robert's cousin. For reasons of consanguinity, Pope Gregory V refused to sanction the marriage, and Robert was excommunicated. After long negotiations with Gregory's successor, Sylvester II, the marriage was annulled.

Finally, in 1001, Robert entered into his final and longest-lasting marriage to Constance of Arles, the daughter of William I of Provence. Her southern customs and entourage were regarded with suspicion at court. After his companion Hugh of Beauvais urged the king to repudiate her as well, knights of her kinsman Fulk III, Count of Anjou had Beauvais murdered. The king and Bertha then went to Rome to ask Pope Sergius IV for an annulment so they could remarry. After this was refused, he went back to Constance and fathered several children by her. Her ambition alienated the chroniclers of her day, who blamed her for several of the king's decisions. However, they remained married until his death in 1031.

Robert had no children from his short-lived marriage to Susanna. His illegal marriage to Bertha gave him one stillborn son in 999, but only Constance gave him surviving children:

  • Hedwig (or Advisa), Countess of Auxerre (c. 1003 – after 1063), married Renauld I, Count of Nevers on 25 January 1016 and had issue.

  • Hugh Magnus, co-king (1007 – 17 September 1025)

  • Henry I, successor (4 May 1008 – 4 August 1060)

  • Adela, Countess of Contenance (1009 – 5 June 1063), married (1) Richard III of Normandy and (2) Count Baldwin V of Flanders.

  • Robert (1011 – 21 March 1076)

  • Odo or Eudes (1013–c.1056), who may have been mentally retarded and died after his brother's failed invasion of Normandy

  • Constance (born 1009–1052), married Count Manasses de Dammartin.

Robert also left an illegitimate son: Rudolph, Bishop of Bourges.

Robert and Constance were my 30th great grandparents.


Henry I of France

Henry I (4 May 1008 – 4 August 1060) was the King of the Franks from 1031 to his death. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign, and for this reason he is often seen as emblematic of the weakness of the early Capetians. This is not entirely agreed upon, however, as other historians regard him as a strong but realistic king, who was forced to conduct a policy mindful of the limitations of the French monarchy.

A member of the House of Capet, Henry was born in Reims, the son of King Robert II (972–1031) and Constance of Arles (986–1034). He was crowned King of France at the Cathedral in Reims on 14 May 1027, in the Capetian tradition, while his father still lived. He had little influence and power until he became sole ruler on his father's death.

The reign of Henry I, like those of his predecessors, was marked by territorial struggles. Initially, he joined his brother Robert, with the support of their mother, in a revolt against his father (1025). His mother, however, supported Robert as heir to the old king, on whose death Henry was left to deal with his rebel sibling. In 1032, he placated his brother by giving him the duchy of Burgundy which his father had given him in 1016.

In an early strategic move, Henry came to the rescue of his very young nephew-in-law, the newly appointed Duke William of Normandy (who would go on to become William the Conqueror), to suppress a revolt by William's vassals. In 1047, Henry secured the dukedom for William in their decisive victory over the vassals at the Battle of Val-ès-Dunes near Caen.

A few years later, when William married Matilda, the daughter of the count of Flanders, Henry feared William's potential power. In 1054, and again in 1057, Henry went to war to try to conquer Normandy from William, but on both occasions he was defeated. Despite his efforts, Henry I's twenty-nine-year reign saw feudal power in France reach its pinnacle.

Henry had three meetings with Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor—all at Ivois. In early 1043, he met him to discuss the marriage of the emperor with Agnes of Poitou, the daughter of Henry's vassal. In October 1048, the two Henries met again, but the subject of this meeting eludes us. The final meeting took place in May 1056. It concerned disputes over Lorraine. The debate over the duchy became so heated that the king of France challenged his German counterpart to single combat. The emperor, however, was not so much a warrior and he fled in the night; despite this, Henry did not get Lorraine.

King Henry I died on 4 August 1060 in Vitry-en-Brie, France, and was interred in Saint Denis Basilica. He was succeeded by his son, Philip I of France, who was 7 at the time of his death; for six years Henry I's Queen, Anne of Kiev, ruled as regent.

He was also Duke of Burgundy from 1016 to 1032, when he abdicated the duchy to his brother Robert Capet.

Henry I was betrothed to Matilda, the daughter of the Emperor Conrad II (990–1039), but she died prematurely in 1034. Henry I then married Matilda, daughter of Liudolf, Margrave of Frisia, but she died in 1044, following a Caesarean section. Casting further afield in search of a third wife, Henry I married Anne of Kiev on 19 May 1051. They had four children:

  1. Philip I (23 May 1052 – 30 July 1108)

  2. Emma (born 1054, date of death unknown)

  3. Robert (c. 1055 – c. 1060)

  4. Hugh "the Great" of Vermandois (1057–1102)

Henry and Anne of Kiev were my 29th great grandparents. Anne of Kiev was also our link to Russian Royalty.


Philip I of France

Philip I (23 May 1052 – 29 July 1108), called the Amorous, was King of the Franks from 1060 to his death. His reign, like that of most of the early Capetians, was extraordinarily long for the time. The monarchy began a modest recovery from the low it reached in the reign of his father and he added to the royal demesne the Vexin and Bourges.

Philip was the son of Henry I and Anne of Kiev. Unusual at the time for Western Europe, his name was of Greek origin, being bestowed upon him by his mother. Although he was crowned king at the age of seven, until age fourteen (1066) his mother acted as regent, the first queen of France ever to do so. Baldwin V of Flanders also acted as co-regent.

Following the death of Baldwin VI of Flanders, Robert the Frisian seized Flanders. Baldwin's wife, Richilda requested aid from Philip, who defeated Robert at the battle of Cassel in 1071.

Philip first married Bertha, daughter of Floris I, Count of Holland, in 1072. Although the marriage produced the necessary heir, Philip fell in love with Bertrade de Montfort, the wife of Count Fulk IV of Anjou. He repudiated Bertha (claiming she was too fat) and married Bertrade on 15 May 1092. In 1094, he was excommunicated by Hugh, Archbishop of Lyon, for the first time; after a long silence, Pope Urban II repeated the excommunication at the Council of Clermont in November 1095. Several times the ban was lifted as Philip promised to part with Bertrade, but he always returned to her, and after 1104, the ban was not repeated. In France, the king was opposed by Bishop Ivo of Chartres, a famous jurist.

Philip appointed Alberic first Constable of France in 1060. A great part of his reign, like his father's, was spent putting down revolts by his power-hungry vassals. In 1077, he made peace with William the Conqueror, who gave up attempting the conquest of Brittany. In 1082, Philip I expanded his demesne with the annexation of the Vexin. Then in 1100, he took control of Bourges.

For additional details see

Philip died in the castle of Melun and was buried per request at the monastery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire – and not in St Denis among his forefathers. He was succeeded by his son, Louis VI, whose succession was, however, not uncontested.

Philip's children with Bertha were:

  1. Constance, married Hugh I of Champagne before 1097 and then, after her divorce, to Bohemund I of Antioch in 1106

  2. Louis VI (1 December 1081 – 1 August 1137), King of the Franks

  3. Henry (b. 1083) (died young)

  4. Charles (b. 1085)

  5. Odo (1087–1096)

Philip's children with Bertrade were:

  1. Philip, Count of Mantes (living 1123)

  2. Fleury, Seigneur of Nangis (1093 – July 1119)

  3. Cecile of France, married Tancred, Prince of Galilee; married secondly Pons of Tripoli

Philip and Bertha were my 29th great grandparents.

For our line of Royalty of Holland, through Bertha, see Royalty of Holand.


Louis VI of France

Louis VI (1 December 1081 – 1 August 1137), called the Fat (French: le Gros), was King of the Franks from 1108 until his death (1137). Chronicles called him "roi de Saint-Denis".

Louis was the great-great-grandson of Hugh Capet. The first member of the House of Capet to make a lasting contribution to the centralizing institutions of royal power, Louis was born in Paris, the son of Philip I and his first wife, Bertha of Holland. Almost all of his twenty-nine-year reign was spent fighting either the "robber barons" who plagued Paris or the Norman kings of England for their continental possession of Normandy. Nonetheless, Louis VI managed to reinforce his power considerably and became one of the first strong kings of France since the division of the Carolingian Empire. The biography of Louis prepared by his loyal advisor Abbot Suger of Saint Denis offers a fully developed portrayal of his character, in contrast to what little is known about most of his predecessors.

In his youth, Louis fought the Duke of Normandy, Robert Curthose, and the lords of the royal demesne, the Île de France. Suger became his adviser already before Louis became king. He succeeded his father on Philip's death on 29 July 1108. Louis's half-brother prevented him from reaching Rheims, and so he was crowned on 3 August in the cathedral of Orléans by Daimbert, Archbishop of Sens. Ralph the Green, archbishop of Rheims, sent envoys to challenge the validity of the coronation and anointing, but to no avail.

For more of his life see

Just before his death in 1137, William X, Duke of Aquitaine, appointed Louis guardian of his daughter and future successor, Eleanor, and expressed his wish for her to marry Louis's son. The prospect of adding the Aquitaine to his son's domains made him so elated that he could hardly speak.

Louis VI died on 1 August 1137 at the castle of Béthisy-Saint-Pierre, near Senlis and Compiègne, of dysentery. He was interred in Saint Denis Basilica. He was succeeded on the throne by his son Louis VII, called "the Younger", who had originally wanted to be a monk.

He married in 1104: 1) Lucienne de Rochefort — the marriage was annulled on 23 May 1107 at the Council of Troyes by Pope Paschal II.

He married in 1115: 2) Adélaide de Maurienne (1092–1154) Their children:

  1. Philip (1116 – 13 October 1131), King of France (1129–31), not to be confused with his brother of the same name; he died as a result of a fall from a horse.

  2. Louis VII (1120 – 18 September 1180), King of France

  3. Henry (1121–75), archbishop of Reims

  4. Hugues (born ca 1122)

  5. Robert (ca 1123 – 11 October 1188), count of Dreux

  6. Constance (ca 1124 – 16 August 1176), married first Eustace IV, count of Boulogne, and then Raymond V of Toulouse.

  7. Philip (1125–61), bishop of Paris, not to be confused with his elder brother.

  8. Peter of France (ca 1125–83), married Elizabeth, Lady of Courtenay

With Marie de Breuillet, daughter of Renaud de Breuillet de Dourdan, Louis VI was the father of a daughter:

  • Isabelle (ca 1105 – before 1175), married (ca. 1119) Guillaume I of Chaumont.

Louis and Adélaide were my 27th great grandparents.


Louis VII of France

Louis VII (called the Younger or the Young) (French: Louis le Jeune) (1120 – 18 September 1180) was King of the Franks, the son and successor of Louis VI (hence his nickname). He ruled from 1137 until his death. He was a member of the House of Capet. His reign was dominated by feudal struggles (in particular with the Angevin family), and saw the beginning of the long rivalry between France and England. It also saw the beginning of construction on Notre-Dame de Paris, the founding of the University of Paris and the disastrous Second Crusade.

Born in 1120 in Paris as the second son of Louis VI of France and of Adelaide of Maurienne, the young Prince Louis received his early education with a view to his following an ecclesiastical career-path. He unexpectedly became the heir to the throne of France after the accidental death of his older brother, Philip, in 1131. A well-learned and exceptionally devout man, Louis VII was better suited for life as a priest than as a monarch.

In his youth he spent much time in Saint-Denis, where he built a friendship with the Abbot Suger (c. 1081 – 13 January 1151) which served him well in his early years as king.

In the same year he was crowned King of France and following the death of William X, Duke of Aquitaine, Louis VI of France  moved quickly to have his son, Prince Louis married on 25 July 1137 to Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, heiress of William X of Aquitaine. In this way, Louis VI sought to add the large, sprawling territory of the Aquitaine to his family's holdings in France. Shortly after the marriage of his son to Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Louis the Fat died on August 1, 1137. Thus, Prince Louis became King of France reigning as "Louis VII."

However, the pairing of the monkish Louis VII and the high-spirited Eleanor was doomed to failure; she once reportedly declared that she had thought to marry a king, only to find she'd married a monk. There was a marked difference between the frosty reserved culture of the northern Íle de France court where Louis had been raised and the rich free wheeling court life of the Aquitaine with which Eleanor was familiar. Louis and Eleanor had only two daughters, Marie and Alix.

For details of his life see

In 1154 Louis VII married Constance of Castile, daughter of Alfonso VII of Castile. She, too, failed to give him a son and heir, bearing only two daughters, Marguerite of France, and Alys.

Louis having produced no sons by 1157, Henry II of England began to believe that he might never do so, and that consequently the succession of France would be left in question. Determined to secure a claim for his family, he sent the Chancellor, Thomas Becket, to press for a marriage between Princess Marguerite and Henry's heir, also called Henry (later Henry the Young King). Louis, surprisingly, agreed to this proposal, and by the Treaty of Gisors (1158) betrothed the young pair, giving as a dowry the Norman Vexin and Gisors.

Constance died in childbirth on 4 October 1160, and five weeks later Louis VII married Adele of Champagne. Henry II, to counterbalance the advantage this would give the King of France, had the marriage of their children (Henry "the Young King" and Marguerite) celebrated at once. Louis understood the danger of the growing Angevin power; however, through indecision and lack of fiscal and military resources compared to Henry II's, he failed to oppose Angevin hegemony effectively. One of his few successes, in 1159, was his trip to Toulouse to aid Raymond V, Count of Toulouse who had been attacked by Henry II: after he entered into the city with a small escort, claiming to be visiting the Countess his sister, Henry declared that he could not attack the city whilst his liege lord was inside, and went home.

In 1165, Louis' third wife bore him a son and heir, Philip II Augustus. Louis had him crowned at Reims in 1179, in the Capetian tradition (Philip would in fact be the last King so crowned). Already stricken with paralysis, King Louis VII himself could not be present at the ceremony. He died on 18 September 1180 at the Abbey at Saint-Pont, Allier and was in the Cistercian Abbey of Barbeaux and was later moved to Saint-Denis in 1817.

Louis married three times. By Eleanor of Aquitaine he had:

  • Marie (1145 – March 11, 1198), married Henry I of Champagne

  • Alix (1151–1197/1198), married Theobald V of Blois

By Constance of Castile:

  • Margaret (1158 – August/September 1197), married (1) Henry the Young King; (2) King Béla III of Hungary

  • Alys (4 October 1160 – ca. 1220), engaged to Richard I of England; she married William IV, Count of Ponthieu

By Adele of Champagne:

  • Philip II Augustus (22 August 1165 – 1223)

  • Agnes (1171 – after 1204), who was betrothed to Alexius II Comnenus (1180–1183) but married (1) Andronicus I Comnenus (1183–1185); (2) Theodore Branas (1204)

Louis and Adele were my 26th great grandparents.


Philip II of France

Philip II Augustus (French: Philippe Auguste; 21 August 1165 – 14 July 1223) was the King of France from 1180 to 1223, and the first to be called by that title. His predecessors had been known as Roi des Francs (King of the Franks) but from 1190 onward Philip was known as ''Roi de France'' (King of France). A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and of his third wife, Adela of Champagne. He was originally nicknamed Dieudonné ("the God-given" - compare other epithets etymologically rooted in Indo-European devadatta) because he was the first son of Louis VII late in his father's life.

Philip was one of the most successful medieval French monarchs in expanding the royal demesne and the influence of the monarchy. He broke up the great Angevin Empire and defeated a coalition of his rivals (German, Flemish and English) at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214. He reorganized the government, bringing financial stability to the country and thus making possible a sharp increase in prosperity. His reign was popular with ordinary people because he checked the power of the nobles and passed some of it on to the growing middle class.

Philip was born in Gonesse on 21 August 1165.[2] As soon as he was able, Louis planned to associate Philip with him on the throne, but it was delayed when Philip, at the age of thirteen, was separated from his companions during a royal hunt and became lost in the Forest of Compiègne. He spent much of the following night attempting to find his way out, but to no avail. Exhausted by cold, hunger and fatigue, he was eventually discovered by a peasant carrying a charcoal burner, but his exposure to the elements meant he soon contracted a dangerously high fever. His father went on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Thomas Becket to pray for Philip's recovery, and was told that his son had indeed recovered. However, on his way back to Paris, he suffered a stroke.

In declining health, Louis VII had him crowned and anointed at Rheims by the Archbishop William Whitehands on 1 November in 1179. He was married on 28 April 1180 to Isabelle of Hainaut, who brought the County of Artois as her dowry. From his coronation, all real power was transferred to Philip, as his father slowly descended into senility. The great nobles were discontented with Philip's advantageous marriage, while his mother and four uncles, all of whom exercised enormous influence over Louis, were extremely unhappy with his association to the throne, causing a diminution in their power. Eventually, Louis died on 18 September 1180.

While the royal demesne had increased under Philip I and Louis VI, under Louis VII it had diminished slightly. In April 1182, Philip expelled all Jews from the demesne and confiscated their goods. Philip's eldest son, Louis, was born on 5 September in 1187 and inherited Artois in 1190, when his mother Isabelle died. The main source for Philip's army was from the royal demesne. In times of conflict, he could immediately call up 250 knights, 250 horse sergeants, 100 crossbowmen (mounted), 133 crossbowmen (foot), 2,000 foot sergeants and 300 mercenaries. Towards the end of his reign, the King could muster some 3,000 knights, 9,000 sergeants, 6,000 urban militiamen, and thousands of foot sergeants. Using his increased revenues, Philip was the first Capetian King to actively build a French navy. By 1215, his fleet could carry a total of 7,000 men. Within two years his fleet included 10 large ships and many smaller ones.

For more of his exploits see

After Isabelle's early death in childbirth, in 1190, Philip decided to marry again. On 15 August 1193, he married Ingeborg (1175–1236), daughter of King Valdemar I of Denmark (ruled 1157–82). She was renamed Isambour, and Stephan of Dornik described her as "very kind, young of age but old of wisdom." For some unknown reason, Philip was repelled by her and he refused to allow her to be crowned queen. Ingeborg protested at this treatment; his response was to confine her to a convent. He then asked Pope Celestine III for an annulment on the grounds of non-consummation. Philip had not reckoned with Isambour, however; she insisted that the marriage had been consummated, and that she was his wife and the rightful queen of France. The Franco-Danish churchman William of Paris intervened on the side of Ingeborg, drawing up a genealogy of the Danish kings to disprove the alleged impediment of consanguinity.

In the meantime Philip had sought a new bride. Initially agreement had been reached for him to marry Margaret of Geneva, daughter of William I, Count of Geneva, but the young bride's journey to Paris was interrupted by Thomas I of Savoy, who kidnapped Philip's intended new queen and married her instead, claiming that Philip was already bound in marriage. Philip finally achieved a third marriage, on 7 May 1196, to Agnes of Merania from Dalmatia (c. 1180 – 29 July in 1201). Their children were Marie (1198 – 15 October in 1224) and Philippe Hurepel (1200–1234), Count of Clermont and eventually, by marriage, Count of Boulogne.

Pope Innocent III (ruled 1198–1216) declared Philip Augustus's marriage to Agnes of Merania null and void, as he was still married to Isambour. He ordered the King to part from Agnès; when he did not, the Pope placed France under an interdict in 1199. This continued until 7 September 1200. Due to pressure from the Pope and from Ingeborg's brother, King Valdemar II of Denmark (ruled 1202–41), Philip finally took Isambour back as his wife in 1213.

By Isabella of Hainaut:

  • Louis (3 September 1187 – 8 November 1226), King of France (1223-1226); married Blanche of Castile and had issue.

  • Robert (15 March 1190 – 18 March 1190)

  • Philip (15 March 1190 – 18 March 1190)

By Agnes of Merania:

  • Marie (1198 – 15 August 1238); married firstly Philip I of Namur, had no issue. Married secondly Henry I of Brabant, had issue.

  • Philip (July 1200 – 14/18 January 1234), Count of Boulogne by marriage; married Matilda II, Countess of Boulogne and had issue.

Philip and Isabella were my 25th great grandparents.


Louis VIII of France

Louis VIII the Lion (5 September 1187 – 8 November 1226) reigned as King of France from 1223 to 1226. He was a member of the House of Capet. Louis VIII was born in Paris, the son of Philip II and Isabelle of Hainaut. He was also Count of Artois, inheriting the county from his mother, from 1190–1226. It remained attached to the crown until 1237, when his son Louis IX gave the title in accordance with the will of his father to Louis IX's younger brother Robert on attaining his majority.

While Louis VIII only briefly ruled as king for three years, he was an active leader his years as crown prince during his father's wars against the Angevins under King John. His intervention with royal forces into the Albigensian Crusade in southern France decisively moved the conflict towards a conclusion.

In summer 1195, a marriage between Louis and Eleanor of Brittany niece of Richard I of England was suggested for an alliance between Philip II and Richard, but it failed. It is said that the Emperor Henry VI opposed the marriage; and the failure was also a sign that Richard would replace Arthur, younger brother of Eleanor, as heir to England with his only living brother, John. This soon led to a sudden deterioration in relations between Richard and Philip.

On 23 May 1200, at the age of 12, Louis was married to Blanche of Castile, following prolonged negotiations between Philip Augustus and Blanche's uncle John of England (as represented in William Shakespeare's historical play King John).

For more of his life pleas see

In 1215, the English barons rebelled in the First Barons' War against the unpopular King John of England (1199–1216). The barons offered the throne to Prince Louis, who landed unopposed on the Isle of Thanet in eastern Kent, England at the head of an army on 21 May 1216. There was little resistance when the prince entered London and Louis was proclaimed King at St Paul's Cathedral with great pomp and celebration in the presence of all of London. Even though he was not crowned, many nobles, as well as King Alexander II of Scotland (1214–49) for his English possessions, gathered to give homage.

On 14 June 1216, Louis captured Winchester and soon controlled over half of the English kingdom. But just when it seemed that England was his, King John's death in October 1216 caused many of the rebellious barons to desert Louis in favour of John's nine-year-old son, Henry III.

With William Marshal acting as regent, a call for the English "to defend our land" against the French led to a reversal of fortunes on the battlefield. After his army was beaten at Lincoln on 20 May 1217, and his naval forces (led by Eustace the Monk) were defeated off the coast of Sandwich on 24 August 1217, he was forced to make peace on English terms. In 1216 and 1217 Prince Louis also tried to conquer Dover Castle but without success.

The principal provisions of the Treaty of Lambeth were an amnesty for English rebels, Louis to undertake not to attack England again, and 10,000 marks to be given to Louis. The effect of the treaty was that Louis agreed he had never been the legitimate King of England.

King Louis VIII became ill with dysentery, and died on 8 November 1226 in the Château de Montpensier, Auvergne. The Saint Denis Basilica houses the tomb of Louis VIII. His son, Louis IX (1226–70), succeeded him on the throne.

On 23 May 1200, at the age of twelve, Louis married Blanche of Castile (4 March 1188 – 26 November 1252). Their children were:

  1. 1.Blanche (1205–1206).

  2. Agnes (b. and d. 1207).

  3. Philip (9 September 1209 – July 1218), married (or only betrothed) in 1217 to Agnes of Donzy.

  4. Alphonse (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 23 January 1213).

  5. John (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 23 January 1213), twin of Alphonse.

  6. Louis IX (Poissy, 25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270, Tunis), King of France as successor to his father.

  7. Robert (25 September 1216 – 9 February 1250, killed in Battle of Al Mansurah, Egypt)

  8. Philip (2 January 1218 – 1220).

  9. John Tristan (21 July 1219 – 1232), Count of Anjou and Maine.

  10. Alphonse (Poissy, 11 November 1220 – 21 August 1271, Corneto), Count of Poitou and Auvergne, and by marriage, of Toulouse.

  11. Philip Dagobert (20 February 1222 – 1232).

  12. Isabelle (14 April 1225 – 23 February 1269).

  13. Charles Etienne (21 March 1226 – 7 January 1285), Count of Anjou and Maine, by marriage Count of Provence and Forcalquier, and King of Sicily.

 Louis and Blanche of Castile were my 23 great grandparents. In addition, Blanch provides the ancestral link to our line of Spanish Royalty.


Louis IX of France

Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270), commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile. He worked with the Parliament of Paris in order to improve the professionalism of his legal administration.

He is the only canonised king of France; consequently, there are many places named after him, most notably St. Louis, Missouri; Île Saint-Louis in Paris; Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin and Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in the United States; São Luís do Maranhão, Brazil; and both the state and city of San Luis Potosí in Mexico.

Louis was born on 25 April 1214 at Poissy, near Paris, the son of Prince Louis the Lion and Princess Blanche, and baptised in La Collégiale Notre-Dame church. His grandfather was King Philip II of France. Tutors of Blanche's choosing taught him most of what a king must know—Latin, public speaking, writing, military arts, and government. He was 9 years old when his grandfather died and his father ascended as Louis VIII. A member of the House of Capet, Louis was twelve years old when his father died on 8 November 1226. He was crowned king within the month at Reims cathedral. Because of Louis's youth, his mother ruled France as regent during his minority.

His younger brother Charles I of Sicily (1227–85) was created count of Anjou, thus founding the second Angevin dynasty.

No date is given for the beginning of Louis's personal rule. His contemporaries viewed his reign as co-rule between the king and his mother, though historians generally view the year 1234 as the year in which Louis began ruling personally, with his mother assuming a more advisory role. She continued as an important counselor to the king until her death in 1252.

On 27 May 1234, Louis married Margaret of Provence (1221 – 21 December 1295), whose sister Eleanor later became the wife of Henry III of England.

For more details see

The perception of Louis IX as the exemplary Christian prince was reinforced by his religious zeal. Louis was a devout Catholic, and he built the Sainte-Chapelle ("Holy Chapel"), located within the royal palace complex (now the Paris Hall of Justice), on the Île de la Cité in the centre of Paris. The Sainte Chapelle, a perfect example of the Rayonnant style of Gothic architecture, was erected as a shrine for the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross, precious relics of the Passion of Jesus. Louis purchased these in 1239–41 from Emperor Baldwin II of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, for the exorbitant sum of 135,000 livres (the chapel, however, cost only 60,000 livres to build).

Louis IX took very seriously his mission as "lieutenant of God on Earth", with which he had been invested when he was crowned in Rheims. To fulfill his duty, he conducted two crusades, and even though they were unsuccessful, they contributed to his prestige. In 1230 the King forbade all forms of usury. Where the profits of the Jewish and Lombard money-lenders had been exorbitant, and the original borrowers could not be found, Louis exacted from the usurers a contribution towards the crusade which Pope Gregory was then trying to launch.[6] Louis also ordered, at the urging of Pope Gregory IX, the burning in Paris in 1243 of some 12,000 manuscript copies of the Talmud and other Jewish books. Eventually, the edict against the Talmud was overturned by Gregory IX's successor, Innocent IV.

In addition to Louis' legislation against Jews and usury, he expanded the scope of the Inquisition in France. The area most affected by this expansion was southern France where the Cathar heresy had been strongest. The rate of these confiscations reached its highest levels in the years before his first crusade, and slowed upon his return to France in 1254. In all these deeds, Louis IX tried to fulfill the duty of France, which was seen as "the eldest daughter of the Church" (la fille aînée de l'Église), a tradition of protector of the Church going back to the Franks and Charlemagne, who had been crowned by the Pope in Rome in 800. Indeed, the official Latin title of the kings of France was Rex Francorum, i.e. "king of the Franks" (until Louis' grandfather's reign, Philip II whose seal reads Rex Franciae, i.e. "king of France"), and the kings of France were also known by the title "most Christian king" (Rex Christianissimus). The relationship between France and the papacy was at its peak in the 12th and 13th centuries, and most of the crusades were actually called by the popes from French soil. Eventually, in 1309, Pope Clement V even left Rome and relocated to the French city of Avignon, beginning the era known as the Avignon Papacy (or, more disparagingly, the "Babylonian captivity").

The children of Louis and Margaret were:

  1. Blanche (12 July/4 December[12] 1240 – 29 April 1243), died young

  2. Isabella (2 March 1241 – 28 January 1271), married Theobald II of Navarre

  3. Louis of France (23 September 1243 or 24 February 1244 – 11 January or 2 February January 1260). Betrothed to Infanta doña Berenguela of Castile in Paris on 20 August 1255.

  4. Philip III (1 May 1245 – 5 October 1285), married firstly to Isabella of Aragon in 1262 and secondly to Maria of Brabant in 1274

  5. John (1246/1247[12]–1248), died young

  6. John Tristan of Valois (1250 – 3 August 1270), married Yolande of Burgundy

  7. Peter I of Alençon (1251–84), married Joanne of Châtillon

  8. Blanche of France, Infanta of Castile, married Ferdinand de la Cerda, Infante of Castille

  9. Margaret of France (1254–71), married John I, Duke of Brabant

  10. Robert, Count of Clermont (1256 – 7 February 1317), married Beatrice of Burgundy. Henry IV of France was his direct male-line descendant.

  11. Agnes of France (c. 1260 – 19 December 1327), married Robert II, Duke of Burgundy

Saint Louis and Margaret were my 23rd great grandparents.


Philip III of France

Philip III (30 April 1245 – 5 October 1285), called the Bold (French: le Hardi),[1] was a Capetian King of France who reigned from 1270 to 1285.

His father, Louis IX, died in Tunis during the Eighth Crusade. Philip, who was accompanying him, came back to France to claim his throne and was anointed at Reims in 1271. Philip made numerous territorial acquisitions during his reign, the most notable being the County of Toulouse which was annexed to the Crown lands of France in 1271.

Following the Sicilian Vespers, a rebellion triggered by Peter III of Aragon against Philip's uncle Charles I of Naples, Philip led an unsuccessful Aragonese Crusade in support of his uncle. Philip was forced to retreat and died from dysentry in Perpignan in 1285. He was succeeded by his son Philip the Fair.

For more of his life see

On 28 May 1262, Philip married Isabella of Aragon, daughter of James I of Aragon and his second wife Yolande of Hungary.[7] They had the following children:

  1. Louis (1265 – May 1276). He was poisoned, possibly by orders of his stepmother.

  2. Philip IV (1268 – 29 November 1314), his successor, married Joan I of Navarre

  3. Robert (1269–1271)

  4. Charles (12 March 1270 – 16 December 1325), Count of Valois, married firstly to Margaret of Anjou in 1290, secondly to Catherine I of Courtenay in 1302, and lastly to Mahaut of Chatillon in 1308

  5. Stillborn son (1271)

After Isabella's death, he married on 21 August 1274, Maria of Brabant, daughter of Henry III of Brabant and Adelaide of Burgundy. Their children were:

  1. Louis (May 1276 – 19 May 1319), Count of Évreux, married Margaret of Artois

  2. Blanche (1278 – 19 March 1305, Vienna), married Rudolf III of Austria on 25 May 1300.

  3. Margaret (1282 – 14 February 1318), married Edward I of England

Philip and Maria were my 22nd great grandparents.


Margaret of France, Queen of England

Her father died when she was only three years old and she grew up under guidance of her mother and Joan I of Navarre, her half-brother King Philip IV's wife.

The death of Edward's beloved first wife, Eleanor of Castile, at the age of 49 in 1290, left him reeling in grief. However, it was much to Edward's benefit to make peace with France to free him to pursue his wars in Scotland. Additionally, with only one surviving son, Edward was anxious to protect the English throne with additional heirs. In summer of 1291, the English king had betrothed his son and heir, Edward, to Blanche of France in order to achieve peace with France. However, hearing of her renowned beauty, Edward decided to have his son's bride for his own and sent emissaries to France. Philip agreed to give Blanche to Edward on the following conditions: that a truce would be concluded between the two countries and that Edward would give up the province of Gascony. Edward agreed to the conditions and sent his brother Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, to fetch the new bride. Edward had been deceived, for Blanche was to be married to Rudolph III of Habsburg, the eldest son of King Albert I of Germany. Instead, Philip offered her younger sister Margaret to marry Edward (then 55). Upon hearing this, Edward declared war on France, refusing to marry Margaret. After five years, a truce was agreed upon under the influence of Pope Boniface VIII. A series of treaties in the first half of 1299 provided terms for a double marriage: Edward I would marry Margaret and his son would marry Isabella of France, Philip's youngest surviving child. Additionally, the English monarchy would regain the key city of Guienne and receive £15,000 owed to Margaret as well as the return of Eleanor of Castile's lands in Ponthieu and Montreuil as a dower first for Margaret, and then Isabella of France.

Edward was then 60 years old, at least 40 years older than his bride. The wedding took place at Canterbury on 8 September 1299. Margaret was never crowned, being the first uncrowned queen since the Conquest. This in no way lessened her dignity as the king's wife, however, for she used the royal title in her letters and documents, and appeared publicly wearing a crown even though she had not received one during a formal rite of investiture.

Edward soon returned to the Scottish border to continue his campaigns and left Margaret in London, but she had become pregnant quickly after the wedding. After several months, bored and lonely, the young queen decided to join her husband. Nothing could have pleased the king more, for Margaret's actions reminded him of his first wife Eleanor, who had had two of her sixteen children abroad.

In less than a year Margaret gave birth to a son, Thomas of Brotherton who was named after Thomas Becket, since she had prayed to him during her pregnancy. That Margaret was physically fit was demonstrated by the fact that she was still hunting when her labour pains started.

The next year she gave birth to another son, Edmund.

It is said that many who fell under the king's wrath were saved from too stern a punishment by the queen's influence over her husband, and the statement, Pardoned solely on the intercession of our dearest consort, queen Margaret of England, appears. In 1305, the young queen acted as a mediator between her step-son and husband, reconciling the heir to his aging father, and calming her husband's wrath.

She favored the Franciscan order and was a benefactress of a new foundation at Newgate. Margaret employed the minstrel Guy de Psaltery and both she and her husband liked to play chess. She and her stepson, Edward, Prince of Wales, the future king Edward II (who was two years younger than her), also became fond of each other: he once made her a gift of an expensive ruby and gold ring, and she on one occasion rescued many of the Prince's friends from the wrath of the King.

The mismatched couple were blissfully happy. When Blanche died in 1305 (her husband never became Emperor), Edward ordered all the court to go into mourning to please his queen. He had realized the wife he had gained was "a pearl of great price" as Margaret was respected for her beauty, virtue, and piety. The same year Margaret gave birth to a girl, Eleanor, named in honour of Edward's first queen, a choice which surprised many, and showed Margaret's unjealous nature.

When Edward went on summer campaign to Scotland in 1307, Margaret accompanied him, but he died in Burgh by Sands.

She never remarried after Edward's death in 1307, despite being only 26 when widowed. She was alleged to have stated that "when Edward died, all men died for me".

Margaret was not pleased when Edward II made Piers Gaveston Earl of Cornwall upon his father's death, since the title had been meant for one of her own sons. She attended the new king's wedding to her half-niece, Isabella of France, and a silver casket was made with both their arms. After Isabella's coronation, Margaret retired to Marlborough Castle (which was by this time a dower house), but she stayed in touch with the new Queen and with her half-brother Philip IV by letter during the confusing times leading up to Gaveston's death in 1312. Margaret, too, was a victim of Gaveston's influence over her step-son. Edward II gave several of her dowager lands to the favorite, including Berkhamsted Castle. In May 1308, an anonymous informer reported that Margaret had provided ₤40,000 along with her brother, Philip IV, to support the English barons against Gaveston. Due to this action, Gaveston was briefly exiled and Margaret remained fairly unmolested by the upstart until his death in June 1312.

She was present at the birth of Prince Edward in November 1312.

On February 14, 1318, she died in her castle at Marlborough. Dressed in a Franciscan habit, she was buried at Christ Church Greyfriars in London, a church she had generously endowed. Her tomb, beautifully carved, was destroyed during the Reformation. In all, Margaret gave birth to three children:

  • Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk (1 June 1300 – 4 August 1338) (He was my 28th great grandfather)

  • Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent (5 August 1301 – 19 March 1330)

  • Eleanor of England (1306-1311)

Edward and Margaret were my 21st great grandparents and Margaret was the link from our English Royalty  to Our French Royalty. See Plantagenet Kings .


© Grandpa Don Plefka
aka Harry Ronald Cecora
 Oct 14, 2013


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