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
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.
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
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:
Lambert II, Count of Haspengau (c. 682–741)
Chrodobertus II, Count of Haspengau (fl. 650)
Lambert I de Haspengau (c. 620–650)
Chrodobertus I de Haspengau (c. 600–630)
Charibert de Haspengau (c. 555–636)
Robert of Hesbaye's mother was possibly Princess
Chrotlind, daughter of Theuderic III, Merovingian king
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Odo of France, King of Western Francia
Robert I of France, King of Western Francia.
Robert and his unidentified wife were my 34th great
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
Robert's first wife was Aelis. By her he had two
Adele of France (c. 887–aft. March 931) to
Herbert II of Vermandois. The second daughter is
Robert married secondly, c. 890, Béatrice of Vermandois,
daughter of Herbert I of Vermandois. Together they
Emma of France (894–935), married to Rudolph, Duke
Hugh the Great,(898-) who was later dux Francorum.
Hugh was the father of Hugh Capet, King of the
This Robert and Béatrice were my 33rd great
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
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,
Hugh's third wife was Hedwig of Saxony, daughter of
Henry the Fowler and Matilda of Ringelheim She and Hugh
Beatrice married Frederick I, Duke of Upper
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 (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
Hedwig, or Hathui, who married Reginar IV, Count of
Robert II, who became king after the death of his
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
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
Robert also left an illegitimate son: Rudolph, Bishop of
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
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
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:
Philip I (23 May 1052 – 30 July 1108)
Emma (born 1054, date of death unknown)
Robert (c. 1055 – c. 1060)
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
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
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
Philip's children with Bertha were:
Constance, married Hugh I of Champagne before 1097
and then, after her divorce, to Bohemund I of
Antioch in 1106
Louis VI (1 December 1081 – 1 August 1137), King of
Henry (b. 1083) (died young)
Charles (b. 1085)
Philip's children with Bertrade were:
Philip, Count of Mantes (living 1123)
Fleury, Seigneur of Nangis (1093 – July 1119)
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
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
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)
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
Louis VII (1120 – 18 September 1180), King of France
Henry (1121–75), archbishop of Reims
Hugues (born ca 1122)
Robert (ca 1123 – 11 October 1188), count of Dreux
Constance (ca 1124 – 16 August 1176), married first
Eustace IV, count of Boulogne, and then Raymond V of
Philip (1125–61), bishop of Paris, not to be
confused with his elder brother.
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:
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
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
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
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
Louis married three times. By Eleanor of Aquitaine he
Marie (1145 – March 11, 1198), married Henry I of
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
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
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
Philip was born in Gonesse on 21 August 1165. 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
By Isabella of Hainaut:
Louis (3 September 1187 – 8 November 1226), King of
France (1223-1226); married Blanche of Castile and
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,
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
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
On 23 May 1200, at the age of twelve, Louis married
Blanche of Castile (4 March 1188 – 26 November 1252).
Their children were:
Agnes (b. and d. 1207).
Philip (9 September 1209 – July 1218), married (or
only betrothed) in 1217 to Agnes of Donzy.
Alphonse (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 23 January
John (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 23 January 1213),
twin of Alphonse.
Louis IX (Poissy, 25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270,
Tunis), King of France as successor to his father.
Robert (25 September 1216 – 9 February 1250, killed
in Battle of Al Mansurah, Egypt)
Philip (2 January 1218 – 1220).
John Tristan (21 July 1219 – 1232), Count of Anjou
Alphonse (Poissy, 11 November 1220 – 21 August 1271,
Corneto), Count of Poitou and Auvergne, and by
marriage, of Toulouse.
Philip Dagobert (20 February 1222 – 1232).
Isabelle (14 April 1225 – 23 February 1269).
Charles Etienne (21 March 1226 – 7 January 1285),
Count of Anjou and Maine, by marriage Count of
Provence and Forcalquier, and King of Sicily.
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
His younger brother Charles I of Sicily (1227–85) was
created count of Anjou, thus founding the second Angevin
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. 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:
Blanche (12 July/4 December 1240 – 29 April
1243), died young
Isabella (2 March 1241 – 28 January 1271), married
Theobald II of Navarre
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.
Philip III (1 May 1245 – 5 October 1285), married
firstly to Isabella of Aragon in 1262 and secondly
to Maria of Brabant in 1274
John (1246/1247–1248), died young
John Tristan of Valois (1250 – 3 August 1270),
married Yolande of Burgundy
Peter I of Alençon (1251–84), married Joanne of
Blanche of France, Infanta of Castile, married
Ferdinand de la Cerda, Infante of Castille
Margaret of France (1254–71), married John I, Duke
Robert, Count of Clermont (1256 – 7 February 1317),
married Beatrice of Burgundy. Henry IV of France was
his direct male-line descendant.
Agnes of France (c. 1260 – 19 December 1327),
married Robert II, Duke of Burgundy
Saint Louis and Margaret were my 23rd great
Philip III of France
Philip III (30 April 1245 – 5 October 1285), called the
Bold (French: le Hardi), 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
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. They had the following children:
Louis (1265 – May 1276). He was poisoned, possibly
by orders of his stepmother.
Philip IV (1268 – 29 November 1314), his successor,
married Joan I of Navarre
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
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:
Louis (May 1276 – 19 May 1319), Count of Évreux,
married Margaret of Artois
Blanche (1278 – 19 March 1305, Vienna), married
Rudolf III of Austria on 25 May 1300.
Margaret (1282 – 14 February 1318), married Edward I
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 .