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Marengo 10-14-2008 02:14 PM

The Counts of Flanders
Welcome to the thread about the Counts of Flanders.

Arms of the County of Flanders
~ ¤ ~

From this wikipedia article:


The counts of Flanders were the rulers over the county of Flanders from the 9th century until the abolition of the countship by the French revolutionaries in 1790.
Although the early rulers, from Arnulf I onwards, were sometime referred to as margraves or marquesses, this alternate title largely fell out of use by the 12th century. Since then the rulers of Flanders have only been referred to as counts.
The counts of Flanders enlarged their estate through a series of diplomatic manoeuvres. The counties of Hainaut, Namur, Béthune, Nevers, Auxerre, Rethel, Burgundy, and Artois were acquired via marriage with the respective heiresses. Ironically, the county of Flanders itself suffered the same fate. By the marriage of Margaret III, Countess of Flanders with Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, the county and the subsidiary counties were absorbed into the Duchy of Burgundy in 1405.

Marengo 10-14-2008 02:15 PM

House of Flanders
  • Baldwin I Iron Arm (r. 860s-879), married Judith and was granted lands and honours, which would evolve into the County of Flanders.
  • Baldwin II the Bald (r. 879-918), son of Baldwin I and Judith
  • Arnulf I the Great (r. 918-964), son of Baldwin II, joinly with:
    • Baldwin III (r. 958-962), son of Arnulf I
  • Arnulf II (r. 964-988), son of Baldwin III
  • Baldwin IV the Bearded (r. 988-1037), son of Arnulf II
  • Baldwin V of Lille (r. 1037-1067), son of Baldwin IV
  • Baldwin VI (r. 1067-1070), son of Baldwin V, Counts of Hainaut
  • Arnulf III (r. 1070-1071), son of Baldwin VI, Counts of Hainaut
  • Robert I the Frisian (r. 1071-1093), son of Baldwin V
  • Robert II (r. 1093-1111), son of Robert I
  • Baldwin VII Hapkin (r. 1111-1119), son of Robert II
House of Knýtling
  • Charles I the Good (r. 1119-1127), cousin of Baldwin VII, designated by him
House of Normandy
  • William I Clito (r. 1127-1128), great-grandson of Baldwin V, designated by Louis VI of France
House of Alsace or House of Metz
  • Derrick I (r. 1128-1168), grandson of Robert I, recognised by Louis VI of France
  • Philip I (r. 1168-1191), son of Derrick I
  • Margaret I (r. 1191-1194), daughter of Philip I,
    • jointly with her husband Baldwin of Hainaut
NB again from the same wikipedia article.

Marengo 10-14-2008 02:16 PM

House of Dampierre
  • William I (r. 1247-1251), son of Margaret II and William II of Dampierre
  • Guy I (r. 1252-1305), son of Margaret II and William II of Dampierre, imprisoned 1253-1256 by John I of Avesnes
  • Robert III of Bethune ("the Lion of Flanders") (r. 1305-1322), son of Guy
  • Louis I of Nevers (r. 1322-1346), son of Robert III
  • Louis II of Male (r. 1346-1384), son of Louis I
  • Margaret III of Male (r. 1384-1405), daughter of Louis II,
    • jointly with her husband Philip II, Duke of Burgundy
House of Burgundy
  • John the Fearless (r. 1405-1419), son of Margaret III and Philip II of Burgundy
  • Philip II the Good (r. 1419-1467), son of John
  • Charles II the Bold (r. 1467-1477), son of Philip the Good
  • Mary the Rich (r. 1477-1482), daughter of Charles the Bold, jointly with her husband Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
House of Habsburg
  • Philip the Handsome (r. 1482-1506), son of Mary and Maximilian
  • Charles III (r. 1519-1556), son of Philip, also Holy Roman Emperor (as Charles V)
Charles V proclaimed the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 eternally uniting Flanders with the other lordships of the Low Countries in a personal union. When the Habsburg empire was divided among the heirs of Charles V, the Low Countries, including Flanders, went to Philip II of Spain, of the Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg.
  • Philip III (r. 1556-1598), son of Charles III, also King of Spain
  • Isabella Clara Eugenia (r. 1598-1621), daughter of Philip II,
    • jointly with her husband Albert, Archduke of Austria)
  • Philip IV (r. 1621-1665), grandson of Philip III, also King of Spain
  • Charles IV (r. 1665-1700), son of Philip IV, also King of Spain
Between 1706 and 1714 Flanders was invaded by the English and the Dutch during the War of the Spanish Succession. The fief was claimed by the House of Habsburg and the House of Bourbon. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht settled the succession and the County of Flanders went to the Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg.
  • Charles V (r. 1714-1740), great grandson of Philip III, also Holy Roman Emperor (elect)
  • Mary Theresa (r. 1740-1780), daughter of Charles IV, married Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
  • Joseph I (r. 1780-1790), son of Maria Theresa and Francis I, also Holy Roman Emperor
  • Leopold (r. 1790-1792), son of Maria Theresa and Francis I, also Holy Roman Emperor
  • Francis II (r. 1792-1835), son of Leopold II, also Holy Roman Emperor
The title was factually abolished in the aftermath of the French revolution and the annexation of Flanders by France in 1795. Although, the title remained officially claimed by the descendants of Leopold II until the reign of Karl I, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

NB again from the same wikipedia article.

LadyLeana 10-14-2008 04:20 PM

Interesting summary, thank you Marengo!

The historic Flanders does not correspond to the current topographic area which calls itself Flanders in Belgium.

The county of Flandres consisted (more or less) of what are currently the Belgian provinces West- and East-Flanders, small areas of the provinces Antwerp (Bornem) and Hainaut (Tournai and Mouscron), and part of the French departments Nord (also called "French Flanders") and Pas de Calais ("Artesia", which detached itself in the 12th century), and the current Dutch province Zeeuws-Vlaanderen.

LadyLeana 10-15-2008 12:33 PM

The title was dug up from under the dust when Belgium became an independent Kingdom.
There were two "Belgian" Counts of Flanders:

- Philip (1837-1905), brother of Leopold II and father of Albert I
- Charles (1903-1983), brother of Leopold III

But I don't think you intend this thread for them, Marengo, or am I wrong? ;)

maria-olivia 10-15-2008 03:03 PM

Marengo , You really did nice work . Thanks a lot.
I have some remarks :
The last King of Spain was Charles II ?(+1700)
For the Austrians , Empress Maria-Theresa's son was Joseph II and not Joseph I.
The Empress married François de Lorraine . His brother was Charles de Lorraine.
Was François de Lorraine a Roman Emperor ? Maybe a short time until his wife Marie Theresa could be Empress -because she was a lady ??
Thanks for your help

LadyLeana 10-18-2008 12:55 PM

First, the capital of county Flanders was Bruges, but soon it became Ghent.

In Ghent you can visit the only medieval castle of Flanders which isn't a total ruin.
The "Count's Castle" was built in several stages. First it was simply a fortified place where the people of Ghent could withdraw when the Normans attacked. Several Counts fortified and rebuilt the site, but in 1176 the site burned down. In 1180, Count Philip of Alsace (1142-1191) had a castle built on the site of the old stronghold, and it is this castle which (against many odds) withstood the test of time.

Some pics:

The castle is open for visitors. The main building is restored and hosts an impressive collection of medieval weapons.

The counts of Flanders resided here, until Count Louis of Male (14th Century) decided that the castle wasn't comfortable enough. He moved his household to the closeby "Prince's Court", then also called "Hof ten Walle". This was built as the residence of a rich Italian banker/politician Simon de Mirabello. It is also the place where the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was born in 1500. Unfortunately, there isn't much left of this building.

In the mean time, the Count's Castle kept its institutional importance: it was used as a dungeon (did I mention they also have an impressive collection of instruments of torture?), and the Council of Flanders gathered there until the late 18th century.

By the end of the 18th century, it was sold and converted into a cotton mill and housing facilities for the working class. By that time, the Castle had come to stand for feudal repression, torture, and severe Inquisition, so the people didn't really care.

Later on, the industry moved out of the city centre, leaving the Castle ready for demolition. Luckily, some people saw the historical value of the building, and in the late 19th Century, city and state bought the ruins and started to restore it.

LadyLeana 03-02-2009 02:13 PM

Baldwin I of Flanders
Baldwin I of Flanders

The first Count of Flanders, Baldwin I Iron Arm (or Baldwinus Ferreus), was called so, not because of his extremely strong arms or anything of the likes, but because he was born near the river Yser (which means Iron), and the word "arm" refers to the river.
There are, however, stories about him slaughtering a bear, which should probably be regarded with some caution...

Baldwin was not a very high noble in the Frankish Kingdom, but he caused a scandal by eloping with Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald, King of West Francia. Judith had been married twice before to two Anglo-Saxon Kings, each time surviving her husband, after which she was banned from the British isles and because of this "disgrace", she was hidden away in a tower (or so the legend goes). At that time, she was around 20 years old.

Baldwin kidnapped her (probably she was more than willing) with the help of her borther Louis (later King Louis II of West Francia) and the couple had to hide for two years. In his wrath, they were excommunicated by Charles, but their marriage was approved by the Pope, so Charles had to accept (no doubt he hadbeen planning a much more advantagous match for his daughter).

Baldwin was granted the title of Count and Markgrave of Flanders (and he received the lands of Flanders and Waas), a fief to the West Frankish crown. So the County of Flanders was born.

The name "Baldwin" would translate to Baudouin in French, or Boudewijn in Dutch.

Summary from this Wikipedia article and recollections from long bygone history lessons.

An Ard Ri 02-19-2016 06:38 AM

The now sold Silver Service of HRH Prince Phillippe, Count of Flanders.

PHILIPPE, COUNT OF FLANDERS: A LARGE FRENCH SILVER DINNER SERVICE sold by Sotheby's, Amsterdam, on Saturday, March 22, 2003

maria-olivia 02-19-2016 07:43 AM

Thanks a lot An Ard Ri.

They were sold at Sotheby's Amsterdam , Items of Princess Lilian, Castle of Argenteuil. Total 2,67 millions of euros....

CyrilVladisla 08-17-2016 10:41 PM

The Murder of Charles the Good -
Charles I, Count of Flanders, was murdered in 1127.

An Ard Ri 03-29-2018 06:30 AM

He was formally beatified in 1882 and is known as Blessed Charles the Good,his relics are housed at the Saint-Salvator Cathedral in Bruges.

Mbruno 03-29-2018 07:19 AM

Why did the Belgian royal family stop using the title of Count of Flanders for the second son of the King ?

Do the Kings of Spain still claim the title of Count of Flanders ?

maria-olivia 03-29-2018 07:29 AM

Just before Princess Elisabeth's birth her parents decided not to give more titles just Duc or Duchesse de Brabant.
Comte de Hainaut, Flandres and Prince de Liège are not used anymore.

An Ard Ri 03-29-2018 09:11 AM

The title Count of Flanders, is one of the many titles held by the Spanish Crown.

Mbruno 03-29-2018 02:45 PM


Originally Posted by An Ard Ri (Post 2086760)
The title Count of Flanders, is one of the many titles held by the Spanish Crown.

As of today, I believe it is just a title of pretense. Only possible interpretation is that:

  1. Under the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, the succession to the title of Count of Flanders passed from the Kings of Spain to the Austrian branch of the Habsburg family.
  2. With the end of the Austrian Netherlands in 1795, the historical title of Count of Flanders became de facto extinct.
  3. In 1840, and again in 1910, a new title of Count of Flanders was created as a personal title, respectively for Prince Philippe of Belgium and Prince Charles of Belgium. Those creations were made by the King of the Belgians under the powers conferred on the sovereign by the Belgian constitution, and are unrelated to old (medieval) title of Count of Flanders.

An Ard Ri 03-29-2018 02:51 PM

Indeed as the with the titles relating to the kingdoms of Jerusalem,Cyprus and Corsica.

Tatiana Maria 03-29-2018 03:37 PM


Interestingly enough, the majority of the reigning dynasties in Europe (Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Monaco and Liechtenstein) claim titles of pretense.


Originally Posted by Mbruno (Post 2086744)
Why did the Belgian royal family stop using the title of Count of Flanders for the second son of the King ?

Use of the dynastic titles issued to princes of the royal family – such as Count of Flanders and Duke of Brabant – was curtailed little by little. In his advanced age, Charles was addressed as HRH Prince Charles rather than HRH the Count of Flanders.

So there was no interest in granting dynastic titles to Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent when their father ascended the throne in 1993. (Prince Philippe was automatically given the title Duke of Brabant at that point by the royal decree of 1840, but he continued to be addressed as HRH Prince Philippe of Belgium.)

maria-olivia 03-30-2018 05:18 AM

King Leopold I tittled his first Son Louis Philippe Comte de Hainaut , he died when he was not even one year old. Leopold was Duc de Brabant and Philippe , Comte de Flandres. Charlotte received no tittle.
King Albert I , son of the Count of Flandres titled Leopold Duc de Brabant and Charles Comte de Flandres.( Later he was Karel van Vlaanderen , this is another story)
In her Memoires Queen Marie José wanted to be tittled Princess of Congo !

I don't know why King Leopold III titled his second Son Prince de Liège ? The situation in Liège was bad and when Queen Asrid showed on the balcony of Liege their little Prince , it came from her heart and it was highly appreciated. King Albert II last Visit before his Abdicaton was on Liege's Balcony.

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