FLANDERS, Count Baudouin II - I31586

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Count Baudouin FLANDERS II

Count Baudouin Flanders.jpg
From Baldwin II, the Bald, from his stronghold at Bruges, like his father, he maintained a vigorous defense of his lands against the incursions of the Norsemen. He was renowned chiefly for his work in fortifying the towns of Bruges, Thent, Ypres, and Kortrai as a means of protection against the robber chiefs who still - despite the energetic warfare of his father - infested this entire region. The necessity for protection against robbers, and occasional incursions of savage Danes from the North Sea, caused the population to flock speedily into these walled towns, and thus laid the foundation for the civic developments of the next four centuries.
Crest Flanders.png

BIO: Count and Marquis of Flanders; Count of Boulogne St. Paul.

BAUDOUIN ([863/65]-[10 Sep] 918, bur St Bertin, transferred 929 to Ghent, St Pieter). He is named second of the three sons of Baudouin & Judith in the list of counts of Flanders recorded in the Cartulaire de Saint-Bertin[46]. He succeeded his father in 879 as BAUDOUIN II "le Chauve"[47] Count of Flanders. From his succession, he was under great pressure from the raids of the Vikings, and took refuge in the marshes of Saint-Omer in 883[48]. He expanded his territories by occupying the pagi of Mempisc, Courtrai and the Ijzer, seizing control of the counties of Ternois and Boulonnais after 892, and the Tournaisis (except for the town of Tournai)[49]. Although Count Baudouin at first supported the election of Eudes King of France in 888, the latter opposed the count's becoming lay-abbot of St Bertin (in 892, in succession to abbot Rudolf[50]) and pursued him to Bruges, although the king was unable to capture the town. Count Baudouin supported the coronation of Charles III "le Simple" as King of the West Franks in 895, but changed sides and supported Zwentibold Duke of Lotharingia. The Annales Vedastini name "Balduinus…comes et Rodulfus frater eius necnon et Ragnerus" when recording that they joined Zwentibold in 895[51]. He invaded Péronne in 899[52], attacked Vermandois, Artois and Boulogne, but was driven out of Vermandois by 900 although he reconquered it and killed Héribert II Comte de Vermandois in revenge for the death of his brother Raoul[53]. The territories of Count Baudouin II were referred to collectively as Flanders for the first time from the early 1000s. Count Baudouin also controlled the abbeys of St Vaast and St Bertin. The Annales Blandinienses record the death in 918 of "Balduvinus comes", specifying that he was buried at "Blandinio"[54]. His territories were divided between his two sons on his death[55]. m ([893/99]) ÆLFTHRYTH of Wessex, daughter of ALFRED King of Wessex & his wife Ealhswith of the Gainas ([877]-7 Jun 929, bur Ghent, St Pieter). "Elfthtritham" is named by Roger of Hoveden third in his list of King Alfred's daughters by Queen Ealhswith[56]. She is called "Æthelswitha" by Asser[57]. "Elftrudis" is named wife of Count Baudouin II in the Cartulaire de Saint-Bertin without giving her origin[58]. The Genealogia Comitum Flandriæ names "filia Edgeri regis Anglorum, nomine Elferudem" as the wife of "Balduinus Calvus"[59], although "Edgeri" is clearly an error for "Alfredi". This marriage represented the start of a long-lasting alliance between England and Flanders, founded on their common interest in preventing Viking settlements along the coast. The Annales Blandinienses record the death in 929 of "filia regis Elftrudis comitissa"[60]. The Memorial of "Elstrudis…Balduini…domini" records her death "VII Iunii"[61].

Baldwin II "the Bald" (Baudouin "le Chauve", Balduinus Calvus) Count/Marquis of Flanders, [presumably 879]-918. Count of Artois and lay-abbot of Saint-Vaast, 892-9. Lay-abbot of Saint-Bertin, 900 (de facto from ca. 892)-918. Count of Boulogne, 898?-918. Count of Ternois, 892 or before-918.

Called both comes and marchio by Folcwine [Gesta abbatum S. Bertini Sithiensium, c. 98, MGH SS 13: 624 (writing in the middle of the tenth century)], Baldwin II is presumed to have succeeded his father Baldwin I at the latter's death in 879 [Ann. Vedast. 43-4]. The early years of Baldwin II were marked by major Viking incursions, and their army wintered at Gand (Ghent) in 881 [Ann. Vedast. 51]. Baldwin first appears in the contemporary records in 888, when, along with archbishop Foulques (of Reims) and abbot Raoul (of Cysoing, Saint-Bertin, and Saint-Vaast), he was among those who asked king Arnulf of Germany to come and take the kingship of the western Frankish kingdom [Ann. Vedast. 65], but he submitted to Eudes in the same year [Ann. Vedast. 66]. When Raoul died on 5 January 892 [Ann. Vedast. 70; Folcwine, c. 97, MGH SS 13: 623], Baldwin sent messengers to king Eudes, demanding the abbacies of his cousin (consobrinus) Raoul (son of Eberhard of Friuli and Gisèle, daughter of emperor Louis the Pious) for himself ["..., Balduinus itaque comes legatos dirigit ad Odonem regem, mandans cum sua gratia velle tenere abbatias sui consobrini." Ann. Vedast, s.a. 892, p. 71; Folcwine, c. 98, MGH SS 13: 624]. Baldwin appears to have held Artois and the abbacy of Saint-Vaast until 899, when Arras was taken by Charles the Simple [Ann. Vedast. 81; Grierson (1938), 257-8]. In 900, archbishop Foulques was assassinated by a certain Winemar, at the order of Baldwin II [Ann. Vedast. 82; Folcwine, c. 98, MGH SS 13: 624; Ann. Bland. 16], after which Baldwin was recognized as lay abbot of Saint-Bertin by the king ["Baldwinus autem post haec abbatiam optinuit regia donatione." Folcwine, c. 98, MGH SS 13: 625]. Folcwine includes Boulogne and Ternois (along with the abbacy of Saint-Bertin) among the lands left by Baldwin II to his second son Adalolf [Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627], and Baldwin is called "princeps Morinorum" by Richer [i, 16, MGH SS 3: 574]. The time when Baldwin obtained Boulogne is not clearly set out in the sources. The year 896 has been often given by virtue of the fact that a certain Herkengerus appears to have lost his possessions in 896 as a result of the activities of Baldwin's brother Raoul (who was killed later in the same year) [Ann. Vedast. 77], and there are indications that Erkenger was a count of Boulogne ["Ex sancti enim Chiliani pontificis et martyris articulis manuum gaudmus habere nobiscum; quas reliquas Erkengerus comes et Arnoldus de Germania Bononiensem civitatem deportaverunt." Ex sermone de adventu SS. Wandregisili, Ansberti et Vulfranni, c. 14, MGH SS 15, part 2: 629; "Carolus rex regno Francorum occidentalium leges dictavit, quem postea Heribertus comes Viromanuorum dolo captum Peronae posuit in custodia. Quo adhuc imperium obtnente, Bononiensium comes fuit Erkengarius, genere et potentia non parum egregius, in cuius etiam ditione Rentica fuit predium, in quo beati Bertulfi corpus erat tumulatum.", Ex Vita Bertulfi Renticensis, c. 22, MGH SS 15, part 2: 635]. When Baldwin became count of Ternois depends on whether the abbacy of Saint-Bertin and the countship of Ternois were separate before 892. If, as Grierson argued, the offices were separate before Baldwin usurped the abbacy of Saint-Bertin, then the acquisition of the countship of Ternois might even extend back to the time of Baldwin I [Grierson (1938)]. It has been widely held that Baldwin was lay-abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand, based on the annal for 892 in Annales Blandinienses ["Rodulfus obiit. Baldwinus successit." Ann. Bland. 15; see e.g., Ganshof (1937), 383], but Grierson pointed out that this annal was probably based on lost annals from Saint-Bertin (known to be one of the sources of Annales Blandinienses), and probably refers to the abbacy of Saint-Bertin. In another paper, he argued that the abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand during this time was the later king Robert I [Grierson (1939)]. It is said that Baldwin's epithet of Calvus was not due to being bald, but to emphasize his descent from his maternal grandfather Charles the Bald (Karolus Calvus) ["Successit illi in comitatu Flandriae filius ejus Balduinus, qui se Calvum nominari fecit, non quia calvus actu fuerit, sed ut, nomen avi sui Karoli Calvi suscitans, nomen ac generis nobilitatem exalteret." Chronicon sancti Bavonis, s.a. 980, Corpus Chron. Fland., 1: 495]. Baldwin II was succeeded by his eldest son Arnulf I in Flanders, and by his younger son Adalolf in Boulogne, Ternois, and St. Bertin ["Markam vero eius filii eius inter se diviserunt; et Arnulfus, qui maior natu erat, Flandriam, Adalolfus vero civitatem Bononiam et regionem Taruennicam pariterque Sancti Bertini suscepit abbatiam.", Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627].

Date of Birth: Unknown, but probably not long after his parents' marriage (or elopement), say ca. 864. Place of Birth: Unknown.

Date of Death: 918, probably 10 September. The year is given as 918 in Annales Blandinienses and Annales Elmarenses ["Balduvinus comes obiit, Blandinio sepelitur." Ann. Bland., s.a. 918, Grierson (1937), 16; similarly in Ann. Elmarenses (ibid., 84); Ann. Elnonenses give 919 (ibid., 149)]. The date is given variously as 2 January or 10 September. The date of 2 January appears in Baldwin's (noncontemporary) epitaph (see below) and in the obituary of Saint-Pierre de Gand [Dhondt (1940), 133, n. 4, where Dhondt gives these two dates as 3 January and 6 September, evidently careless calculations from the Roman dating]. The nearly contemporary Folcwine gives 10 September ["... obiit anno Verbi incarnati 918, 4 Idus Septembris." Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627]. The donation of his widow Elftrude, which occurred the next day (see below), suggests that Folcwine's date is correct. Place of Burial: Saint-Pierre de Gand (St. Peters, Ghent) Folcwine states that he was buried there because his wife desired to be buried next to him, and women could not be buried at Saint-Bertin [Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627]. His claimed epitaph reads as follows: "Qui legis hec, tu nosce, quod hic tumulatus habetur / Marchio Balduinus culmen honestatis. / Regem traxit avum Karolum cognomine Calvum, / Omnia magnificans moribus et meritis. / Effulsit quarto nonas cum sol Ianuarii, / Exuit hunc dominus corporis exuviis." [MGH Poetae Latini 5: 297].

Father: Baldwin I, d. 879, count [presumably of Flanders]. Baldwin II was named as a brother of count Raoul, son of Baldwin by the contemporary Regino "... qui Heribertus Rodulfum comitem, filium Balduini interfecit nostris temporibus, et non multum post occisus est a Balduino, satellite Balduini, fratris Rodulfi, qui Balduinus hucusque in Flandris ducatum tenet." Regino, s.a. 818 (in a retrospective annal written ca. 906, describing the family of Bernard, son of Pepin of Italy), MGH SS 1: 567]. See the page of Baldwin I.

Mother: Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, d. 877, king of the West Franks, emperor. Witger, writing 951×9, states that Baldwin II was the son of Baldwin I and Judith ["Quam Iudith prudentissimam ac spetiosam sibi Balduinus comes fortissimus in matrimonii coniugium. Ex qua genuit filium, inponens ei nomen sibi equivocum, videlicet Balduinum.", Witger, Genealogia Arnulfi comitis, MGH SS 9: 303]

Spouse: Ælfthryth (Ælfþryð, Elftrude) of Wessex, said to have d. 7 June 929, daughter of Ælfred "the Great", king of Wessex. Æthelweard, in his prologue dedicating his chronicle to his cousin Mathilde, gives the marriage, and names their four children ["[Ælfred] Misit Ælfthrythe filiam suam ad partes Germaniæ Baldwino in matrimonium, et genuit ab ea filios duos Athulfum uiz. et Earnulfum, duas, duos filias quoque Ealhswid et Earmentruth;..." Æthelweard, 2]. Folcwine gives her name, but not her parentage ["... uxor eius nomine Elftrudis, ..." Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627], but he later mentions that Edwin (d. 933, erroneously called "rex"), brother of king Æthelstan, was related to Adalolf, son of Baldwin and Ælfthryth [ibid., c. 107, p. 629]. Witger does not give her name, but states that she was the most noble descendant of kings beyond the sea, also naming her two sons ["Qui Balduinus accepta uxore de nobilissima progenie regum ultramarinorum, sumpsit ex ea duos bonae indolis filios, quorum unam vocavit Arnulfum, fratrem vero eius Adelulfum." Witger, Genealogia Arnulfi Comitis, MGH SS 9: 303]. Annales Elnonenses err in stating that Baldwin's wife "Helfeth" and Ogiva, wife of Charles the Simple, were daughters of king Adelwardus of the English ["Balduinus, nepos Caroli Calvi, et Carolus, filius Ludowici, uxores duxerunt filias Adelwardi regis Anglorum, Carolus Ogivam, Balduinus sororem eius Helfeth nomine." Ann. Elnonenses, Grierson (1937), 149]. Later Flemish sources generally err by calling her a daughter of king Edgar [e.g., Genealogia comitum Flandriae Bertiniana, MGH SS 9: 305]. After her husband's death, on 11 September 918, Elftrude, along with her sons Arnulf and Adalolf, donated lands in England (Levesham, Greenwich, Woolwich) to the abbey of Saint-Pierre de Gand ["... Egomet ipsa una cum filiis meis Arnulfo et Adelolfo ... pro remedio anime senioris mei Balduini et mee ipsius, filiorumque meorum, ...; S.ipsius Elstrudis comitisse que hanc traditionem fecit, firmarique petiit. S. Arnulfi et Adalulfi comitum, filiorum ipsius ..." Cart. S.-Pierre de Gand, 1: 20-1 (#14)]

With regard to Ælfthryth's date of death, Annales Blandiniensis is the only source for the year ["Obiit Elftrudis comitissa", Ann. Bland., s.a. 929, 17], and her claimed epitaph at Saint-Pierre de Gand gives the day as 7 June ["Etgeri fueram prestantis filia regis / Elstrudis proprio nomine dicta meo. / Que dum presentis vigui spiramine lucis, / Balduini thalamis usa fui domini, / Septenis Iunii cum fulsit in idibus astrum, / Me pius ad superos evocat hinc dominus." MGH Poetae Latini 5: 298; "Alfredi" is given in place of "Etgeri" in Adrien de Budt, Chronicon Flandriae, Corpus Chron. Fland., 1: 271]. Neither of these sources is contemporary [see Dhondt (1940), 133-4].

Children: Æthelweard names all four children, and the two sons are also named by Witger and by Folcwine, among others (see above for the quotes from all three of these sources).

    • from Wikipedia listing for Baldwin II, Count of Flanders, as of 10/14/2014

Baldwin II (c. 865 – 10 September 918), nicknamed Calvus (the Bald) was the second Count of Flanders and ruled from 879 to 918.

Life He was the son of Baldwin I of Flanders and Judith, a daughter of Charles the Bald and as such a descendant of Charlemagne.[1] In 884 Baldwin married Ælfthryth (Ælfthryth, Elftrude, Elfrida), a daughter of King Alfred the Great of England.[2] The immediate goal of this Anglo-Flemish alliance was to help Baldwin control the lower Canche River valley.[3]

The early years of Baldwin's rule were marked by a series of devastating Viking raids into Flanders where little north of the Somme was left untouched.[4] By 883 he was forced northward to the flat marshes of the pagus flandransis which became the territory most closely associated with the counts of Flanders from that time on.[4] Baldwin constructed a series of wooden fortifications at Saint-Omer, Bruges, Ghent, and Kortrijk and seized those lands abandoned by royal and ecclesiastical officials.[5] Many of these same citadels later formed castellanies housing government, militia and local courts.[4]

In 888 the west Frankish king Charles the Fat was deposed and there were several candidates for his replacement.[6] As he was a grandson of Charles the Bald, Holy Roman Emperor and King of West Francia, Baldwin could have, but did not, compete for the crown of western Francia.[5] Instead Baldwin joined others in trying to convince the East Frankish king Arnulf to also take the west Frankish crown, but Arnulf declined.[6] The Robertine Odo, Count of Paris, was elected king[7] but Odo would not support Baldwin's attempts at gaining control of the abbey of St. Bertin the two fell out and while Odo attacked Baldwin at Bruges he could not prevail.[6] Baldwin continued his expansion to the south and gained control of Artois including the important abbey of St. Vaast. When the abbey came under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Fulk of Reims in 900 Baldwin had him assassinated.[3] When his attempts to expand further into the upper Somme River valley were opposed by Herbert I, Count of Vermandois Baldwin likewise had him assassinated.[3]

He died 10 September 918[8] at Blandijnberg (near Ghent) and was succeeded by his eldest son Arnulf I of Flanders. His younger son Adalulf was (the first) count of Boulogne.

Family He married Ælfthryth, a daughter of Alfred the Great, King of England.[1] They had the following children:

   Arnulf I of Flanders (c. 890–964), married Adela of Vermandois.[1]
   Adalulf (c. 890–933), Count of Boulogne.[1]


   Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, Marburg, Germany, 1984), Tafel 5
   François Neveux, The Normans; The Conquests that Changed the Face of Europe, Trans. Howard Curtis (Constable and Robinson, Ltd., London, 2008), p. 93
   Pierre Riché, The Carolingians; A Family who Forged Europe, Trans. Michael Idomir Allen (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia), p. 236
   David Nicholas, Medieval Flanders (Longman Group UK, Ltd., 1992)pp. 17–18
   Pierre Riché, The Carolingians; A Family who Forged Europe, Trans. Michael Idomir Allen (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia), p. 235
   David Nicholas, Medieval Flanders (Longman Group UK, Ltd., 1992)p. 19
   Pierre Riché, The Carolingians; A Family who Forged Europe, Trans. Michael Idomir Allen (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia), p. 237
   Philip Grierson, 'The Relations between England and Flanders before the Norman Conquest', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 23 (1941), p. 86