In the second and final part of my posts on Edward II's male relatives, here are some biographies and facts about the men from Northern Europe. The first post is directly below this one, or you can find it here.
Duke Jan II 'the Peaceful' of Brabant, Lotharingia and Limburg: Edward II's brother-in-law.
Jan was born on 27 September 1275, the eldest surviving son of Duke Jan I and Margaretha of Flanders. His father was known as 'the Victorious', a soldier who won the Battle of Worringen in 1288, one of the biggest battles of the Middle Ages. Jan I is still well-known as the epitome of a perfect knight, chivalrous and brave. Margareta was one of the many daughters of Guy de Dampierre, Count of Flanders [see below].
Jan II had an elder brother, Godefroi, who died in 1283. His father Jan I had previously been married to Louis IX's daughter Marguerite, who died in childbirth in 1271, along with her child. His aunt Marie was the second wife of Philip III of France and the mother of Edward II's stepmother Queen Marguerite; his younger sister, also Margaretha, married the count of Luxemburg, who became Heinrich VII, King of the Romans, in 1309 and Holy Roman Emperor in 1312. Another sister, Marie, married Count Amadeo V of Savoy, who was going to marry Joan of Acre (in my previous post).
Jan II also had many half-siblings, his father's illegitimate childen.
Duke Jan I was a long-time ally of Edward I, and the younger Jan's marriage to Edward's third daughter Margaret was planned in the late 1270s, when both children were toddlers. Margaret was born on 15 March 1275, so was a few months older than her husband.
Jan was sent to live in England in 1284, when he was eight or nine. He married Margaret on 8 July 1290 at Westminster Abbey, in a magnificent ceremony that would be worth a blog post by itself! Jan was still fourteen (fifteen in late September), Margaret fifteen and a few months. Jan's retinue consisted of eighty knights and sixty ladies, wearing costumes of Brabant. Margaret's six-year-old brother Lord Edward was followed by a retinue of eighty knights, the Earl of Gloucester's retinue was 103 knights and sixty ladies, and the other earls also brought huge retinues of their own. 700 knights and 1000 citizens of London took part in the procession, and the guests were entertained by 400 minstrels and musicians. The royal family changed clothes three times during the course of the day, and the highlight was a banquet held in Westminster Hall, where Lord Edward's personal cook presented an edible replica of a castle.
In records after 1290, Jan is referred to as 'the king's son' in documents: for example, "Pardon, at the instance of John, Duke of Brabant, the king's son, to Yerevorth Voyl, a Welshman..." appears on 12 April 1296 (I've chosen that particular example because of the brilliant name. :)
In 1292/93, Jan was living in the same household as Edward I's nephews Thomas and Henry of Lancaster, and their household records are extent for this year. The young men spent a pleasant life travelling round England visiting tournaments, and the records are full of references to their horses, hawks, minstrels and games. In 1293, they stayed at Kingston with Jan's young brother-in-law, the nine-year-old Lord Edward, on their way to a joust at Fulham. Jan had thirty horses and twenty-one grooms, the Lancaster brothers thirty horses and twenty-four grooms. Edward's clerk gloomily recorded the huge expenses of their short stay.
Jan's father Duke Jan I was killed on 3 May 1294 at a tournament at Bar-le-Duc, arranged by Count Henri III of Bar [see below] to celebrate his marriage to Margaret's sister Eleanor. Jan II, aged eighteen, was taken home by merchants of Brabant, and sailed from Harwich in late June 1294. Margaret, for some reason, stayed in England, where she had her own household. She joined him in Brussels in 1297.
Jan and Margaret had only one child, a son Jan, born sometime in 1300. In addition, Jan had four illegitimate sons - who were all called Jan. (Must have been fun in the nursery.) Jan had a mistress named Elisabeth Cortygin, who was the mother of at least one of the Jans - Jan van Glymes, who was legitimised in 1344 - but I don't know who was the mother of the others.
On 25 January 1308, Jan and Margaret attended the wedding of Edward II and Isabella in Boulogne, and a month later, their coronation at Westminster. Jan had brought with him the holy oil of St Thomas of Canterbury, which had come into his possession, but for some reason it wasn't used. Edward II would later claim that the disasters of his reign were a direct consequence of his failure to be anointed by this holy oil.
Jan remained on very good terms with his brother-in-law Edward after Edward's accession, and in fact Edward's relations with Brabant were probably the friendliest he had with any country. In 1311, Edward chose Brabant as a possible haven for the exiled Piers Gaveston, and trade connections between the two countries were excellent.
On 27 September 1312, Jan signed the famous Charter of Kortenberg, described as "one of the first democratic decisions in feudal Europe." He died at Tervuren exactly a month later, on 27 October 1312, apparently of kidney stones, aged only thirty-seven.
Duchess Margaret survived her husband by many years. Unfortunately, the date of her death is not known, but she was still alive in 1333 when she sent a letter to her nephew Edward III, although many historians continue to give the date of her death as 1318. Surviving until 1333 or later makes her the longest lived of all Eleanor of Castile's children, unless Edward II wasn't murdered in 1327....;)
Duke Jan III 'the Triumphant' of Brabant, Lotharingia and Limburg: Edward II's nephew.
Duke Jan was born sometime in 1300 - around 20 October, according to his Dutch Wikipedia page - as the only child of Jan II and Margaret. He succeeded his father at the age of twelve.
In 1311, he married Marie d'Évreux, who was born in 1303. Marie was the eldest daughter of Louis, Count d'Évreux, who was the half-brother of Philip IV and the son of Marie of Brabant, sister of Duke Jan I - which makes Jan III and Marie second cousins. Louis, who died in 1319, was on good terms with Edward II, at least before Edward became king - it was to Louis that Edward addressed his funny letter in 1305 about a 'big trotting palfrey' and 'lazy dogs'.
Marie d'Évreux's mother was Marguerite d'Artois, daughter of Count Philip of Artois; Marguerite's mother Blanche was the daughter of Duke Jean II of Brittany and the granddaughter of Henry III of England. Marie was thus the first cousin of Queen Isabella and her three brothers (all kings of France), of Edward II's half-brothers Kent and Norfolk, and of the first Valois king of France, Philip VI. Her great-uncle John was Earl of Richmond, and she was also closely connected to the English royal house and many French noble houses.
In 1325, Marie's youngest sister Jeanne d'Évreux, then aged fifteen, became Queen of France by marrying Queen Isabella's youngest brother Charles IV, although they were first cousins. Charles was desperate for a son; he didn't get one, and when he died in 1328 the throne passed to their cousin Philip de Valois. In May 1326, Queen Isabella, the future Edward III and Roger Mortimer attended Jeanne's coronation, Roger carrying Edward's robes, to the great annoyance of Edward II.
Jan III continued his father's policy of friendship with England, and in 1319, was happy to accede to his uncle Edward II's request to limit Scottish trade in Brabant. However, on one occasion Edward did write him a very sharp letter, in response to Jan's request for justice for a man of Brabant who had been arrested in England: "It is not consonant with reason that what has been terminated by reasonable and due process and executed should be cancelled and revoked to the injury of another."
After the accession of Jan's cousin Edward III, Jan at first supported England during the early years of the Hundred Years War, but later switched allegiance to France. The growing power of Brabant in this period meant that Jan had made many enemies in the Low Countries.
Marie d'Evreux died on 31 October 1335, and was buried in Brussels. Jan didn't marry again, but as Marie had borne him three sons and three daughters, he probably felt that he didn't need to. He apparently had a whopping twenty illegitimate children, which probably means that plenty of people in Belgium and the Netherlands are descended from Edward I. ;)
However, when Jan died on 5 December 1355, at Brussels, his three legitimate sons had all pre-deceased him. He was succeeded by his eldest daughter Johanna, who was born in 1322 and lived until 1406. Her first marriage to Willem II, Count of Hainault - brother of Philippa of Hainault, wife of Edward III - was childless; after his death in 1345 she married Wenzel (Wenceslas) Count of Luxemburg. His grandfather was Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich VII [above], his father the King of Bohemia was killed at the Battle of Crecy in 1346, and his niece Anne of Bohemia married Richard II in 1382. Jan III's second daughter Margaretha (1323-1368) married Count Louis II of Flanders, the great-great-grandson of Guy de Dampierre, and his youngest daughter Marie (1325-1399) married Duke Reinald III of Geldern, son of Eleanor of Woodstock and grandson of Edward II. Funnily enough, both Margaretha and Marie's husbands were much younger than they were - Louis was almost eight years younger than Margaretha, and Reinald was about eight years younger than Marie. Count Louis of Flanders tried to wrest control of Brabant from his wife's sister Johanna, but was unsuccessful.
Count Henri III of Bar: Edward's brother-in-law.
Henri was born sometime between about 1259 and 1269, as far as I can tell. He was the eldest son of Count Thibaut II, who died in 1291, aged about seventy, and Jeanne de Montmorency, also known as Jeanne de Toucy. He had almost a dozen brothers and sisters, including a sister who was Abbess of Saint-Mauré, and two brothers who were Bishops of Liège and Metz.
On 20 September 1293, he married Edward I's eldest daughter Eleanor, who had long been betrothed to Alfonso III of Aragón, as in my previous post. The wedding took place in Bristol and was attended by her little brother the Lord Edward. After the wedding, Eleanor and Henri stayed with little Edward at Mortlake for a month, 14 October to 11 November, and left England on 14 April 1294. King Edward I saw them off at Dover. Shortly after their return to Bar, Henri held a tournament to celebrate his nuptials - Duke Jan I of Brabant was killed, on 3 May. However, an entry of 12 November 1294, granting protection to "Peter de Virduno, parson of the church of Hembury by Wycheum, going beyond seas with H. count of Bar" suggests that they'd returned to England fairly soon after leaving.
Henri and Eleanor had two children, born between 1294 and 1296: Edouard [below], and Jeanne, Countess of Surrey. Eleanor died on 29 August 1298 - there's some dispute about the date, but this is the date that appears in her sister Elizabeth's psalter, which makes it almost certainly the correct one - supposedly in Ghent. She was twenty-nine. The cause of death is unknown, but may have been related to pregnancy or childbirth.
On 18 March 1299, a reference to Henri in the Patent Rolls still calls him 'the king's son': "...and to deliver this [1915 pounds] to John de Asshy, clerk, and Richerus, yeoman of Henry, count of Bar, the king's son, in satisfaction of a debt by the king to the count to that amount."
Apparently Henri had difficult and tense relations with Philip IV of France, which was presumably why he allied himself with the King of England. A certain PhD thesis I've written about before claims that Henri invaded the lands of Jeanne, Queen of Navarre (Queen Isabella's mother), but no date or further information is given, and I can't find anything about it elsewhere. According to the thesis, Jeanne herself raised an army and led her troops against Henri, defeating him and holding him prisoner "under her own terms" (whatever that means). It seems unlikely that a woman would lead troops into battle, but who knows...
Henri's French Wikipedia page says that he was forced to render homage to Philip IV in 1301 and to give up some castles to him. He died in Naples in 1302, en route to a crusade.
Count Edouard I of Bar: Edward's nephew. Born probably in 1294 or 1295, he succeeded his father in 1302. However, a French genealogical site claims he was born in April 1296 - this is interesting, as I'd always assumed he was older than his sister, but if he was born in 1296, then Jeanne was almost certainly older. On 11 February 1310, at the Castle of Montbard, Edouard married Marie of Burgundy (Marie de Bourgogne), the granddaughter of Louis IX of France and fourth daughter of Duke Robert II of Burgundy. I've mentioned her elder sisters before - Blanche married Count Eduard of Savoy (in my previous post) and Marguerite and Jeanne la Boiteuse (the Lame) were Queens of France, married to Louis X and Philip VI respectively. Marie was born in 1298.
Edouard was declared to be of age at the time of his marriage, though he was only fourteen or fifteen.
Edward II's Wardrobe Accounts record the birth of Edouard and Marie's only son, Henri - the birth was announced to Edward on 21 May 1321: "To John de Bria, squire of the Countess of Bar, coming with letters of his said lady, with the news of the delivery of the said Countess of Henry, her first born son, of the King's gift, 6 pounds 13s 4d."
Edouard and Marie also had two daughters: Beatrice, who married Guido, Captain-General of Mantua, and had a son; and Eleonore, who died young on 15 September 1333, having married in 1329 Raoul, Duke of Lorraine, who was killed at Crecy in 1346, on the French side. Eleonore and Raoul had no children.
Edouard had briefly been taken prisoner by the Duke of Lorraine in 1313, so presumably the marriage of their children was intended to make peace between Bar and Lorraine. Edouard was appointed Regent of Lorraine on 26 October 1331 for his eleven-year-old son-in-law Raoul. (In 1337, Edouard's son Henri refused to pay homage to Raoul for some lands he held of him, and relations between Bar and Lorraine once more broke out into open conflict.)
Edouard's relations with his uncle Edward II were friendly, though they may have cooled over Edward's support of the Earl of Surrey, who was trying to divorce Edouard's sister Jeanne. In 1317, Edouard may have been complicit in the imprisonment of the Earl of Pembroke, in retaliation for Pembroke's support of Surrey. Edward II's letters to Bar on behalf of Pembroke show that he had a good knowledge of the politics and influential people of his nephew's county (or at least, that his advisors did).
Count Edouard I of Bar drowned off the coast of Famagusta in Cyprus on 11 November 1336, in his early forties. Like his father, he died on the way to crusade. His wife Marie of Burgundy, sister-in-law of King Philip VI of France, was already dead, at some unknown date.
Their son succeeded as Count Henri IV, but he died at the age of twenty-three in 1344; Henri's two sons succeeded him in turn, Edouard II (died 1352) and Robert I, who lived until 1411.
Count Jan I of Holland and Zeeland, Lord of Friesland: Edward II's brother-in-law.
Count Jan was born sometime in 1284, the son of Count Floris V of Holland and Beatrijs (died 1291), one of the many daughters of Guy de Dampierre, Count of Flanders. Jan was thus a first cousin of Duke Jan II of Brabant. He was betrothed to Edward I's daughter Elizabeth shortly after his birth. At the same time, his sister Margaretha was betrothed to Edward I's son Alfonso, who died shortly afterwards (August 1284).
His father Count Floris - known as der Keerlen God, God of the Peasants - was born on 24 June 1254 in Leiden. In the early 1290s, he put himself forward as a claimant to the Scottish throne, as a descendant of King David I. He and Beatrijs had nine or possibly eleven children, of whom only Jan (who died at fifteen) and Margaretha survived childhood - and even Margaretha seems to disappear from history after the death of Alfonso. Floris' children didn't live long, and he had no legitimate grandchildren. Floris did, however, also father seven or so illegitimate children, of whom Witte van Haamstede is the best-known. Witte's half-brother Count Jan granted him the lordship of Haamstede.
In 1296, Floris, a long-time ally of Edward I, switched sides and became an ally of Philip IV of France. Edward and Guy de Dampierre - Floris' father-in-law - conspired to have him kidnapped and taken to England (or France - reports vary), and his son installed in his place. But the kidnappers panicked and murdered him, near Muiderslot Castle, on 27 June 1296.
Jan may have grown up in England, at least partly, and if so, would have been a companion to the future Edward II, who was the same age. A Dutch site, assuming I've read it correctly, says he was sent in 1291. He was certainly in England at the time of his father's murder, when he was eleven or twelve. He returned to his home country.
In January 1297, Jan sailed to Ipswich, and married Elizabeth in the priory church on 18 January. Elizabeth was born in August 1282, so was a little older than Jan, almost fourteen and a half to his twelve. Elizabeth's twelve-year-old brother Lord Edward attended the wedding, as did most of the English and Dutch nobility; Edward gave his new brother-in-law a gold cup as a wedding present. Jan returned to Holland ten days after the wedding, attended by his many Dutch nobles, but Elizabeth - like her sister Margaret in 1294 - decided to stay in England. Possibly in irritation at her refusal to leave, Edward I ripped the coronet off his daughter's head and threw it in the fire - he later paid to have the precious stones replaced. Margaret finally left England to rejoin her husband Duke Jan II in Brussels, sailing with Count Jan.
Elizabeth, in the meantime, stayed at Windsor with her brother Edward for some time, and was at Langley when she received a message from Jan that he had reached Holland safely. On 23 August 1297, Elizabeth, with a magnificent trousseau, departed England with her father, who had with him a fleet of 500 vessels in readiness for his Flemish expedition. Apparently in no great rush to join her husband, Elizabeth stayed with her father until after Christmas 1297. She was now fifteen, Jan still only thirteen.
During Jan's minority, Holland was ruled by a regent, Wolfert van Borselen. He was murdered in August 1299, perhaps on the orders of Jan's kinsman, guardian and heir, Jan d'Avesnes, Count of Hainault, who took over control of the government.
Count Jan I, never very healthy, died in Haarlem on 10 November 1299, still only fifteen years old. Given his youth and ill health, it seems quite likely that his marriage to Elizabeth was never consummated. She returned to England and, three years later, married Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford. As late as 1316, the year of Elizabeth's death, Edward II was still chasing up his sister's dower in Holland.
Jan was succeeded as Count of Holland by his father's cousin Jan d'Avesnes, Count of Hainault, who was born in about 1247; he was the grandfather of Philippa of Hainault, wife of Edward III. There were rumours that Jan I was poisoned on his cousin's orders, but of course this is unprovable. With Jan II's accession, the counties of Hainault and Holland were united.
Reinald II 'de Swarte' ('the Black'), Duke of Gelderland and Count of Zutphen: Edward II's son-in-law.
Reinald was the son of Reinald I (who was captured at the Battle of Worringen in 1288) and, by a truly astonishing coincidence, yet another daughter of our old friend Guy de Dampierre, making him another first cousin of Jan II of Brabant and Jan I of Holland. To make it super confusing, Guy de Dampierre was married twice, and used the same names for the children of both marriages, so Reinald's mother was named Margaretha, like her older half-sister who was the mother of Jan II of Brabant.
The younger Margaretha was first married on 14 November 1282 to the Lord Alexander, heir to the throne of Scotland and nephew of Edward I, but he died in January 1284, and on 3 July 1286 she married Reinald I. Their son Reinald II was born between about 1287 and 1290.
On 11 January 1311, Reinald was married to Sophie/a de Berthout at Roermond; she was the heiress of Malines and niece of the Bishop of Utrecht, and bore him four daughters. Two of them, Matilda and Marie, succeeded as Duchess of Gelderland in their own right, and Elisabeth was Abbess of Gravendaal/Graefenthal. Sophie de Berthout died in 1329.
Reinald II officially succeeded his father on 9 October 1326. However, he had declared his father unfit to rule in 1316, and imprisoned him in 1318. In May 1332, now in his forties, he married Edward II's elder daughter Eleanor of Woodstock at Nijmegen. Eleanor was not yet fourteen (born June 1318). She had previously been considered as a bride for King Alfonso XI of Castile and the future King Jean II of France, so marriage to Reinald wasn't a brilliant match, especially considering her younger sister Joan was Queen of Scotland.
Professor Roy Martin Haines, in his King Edward II, recounts the legend that a non-murdered Edward II was a furtive guest at his daughter's wedding, which I'd love to believe is true. ;)
There was much rejoicing almost exactly a year later when Eleanor, not yet fifteen, gave birth to a son, also Reinald (born 13 May 1333). He was followed on 12 March 1336 by a second son, named Eduard after his grandfather. (The brothers quarrelled, civil war broke out, Eduard imprisoned his elder brother, who was known as 'Reinald the Fat'...family loyalty was definitely lacking in the Dukes of Gelderland.)
In 1339, the county of Gelderland was 'upgraded' to a duchy, in honour of Reinald's importance in European politics and the Hundred Years War. He died in Arnhem on 12 October 1243 and was succeeded by his elder son Reinald III. Eleanor of Woodstock died on 22 April 1355, not yet thirty-seven, and was buried in Deventer Abbey, which she'd founded. As her two sons died childless, both in 1371, two of her stepdaughters succeeded as Duchess of Gelderland.
King Eirik II 'the Priest-Hater' of Norway: Edward's potential father-in-law.
Eirik was born in 1268 as the elder son of King Magnus 'the Lawmender' and Queen Ingeborg, who was the daughter of King Erik IV 'Plovpenning' of Denmark. His mother's sister Sofia married King Valdemar I of Sweden; Valdemar had an affair with another of their sisters, Jutta, and had to travel to Rome to beg the Pope's forgiveness. Eirik's paternal grandfather Håkon Håkonsson (died 1263) fought with Alexander III of Scotland over possession of the Hebrides.
To promote peace between the countries, Eirik was married to Alexander's daughter Margaret in August 1281. She was Alexander's eldest child, born in February 1261 at Windsor, where her mother Queen Margaret was visiting her parents Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. Margaret was much older than Eirik, at least seven years. At the time of the wedding, which took place at the Mariakerke in Bergen, Margaret was twenty and Eirik thirteen, maybe still even twelve.
Despite the age gap, the marriage was consummated before too long. Queen Margaret died, either during or shortly after childbirth, on or a little before 9 April 1283. The child was a daughter, the 'Maid of Norway'. She was betrothed to Edward of Caernarfon, but died in the Orkneys in 1290 at the age of seven, thus ending Edward I's dream of a united England and Scotland.
Eirik married again in 1293, to Isabel Bruce, sister of Robert, the future King. Eirik claimed the throne of Scotland in the early 1290s as the father of the Maid, and although his claim was hopeless, Robert Bruce (or his father) probably decided that an alliance with Eirik was in order. Isabel bore Eirik a daughter, Ingeborg, who married Valdemar, Duke of Finland, brother of King Birger of Sweden.
Eirik's brilliant nickname makes him seem more interesting than he probably really was. He died in 1299, at the age of thirty or thirty-one, and was succeeded by his brother Haakon V. Haakon also had no son, and when he died in 1319, his heir was his daughter's son Magnus VII. Haakon's daughter was also called Ingeborg, and like her cousin and namesake was married to a brother of King Birger of Sweden; her son Magnus VII was King of Sweden as well as Norway. Interestingly, any son of Edward II and the Maid of Norway would have had a strong claim to the Norwegian throne in 1319.
Guy de Dampierre (or Gwijde van Dampierre), Count of Flanders: Edward's potential father-in-law.
Guy was born in about 1226, son of Guillaume de Dampierre, a nobleman of Champagne, and Margaret of Constantinople. Margaret's father Baldwin was Count of Flanders and Hainault, and the first Latin Emperor of Constantinople in 1204; her maternal grandmother Marie was the elder daughter of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Guy was a younger half-brother of Jan d'Avesnes, the father of Jan d'Avesnes who succeeded as Count Jan II of Holland, above. Their mother Margaret of Constantinople was determined that her counties of Flanders and Hainault would pass to her Dampierre sons rather than her Avesnes son, which led to years of conflict.
To cut a very long story short, Guy ceded his claims to Hainault, but became Count of Flanders in 1252, jointly with his mother Margaret, who lived until 1278. Tensions between Guy and Philip IV of France in the late 1280s led Guy to become an ally of Edward I, and after the death of the little Maid of Norway, Guy betrothed his daughter Philippa to Edward of Caernarfon. However, Philip imprisoned Guy, two of his sons, and Philippa in Paris, and the planned marriage never took place.
Guy's allies, including several of his sons and grandsons, defeated the French at the Battle of the Golden Spurs (also known as the Battle of Courtrai or Kortrijk). Guy was still in prison at Compiègne, where he died on 7 March 1304, in his late seventies. He was succeededby his eldest son Robert III, who was already in his mid fifties.
Guy first married Matilda of Bethune in 1246, and she bore him eight children, including: his successor Robert III, Jan II of Brabant's mother Margaretha, Jan I of Holland's mother Beatrijs, and Jan, Bishop of Metz and Liège. Secondly, in March 1265, he married Isabel of Luxemburg, by whom he had eight more children, including: Philippa, betrothed to Edward of Caernarfon; Margaretha, mother of Reinald II of Gelderland, and Beatrijs, who married the Count of St Pol.