24 February, 2012

Some Ancestors Of Edward II

I've been doing some research into a few of Edward II's ancestors lately.  I didn't know that he had some Polish blood: one of his great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers was Władysław II, High Duke of Poland and duke of Silesia (1105-1159), whose daughter Richeza married Alfonso VII of Castile.  (And that's interesting in itself - a marital alliance between Spain and Poland in the twelfth century.)  Richeza and Alfonso's only child Sancha married Alfonso II of Aragon, and their son Alphonse was count of Provence and the grandfather of Edward's paternal grandmother Eleanor:

Edward II - Edward I - Eleanor of Provence, d. 1291 - Ramon Berenger V, count of Provence, d. 1245 - Alphonse, count of Provence, d. 1209 - Sancha of Castile, d. 1208 - Richeza of Poland, d. 1198 - Władysław II, d. 1159.

Władysław's grandfather Sviatopolk II, the father of his mother Sbaslawa or Zbyslava, was the ruler of Kievan Rus and prince of Novgorod.  (My friend Christy Robinson knows a lot about this family.)  Władysław's father was Bolesław III Wrymouth (d. 1138), prince of Poland.  Through Bolesław's mother Judith, Edward II was descended from kings of Bohemia, German dukes and counts, the grand dukes of Kiev (again) and was the ten greats grandson of Olga Prekrasna (d. 969), wife of Igor I of Kiev, who converted to Christianity in Constantinople and took the name Yelena or Helen.  She was canonised as a saint and equal-to-the-Apostles in 1547 and is considered the first saint of the Russian Orthodox church, instrumental in spreading Christianity in Russia.

The mother of Richeza of Poland and wife of Władysław II was the German noblewoman Agnes of Babenberg.  Agnes' father Leopold III (d. 1136), margrave of Austria - Edward II's six greats grandfather - is the patron saint of Austria.  Agnes of Babenberg's mother Agnes of Franconia (d. 1143) was the mother of Conrad III of Germany, the first king of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, by her first marriage.  She was the daughter of  the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV (d. 1106), Edward II's seven greats grandfather, by his first wife Bertha of Savoy.  Henry IV is most famous for being forced to wait for three days in the snow at Canossa in 1077 by Pope Gregory VII, who had excommunicated him.

Also via Agnes of Babenberg and her father Leopold III, Edward II was the ten greats grandson of Otto Orseolo, doge of Venice from 1008 to 1026, and his wife Sarolta Arpad, daughter of Geza, Grand Prince of the Magyars.  Sarolta's brother Stephen (or István, d. 1038) was the first king of Hungary and was canonised in 1083; his feast day is still a national holiday in Hungary.  Edward II is descended from Otto Orseolo and Sarolta's daughter Froila.  Geza's great-grandfather was Arpad Arpad (d. c. 907), Edward's fourteen greats grandfather, second Grand Prince of the Magyars (after his father Almos).

Another saint in the family, ancestor of Richeza of Poland and Edward II's thirteen greats grandmother, is Saint Ludmila of Bohemia (d. 921), who is a patron saint of Bohemia, the Czech Republic, widows, people who have problems with their in-laws, and - of all people - duchesses.  Her grandson Boleslav, Edward's ancestor, was the brother of St Wenceslas (as in 'Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen, where the snow lay round about...').

Olaf Skötkonung, also known as Olaf Eiríksson, king of Sweden from 995 to 1022, was Edward II's eight or nine greats grandfather through three lines: via Richeza of Poland, and via both of Edward's parents, who were descended from Anna Yaroslavna (also known as Anne of Kiev), daughter of Yaroslav, prince of Novgorod and Kiev and granddaughter of Olaf.  Anna married Henry I of France (d. 1060).  Olaf Skötkonung's maternal grandmother was Dobrava of Prague, daughter of Boleslas, king of Bohemia and an English mother, Adiva or Edith, daughter of Edward the Elder, king of Wessex, son of Alfred the Great (d. 899).  Edward II was descended from Alfred the Great many times over, including via Alfred's daughter Ælfthryth and her son Adalulf (d. 933), count of Boulogne.  Edward the Elder's daughter Edith (d. 946) married Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 973), Edward II's ten greats grandparents

Edward II was the great-great-grandson of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine; he was also the great-great-grandson of Alais of France, daughter of Eleanor's former husband Louis VII of France, who was betrothed to Henry and Eleanor's son Richard Lionheart but may have been Henry's mistress.

Edward II - Eleanor of Castile, d. 1290 - Jeanne de Dammartin, queen of Castile and countess of Ponthieu, d. 1279 - Marie, lady of Ponthieu, d. 1250 - Alais of France, countess of Ponthieu and the Vexin, d. c. 1220.

I really like one of Isabella of France's lines: she was the seven greats granddaughter of Harold Godwinson, the king of England killed at the battle of Hastings in 1066, via Harold's daughter Gytha, who married Vladimir II Monomakh, grand duke of Kiev, in about 1070.  It makes me happy to think that the kings of England from Edward III onwards are Harold Godwinson's descendants:

Isabella of France - Philip IV, d. 1314 - Isabel of Aragon, queen of France, d. 1271 - Yolande of Hungary, queen of Aragon, d. 1251 - Andras II, king of Hungary, d. 1235 - Bela III, king of Hungary, d. 1196 - Euphrosyne of Kiev, d. before 1186 - Mstislav I, grand duke of Kiev, d. 1132 - Gytha Haroldsdaughter, d. 1107 - Harold Godwinson, king of England, d. 1066.

Talking of an Anglo-Saxon connection, as well as another saint in the family, Edward II was the seven greats grandson of Edmund Ironside, briefly king of England for a few months in 1016 until his defeat in battle by Cnut, via Edmund's son Edward the Exile (who grew up in Hungary) and Edward's daughter Saint Margaret, queen of Scotland (who married Malcolm Canmore):

Edward II - Edward I - Henry III - King John - Henry II - Empress Matilda, d. 1167 - Edith (Matilda) of Scotland, queen of England, d. 1118 - Saint Margaret of England/Hungary, queen of Scotland, d. 1093 - Edward the Exile, d. 1057 - Edmund Ironside, d. 1016.

Edward II's great-great-great-great-grandmother Petronilla (c. 1135-1173) was queen of Aragon in her own right.  Her father Ramiro was a monk forced to give up his monastic vows temporarily to become king of Aragon on the death of his childless brother; he returned to his monastery after fathering Petronilla (by Agnes of Poitou, aunt of Edward II's great-great-grandmother Eleanor of Aquitaine) and betrothing her as a baby to Raymond Berenger IV, count of Barcelona.  Petronilla abdicated in 1163 in favour of her young son Alfonso II, and acted as regent for him until her death the following year.

Edward II - Edward I - Eleanor of Provence - Raymond Berenger, count of Provence - Alphonse, count of Provence - Alfonso II, king of Aragon, d. 1196 - Petronilla, queen of Aragon, d. 1164 - Ramiro 'the Monk', king of Aragon, d. 1147.

Edward's great-grandmother Berenguela (1180-1246, granddaughter through her mother of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine) became queen of Castile in her own right on the death of her brother Enrique I in 1217, but immediately abdicated in favour of her son Fernando III.  She acted as her son's regent for a few years and was still his chief adviser after he came of age.

The first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques (c. 1109-1185), was Edward's great-great-great-grandfather:

Edward II - Eleanor of Castile - Fernando III of Castile and Leon, d. 1252 - Alfonso IX of Leon, d. 1230 - Urraca of Portugal, d. 1188 - Afonso Henriques, d. 1185.

Leo VI Mamikonian, emperor of Byzantium (d. 912), was Edward's twelve greats grandfather, by his second wife Zoe Zaoutzaina.  Leo was known as 'the Wise' or 'the Philsopher', and his paternity is uncertain, though his mother was certainly the Empress Eudokia Ingerina, wife of one Byzantine emperor and mistress of another.

Edward's thirteen greats grandmother may have been Auria or Oria bint Lopo, who may have been the wife of Fortún Garcés, king of Pamplona (d. 905).  She came from the Banu Qasi dynasty of northern Spain, who converted to Islam in the early eighth century following the Umayyad conquest of much of the Iberian peninsula.

Edward was descended from the Bagratuni or Bagratid dynasty, who ruled Armenia as princes and kings from the eighth to eleventh centuries.  For example, Varaz-Tirots Bagratuni, Marzpan (i.e. governor-general) of Armenia from 628 to 635, was Edward's twenty greats grandfather (roughly).

14 comments:

Anerje said...

This is all so impressive! These ancestors are not so complicated for me to follow this time:>

Elizabeth said...

Wow, Kathryn, this is impressive all in one place. I agree with you that it's nice to see the descendants of Edward II and Isabella of France have some Anglo-Saxon blood! I have a soft spot for the House of Wessex (don't know why) but I did not realize Isabella had that line in her family history.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Anerje and Elizabeth! I find all these ancestors fascinating - and with Edward II's daughter-in-law Queen Philippa, some really interesting lines entered the English royal house.

I love the Godwinsons too, Elizabeth! I also edited the post to add Edward II's descent from Edmund Ironside, king of England in 1016, who I'm really fond of.

Christopher said...

He's also descended from Boleslaus I, Duke of Bohemia. Boleslaus is perhaps best known for murdering his older brother - Wenceslaus I. Every Christmas his memory is preserved when we sing Good King Wenceslas. Wenceslaus wasn't actually a king but was later given the status because of the popularity of his cult.

He does have some more bizarre ancestors including the God Odin. Perhaps my personal favourite is Gandalf. He was either a king of an area of Sweden or king of the elves. His name was appropriated by Tolkien when he came to invent his new mythology for the English people.

Kathryn Warner said...

Yes, I mentioned Boleslav/Boleslaus, Wenceslas and the Christmas carol in the post, Christopher (not the murder, though - interesting!).

That's funny about Odin and Gandalf!

Christopher said...

For some reason I just didn't see that paragraphy. I must stop flipping between tabs. Sorry pardon.

The murder is quite interesting - Wenceslaus' mother only converted on her marriage. She had his grandmother murdered.

You can also connect him to the Emeror Constantine - it's a little tenuous but the bits that are least believable are the bits that are best attested too.

Kathryn Warner said...

No problem - it's kind of hidden in the middle a bit. :)

Thanks for all the info - much appreciated - I'll do some reading about the murders. Really interesting! Will look into the possible Constantine connection too.

Carla said...

I didn't know Isabella was a distant descendant of Harold Godwinsson. Though I suppose the aristocratic family lines are so interconnected that practically every family is connected to every other if you go back over enough generations.

Anonymous said...

That's true, Carla - Edward and Isabella themselves were related many times over (second cousins once removed was the closest connection). I like the idea of Harold's daughter marrying into Kiev!

Kathryn Warner said...

Oops, that was me - how did I manage to post it anonymously?

Gabriele C. said...

I had no idea Edward was related to Heinrich (Henry) IV. Another one to add to my list of English/German connections. :)

Gabriele C. said...

Conrad III's sister Bertha (Betrada) married Adalbert of Ravenstein and their daughter Liutgard married Conrad Margrave of Meissen of House Wettin. I've mentioned House Wettin a few times in my posts about Thuringia because they would later become landgraves of Thuringia as well.

The parents of said Conrad were Thimo of Wettin and Ida of Northeim, a daughter of the (in)famous Otto of Northeim. Her sister Richenza was among the ancestors of Heinrich the Lion of Saxony, who married Mathilde of England, daughter of Henry II and Eleanor.

Albrecht (Albert) II of House Wettin would later marry Margaretha of Staufen, a daughter of Friedrich II and Isabelle of England, a daughter of King John.

So our dear Edward is related to the Houses Wettin and Northeim, as well as the Welfen family, probably several times over. :D

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks for all the info, Gabriele! I love all these royal connections. Was really pleased to find Edward's descent from Heinrich. :)

Gabriele C. said...

He certainly shared with Heinrich that they both had the 'wrong' sort of men around, according to those who thought they should have been in the inner circle. Heinrich picked his advisors for loyaly and ability, not rank. *gasp* :) I think Ed did this too (at least for loyalty).