Adela of France

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Adela of France (called the Saint ; * probably 1009 or around 1014; † January 8, 1079 in the Benedictine monastery of Messines near Ypres ) came from the Capetian dynasty , who were the kings of France in their time . She was from 1035 to 1067 as the wife of V. Baldwin Countess of Flanders . She is most often called Adela in the documents, but the names Adala, Addela, Addele, Adelaidis, Adele, Athela, Aelide and Alix also appear.


Adela's father was the Capetian Robert II the Pious , King of France from 996 to 1031, her brother was King Henry I (reigned 1031-1060). Like all of Robert’s surviving children, Adela emerged from his third marriage to Konstanze von der Provence .

Engagement / marriage to Richard III. of Normandy

Adela was with Richard III. (* around 1001; † August 6, 1027), Duke of Normandy since August 23, 1026, engaged. Whether the marriage actually came about in January 1027 is controversial, since Richard III. died that same year. She is referred to in 1027 as the Countess of Contenance in Normandy, a property she must have received in connection with the (planned) wedding of Richard, and which included the pagi Saire , Hague and Bauptois in the far north of the Cotentin .

As the daughter of Richard III. and Adela is sometimes viewed as Judith of Flanders , the Duchess of Bavaria as the wife of Welf IV ; this view is controversial.

Marriage to Baldwin V of Flanders

After Richard's death, Adela married in Paris in 1028 Count Baldwin V of Flanders (called the Pious or of Lille or Insulanus ; * probably 1013; † September 1, 1067 in Lille ), who was Count of Flanders from 1035 to 1067 and from 1060 to 1067 Regent of France for his infant nephew I. Philip was. Her father gave her the rule of Corbie as a marriage good . There were three children from this marriage:

  • Baldwin VI. (* probably 1030; † July 17, 1070), who succeeded his father as Count of Flanders in 1067
  • Mathilde , (* probably 1032; † November 3, 1083), who married Duke Wilhelm II of Normandy in 1053 . He conquered England in 1066, became King of England as William I and went down in history as William the Conqueror .
  • Robert the Friesian (* probably 1035; † October 13, 1093), who was Count of Holland from 1062 to 1071 and Count of Flanders in 1071

After Robert took office, King Philip I withdrew the rule of Corbie and returned it to the Domaine royal .


Adela's influence is attributed to her, the French king's brother Henry I , shortly before his death Baldwin legal custody of his seven year old son I. Philip gave, and the Count of Flanders thus shortly before his death 1060-1067 regent of France was .

Even Adela has a large share of the church policy of Baldwin V., probably numerous church foundations are due by Count on it, so the construction of the pins of Aire-sur-la-Lys (1049), Lille (1050) and Harelbeke (1064) as well as the abbeys of Messines near Ypres (1057) and Ename (1063).

As a widow Adela traveled to Rome in 1067, where she “ received the widow's veil from the hands of Pope Alexander II ; she spent the rest of her life in the Messine Monastery, where she died and was buried in 1079 ”. It is not known when she was canonized; her feast day is September 8th.


  • Père Anselme : Histoire de la maison royale de France ..., Volume I (1674), p. 72
  • Père Anselme: Histoire généalogique ..., Volume I (1726), p. 72
  • Erich Brandenburg : The Descendants of Charlemagne (1935), plate 41, p. 82
  • Detlev Schwennicke : European Family Tables , Volume II (1984), Table 11 (for Adela) and Table 5 (for her husband and children)
  • Winfried Glocker: The relatives of the Ottonians and their significance in politics (1989) VII, 63 p. 328
  • Adriaan Verhulst: Adela of Flanders . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 1, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8 , Sp. 141.
  • Patrick Van Kerrebrouck: Nouvelle histoire de l'auguste maison de France, Volume II (Les Capétiens, 2000) pp. 58/59


  1. Schwennicke, assuming that he was fit to marry in 1027
  2. Glocker assuming a non-existent marriageability in 1027
  3. ^ Necrology of the Abbey of Saint-Denis : "VI Id Jan" died "Adelaidis comitissa"
  4. According to the Annales Formolenses , while the necrology of the Messines Abbey records her death as early as 1071 (Kerrebrouck, footnote 77)
  5. Kerrebrouck, footnote 74
  6. Père Anselme
  7. Genealogiæ Scriptoris Fusniacensis: "Alam comitissam Flandrensem" as the daughter of King Robert (MGH Scriptores (in folio) 13, p. 252)
  8. Alberich von Trois-Fontaines : "soror… regis Henrici Adela" as the wife of "Balduino Insulano" ( Chronica Albrici Monachi Trium Fontium 1060, MGH Scriptores (in folio) 23, p. 792)
  9. Schwennicke wrongly gives an older sister of the same name (* around 1003, † after 1063), who was married around 1015 to Renaud, Count of Nevers († 1040); this sister was called Avoie (Hadwig) or Alais, married in 1006 and also died in 1079 (Kerrebrouck).
  10. January 1026 [probably old style] in Père Anselme , Volume I, p. 72
  11. ^ So Verhulst, Brandenburg and Schwennicke
  12. Glocker, p. 328: "The von Pfister, Etudes p. 78f. [Christian Pfister, Études sur le règne de Robert le Pieux (1885)], and by Brandenburg X, 245, assumed 1st marriage of Adelheid, daughter of King Roberts II of France and Duke Richard III of Normandy was really just an engagement which, due to the death of Richard III, could no longer lead to a marriage; see Cleve-Hlawitschka, Judith p. 19 ff. [Hartwig Cleve, Eduard Hlawitschka, On the origin of the Duchess Judith of Bavaria (1982)], and Richard's equipment certificate for his bride (printed in [Marie Fauroux (ed.),] Recueil des Actes des ducs de Normandie de 911 à 1066 [1961] , No. 58). The approximate year of birth given above [1014] is determined by the consideration that Adelheid should not have reached marriageable age at the time of her engagement to the first bridegroom. "
  13. ^ David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy (1994), p. 37
  14. See main article
  15. In Père Anselme: 1027 (1674) or 1028 (1726)
  16. Verhulst and Schwennicke; Kerrebrouck: Amiens
  17. Le Pieux or le Débonnaire , see article "Baudouin V (comte de Flandre)" by Joseph-Jean De Smet in: Biographie Nationale de Belgique , Volume 1 Biographie nationale de Belgique / Tome 1 / BAUDOUIN V (comte de Flandre)
  18. Balduinus insulanus = Baudouin de l'Isle = Baldwin of Lille, see Ernst Steindorff:  Baldwin V . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1875, pp. 7-9.
  19. This marriage is attested in Wilhelm von Jumièges , VI caput 6, as well as in the Genealogia comitum Flandriae Bertiniana and the associated Continuatio Leidenseis et Divionensis , (MGH Scriptores (in folio) 9, p. 306 and 307)
  20. Kerrebrouck, footnote 76
  21. Père Anselme
  22. ^ M. Benedictine Monks, The Book of the Saints (1928), p. 4