Baldwin V (Hainaut)

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Balduin V.

Baldwin V of Hainault (* 1150 , † 17th December 1195 in Mons ) from the house Flanders had since 1171 Count of Hainaut , plus he took over in 1188 as the heir of his uncle Henry the blind man of Namur-Luxembourg , the counties Namur (Baldwin I ) and in 1191 from the inheritance law of his wife Margaret the county of Flanders (Baldwin VIII.). He was the son of Count Baldwin IV of Hainaut and Alix of Namur.


Count of Hainaut

On Easter Eve March 30, 1168 the approximately eighteen Baldwin in was Valenciennes the knighting granted and he was henceforth as a tournament fighter a name, as at an even in spring 1168 by Count Philip of Flanders organized tournament in Gournay, where Baldwin demonstratively sided with the outnumbered French. In the following blow against the Flemish knights, he put the Count of Flanders so hard that in the end the French were awarded the victory. Balduin's family had once owned the large county of Flanders themselves, but lost it to a foreign sex in the early 12th century, which resulted in a feud with them. But in April 1169 he married Margaret, a sister of Count Philip of Flanders, through which the feud could be settled. With his brother-in-law, he concluded a defensive alliance that should be directed against any possible attacker, with the exception of the King of France and the Bishop of Liège, who were the feudal lords of Flanders and Hainaut, respectively.

Baldwin took over the reign in Hainaut as early as 1169 after his father sustained a serious injury in an accident. The following year he took sides with his maternal uncle, Count Heinrich the Blind of Namur-Luxemburg , in whose conflict with Count Gottfried III. of Leuven Brabant . When he was on his way to a tournament in Trazegnies ( Courcelles ) organized by this company , he was ambushed by the latter at the Piéton stream. Although outnumbered with his entourage, Baldwin inflicted heavy losses on the lion and drove him to flight. Baldwin then supported his uncle in subjugating rebellious vassals in Luxembourg, taking Bertrange in the process a.

Baldwin IV died in November 1171, and Baldwin V was able to take over the rule in Hainaut. During Lent in 1172 he swore the feudal oath to his liege lord, the Bishop of Liège. Hainaut belonged to the Feudal Union of the Holy Roman Empire, but took only a subordinate rank in its feudal hierarchy as a fiefdom of the Liège diocese. Geographically, it was surrounded by the larger and more powerful territorial associations of Leuven-Brabant in the north, Namur-Luxembourg in the east and Flanders-Vermandois in the south and west, which, however, belonged to the Kingdom of France. Politically, Baldwin V was closely connected with his uncle Henry the Blind of Namur-Luxembourg, a dynastic alliance that was a defining part of his life. He supported his uncle militarily again in 1172, this time against Duke Heinrich III. from Limburg , which he in his Arlon castlebesieged. After this military service, Baldwin was formally designated as his heir in all of his lands by his old, half-blind uncle, who had no children himself, making Baldwin one of the most powerful princes in the old Lower Lorraine region.

The uncle's inheritance was not the only promising prospect for the future that opened up for Baldwin. Since his marriage to Margarete in 1169, he had also maintained a close relationship with her brother, Count Philip of Flanders, who was one of the most powerful feudal princes in Western Europe. In 1173 and 1176, his brothers Matthew and Peter died one after the other without leaving any sons. Since Count Philipp also had no children, Baldwin, as the husband of his eldest sister, could hope for the rich Flemish heritage. In August 1176 the alliance between Flanders and Hainaut was renewed and in 1177 Baldwin became in Lillefinally officially designated as his inheritance by Count Philipp. In the wake of his brother-in-law, Baldwin took part in the coronation of King Philip II of France in Reims on November 1, 1179 . The influence of his brother-in-law was also responsible for the mediation of a marriage between the king and Baldwin's eldest daughter, Isabella . Although Baldwin as the father-in-law of a king would have experienced a significant increase in rank and reputation, he was initially averse to this connection, but had the required provision of Artoispresented as a dowry of the bride a reduction of his expected inheritance. Only at the urging of the Count of Flanders did he give his consent to the wedding, which was celebrated in Bapaume on April 28, 1180 . On May 29, 1180, Baldwin was present at the coronation of his daughter in Saint-Denis . On May 14, 1181, in Provins , he sealed a marriage arrangement with the Count House of Champagne, according to which his second daughter Jolante was to be married to the young Count Heinrich II of Champagne and his eldest son Baldwin to Maria of Champagne .

In the following years, Baldwin became increasingly active as a tournament fighter and, above all, as a loyal follower of his uncle and brother-in-law in their feuds against their enemies. In 1182 he even supported the Count of Flanders with arms in his dispute with the King of France, his son-in-law, over the property of the Vermandois . Then he feuded the son of the Count of Leuven after he had occupied a castle in Hainaut. The conflict was interrupted when the Count of Leuven was taken to the cross in spring 1183, as he was under the protection of the Church as a crusader.

Fight for inheritance

In the winter of 1182 to 1183 the Count of Namur-Luxemburg became seriously ill and completely blind, whereupon Baldwin visited him immediately on the Luxemburg . There he was confirmed again as heir by his uncle and was able to receive the homage of several vassals from him. The succession plan was confirmed by Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa on May 22, 1184 at the court assembly in Mainz , where Baldwin acted as the imperial sword-bearer .

Notwithstanding this diplomatic success, the political and dynastic alliances of the Count of Hainaut began to erode in 1184. At first there was an estrangement from Count Philipp von Flanders, who had entered into a second marriage and thus questioned the succession of Baldwin. After the latter then sought proximity to King Philip II of France in the dispute over the Vermandois, the Count of Flanders allied himself with Count Gottfried III, who had returned from the Holy Land. von Löwen and Archbishop Philipp of Cologne. Because neither the Bishop of Liège nor the King of France provided arms aid, Baldwin could do little to counter the devastation of Hainaut by this coalition, except to secure his castles. In addition, one of his most important vassals, Jakob von Avesnes , had sworn to join his opponents . The fighting did not end until the spring of 1185, after the King of France had advanced into the Vermandois with army power and so forced the Count of Flanders to make peace in the Treaty of Boves . Baldwin had to accept the resumption of Jacob of Avesnes in his grace, but his Flemish heritage remained under threat.

The break with his brother-in-law was unexpectedly followed by that with his uncle. Despite his age and his handicap, Heinrich the Blind had a daughter born in 1186, Ermesinde , whom he now decided to be his heir, regardless of all previous promises to Baldwin. In addition, the uncle had already betrothed his daughter to Count Heinrich II of Champagne in March 1187, who in turn broke his previous engagement with the daughter of Baldwin. The only allied Baldwin was left with was Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa, to whom he immediately appealed. Since the emperor intended under all circumstances to prevent the succession of a French prince in one of the most important imperial territories in Lower Lorraine, he declared on May 17, 1187 inToul that the inheritance promise of the Count of Namur-Luxemburg to Baldwin was still valid. This was publicly confirmed at the Reichstag in Worms on August 15, 1187 by the emperor and also the Roman king and designated emperor Heinrich VI. declared itself on May 16, 1188 in Seligenstadtequally. Despite the imperial attitude, an armed conflict emerged when Henry the Blind, contrary to all assurances that he recognized the emperor's word of power, began to hand over his castles to officials of the Count of Champagne. Baldwin had found out about it and then mobilized his vassals. In the summer of 1188 he conquered Namur Castle and with it most of the rest of the county. Only the castles of Durbuy and La Rochewere occupied by the Count of Champagne, which put a stop to another attempt by Baldwin against Luxembourg. Further fighting was then stopped by the imperial side, but Baldwin could still be sure of their support. With a monetary payment brought by his messenger in November 1188 he was able to consider the Emperor of Erfurt for his cause and at the same time was able to outdo a counter-bid from the Count of Champagne. Then Baldwin is from the imperial knight Friedrich von Hausenwere directed to Worms, where he was on December 23, 1188 by King Heinrich VI. in a secret agreement has received the promise to be recognized in the possession of the county of Namur, which should be endowed with all regalia of a margraviate and raised to an immediate imperial fief, which for Baldwin was connected with the increase in rank to an imperial prince.

In 1189 Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, King Philip II of France, Count Philip of Flanders and Count Heinrich II of Champagne set out on the third crusade , which should result in favorable opportunities for Baldwin. He himself had vowed not to participate in the crusade, but promised to support it financially. However, in a letter dated November 1189 from Romaniato complain that the Count of Hainaut and others did not transfer their promised donations to him on time. The absence of the Count of Champagne in the Holy Land, who was not to return from there, had given Baldwin an advantage over Henry the Blind, since the uncle had lost his most important ally. In July 1190, Baldwin came to a peace treaty with him, according to which he should keep the Namurois with the exception of Durbuy and La Roche and in return renounced Luxembourg. King Henry VI. in September 1190 in Schwäbisch Hall the enfeoffment and rise of Baldwin as Margrave of Namur made official; the written privileges prepared for this will be in Augsburg on September 29thto whose negotiators, among them Gislebert von Mons , were handed over.

Count Philip of Flanders also died on the crusade in June 1191, something Baldwin found out about before the return of the French king in December 1191. Knowing of the king's desires to confiscate all of Count Philip's property for the royal domain, Baldwin immediately moved into Flanders. In September 1191 he presented himself with his wife to the Flemish great in Ghent . Since he was married to the dead count's sister, who was his actual heir, he could be sure of the sympathy of the majority of Flemish subjects and vassals, thanks to which he was able to establish himself as count over the whole of Flanders within a very short time. Baldwin is with King Philip II on March 1, 1192 in Arrashe quickly came to an agreement by renouncing the Vermandois , to which he could not assert any inheritance claims, and the Artois , which was a dowry of his daughter, and in return was recognized as the Count of Flanders. With this, Baldwin has risen to become the most powerful feudal prince in the former Lower Lorraine region within a few years , who ruled over a closed area from the North Sea coast to the edge of the Ardennesbid. His territorial strength was supplemented by his exposed position in the medieval feudal structure of Western Europe, as his double feudal relationship with the Roman-German emperor for Namur and the French king for Flanders enabled him to navigate politically between two union states to be able to, which secured him and his descendants extensive autonomy. This was to have a decisive impact on the history of Flanders and its relationship with France in particular.

Balduin's increase in power had brought his opponents together in Lower Lorraine to form a new coalition, headed by his uncle Count Heinrich the Blind of Luxembourg , Duke Heinrich III. von Limburg and Duke Heinrich I von Löwen-Brabant stood. The power-political tensions finally erupted in 1193 after the bishopric election in Liège , in which the Duke of Limburg pushed through one of his sons in a process contrary to canonical suffrage. Since the diocese of Liège was the secular liege lord of Hainaut, Baldwin naturally joined the opponents of this election, which supported Pope Coelestin III.won. The conflict was ultimately decided militarily when the coalition with an army, led by the Duke of Limburg, invaded the Namurois and was put to battle there by Baldwin at Noville-sur-Mehaigne on August 1, 1194 . Although outnumbered, Baldwin achieved a complete victory and captured the Duke of Limburg and his eldest son. The coalition of his opponents broke up on August 20, 1194 on the field between Lembeke and "Hal" ( Kaprijke municipality , East Flanders Province) concluded a peace and alliance pact with the Duke of Leuven Brabant. The Liège diocese was re-elected the following year.

Countess Margaret I died on November 15, 1194, and since Baldwin's reign in Flanders was based on her inheritance law, he had now passed it on to his eldest son Baldwin IX. have to cede. On November 23, 1194, he last chartered as Count of Flanders. Baldwin V himself died on December 17, 1195 in Mons ; in his will he also has the Hainaut Baldwin IX./VI. and left Namur to his second son Philip I , who had to swear the feudal oath to his brother.


At least six children emerged from the marriage of Baldwin V of Hainaut with Margaret I of Flanders:

  1. Isabella (* 1170; † 1190), Queen of France; ∞ King Philip II August of France (* 1165; † 1223).
  2. Baldwin (* 1171; † 1205/06), 1194 Count of Flanders (Baldwin IX.) And 1195 of Hainaut (Baldwin VI.), 1204 first emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople (Baldwin I).
  3. Philip I (* approx. 1174; † 1212), Margrave of Namur.
  4. Jolande (* approx. 1175; † 1219); ∞ Peter von Courtenay († 1217/19), third emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople.
  5. Heinrich (* approx. 1176; † 1216), second emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople.
  6. Sibylle (* approx. 1179; † 1217); ∞ Guichard IV. († 1216), Lord of Beaujeu and Montpensier .

Baldwin V had another son, Eustach of Flanders († 1216). Since this is not listed by the chronicler Gislebert von Mons among the children of Margaret I, he could be of illegitimate origin.


The primary source on the life of Count Baldwin V is the Chronicle of Hainaut (Chronicon Hanoniense) by the clergyman Gislebert of Mons , the last sections of which contain a quasi-biography of the Count. Gislebert was in the service of the count for many years, serving as diplomatic negotiator at the court of the Staufer emperors on several occasions and receiving rich benefices for this. The work is edited among others in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH) .


  • Walther Kienast:  Balduin V .. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953, ISBN 3-428-00182-6 , p. 552 ( digitized version ).
  • Ludwig König: The policy of Count Baldwin V of Hainaut. A contribution to the history of Franco-German relations towards the end of the 12th century, in: Bulletin de la Commission Royale, Vol. 74 (1905), pp. 195–428.

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  1. The date of death is reported by the chronicler Gislebert von Mons. The year of birth is deduced from the remark that Baldwin V was twenty-one years old when his father died in 1171. See Gislebert, p. 600.
  2. ^ According to Gislebert (p. 519) the battle on the Piéton took place in August 1170. The history of the Diocese of Cambrai has specified the date as July 13, 1170. See Annales Cameracenses, in: MGH SS, 16, p. 554.
  3. Cf. MGH Const. 1, No. 298, pp. 423f.
  4. Cf. MGH Const. 1, No. 326, p. 465.
  5. Cf. Gislebert, p. 563ff.
  6. See MGH SS rer. Germ. NS, 5, p. 42.
  7. Cf. Gislebert, p. 572.
  8. The Bishop of Liège, who was also cruising, died on August 5th 1191 near Freiburg im Breisgau on his way home. Baldwin V probably received the news of the death of his brother-in-law from the hands of a follower of the bishop. See Gislebert, p. 573.
  9. See Gislebert, p. 571.
  10. Cf. Gislebert, p. 580. The title of Baldwin V on his seals read since 1191: BALDUINI COMITIS FLANDRIE ET ​​HANONIENSIS ET MARCHIONIS NAMURCENSIS. See Gislebert, p. 575.
  11. Cf. Gislebert, p. 587f.
  12. Cf. Reiffenberg, F .: Monuments pour servir a l'histoire provinces de Namur, de Hainaut et de Luxembourg, Vol. 1 (1844), No. VI, p. 317ff; Wauters, A .: Table chronologique des chartes et diplomes imprimés concernant l'histoire de Belgique, Vol. 3 (1871), p. 33.
  13. Cf. Gislebert, p. 589; Balduin von Ninove, Chronicon, in: MGH SS 25, p. 537f.
  14. Cf. Foppens, JF: Auberti Miræi opera diplomatica et Historica, Vol. 3 (1734), p. 314f; Wauters, A .: Table chronologique des chartes et diplomes imprimés concernant l'histoire de Belgique, Vol. 3 (1871), p. 35.
  15. Cf. Gislebert, p. 600f; Alberich von Trois-Fontaines , Chronica, in: MGH SS 23, p. 868.
  16. Scriptores, Vol. 21, pp. 481-622
predecessor Office successor
Baldwin IV. Count of Hainaut
Balduin VI./IX.
Henry I the Blind Margrave of Namur
Philip I.
Philip Count of Flanders
(de iure uxoris)
Balduin VI./IX.