Hainaut county

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Hainaut county
coat of arms
Blason for Hainaut ancien.svg Hainaut Modern Arms.svg
1250 Flanders Brabant Hainaut Loon Liège Limburg Jülich Cologne Berg Namur Chiny Luxembourg Trier.png
Hainaut county around 1250

Form of rule county
Ruler / government Count
Today's region / s BE-WHT
parts from BE-WBR
parts from FR-59

Reichskreis Burgundian
Capitals / residences Valenciennes , Mons
Dynasties Flanders
1253: Avesnes
1356: Wittelsbacher, Straubing-Holland line
1433: Burgundy
1477: Habsburg
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic
Language / n French

Incorporated into 1548: Seventeen provinces

The county of Hainaut (Latin Hannonia ; Dutch Henegouw for the Gau, Henegouwen for the later county; French le Hainaut , named after the Haine river ), named after the area on the Henne River , is a historical territory in what is now Belgium and France .

Antiquity and early Middle Ages

The Hainaut was a Franconian county . In Roman times the area belonged to the Silva carbonaria ( coal forest ) and was the home of the Nervier .

From the high Middle Ages to the modern age

The county of Hainaut was created from the union of three imperial fiefs:

In 1051 Count Hermann von Bergen, son-in-law of Count Reginar V, died. His widow Richilde brought the three counties to her second husband, Count Balduin VI. of Flanders († 1070), who was called Baldwin I in Hainaut. After her defeat in the Battle of Cassel (1071), Richilde tried to monetize her counties and allodes with the German King Henry IV . Bishop Dietwin von Liège bought the feudal sovereignty over the Allode and the Imperial Fiefs. He gave the fiefdom of the new county of Hainaut to the Duke of Lower Lorrainewho then gave the county to Countess Richilde as a fief. In this way ( called refeodalization ) the imperial immediacy was lost.

Baldwin V of Hainaut, through his marriage to Margaret of Alsace and Flanders in 1191, united the county of Hainaut with Flanders (and Namur ) for the second time . Baldwin VI. (IX of Flanders), an offspring of this marriage, became the first Latin emperor of Constantinople in 1204 ; his hereditary lands fell first to his eldest daughter, Johanna von Flandern , then in 1244 to her sister Margarete von Flandern , who first worked with Burchard von Avesnes and then with Wilhelm von Dampierrewas married. In 1246 the children of the first marriage were assigned to Hainaut, the second marriage to Flanders. There was now protracted fighting between the sons from both marriages, in which Margarete sided with the Dampierres . Subject of discord was primarily Reich Flanders ( Flemish war of succession ).

The county of Hainaut (Hainaut). The red lines are today's national and provincial borders.

But in 1279, after Margarete's death, her grandson Johann II followed in Hainaut; this also acquired the county of Holland in 1299 . With Wilhelm II in 1345 the male line of the Avesnes in Hainaut died out. Count Wilhelm I, the Good (1304–37) daughter Margarethe , wife of Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria , brought Hainaut, including Holland and Zeeland, to the House of Wittelsbach in 1345 . Her great-granddaughter, Jakoba von Bayern , ceded her inheritance to Philip the Good of Burgundy in 1433 , and so Hainaut with the Burgundian inheritance came to the in 1477House of Habsburg , in which it remained with the Spanish line from 1556 to 1713 , then (until the French Revolution ) with the Austrian line .

Valenciennes was the first city in the Spanish Netherlands to be occupied by Spanish troops during the civil war against Spanish rule, mainly because the Calvinists were very strong there due to the proximity to France . Friedrich Schiller notes that it was a saying in Hainaut at the time that the province was only under God and under the sun.

After the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659) and the Peace of Nijmegen (1678), the southern part of Hainaut with its capital Valenciennes , which is now part of the French Northern Department , came to France . From the rest of Hainaut, the former Flemish landscape of Tournaisis , the Namur district of Charleroi and some parts of Brabant and Liège , which previously made up the French department of Jemappes , became the Dutch and then Belgian province of Hainaut between 1815 and 1830 .

Counts of Hainaut

Surname Domination relationship Remarks
Reginar I. ? -898 not secured as a count
Sigehard ? - after 908
Reginar II. around 916-931 Son of Reginar I.
Reginar III. Long neck 931-957 Son of the predecessor
Archbishop Brun of Cologne , who was also Duke of Lotharingien, expelled the Reginare family from Hainaut in 957 and divided this county into the margraviate Valenciennes and the county of Mons.
Margraviate of Valenciennes County of mons
Surname Domination Domination Surname
Amalrich 957-973 957-964 Gottfried von Jülich
Werner 973 964-973 Richar
Arnulf 973-1012 973 Rainald
Baldwin IV of Flanders 1013-1035 973-998 Gottfried of Verdun
Baldwin V of Flanders 1035-1045 998-1013 Reginar IV.
Reginar of Hasnon 1047 – around 1048 1013-1039 Reginar V.
Hermann at 1048-1051 1039-1051 Richildis
Count Hermann de facto reunited Hainaut under one rule. Under his widow it was officially refeeded in 1071 as a fief of the diocese of Liège.
Surname Domination relationship Remarks
House of Flanders
Richildis 1051-1076 Widow of Hermann, daughter of Reginar von Hasnon
Baldwin I. the good 1051-1070 Husband of Richildis / Richilde also Count of Flanders (Baldwin VI.)
Arnulf I. the unfortunate 1070-1071 1st son of Richilde also Count of Flanders (Arnulf III.)
Baldwin II 1071-1098 2nd son of Richilde
Balduin III. 1098-1120 Son of the predecessor
Baldwin IV. 1120-1171 Son of the predecessor
Balduin V. 1171-1194 Son of the predecessor also Count of Flanders (Baldwin VIII.)
Baldwin VI. 1194-1205 Son of the predecessor also Count of Flanders (Balduin IX)
also Emperor of Constantinople (Balduin I.)
Johanna I. 1205-1244 Daughter of the predecessor also Countess of Flanders
Ferdinand of Portugal 1212-1233 1. Husband of Johanna I. Co-regent
Thomas of Savoy 1239-1244 2. husband of Johanna I. Co-regent
Margaret I the black 1244-1253 Sister of Johanna I. also Countess of Flanders (Margaret II.)
House Avesnes
Johann I. 1253-1257 Son of the predecessor
House of Flanders
Margaret I the black 1257-1280 Sister of Johanna I. also Countess of Flanders (Margaret II.)
House Avesnes
Johann II. 1280-1304 Son of Johann I. also Count of Holland
Wilhelm I the Good 1304-1337 Son of the predecessor also Count of Holland (Wilhelm III.)
Wilhelm II. 1337-1345 Son of the predecessor also Count of Holland (Wilhelm IV.)
Margaret II 1345-1356 Sister of the predecessor also Countess of Holland (Margaret I.)
William III. 1356-1389 Son of the predecessor also Count of Holland (Wilhelm V)
also Duke of Bavaria (Wilhelm I.)
Albrecht 1389-1404 Brother of the predecessor also Count of Holland
also Duke of Bavaria
William IV 1404-1417 Son of the predecessor also Count of Holland (Wilhelm VI.)
also Duke of Bavaria (Wilhelm II.)
Johann III. 1417-1425 Brother of the predecessor also Count of Holland
also Duke of Bavaria
Jacobea 1425-1433 Daughter of Wilhelm IV. also Countess of Holland
also Duchess of Bavaria
House of Burgundy
Philip the good 1433-1467 also Duke of Burgundy (Philip III)
Charles the Bold 1467-1477 Son of the predecessor also Duke of Burgundy
Maria 1477-1482 Daughter of the predecessor also Duchess of Burgundy
With the marriage of the Duchess Maria to the later Emperor Maximilian I , Hainaut fell to the Habsburgs .


Web links

Commons : Hainaut County  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Friedrich Schiller : History of the waste of the United Netherlands by the Spanish government in the Gutenberg-DE MCMVI Leipzig project in Inselverlag (Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst edition), p. 233, footnote 2. Schiller cites Strada 174 as his source .