Margaret III. (Flanders)

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Margarete von Dampierre (also Margarete von Flandern , Margarete von Male ; baptized April 13, 1350 in Male ; † March 16, 1405 in Arras ) was by inheritance Countess of Flanders , Artois , Nevers , Rethel and the Free County of Burgundy . She was twice Duchess of Burgundy by marriage . The connection between her and Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy became one of the central pillars of the rise of the Burgundians in the 15th century.


Descent and marriage to Philipp von Rouvres

Margaret III. of Flanders

Margaret was the only daughter of Count Ludwig II of Flanders and Margaret of Brabant .

On May 14, 1357, Margarete was married to Arras per procura at the age of seven to the then eleven-year-old Philipp von Rouvres , who had been Count Palatine of Burgundy since 1347 and Duke of Burgundy since 1350 . On July 1, 1361, she personally gave Philip the word of consent, but he died of the plague on November 21, 1361 , and Margarete was widowed for the first time at the age of eleven. Of Philip's inheritance, the Duchy of Burgundy fell to King John II of France , while the Free County of Burgundy and Artois fell to Margaret of France , who was Philip's great-aunt of Rouvres and the mother of Louis II of Flanders and thus the grandmother of Margaret.

Marriage negotiations with England and France

Due to her status as heiress of large territories - Flanders, Rethel and half of Nevers on the part of her father, the Free County of Burgundy, the other half of Nevers and the Artois on the part of her paternal grandmother - Margarete was now a sought-after marriage candidate. So the English King Edward III tried . intense to get Margaret as a wife for his son Edmund von Langley . Ludwig II of Flanders accepted offers of negotiation in this regard - contrary to the traditional French-friendly policy of the Flemish Counts' House - primarily for economic reasons. His country was under French suzerainty, but needed English sheep's wool for its textile industry. Had Edward III. an export ban on this important raw material would have caused serious damage to the Flemish economy. The negotiations, which began in February 1362, resulted in a marriage contract concluded on October 19, 1364 with the support of the Flemish cities, which was signed for the English side by the Duke of Lancaster and the Counts of Arundel , Hereford , Oxford and Suffolk and for the Flemish side by Henry of Flanders , Louis of Namur , Roland de Poucke and Gérard de Rasseghem.

The fact that the proposed marriage would give the House of Plantagenet considerable territories on France's northern and eastern borders was unacceptable to the French King Charles V. To prevent the Anglo-Flemish marriage project, he turned to Pope Urban V , who resided in Avignon , who, in the spirit of Charles V, found that Margarete and Edmund were too closely related to get married. The pontiff raised one already from his predecessor Innocent VI. issued dispensation , which is necessary under canonical law, and expressly forbade marriage, to which decision the Flemish count and the English king had to submit.

Now the French king, who was seeking a revision of the Treaty of Brétigny , tried to secure the hand of Margaret for his already very powerful brother and new Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Bold , against which her father, perhaps under British pressure, long resisted. Apparently Margarete of France made a significant contribution to the fact that her son Ludwig finally gave his approval to the French courtship for his daughter. According to a dramatic, unreliable report from old chronicles, Margaret of France was extremely angry about her son's long-standing negative attitude to this marriage project, bared her right breast in front of him and threatened to cut it off to his shame and throw it to the dogs to eat and disinheriting him, whereupon the terrified Count fell on his knees in front of his mother and assured her that he would no longer stand in the way of her wishes and that his daughter's planned marriage would be allowed.

Rather, the major concessions made by King Charles V after four years of tough negotiations were decisive. April 1369 had to understand the return of previous annexations in Flanders that had been painstakingly acquired for the French crown. According to this, Count Ludwig II should get back the castle bailiffs of Lille , Douai and Orchies and in addition, in the event of Margaret and Philip the Bold marrying, receive 200,000 livres tournois. In the process, however, Charles V agreed a buyback right of the cities for the French crown if Philip did not leave any male heirs. Later, however, Philip and Margarete's father promised in writing that they would leave the cities mentioned in Flanders in any case. This was a decision in Philip's self-interest, but against the intentions of his brother, in order to fully secure the ownership of Flanders for his house.

The wedding of Margaret and Philip the Bold took place on June 19, 1369 in St. Bavo's Church in Ghent , accompanied by pompous celebrations . In order to finance the big event, at which Philip gave rich presents to Flemish nobles and delegates from large cities, the bridegroom even had to pledge expensive jewelry.

Burgundian Duchess as the wife of Philip the Bold and Death

In 1371 Margarete gave birth to a son, the future Duke of Burgundy, Johann Ohnefurcht . In total, she gave birth to eleven children by 1389. Her grandmother Margaret of France died in 1382, and her father, Count Ludwig II, died in 1384, and the long-awaited inheritances were realized. In 1385 Margaret played a major role in the peace treaty between France and the rebellious Genters. When King Charles VI. Increasingly suffering from mental illness, Margarete supported her husband's ambitious plan to seize the government of France as much as possible. She hated the Duchess of Orléans and took Pierre de Craon courteously in her house after his attempted murder of Olivier V. de Clisson , Connétable of France.

When Philip the Bold succumbed to an infectious flu on April 27, 1404 at the age of 62 , he was so deeply in debt that his widow Margarete resigned from the marital property community in order not to be obliged to pay his debts. As an official sign of this step, she had to undergo a humiliating old custom, according to which she placed her belt, purse and key ring on the deceased's coffin. So she renounced her share of the furniture, which was sold to settle Philip's debts.

Margarete ruled the counties of Flanders, Artois and Burgundy from Arras, her eldest son Johann Ohnefurcht the duchy of Burgundy and the county of Nevers. In 1404 Margarete and her son Anton were appointed by her aunt, Duchess Johanna von Brabant und Limburg , as heiress of Brabant and Limburg , but died in March 1405 of a stroke before Johanna at the age of 55 . According to her last will, she was buried at Lille at her parents' side.

Since Margarete was the only one in her close circle of relatives who had given birth to offspring, she had given the House of Burgundy with Flanders, Artois, Brabant, Limburg, Nevers, Rethel and the Free County much larger areas than the Duchy of Burgundy made up of her husband's own. So it was she who established the power of the Dukes of Burgundy in the 15th century, even if parts of it were given to younger sons as appanage .


Margaret and Philip II had nine children, seven of whom reached adulthood:

  1. Johann Ohnefurcht (May 28, 1371; † September 10, 1419), Duke of Burgundy ∞ Margaret of Bavaria (1363–1423)
  2. Karl (March 1372 - July 13, 1373)
  3. Margarete (October 1374 - March 8, 1441) ∞ Wilhelm II (1365–1417), Count of Holland
  4. Ludwig (May 1377 - January 10, 1378)
  5. Katharina (1378 - January 26, 1425) ∞ Leopold IV (1371–1411), Duke of Austria
  6. Bonne (* 1379 - † September 10, 1399), engaged to Jean I. de Bourbon , but died before the marriage
  7. Maria (* August 1380; † October 3, 1422) ∞ Amadeus VIII. (1383-1451), Count of Savoy and later antipope Felix V.
  8. Anton (* August 1384; † 25 October 1415), Duke of Brabant and Limburg ∞ I: Johanna von Luxemburg (* 1380/85; † 1407); ∞ II: Elisabeth von Görlitz (1390–1451)
  9. Philip (December 1389 - October 25, 1415), Count of Nevers ∞ I: Isabel de Coucy (-1411); ∞ II: Bonne d'Artois (1396–1425)


  • Marc Boone: Le mariage de Marguerite de Male et de Philippe le Hardi de Bourgogne: une entrée royale dans la Flandre comtale , in: Michel Pauly: The heiress, the foreign prince and the country. The marriage of John the Blind and Elizabeth of Bohemia in a comparative European perspective . Walferdange / Luxembourg: CLUDEM Publications, 2013, pp. 209–223.
  • J. Richard: Margarete 15) , in: Lexikon des Mittelalters , Vol. 6 (1993), Col. 239.
  • Marguerite de Flandre , in: Nouvelle Biographie Générale , Vol. 33 (1860), Col. 596f.
  • Alphonse Wauters : Marguerite de Flandre , in: Biographie nationale de Belgique , Vol. 13 (1894–1895), Sp. 632–636.

Web links

Commons : Margaret III.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. Date of death March 16, 1405 z. B. according to Nouvelle Biographie Générale , vol. 33, col. 596; however J. Richard ( Lexikon des Mittelalters , Vol. 6, Col. 239) and Alphonse Wauters ( Biographie nationale de Belgique , Vol. 13, Col. 634) give March 11, 1405 as the date of death.
  2. Alphonse Wauters, Biographie nationale de Belgique , Vol. 13, Col. 632.
  3. ^ Joseph Calmette , The Great Dukes of Burgundy , Paris 1949, German Munich 1996, ISBN 3-424-01312-9 , pp. 44–47; Joachim Ehlers , History of France in the Middle Ages , Darmstadt 2009, ISBN 978-3-89678-668-5 , pp. 263 and 278f.
  4. Marguerite de Flandre , in: Nouvelle Biographie Générale , Vol. 33, Col. 597.
  5. ^ Jean Markale, Isabeau de Bavière , Paris 1982, German Munich 1994, ISBN 3-424-01207-6 , p. 127f .; Joseph Calmette, The Great Dukes of Burgundy , p. 75; Joachim Ehlers, History of France in the Middle Ages , p. 295.
predecessor Office successor
Ludwig II. Countess of Flanders,
Countess of Artois,
Countess Palatine of Burgundy
Johann without fear
Ludwig II. Countess of Nevers
Johann without fear
Ludwig II. Countess of Rethel