Wilhelm I (Burgundy)

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Paintings in Besançon Cathedral
The kingdom of Hochburgund in the 10th century with the county of Burgundy

William I the Great ( French Guillaume I. le Grand or Guillaume I. Tête Hardie ; * 1020 ; † November 12, 1087 in Besançon ) was Count of Burgundy and Mâcon . He was the son of Count Rainald I from the House of Burgundy-Ivrea and Adelheid of Normandy from the House of the Rollonids .


In 1057 he succeeded his father as Count of Burgundy. In 1078 he also took over the county of Mâcon when his cousin , Count Guido II , entered Cluny Abbey . At least now he was the most powerful man in the region, who a few years later also managed to occupy the most important diocese of the county of Burgundy with one of his seven sons: Hugo became Archbishop of Besançon in 1086 . A year after his death, another son, Guido , became Archbishop of Vienne ; In 1119 Guido finally became Pope as Calixt II . Wilhelm received Henry IV in 1076 on his train to Canossa in Besançon and enabled him to cross the Jura into the territory of the Counts of Savoy , but does not seem to have participated in the conflict between Pope and King.

William I was buried in the Saint-Étienne Cathedral in Besançon . When the cathedral was replaced by the Sainte-Jean cathedral in the 18th century , the graves of the Counts of Burgundy, including the Wilhelms, were transferred.

His sons Rainald II and Stephan I became his successors.


Wilhelm married Stephanie († 19 October after 1088) between 1049 and 1057, i.e. during his father's lifetime, who was at times regarded as the daughter of Count Adalbert von Longwy , 1047 Duke of Upper Lorraine ( House of Châtenois ) and Clémence de Foix .

This information on Stephanie's origin comes from Szabolcs de Vajay from around 1960; he made the testimony on the basis of two documents with which he assigned Adalbert the County of Longwy and a marriage to Clémence, a daughter of the Count of Foix ; Two daughters should come from this marriage, Stephanie, the wife of Wilhelm, and Ermesinde, wife of Wilhelm VII , Duke of Aquitaine . Vajay later corrected himself to the effect that he had misinterpreted the documents mentioned.

As a result, it is still unclear who the father of the two women is. Stephanie is now assigned to House Barcelona , Ermesinde and Longwy to House Luxembourg . Clemence, on the basis of which the appearance of this name among the descendants of Stephanie and Ermesinde should be explained, is no longer regarded as the wife of Adalbert. In fact, it is not known whether Adalbert was married, and consequently also not the name of his wife or the existence of descendants.




  1. ^ Foundation for Medieval Genealogy: Guillaume Ier, comte de Bourgogne