William VIII (Aquitaine)

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Gisant Wilhelm VIII in the church of Saint-Jean de Montierneuf in Poitiers

Wilhelm VIII. (Baptized as Guido , called Guido-Gottfried , * around 1025 - † 25 September 1086 ) from the Ramnulfiden family was Duke of Gascogne (1052-1086), Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou (1058-1086) .

In Gascon he followed Bernard II Tumapaler , in Aquitaine and Poitou his brother Wilhelm VII. Guido was the youngest son of Duke Wilhelm V and his third wife Agnes of Burgundy . He was the brother-in-law of Emperor Heinrich III. who married his sister Agnes de Poitou .

He became Duke of Gascony during the reign of his brother William VII in Aquitaine. Gascony had come to the Ramnulfides through William V's marriage to Prisca of Gascogne, a daughter of Duke Guillaume Sanche ; Guido became a duke, although he was not a descendant of Prisca.

William VIII was one of the leaders of the allies who came to the aid of Sancho I Ramirez , King of Aragón , in the siege of Barbastro in 1064 . This was the first campaign organized by the Pope , here Pope Alexander III. , against a Muslim city - an anticipation of the later Crusades . Barbastro was conquered, the inhabitants were killed, immense booty was taken; however, the city was lost again after a few years. The marriages that Wilhelm’s daughters made with rulers of the Iberian Peninsula indicate the priority Wilhelm gave to politics south of the Pyrenees .

Wilhelm VIII married three times and had at least five children. After divorcing his first (no children) and second (daughter) wife, he married a much younger woman who was related to him. This marriage produced a son, and William VIII had to travel to Rome in the early 1070s to get the Pope to recognize his children from this third marriage as legitimate.

  1. Marriage: around 1044, repudiated in 1058, with Anna von Périgord , daughter of Count Aldebert II.
  2. Married 1058/9, divorced in 1068, with Mathilde von La Marche , daughter of Count Audebert;
    1. Agnes (around 1059-1078), married Alfons VI. King of Castile ( House of Jiménez ). The marriage remained childless and was annulled.
  3. Marriage 1068/9 Hildegard of Burgundy, † after 1104, probably 1120, daughter of Robert I Duke of Burgundy ( Elder House of Burgundy )
    1. William VII. (IX.) The boy (Guillaume le Jeune), * probably October 22, 1071, † February 10, 1126/27, 1086 Count of Poitou and Duke of Aquitaine;
    2. Hugo (Hugues), † after 1126
    3. Agnes, † 1097 ; ∞ Peter I , King of Aragón in 1094 , † September 27, 1104 ( House of Jiménez )
    4. Beatrix, † 1110 ; ∞ I 1108 Alfons VI. , 1072 King of Castile and León , † June 30/1. July 1109 ( Jiménez House )


  • Owen, DDR Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen and Legend .
  • Nouvelle biography Générale . Paris, 1859.
predecessor Office successor
William VII Duke of Aquitaine
William IX.
William VII Count of Poitou
William IX.
Bernard of Armagnac Duke of Gascony
William IX.