Rudolf, Count of Hesbaye
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Rudolf, Count of Hesbaye

Count Rudolf (living 944), was a count in Lower Lotharingia, who apparently held possessions in Hesbaye and the nearby Maas river. He was a son of Reginar II, Count of Hainaut, and thus a member of the so-called Regnarid dynasty.

There are no records which designate him clearly as count of any specific whole geographical county. Counties called Avernas and Huste were counties belonging to a count or counts named Rudolf in this period, and it has been proposed that this may have been the brother of Reginar.

Records

Rudolf is only clearly mentioned in two records as brother of Reginar III:

  • Their uncle Gilbert, Duke of Lorraine, who was senior member of their family was killed in 939 at the Battle of Andernach, and King Otto the Great took firm control of Lotharingia. Flodoard reported that in 944, Rudolf and his brother were allied with King Louis IV of France, and Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks. Otto requested that Herman I, Duke of Swabia, lay siege to the castle of "Reginar and his brother Rudolf" and quell the rebellion.[1]
  • Later the brothers were clearly still powerful. Bishop Ratherius wrote his Phrenesis to defend the position he lost as Bishop of Liège, and one of his claims was that his replacement Balderic I (bishop 956-9), had benefited from nepotism, being the nephew of Counts "Regeneri atque Ruoduolti", and the son of the brother of Bishop Balderic of Utrecht.[2]

It is generally accepted that it is the same two brothers who appear next to each other ("Rudolfus comes, Reginherus comes") in a charter by King Otto in 949, confirming the Abbey of Susteren on the Maas to be a possession of Prüm abbey.[3]

Other charters previous to this appear to show (if they are the same person) that he held territory on the left bank of the Maas, and also the County of Avernas (though none of these charters give genealogical information).

  • Approximately 946, a charter mentions "villa lens in comitatu avernae temporibus rodulphi comitis" (Villa Lens in the County of Avernas under the rule of Count Rodulphe).[4] Lens is the name of two neighbouring villages near the town of Avernas-le-Baudoin.
  • In a charter of 7 Oct 950, Kessel on the left bank of the Maas between Roermond and Venlo is described as being "in pago Masalant in comitatu Ruodolfi" (in the country of Maasland, in the county of Rudolf).[5]
  • 4 Jul 952. Alden-Eyck near Maaseik is described as being "in pago Huste in comitatu Ruodulphi" (in the country of Huste, in the county of Rudolf).[6] Huste or Hufte is generally considered to be a word derived from Hocht, in Lanaken, also on the Maas but approximately 30km southwards. Van de Weerd has proposed it was Hoeselt. Wherever it was, it must have been seat of a count.
  • One other similar record is relevant though it mentions no Rudolf. The only other mention of both Huste and Avernas, from the same approximate period, is geographically distant from Hocht or Hoeselt, but close to Borgloon, the future seat of the county of Loon. A charter dated between 927 and 964, and probably around 950, mentioned the places, Muizen (nl) and Buvingen (nl) (both in Gingelom), and Heusden being in Avernas; and Heers and Engelmanshoven as being in a county called "Hufte", or Huste.[7] The two groups of places are noted by Baerten, Verhelst and others as being close, but separated by the old medieval deaconry boundaries of St Truiden and Tongeren, and in the 11th century probably also the boundaries between the counties of Duras and Loon ran in a similar way.

After 958

In 958, Reginar III was defeated by King Lothair and Archbishop Bruno and banished to Bavaria. Rudolf is not explicitly mentioned in this regard, but about that same time, a Werner appears as under-advocate (subadvocatus) of the Abbey of St Truiden, a position that would in later centuries be held by the count over the area around the Abbey, an area where a Count Rudolf had been count, and a Count Werner also appears in other areas where the Reginars had been powerful. It is thought likely that Bruno replaced Rudolf as count with Werner around 958. The main documentary evidence is that in 966, a charter states that Rudolf's property at Gelmen (between St Truiden and Borgloon) had been confiscated because of his infidelity and was now in the county of Werner in the pagus of Hesbaye.[8] For all these reasons, it was argued by Léon Vanderkindere and others that Count Werner replaced Rudolf.

Any wives or children that Rudolf might have had are not known from any clear records. It is known that in similar areas to Rudolf's and his brother's lordships Werner (or Garnier) appears as count after 953. In 973 however, the sons of Reginar III, Reginar IV and his brother Lambert, returned and killed Werner and his brother Renaud. Rudolf's nephews then established themselves in the counties of Hainaut and Louvain. It was proposed by Leon Vanderkindere that the related family of Nevelong, Count of Betuwe, who married a sister of Rudolf and had a son with her named Rudolf, played a more lasting role in the Hesbaye area, both during and after the time of Werner. One Count in particular who may be a member of that family was named Eremfried, and a Count Emmo (who replaced Rudolf in Gelmen) might be the same person.

  • A charter dated 24 Jan 966, mentions grants to the Abbey of Nivelles a Count Reginar, and a son of his called Liechard (or Liethard), who gave Gingelom, in Hesbaye. A Count Rudolf also appears in that charter, but he is not described as a relative and Lentlo, which he granted, is Lillois (fr) south of Brussels, and not (as Vanderkindere thought) the same as Lens near Avernas.[9]
  • Counts Eremfridus and Rodulfus, appear as witnesses in a grant by Bertha, the mother of a Count Arnulf, of land in Brustem (later belonging to Loon) to St Truiden. Bertha is thought by modern historians to be a daughter of Nevelung, thus a niece of Rudolf, and her son Arnulf was count of the March of Valenciennes.[10]

Perhaps there was a final mention of Rudolf in 982, according to Jongbloed. In a charter made in Capua, 26 July 982, "on the day that we fight the Saracens" Otto II certified that if a certain "Cunradus, son of the late count Rudolf" died, he wanted his possessions in Lotharingia to go to Gorze Abbey, and these included "curtis Velm in pago Haspongowe et in comitate Eremfridi comitis".[11] In the Battle of Cotrone itself (13 July 982, so it had already happened) it seems that both this Conrad, and this count Eremfried, lost their lives. Velm, now part of St Truiden, did come under Gorze Abbey, and a Count Irimfrid was recorded as dying in the battle.[12] However, this Conrad's possessions were widespread, and on the basis of those Vanderkindere (1902 pp.340-1) believes his father was Rodolphe Count of Ivois.[13] Of this Count however, Vanderkindere (p.342) says that given his connection to Velm it is "not without some likelihood" that he is a member of the Regnarid family, where the name Rodolphe was familiar.

In the 11th century, Balderic II of Liège, brother of Gilbert the first recorded Count of Loon, was recorded as being a relative to Count Arnulf of Valenciennes, as well as the Regnarid Lambert I, Count of Louvain.[14] In this way at least, it is clear that the later Counts of Loon were related to Rudolf.

Notes

  1. ^ Floduard says Herman was called upon to besiege "castella Ragnarii ac Rodulfi fratrum, Ludowici regis fidelium" Flodoardi Annales 944, MGH SS III, p.390.
  2. ^ The passage is reproduced at MGH SS 4: p.262, footnote 11.
  3. ^ MGH DD Otto I p.194
  4. ^ Beyer, Urkundenbuch zur Geschichte Vol 1, p.246 nr. 184.
  5. ^ MGH DD Otto I p.210
  6. ^ MGH DD Otto I p.235
  7. ^ Baerten dates this charter to 953-958. The charter is transcribed in the Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Saint-Trond Piot edition, Volume 1, pp.6-7
  8. ^ MGH DD Otto I p.430
  9. ^ MGH DD Otto I p.432. A detailed discussion and transcription of several versions is found in Oorkonden van Noord-Brabant 690-1312 II.1 No.890 p.5.
  10. ^ The charter is known from a later confirmation in the Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Saint-Trond Piot edition, Volume 1, p.72.
  11. ^ MGH DD Otto II p.326
  12. ^ MGH SS folio XIII 205 Annales necrologici Fuldenses
  13. ^ Also see how Conrad is remembered in Gorze itself: [1].
  14. ^ That bishop Balderic II of Liège had common ancestry with Count Arnoul, who modern historian believe to mean Arnoul of Valenciennes is mentioned in his biography the Vita Balderici Ep. Leodensis link. That bishop Balderic II had common ancestry with Lambert Count of Louvain is from the Gesta episcoporum Cameracensium, lib. III, ch. 5, M.G.H., SS., t. vii, p. 467-468.

Sources

  • Bachrach, Bernard S. and Fanning, Steven (Editors), The Annals of Flodard of Reims, 919-966, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2004
  • Baerten, J (1962), "Le comté de Haspinga et l'avouerie de Hesbaye (IXe-XIIe siècles)", Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire, 40 (4): 1149-1167
  • Baerten (1965), "Les origines des comtes de Looz et la formation territoriale du comté (suite et fin)", Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire, 43 (4)
  • Baerten, Jean (1969), Het Graafschap Loon (11de - 14de eeuw) (PDF)
  • Jongbloed, Hein H.. (2009) "Listige Immo en Herswind. Een politieke wildebras in het Maasdal (938-960) en zijn in Thorn rustende dochter", Jaarboek. Limburgs Geschied- en Oudheidkundig Genootschap vol. 145 (2009) p. 9-67
  • Parisot, Robert (1898), Le Royaume de Lorraine sous les Carolingiens also on google books.
  • Van de Weerd (1947), "De herkomst van Loon (Vervolg en slot)", Limburg, 27: 48
  • Verhelst, Karel (1984), "Een nieuwe visie op de omvang en indeling van de pagus Hasbania (part 1)", Handelingen van de Koninklijke Zuidnederlandsche Maatschappij voor Taal- en Letterkunde en Geschiednis, 38
  • Verhelst, Karel (1985), "Een nieuwe visie op de omvang en indeling van de pagus Hasbania (part 2)", Handelingen van de Koninklijke Zuidnederlandsche Maatschappij voor Taal- en Letterkunde en Geschiednis, 39
  • Vanderkindere, Léon (1902), "Chapter 9", La formation territoriale des principautés belges au Moyen Age (PDF), 2, p. 128

External links


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