William the Good
|Count of Hainaut, Holland, and Zeeland|
|Died||7 June 1337|
|Noble family||House of Avesnes|
|Spouse(s)||Joan of Valois|
|Father||John II, Count of Hainaut|
|Mother||Philippa of Luxembourg|
William was originally not expected to become count. After the deaths of his elder brothers, John (killed at Kortrijk in 1302) and Henry (d. 1303), he became heir apparent to his father's counties.
Prior to becoming count, he was defeated by Guy of Namur at the battle on the island of Duiveland in 1304. Guy and Duke John II of Brabant then conquered most of Zeeland and Holland, but these territories were recovered again when William became the new count in the same year. William continued the war with Flanders until the Peace of Paris in 1323, during which the Count of Flanders renounced all claims on Zeeland. William, in turn, gained all of Zeeland but agreed to renounce all claims on Imperial Flanders. William had occupied most of the Bishopric of Utrecht and tried to conquer Friesland but was repelled by Hessel Martena. At the death of his uncle, Guy d'Avesnes, Bishop of Utrecht, William took his fief of Amsterdam and annexed it to Holland.
Many of his daughters married with important rulers of Europe; King Edward III of England and Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV were married to his daughters, while he was married to the sister of the King Philip VI of France. With these important alliances William gained considerable influence and respect which he used to advance the interests of his counties.
|Ancestors of William I, Count of Hainaut|