Baldwin III, Count of Flanders

Baldwin III (c. 940–962), called the Young, was Count of Flanders, who briefly ruled the County of Flanders together with his father, Arnulf I, from 958 until his early death.
Baldwin III was born c. 940. He was the son of Count Arnulf I of Flanders and his second wife, Adele of Vermandois (c. 915 – 969). Shortly before 961, Baldwin married Matilda (died 1008), daughter of Duke Hermann Billung of Saxony. They had a son, Arnulf (c. 960 – 987).
Arnulf I made Baldwin III co-ruler of Flanders in 958. During his short rule, Baldwin was responsible for establishing the wool manufacturing industry at Ghent and markets at other towns in Flanders. Baldwin III died of smallpox on 1 January 962, after a campaign against the Normans. After Baldwin's death, Arnulf I arranged for King Lothair of France to become the guardian of Baldwin's son,Arnulf II, also known as Arnulf the Younger who succeeded Arnulf 1.
The statue of Baldwin III can be seen at the Town hall of Dunkerque
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Photo: © Raimond Spekking

Coat of Arms of the Count of Flanders


Arnulf II, Count of Flanders

Arnulf II (960 or 961 – 30 March 989) was Count of Flanders from 965 until his death.
He was the son of Baldwin III of Flanders and Mathilde Billung of Saxony, daughter of Herman, Duke of Saxony.
His father Baldwin III died in 962, when Arnulf was just an infant, whilst Arnulf's grandfather, Arnulf I, was still alive. When Arnulf I died three years later (965), the regency was held by his kinsman Baldwin Balso, who died in 973. 
By the time Arnulf attained his majority in 976, Flanders had lost some of the southern territory acquired by Arnulf I. The latter had given some parts of Picardy to King Lothar of France to help assure his grandson's succession, and gave Boulogne as a fief to another relative. Then early in Arnulf's minority Lothar had taken Ponthieu and given it to Hugh Capet, and the first counts of Guînes had established themselves. Arnulf died on probably on 30 March 989 at age 28, although historians are unsure.
In 976, he married Rozala of Italy, daughter of Berengar II of Italy, and had two children:

Photo:!!Original: Claes HeynensoonVector: Tom Lemmens" target="_blank">Original: Claes HeynensoonVector: Tom Lemmens, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
1. Baldwin IV (980–1035), who succeeded his father.  
2. Mathilde, who died before 995.
Shortly after Arnulf's death his widow married King Robert II of France.

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Baldwin IV of Flanders

Baldwin IV, Count of Flanders

Baldwin IV (980 – 30 May 1035), called the Bearded, was the count of Flanders from 987 until his death.
Baldwin IV was the son of Count Arnulf II of Flanders (c. 961 — 989) and Rozala of Italy (950/60 – 1003), of the House of Ivrea. He succeeded his father as Count of Flanders in 987, but with his mother Rozala as the regent until his majority.
In contrast to his predecessors Baldwin turned his attention eastward, leaving the southern part of his territory in the hands of his vassals the counts of Guînes, Hesdin, and St. Pol. To the north of the county Baldwin was given Zeeland as a fief by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II, while on the right bank of the Scheldt river he received Valenciennes (1013) and parts of the Cambresis as well as Saint-Omer and the northern Ternois (1020). In his French territories, the supremacy of Baldwin remained unchallenged. A great deal of colonization of marshland was organized along the coastline of Flanders and the harbour and city of Brugge were enlarged.

Baldwin first married Ogive, daughter of Frederick of Luxembourg, by whom he had a son and heir, Baldwin V (1012 – 1067). He later married Eleanor, daughter of Richard II of Normandy, by whom he had a daughter, Judith (1033 – 1094). Baldwin IV died on 30 May 1035.
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Baldwin V of Flanders and Adela of France

Baldwin V, Count of Flanders

Baldwin V (c. 1012 – 1 September 1067) was count of Flanders from 1035 until his death. He secured the personal union between the counties of Flanders and Hainaut and maintained close links to the Anglo-Saxon monarchy, which was overthrown by his son-in-law, William the Conqueror, near the end of his life.
Baldwin was born into the House of Flanders, the son of Baldwin IV of Flanders and Ogive of Luxembourg. Baldwin married Adela, daughter of King Robert II of France, in 1028 in Amiens; at her instigation he rebelled against his father but in 1030 peace was sworn and the old count continued to rule until his death. The couple had three children: Baldwin VI (1030–1070), Matilda (c. 1031–1083), who was married to William the Conqueror, and the 10 generation in the family tree  and Robert I (c. 1033–1093).
During a long war (1046–1056) as an ally of Duke Godfrey the Bearded of Lorraine against Emperor Henry III, Baldwin initially lost Valenciennes to Count Herman of Mons. However, when the latter died in 1049, Baldwin had his son, Baldwin VI, marry Herman's widow Richilde, and arranged that the children of her first marriage were disinherited, thus de facto uniting the County of Hainaut with Flanders. Upon the death of Henry III this marriage was acknowledged by treaty by Agnes of Poitou, mother and regent of Henry IV.
Baldwin V played host to a grateful Emma of Normandy, the exiled queen dowager of England, at Bruges. He supplied armed security guards, entertainment, comprising a band of minstrels. Bruges was a bustling commercial centre, and Emma fittingly grateful to the citizens. She dispensed generously to the poor, making contact with the monastery of Saint Bertin at St Omer, and received her son King Harthacnut of England at Bruges in 1039.
From 1060 to 1067 Baldwin was the co-regent with Anne of Kiev for his nephew Philip I of France, indicating the importance he had acquired in international politics. As count of Flanders, Baldwin supported the king of France in most affairs, but he was also father-in-law to Duke William II of Normandy, who had married his daughter Matilda. Flanders played a pivotal role in Edward the Confessor's foreign policy when the king of England was struggling to find an heir. Historians have argued that he may have sent Harold Godwinsson to negotiate the return of Edward the Exile from Hungary, and passed through Flanders, on his way to Germany. Baldwin's half-sister had married Earl Godwin's third son, Tostig. The half-Viking Godwinsons had spent their exile in Dublin, at a time William of Normandy was fiercely defending his duchy. It is unlikely however that Baldwin intervened to prevent the duke's invasion plans of England, after the count had lost the conquered province of Ponthieu. Baldwin died 1 September 1067.
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Photo: Jan van der Asselt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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