MALE Ælfthryth (Ælfðryð, Elftrude)

Wife of Baldwin II, count of Flanders.

Æthelweard, in his prologue dedicating his chronicle to his cousin Mathilde, gives the parentage of Ælftrude, her marriage to Baldwin of Flanders, and names their four children ["[Ælfred] Misit Ælfthrythe filiam suam ad partes Germaniæ Baldwino in matrimonium, et genuit ab ea filios duos Athulfum uiz. et Earnulfum, duas, duos filias quoque Ealhswid et Earmentruth;..." Æthelweard, 2]. Ælfred's biographer Asser mentions Ælfthryth as a daughter of Ælfred, but she was evidently not yet married at the time of writing in 893 [Asser, c. 75 (p. 57)]. Folcwine gives her name, but not her parentage ["... uxor eius nomine Elftrudis, ..." Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627], but he later mentions that Edwin (d. 933, erroneously called "rex"), brother of king Æthelstan, was related to Adalolf, son of Baldwin and Ælfthryth [ibid., c. 107, p. 629]. Witger does not give her name, but states that she was the most noble descendant of kings beyond the sea, also naming her two sons ["Qui Balduinus accepta uxore de nobilissima progenie regum ultramarinorum, sumpsit ex ea duos bonae indolis filios, quorum unam vocavit Arnulfum, fratrem vero eius Adelulfum." Witger, Genealogia Arnulfi Comitis, MGH SS 9: 303]. After her husband's death, on 11 September 918, Elftrude, along with her sons Arnulf and Adalolf, donated lands in England (Levesham, Greenwich, Woolwich) to the abbey of Saint-Pierre de Gand ["... Egomet ipsa una cum filiis meis Arnulfo et Adelolfo ... pro remedio anime senioris mei Balduini et mee ipsius, filiorumque meorum, ...; S.ipsius Elstrudis comitisse que hanc traditionem fecit, firmarique petiit. S. Arnulfi et Adalulfi comitum, filiorum ipsius ..." Cart. S.-Pierre de Gand, 1: 20-1 (#14)]. Ælfthryth is called Æthelswith by William of Malmesbury ["... et Baldewino comiti Flandriæ Ethelswitha filia in conjugium data, ex qua ille genuit Ernulfum et Adulfum. Iste a patre comitatum Bononiæ suscepit; ex altero sunt hodie comites Flandriæ. Wm. Malmes. Gesta Regum, c. 123 (1: 133-4)].

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:
Unknown.

Date of death: possibly 7 June 929.
Place of death: Unknown.
Annales Blandiniensis is the only source for the year ["Obiit Elftrudis comitissa", Ann. Bland., s.a. 929, Grierson (1937), 17], and her claimed epitaph at Saint-Pierre de Gand gives the day as 7 June ["Etgeri fueram prestantis filia regis / Elstrudis proprio nomine dicta meo. / Que dum presentis vigui spiramine lucis, / Balduini thalamis usa fui domini, / Septenis Iunii cum fulsit in idibus astrum, / Me pius ad superos evocat hinc dominus." MGH Poetae Latini 5: 298; "Alfredi" is given in place of "Etgeri" in Adrien de Budt, Chronicon Flandriae, Corpus Chron. Fland., 1: 271]. Neither of these sources is contemporary [see Dhondt (1940), 133-4].

Father: Ælfred "the Great", d. 26 October 899, king of Wessex.

Mother: Ealhswith, d. 5 December 902×3, daughter of Æthelred Mucil, ealdorman of the Gaini.

Spouse: Baldwin II, d. 918, count/marquis of Flanders, 879-918.
As noted above, the marriage had apparently not yet occurred when Asser was writing in 893.

Children:
See the page of Baldwin II for details.

MALE Arnulf I "the Great", d. 27 March 964×5, count/marquis of Flanders, 918-964×5;
m. 934,
Adèle, d. 960, daughter of Heribert II, count of Vermandois.

MALE Adalolf (Æthelwulf), d. 13 November 933, count of Boulogne and Ternois, abbot of St. Bertin, 918-933.

FEMALE Ealhswid.

FEMALE Ermentrude.



Commentary

Falsely attributed father: Eadweard "the Elder", d. 924×5, king of Wessex and Mercia.
Annales Elnonenses err in stating that Baldwin's wife "Helfeth" and Ogiva, wife of Charles the Simple, were daughters of king Adelwardus of the English ["Balduinus, nepos Caroli Calvi, et Carolus, filius Ludowici, uxores duxerunt filias Adelwardi regis Anglorum, Carolus Ogivam, Balduinus sororem eius Helfeth nomine." Ann. Elnonenses, Grierson (1937), 149].

Falsely attributed father: Eadgar, d. 975, king of England
Later Flemish sources generally err by calling her a daughter of king Edgar [e.g., Genealogia comitum Flandriae Bertiniana, MGH SS 9: 305].


Bibliography

Æthelweard = A. Campbell ed., Chronicon Æthelweardi/The Chronicle of Æthelweard, (New York, 1962).

Asser = William Henry Stevenson, ed., Asser's Life of King Alfred (new impression, Oxford, 1959).

Cart. S.-Pierre de Gand = A. Van Lokeren, Chartes et documents de l'abbaye de Saint-Pierre au Mont Blandin à Gand, 2 vols. (Gand, 1868-71).

Corpus Chron. Fland. = Joseph-Jean de Smet, Corpus Chronicorum Flandriae, 4 vols. (Brussels, 1837-1865).

Dhondt (1940) = Jan Dhondt, "La donation d'Elstrude à Saint-Pierre de Gand", Bulletin de la commission royale d'histoire 18 (1940): 117-164.

Grierson (1937) = Philip Grierson, ed., Les Annales de Saint-Pierre de Gand et de Saint-Amand (Brussels, 1937). [Annales Blandinenses, Annales Elmarenses, Annales Formoselenses, Annales Elnonenses]

MGH Poet. Lat. = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Poetae latini aevi carolini.

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum = William Stubbs, ed., Willelmi Malmesbiriensis Monachi De gestis regum Anglorum. libri quinque; Historiæ Novellæ libri tres, 2 vols. (Rolls series 90, 1887-9).


Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 20 June 2010.

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