Count Baldwin I, ancestor of the counts of Flanders, first appears in history in the year 862, when Judith, daughter of king Charles the Bald, and successively widow of the two Anglo-Saxon kings Æthelwulf and Æthelbald, eloped with him, with the assistance of Judith's brother Louis (later king Louis II) ["Karolus per Remi civitatem Suessionis venit. Ubi non incerto nuncio comperit, quia filia eius Iudith, relica scilicet Edelboldi regis Anglorum, quae, possessionibus venditis quas in Anglorum regno optinuerat, ad patrem rediit et in Silvanectis civitatem debito reginae honore sub tuitione paterna et regia atque episcopali custodia servabatur, donec, si se continere non posset, secundum apostolum, scilicet competenter ac legaliter, nuberet, Balduinum comitem, ipso lenocinante, et fratre suo Hludowico consentiente, mutato habitu est secuta; sed et quia Hludowicus, filius eius, a praefatis Guntfrido [et Gozfrido] sollicitatus, relictis fidelibus patris, cum paucis noctu aufugit et transfuga ad se sollicitantes pervenit." (Translation: Charles came through Rheims to the city of Soissons, where he learned news from an undoubted source [about his daughter Judith and his son Louis.] Judith, widow of Æthelbald, king of the English, having sold the possessions which she had obtained in the kingdom of England, had returned to her father, and was kept with the honor due to a queen under the guardianship of her father under royal and episcopal custody in the city of Senlis, until, if he could not contain her, she should be properly and legally married according to the apostles. [Charles learned that] Judith, changing her clothes, had followed count Baldwin by his instigation, with the consent of her brother Louis; and that his son Louis, urged by the aforesaid Guntfrid [and Gozfrid], had abandoned his loyalty to his father, and had run away in the night with a few men and had gone in refuge to those urging him.) Ann. Bert., s.a. 862, 56-7]. Charles asked his bishops to anathemize Baldwin and Judith, but he reconciled with them the next year at the pope's request, when Baldwin and Judith were married [Ann. Bert., s.a. 863, 66 (see below)]. Flodoard mentions two relevant letters of Hincmar of Reims during this time, one to bishop Hungarius of Utrecht, urging that Hungarius warn the Viking Roric, then ruling at Dorestadt in Frisia, not to receive Baldwin, and another with the same warning to Roric himself [Flodoard, Historia Remensis Ecclesiae iii, 23, 26, MGH SS 13: 529, 541]. A document based on a charter of king Charles the Bald, dated 13 April 870, but having later interpolations in its present form, mentions a "vir venerabilis Balduinus" who was abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand [Cart. S.-Pierre de Gand, 1: 19-20 (#13); Prou (1920), 61]. It has been argued that the name of the abbot was one of the interpolations [e.g., Sproemberg (1935), 27-8], but these arguments were not accepted by Ganshof or Grierson [Ganshof (1937), 375-9; Grierson (1939)], and the most natural interpretation of this record is that count Baldwin I himself was lay-abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand. In 871, Baldwin was sent by Charles along with abbot Gauzlin to negotiate with Charles's rebellious son Carloman [Ann. Bert., s.a. 871, 115]. The Annales Vedastini record his death in 879 ["Balduinus comes moritur sepeliturque in Sithiu" Ann. Vedast. 43-4]. The epithet of "Iron-arm" usually attributed to him appears in the work of Wimann (d. 1192), who attributed the nickname to his strength and audacity ["... Balduinus comes Flandrie, filius Odocri, vir audax et fortis, ita ut Ferreorum-brachiorum vocaretur, ..." Wimann, Liber de possessionibus sancti Vedasti, MGH SS 13: 711]. Additions to Annales Vedastini give him the epithets of Bonus (the Good) and Ferreus (Iron) [Ann. Vedast. 44]. Beyond the indication that he was lay-abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand, there is no contemporary evidence indicating the specific pagi over which he held authority. Because his son Baldwin II clearly held authority there, Flanders (pagus Flandrensis) would be one obvious choice, and would make him a neighbor of Roric, thus explaining the above letters of Hincmar. It seems likely that he was count of Flanders by the time of his death at least, if not much earlier, but this is not directly documented. He is also likely to have benefitted in some way by the dispossession of count Ingelram sometime between 870 and 875 (see below), but the details here are also unclear. [See, e.g., Sproemberg (1935), Ganshof (1937), Grierson (1938)]
Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.
Date of Death: 879.
[Annales Vedastini (see above); Chronicon Vedastinum (see below); Annales Blandinienses (see below)]
Place of Death: Unknown (buried at Saint-Bertin).
The contemporary Annales Vedastini state that he was buried at Saint-Bertin [Ann. Vedast., s.a. 879, 43-4]. The later Annales Blandinienses have him buried at Saint-Pierre de Gand [Ann. Bland., Grierson (1937a), 13]. A late marginal addition to chapter 88 of Folcwine's history states that Baldwin died after having spent some time as a monk at Saint-Bertin and that his body was buried at St. Bertin (Sithiu), but that his heart and intestines were removed to Saint-Pierre de Gand [MGH SS 13: 623]. If true, this would be one explanation of the disagreement between Annales Vedastini and Annales Blandinienses regarding his place of burial, but this explanation is undermined by the sixteenth century date of this marginal addition (pointed out me by Peter Stewart). More convincing is the argument of Philip Grierson. Since the burial of Baldwin's grandson count Adalolf of Boulogne has the same error, Grierson has suggested that Annales Blandinienses was using a Saint-Bertin source for these obituaries which said something like "hic sepelitur" or "in hoc monasterio sepelitur" which was then misinterpreted by compiler of Annales Blandinienses [Grierson (1937a), 17, n. 9].
While nothing further is known of him, it seems likely that the name can be accepted, although Audacer's supposed ancestors must be rejected. See the Commentary section for a discussion of Baldwin's legendary ancestry.
Spouse: m. at Auxerre, 863 (eloped 862), Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, king of the West Franks, emperor, and widow of Æthelwulf (d. 858) and of Æthelbald (d. 860),
kings of the West Saxons.
["..., et ad Autisiodorum civitatem usque pervenit, ibique filiam suam Iudith, sicut dominus apostolicus eum petierat, consilio fidelium suorum Balduino, quem secuta fuerat, legaliter coniugio sociari permisit." (Translation: ... and he [Charles] arrived in the city of Auxerre; there, just as the pope had requested, by the advice of his loyal men, he allowed his daughter Judith to be legally joined in matrimony with Baldwin, with whom she had run off.) Ann. Bert., s.a. 863, 66] For a detailed account of Judith, see Sproemberg (1936).
The contemporary Annals of Saint-Vaast state that Baldwin and Raoul were brothers ["Balduinus vero comes et Hrodulfus frater eius, ..." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 895, 76]. Regino, writing in the first decade of the tenth century, states that Raoul was a son of Baldwin [I], and that Raoul's brother Baldwin [II] held Flanders [Regino, s.a. 818, MGH SS 1: 567 (see below)]. Writing between 951 and 959, Witger also states that Baldwin II was a son of Baldwin I by Judith ["Quam Iudith prudentissimam ac spetiosam sociavit sibi Balduinus comes fortissimus in matrimonii coniugium. Ex qua genuit filium, imponens ei nomen sibi equivocum, videlicet Balduinum." Witger, Genealogia Arnulfi comitis, MGH SS 9: 303].
Baldwin II, d. 918, count/marquis of Flanders, 879-918;
m. Ælfthryth, daughter of Ælfred "the Great", king of Wessex.
d. 28 June 896, count of Vermandois, 895-896. [often called count
of Cambrai, probably falsely]
In 895, Raoul took the castle of Saint-Quentin, expelling the unnamed son of Theodoricus ["Nam Sancti Quintini castrum, per noctem tradendo eum abintus, tulerat Rodulfus filio Theoderici." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 895, 77]. This made him master of Vermandois (of which Saint-Quentin was the principle stronghold), and, as was pointed out by Grierson, it is not until after this event that Raoul is given the title of count by the Annales Vedastini [Grierson (1937a), 15, n. 2]. Expelled in the next year by king Eudes ["Post haec Odo rex castrum Sancti Quintini et Perronam obsedit hominesque Rodulfi inde eiecit." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 896, 78], Raoul continued to ravage possessions of the abbacy of Saint-Quentin until he was killed in battle with count Heribert I on 28 June 896 ["Rodulfus vero in ira commotus propter castella perdita, dum depraedari non cessit abbatiam sancti Quintini, ab Heriberto in bello occiditur." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 896, 78; "Rodulfus comes interficitur 4. kal. Iulii." Ann. Bland., s.a. 896, 15: 24; "... qui Heribertus Rodulfum comitem, filium Balduini interfecit nostris temporibus, et non multum post occisus est a Balduino, satellite Balduini, fratris Rodulfi, qui Balduinus hucusque in Flandris ducatum tenet." Regino, s.a. 818 (in a retrospective annal written ca. 906, describing the family of Bernard, son of Pepin of Italy), MGH SS 1: 567]. It was on Raoul's defeat that Heribert obtained the region of Vermandois which gave Heribert's family the name by which it is now commonly known [see Werner (1960), 88-91]. The claim that Raoul was count of Cambrai does not appear in sources until the twelfth century [see Meyer & Longnon (1882), xviii-xix; Vanderkindere (1902), 1: 287; Grierson (1937a), 15, n. 2], and is evidently based on confusion between the present Raoul (enemy of Heribert I) and his kinsman Raoul de Gouy, father of the Raoul who was the historical prototype of the Raoul de Cambrai of romance (and also an enemy of the sons of Heribert II of Vermandois, which no doubt helped to contribute to the confusion between the two) [see Meyer & Longnon (1882), xviii-xix].
The Legendary Ancestors of Baldwin of Flanders
No contemporary source gives the parentage of Baldwin I of Flanders. However, by the the late thirteenth century, an elaborate story had developed which provided Baldwin with three generations of ancestry back to a certain Lidéric, who was then said to be the first "forester" of Flanders, followed in the same position by his son Ingelram, grandson Audacer, and great-grandson Baldwin, who then became the first count of Flanders. Widely accepted in earlier times, these legends have been correctly rejected by modern scholarship. Fortunately, the surviving rescensions of the genealogies of the counts of Flanders allow us to see some of the stages by which this legendary scenario developed, and even though a careful examination of these shows us that Ingelram and probably also Lidéric were real individuals, the alleged descent of Baldwin I from them must be discarded.
Much of the early development of the legend appears in the various works edited under the collective title of Genealogiae Comitum Flandriae [MGH SS 9: 302-336, here abbreviated Gen. Com. Fland.], a collection of nine items (identified here by Roman numerals I-IX) written by various authors over a period of several hundred years, having in common that they involve the genealogy or succession of the counts of Flanders. The two earliest parts, dating from the tenth century, say nothing about the parentage of Baldwin I [I. Witger, Genealogia Arnulfi comitis (pp. 302-4, also an important source for later Carolingian genealogy); II. De Arnulfo comite (p. 304)]. However, Witger was emphasizing the Carolingian ancestry of count Arnulf I, and De Arnulfo comite was concerned only with certain close relatives of Arnulf I, so the fact that they do not mention the parentage of Baldwin I does not mean that they did not know it.
The earliest source giving Baldwin's supposed genealogy back to Lidéric is Genealogia comitum Flandriae Bertiniana [Gen. Com. Fland. III, pp. 305-8], which states that Lidricus, count of Harlebeck, was father of Ingelrannus, who was father of Audacrus, who was father of Balduinus Ferreus ["Lidricus Harlebeccensis comes genuit Ingelrannum. Ingelrannus genuit Audacrum. Audacer genuit Balduinum Ferreum, qui duxit filiam Karoli Calvi nomine Iudith." MGH SS 9: 305]. In his introduction to this work, Bethmann dates this version to the reign of count Robert II (1093-1111) [MGH SS 9: 305], but the existence of two different versions which diverge after Baldwin V suggests an earlier version composed under Baldwin V or Baldwin VI [see MGH SS 9: 306]. As discussed in more detail below, later versions of Gen. Com. Fland. added major elaborations to this account.
However, Genealogia comitum Flandriae Bertiniana is not the earliest source to mention Lidéric. That honor goes to Annales Blandinienses, which, under the year 836, in an eleventh century hand, states that "Lidricus comes obiit", followed by "et Arlabeka sepelitur" added in a twelfth century hand [Grierson (1937a), 11; Annales Blandinienses has also been edited by Ludwig Bethmann in MGH SS 5: 20-34, but the fact that "et Arlabeka sepelitur" was in a later hand is not indicated]. One of the sources used by the Annales Blandinienses as we have them today was an earlier version of the same annals from the middle of the tenth century, called the tenth century Annales Blandinienses by Grierson (1937a), which were also used as a source by Annales Elmarenses, Annales Formosolenses, and Annales Elnonenses. These annals are also edited in Grierson (1937a). Annales Elmarenses were first edited by Grierson, while Monumenta Germaniae Historica contains editions of Annales Formosolenses by Bethmann [MGH SS 5: 34-6] and of Annales Elnonenses by Pertz [MGH SS 5: 10-20, with the entries in one twelfth century hand separated and edited as Annales Elnonenses minores (pp.17-20), and the remaining annals edited as Annales Elnonenses maiores (pp. 11-17)]. The Annales Blandinienses also mention Ingelram and Audacer, but with an important difference: although the affiliation of Audacer as father of Baldwin is given, no genealogical affiliations are given for Lidéric or Ingelram. The Chronicon Vedastinum, discussed in more detail under Audacer below, is another relatively early source which gives the name of Baldwin's father without showing any knowledge of his alleged earlier ancestors. This indicates an earlier tradition in which the name of the father of Baldwin I was regarded as known, but in which there is no evidence that any earlier generations in the genealogy were known.
From this, along with the more detailed individual discussions for Lidéric, Ingelram, and Audacer which appear below, two major points emerge:
The natural conclusion is that the name of the father of Baldwin I belongs to an earlier level of the tradition, while the alleged affiliation of Lidéric and Ingelram to Audacer and Baldwin is a later invention, made when the genealogists were seeking to extend the ancestry beyond Baldwin's father, and found two usable names for that purpose in their sources. Although not supported by contemporary evidence, the name of Baldwin's father can be accepted as probable, but the genealogical links to Ingelram and Lidéric need to be rejected as later inventions, even though we can probably accept Lidéric's existence (as we certainly can for Ingelram). More detailed discussions of Lidéric, Ingelram, and Audacer follow.
d. 836, count.
(Associated with Harlebeck in sources of the eleventh century and later.)
836. "Lidricus comes obiit[,
et Arlabeka sepelitur.]" [Ann. Bland.,
Grierson (1937a), 11; words in brackets added in a hand of the
836. "Lidricus comes Flandrie obiit, et Harlebeca sepelitur. Cui successit filius eius Ingelramnus." [Ann. Elmarenses, Grierson (1937a), 81]
817. "Lidricus comes obiit, et Harlabecce sepelitur." [Ann. Formos., Grierson (1937a), 124]
Although Annales Elmarenses was compiled in the middle of the fourteenth century, it used the now lost tenth century version of Annales Blandinienses as a source (as did Annales Formosolenses, compiled in the late eleventh century), and is thus useful in determining the contents of these lost annals. Here, the entry "Lidricus comes obiit", as the surviving Annales Blandinienses read before the later addition, is probably the reading of the lost tenth century version. The chronology of Annales Formosolenses is often careless [see Grierson (1937a), li], and we may accept the date 836 as the likely date from the lost annals.
It seems likely that Lidéric was a count of some local significance to the monastery of Saint-Pierre de Gand. As discussed below, Lidéric was a significant figure of legend in the later Flemish sources. However, there is no good reason to believe that these later legends have any factual basis in the life of Lidéric himself. The fact that the genealogists started the line with Lidéric made his name a natural point of focus for the elaboration of later legends.
grandfather (or father): Ingelram,
living 875, evidently d. before 883, count, before 853-870×5,
chamberlain of king Charles the Bald, m. Friderada,
who m. (2) Bernarius, d.
883; and m. (3) Hugues, son of king Lothair
For Ingelram, the above entry under 836 in Annales Elmarenses which states (of Lidéric) that "Cui successit filius eius Ingelramnus" can be attributed as a late addition, as the Annales Elmarenses were composed at a time when the legendary genealogy of Baldwin of Flanders was already current. This leaves us with two entries from Annales Blandinienses which mention Ingelram.
856. "Herebertus tradidit sancto Petro
res suas in Berenga, sub [Inghelranno] abbate
vel comite." [Ann. Bland., Grierson (1937a),
12; name in brackets added in a fourteenth century hand over an
875. "Hludowicus, suadente Ingelranno abbate, regnum Karoli vastat." [Ann. Bland., Grierson (1937a), 13]
Since the name is added in a late hand, the 856 entry has no early authority. Except for the word "abbate", the 875 entry agrees with a similar (but more detailed) entry in Annales Bertiniani (quoted below), showing clearly that Ingelram can be identified with the man of that name who was chamberlain of king Charles the Bald.
Count Engilramnus is indicated as being count somewhere in the third missicatum in a capitulary of king Charles the Bald in November 853 ["Imino episcopus, Adelardus abba, Waltcaudus, Odelricus, missi in Noviomiso, Vermendiso, Adertiso, Curtriciso, Flandra, comitatibus Engilramni, et in comitatibus Waltcaudi." MGH Leg. 1: 426; see below for a more detailed discussion]. He appears also in a capitulary of Charles the Bald on 21 March 858 [MGH Leg. 1: 457], and when Charles made a pact with his brother Louis (Ludwig) "the German" in 864, he was named (along with Hincmar of Reims) as a guarantor on the behalf of king Charles [Ann. Fuld. 62]. In 868, he was sent with gifts to king Salomon of Brittany [Ann. Bert. 97], and he acted as a guarantor again in 870 [capitulary of a meeting of Charles and Louis, 6 March 870, MGH Leg. 1: 516]. In 875, having been deprived of his honors due to the influence of queen Richilde, he persuaded Louis to devastate the kingdom of Charles ["Hludovicus vero, persuadente Engilramno, quondam Caroli regis camerario et domestico, suasione Richildis reginae ab honoribus deiecto et a sua familiaritate abiecto, cum hoste et filio aequivico suo Hludowico usque ad Attiniacum venit. Ad quem obsistendum primores regni Karoli, iubente Richilde regina, sacramento se confirmaverunt. Quod non adtenderunt, sed ex sua parte regnum Karoli pessumdantes, hostili more devastaverunt." Ann. Bert. 127; Ann. Bland. (quoted above)]. The information on Ingelram's wife and child comes from Regino's chronicle for the year 883, which states that in that year, Hugues (son of king Lothair II) ordered a certain noble named Bernarius to be killed, and then married his widow. Regino also states that before being united to Bernarius, she had been married to the potens vir Ingelram, by whom they had a daughter who was later married to count Ricuin ["Hoc etiam tempore idem Hugo [son of Lothair II] Wicbertum comitem, qui ab ineunte aetate sibi faverat, interfecit; paucis dehinc interpositis diebus, Bernarium, nobilem virum sibique fidelissimum, dolo trucidari iussit, pulchritudine illius captus uxoris, quam absque momento sibi in matrimonium iungit. Vocabatur autem mulier Friderada, quae antequam Bernario sociaretur, copulata fuerat Engilramno potenti viro, ex quo filiam peperit, quam postmodum Richwinus comes in coniugium accepit, quam etiam propter stuprum commissum idem comes decollari iussit." Regino, s.a. 883, MGH SS 1: 594; for more on count Ricuin, see Ricuin's page]. Although the Ingelram of this record is not explicitly identified with the former chamberlain of Charles the Bald, the description of potens vir suggests this identification.
Over which regions was Ingelram count?: the Capitulary of Servais.
The Capitulary of Servais was enacted by Charles the Bald in November 853, assigning missi over twelve districts to enforce measures from an agreement between Charles and his brother Lothaire. Of the twelve missicati, the third missicatum is the one of interest with regard to Ingelram:
"III. Immo episcopus, Adalardus abba, Waltcaudus, Odelricus missi in Noviomiso, Vermendiso, Adertiso, Curtrisco, Flandra, comitatibus Engilramni et in comitatibus Waltcaudi." [MGH Leg. 1: 426].
The words "comitatibus Engilramni et in comitatibus Waltcaudi" have been interpreted in different ways. Vanderkindere (1897), 98-100, interpreted these words in such a way that Ingelram and Waltcaud would each be counts over some of the listed regions and some of the unlisted regions, assigning Waltcaud as count of Noyon, Vermandois, Artois, and Ostrevant, and Ingelram as count of Gand, Coutraisis, and Tournaisis. However, this interpretation takes significant libeties with the language, and has been rejected by later authors. The two interpretations which seem consistent with the language of the entry would be the following:
1. the words "comitatibus Engliramni" are in apposition to the names of the five preceding pagi, in which case Ingelram would be count of these five pagi, and Waltcaud would be count of the remaining pagi of the missicatum. [L. C. Bethmann, in his edition of Genealogiae comitum Flandriae, MGH SS 9: 305, n. 6; Sproemberg (1935), 19-20]
2. The words "comitatibus Engilramni et in comitatibus Waltcaudi" should be interpreted as referring to pagi distinct from the ones listed earlier. [Ganshof (1937), 369-370, without specifying which regions were those of Ingelram; Grierson (1938), 249-250, assigning the pagi of Mélantois, Caribant, Pevèle, and Ostrevant as those of Ingelram, and citing his earlier 1935 note, which I have not seen.]
If the first of these alternatives were true, it would then make it likely that Ingelram was still count of Flanders in 870 (when he was still in favor), and it would then be difficult to regard Baldwin I as being count of Flanders in 862. However, although the first alternative would be grammatically acceptable, the arguments in favor of the second alternative seem strong. If the first alternative were true, one would expect to see a more uniform account by also listing Waltcaud's pagi in apposition to his name, and it is more natural to assume that all items on the list refer to separate regions. In addition, if one looks at the probable additional regions which would be a part of "missicatum" III, the first interpretation would result in the regions assigned to Ingelram and Waltcaud being disconnected [see the map in Vanderkindere (1897), between pp. 91 & 92]. Thus, it looks likely that pagus Flandrensis was not among the regions over which Ingelram was count, and in any case, as remarked by Ganshof, there is no good reason to exclude the possibility that Baldwin I was already count of Flanders at his first appearance in 862 [Ganshof (1937), 371].
Was Ingelram lay-abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand?
Ingelram does not appear in the (possibly incomplete) list of abbots in Catalogus abbatus Blandinensium [MGH SS 15 (part 2): 644-5]. Of the two entries in Annales Blandinienses mentioned above, the 856 entry only mentions Ingelram's name in a late entry over an erasure, and can be discarded. Philip Grierson suggested that the erased name was that of Robert [Grierson (1939), 308, 311], known from the catalogue of abbots of Saint-Pierre de Gand (St. Peter's, Ghent) to be the successor as abbot to (Charlemagne's biographer) Einhard ["Ante Ainardum Scoranus et Folradus, post Ainardum Rotbertus." Catalogus abbatum Blandiniensium, MGH SS 15 (pt. 2): 645], and whom Grierson identifies with Robert the Strong, who died in 866 [Grierson (1939), 304-6]. Thus, the sole authority which would make Ingelram abbot is the entry for 875 in Annales Blandinienses, which adds the title of abbot to information which is already known from Annales Bertiniani. On the basis of this entry, it has often been accepted that Ingelram was lay-abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand [e.g., Vanderkindere (1897), 99; Prou (1920), 57-9; Sproemberg (1935), 27-8; Ganshof (1937), 373-9], while Grierson argued that he was not abbot [Grierson (1939), 308-9]. The principal difficulty in accepting the statement of the 875 entry is that Ingelram was unlikely to have been abbot in that year, for the contemporary Annales Bertiniani for that year show that he had already been deprived of his honores.
Ingelram as the alleged father (instead of grandfather) of Baldwin I.
Because of the chronological difficulties of making Ingelram the grandfather of Baldwin, it has been suggested that Audacer did not exist as a separate individual, but was just a cognomen of Baldwin [who is called "vir audax" by Wimann, MGH SS 13: 711; see above], thus placing Baldwin as the supposed son and successor of Ingelram [see, e.g., Bethmann, MGH SS 9: 305, n. 6]. However, this supposed father-son relationship does not fit well with the overlapping careers of Ingelram and Baldwin, and it overlooks the fact that sources giving Audacer/Odoacer as the name of Baldwin's father predate those which claim a genealogical link between Ingelram and Baldwin. This attempt to "fix" an unreliable source should be discarded.
In Annales Blandinienses and the closely related annals, Audacer appears mainly in entries involving Baldwin I. The only exception can be dismissed as a late addition:
840. "Egesloga dedit res suas sancto Petro supra mare in Addingahim[, sub Audacro abbate vel comite]." [Ann. Bland., Grierson (1937a), 11; words in brackets added in a fourteenth century hand over an erasure]
Three of these annals add Baldwin's parentage
to the account of Judith's elopement:
862. "Iudith secuta est Baldwinum Ferreum, filium Audacri." [Ann. Bland., Grierson (1937a), 12]
861. "Iudich, filia Karoli Calvi, secuta est Baldwinum Ferreum, filium Audacri." [Ann. Elmarenses, Grierson (1937a), 82]
862. "Balduinus [Ferreus], Odacri filius, Iudith, Caroli regis filiam, uxorem duxit, illa illam sequente." [Ann. Elnonenses ("minores"), Grierson (1937a), 146; "Ferreus" added in another hand]
The first two of these appear to go back to an entry in their common source which is the same as the entry in Annales Blandinienses: "Iudith secuta est Baldwinum Ferreum, filium Audacri." The words "Iudith secuta est Baldwinum" look like a very abbreviated version of the account of Annales Bertiniani (see above). Grierson suggests that the information about Baldwin's parentage came from lost annals of Saint-Bertin which are known to have been one of the sources of these annals [Grierson (1937a), 12, n. 5].
All four of the annals edited in Grierson
(1937a) give Baldwin's parentage in his obituary:
879. "Baldwinus filius Audacri obiit; Blandinio sepelitur." [Ann. Bland., Grierson (1937a), 13]
879. "Obiit Balduinus comes Flandrie, filius Audacri, et in ecclesia sancti Bertini sepelitur. Cui successit filius eius Baldwinus Calvus" [Ann. Elmarenses, Grierson (1937a), 83]
877. "Baldwinus filius Audacri obiit; [Carolus Calvus obiit], Blandinio sepelitur." [Ann. Formos., Grierson (1937a), 125; the words in brackets are a separate entry which has intruded into the middle of Baldwin's obituary]
879. "Balduinus, Odacri filius, obiit." [Ann. Elnonenses ("minores"), Grierson (1937a), 147]
Here the entry from Annales Formosolenses has resulted from the careless combination of annals from two different years (877 and 879), with one entry ("Carolus Calvus obiit" for 877) intruding into the middle of an entry identical to the 879 entry from Annales Blandinienses: "Baldwinus filius Audacri obiit; Blandinio sepelitur." As already mentioned above under the date of Baldwin's death, Grierson has suggested that the original entry was compiled in Saint-Bertin and had something like "hic" or "in hoc monasterio" in place of "Blandinio", the latter being an error [Grierson (1937a), 17, n. 9].
The Chronicon Vedastinum, an eleventh century compilation, also gives this parentage of Baldwin ["Balduinus, Audacri filius, moritur et Sithiu sepelitur." Chronicon Vedastinum, s.a. 879, MGH SS 13: 709], adding the parentage to the information taken from its evident source, Annales Vedastini (see above). Also, from the same source, we have an entry apparently making Baldwin the son of an eighth century man named Odacer ["... ubi Karolus rex Gramannum atque Odacrum, patrem Balduini comitis Flandrensium, misit." Chronicon Vedastinum, s.a. 788, MGH SS 13: 705; this entry is dated to the tenth century by Dhondt (1940), 304], who does in fact appear in a similar contemporary annal, but without Baldwin as his son ["..., et fuerunt ibi missi domni Caroli regis Grahamannus et Audacrus cum aliquibus Francis." Annales Laurissenses, s.a. 788, MGH SS 1: 174]. It seems clear from the chronology that this Odoacer from 788 was not Baldwin's father. However, it does appear that the compiler of this chronicle at least thought that he knew the name of Baldwin's father, but did not notice how unlikely a father this particular Odoacer was when he added Baldwin's name to the entry.
Thus, in contrast to Lidéric and Ingelram, who are not genealogically linked to Baldwin in the earliest records in which they appear, and do not become linked to him until the last half of the eleventh century, Audacer's name is given as the father of Baldwin from the first appearance of Audacer's name in the records, which appear to go back to the tenth century. Thus, it is likely that the name Audacer/Odoacer can be accepted as the name of Baldwin's father. Nothing is known of Audacer beyond his status as Baldwin's father, unless there is some truth to the hunting rights from abbot Einhard mentioned below.
The development of the legend
Although the above comments are sufficient to reject the appearance of Lidéric and Ingelram in Baldwin's genealogy, it is interesting to indicate the development of some of the later embellishments to the story. In the twelfth century, Lambert of Saint-Omer made some additions to the previous version [Lamberti genealogia comitum Flandriae, Gen. Com. Fland. V, pp. 308-313], which set the year 792 as the beginning date of Lidéric's rule, and stated that in that year, Lidéric saw that Flanders was vacant, uncultivated, and well-wooded, and occupied it ["Anno ab incarnatione Domini 792. Karolo Magno regnante in Francia, Lidricus Harlebeccensis comes, videns Flandriam vacuam et incultam ac nemorosam, occupavit eam. Hic genuit Ingelramum comitem ..." MGH SS 9: 309; and similarly in Flandria Generosa (Gen. Com. Fland. VI, pp. 313-334)].
The story that Baldwin's predecessors were "foresters" of Flanders comes from the chronicler John of Thielrode, writing in 1294 [Iohannis de Thielrode genealogis comitum Flandriae (Gen. Com. Fland. VIII), MGH SS 9: 335]:
"Tempore Balduini Flandria fit comitatus, et Balduinus primus comes. Antecessores sui fuerunt forestarii Flandrie sub rege Francie, sicut legimus in cronicis Francorum. Lidricus et Audacer impetraverunt ab abbate Heinardo monasterii sancti Bavonis licentiam venandi in silva que Heinarstryst nuncupatur, modo Loe dicitur, sub tali conditione, quod de decimia bestia unam darent abbati et suis successoribus." (Translation: Flanders became a county in the time of Balduinus, and Balduinus was the first count. His predecessors were foresters under the king of France, just as we read in chronicles of the Franks. Lidricus and Audacer obtained license from Heinardus, abbot of the monastery of St. Bavo, to hunt in the woods called Heinarstriist, now called Loe, subject to the condition that they give one-tenth of the beasts to the abbot and to his successors.)
This account was printed again with John of Thielrode's entire chronicle [MGH SS 25: 574], which, under the account of abbot Einhard, gave the statement of hunting rights with minor changes in wording ["Heinardus abbas concessit licentiam Lidrico primo forestario Flandrie et Audacro venandi in silva Sancti Bavonis que Heimarsttrist nuncupatur, sub conditione, ut de omni venatione sua darent abbati decimus cervum vel bestium." Iohannis de Thilrode Chronicon, MGH SS 25: 566-7]. Here, Heinardus is the famous Einhard, biographer of Charlemagne, who was abbot of Saint-Bavo de Gand from 814×5 until his death on 12 March 840 [see Grierson (1937c), 44-5; Einhard's abbacy is falsely dated to 826-844 by the fourteenth century Annales S. Bavonis Gandensis, MGH SS 2: 187, and by Chronicon sancti Bavonis, s.a. 844, Corpus Chron. Fland. 1: 483, which also follows John of Thielrode in mentioning the alleged grant by Einhard, but with Ingelram replacing Audacer ("Ipse Heynardus concessit Lidrico Harlebeccensi et Ingelramo forestariis venandi in silva sancti Bavonis, ...")]. Grierson refers to the story of the hunting rights as "palpably false" [Grierson (1937c), 34], but it is difficult to see why the story would have been fabricated in its present wording, which appears to place Lidéric and Audacer as contemporaries. This is consistent with the evidence from earlier sources that Lidéric died in 836, but does not fit so well with the claim that Lidéric was Audacer's grandfather. Thus, even if this information were genuine, it would further undermine the inclusion of Lidéric and Ingelram among the ancestors of Baldwin I.
In the work of John of Ypres, writing in the fourteenth century, we find an exotic origin for Lidéric, whose activities are extended back to the time of Charles Martel, and who is provided with a wife who is the daughter of Gerard de Roussillon, another figure of legend [MGH SS 25: 764]:
"Dum Sarraceni sic ab Hispania venirent ad Eudonis mandatum, miles quidam iuvenis christianus de partibus Ulixibone seu Portugallie, regia stirpe progenitus, Liedricus nomine, despectis parentibus, qui cum illis de patria ad legem perfidi transierant Machometi, ad Karolum Tuditem et Gerardum de Rossilione se contulit, ut sacri baptismatis christianque fidei Deo pacta servaret, et sub Karolo militans, multa probitatis opera gessit. Et Karolo predicto carus effectus est, sibi toto vite sue tempore servivit et filio suo Pupino post eum regi. Cui postea Karolus Magnus terram Flandrie dedit. Ipse est a quo Flandrie comites descenderunt. Ipse uxorem habuit filiam Gerardi de Rossilione predicti, de qua genuit filium Ingelramnum, militem probum et prudentem, suum Flandrie successorem." (Translation [with comments in brackets]: Thus, when the Saracens came from Spain to the command of Eudes [of Aquitaine], a certain young Christian knight from the region of Lisbon, or Portugal, of royal descent, named Lidéric, despising his parents, who with those of their country had converted to the faithless law of Mohammed, went to Charles Tudites [i.e., Martel] and Gerard de Roussillon, in order to receive the rite of baptism and to serve the Christian faith by agreement with God, and serving as a soldier under Charles, performed much honest service. And he became dear to the said Charles, and served him during his entire career, and also his son Pepin, king after him. Afterward, Charlemagne gave him the land of Flanders. He is the one from whom the counts of Flanders descend. He [Lidéric] married a daughter of the aforesaid Gerard de Roussillon, by whom he had a son Ingelram, an honest and prudent knight, his successor in Flanders.)
Later embellishments expanded the genealogy to include additional fictional generations before Lidéric of Harlebeck, including a seventh century count Salvardus of Dijon. The story also gained a giant named Rinardus, an earlier Lidricus le Buc, the first forester, his successor Antonius, and so forth [see, e.g., MGH SS 9: 316]. Some of these more elaborate later inventions have been accepted by some of the less critical genealogists of the Forester family, who have used the office of "forester" supposedly held by Lidéric to trace members of the Forester family back through the counts of Flanders. Such claims have no historical basis.
Doubtful and false children of Baldwin I
Supposed additional son
(no early evidence, doubtful): Charles, d. young.
This supposed son is known only from late sources [e.g., "Balduinus Ferreus, primus comes, filius Audachri per Judith uxorem, illustrissimus fuit, cum ea esset Calvi Caroli cesaris et regis Francorum, filia, ex Ermentrude propria uxore; ex qua liberi prodierunt: Carolus brevis vite, Balduinus, Rodulphus quoque, Cameracensis comes." Flandrie comites, secundum Jacobum Balliolanum, Guérard (1840), 11; Sproemberg (1936), 947, n. 2, attributes the same claim to Oudegherst, p. 46 (not seen by me)]. One possible explanation of how this claim could have arisen as an error is that the statement that Baldwin II got his nickname of Calvus from his maternal grandfather [Chronicon sancti Bavonis, s.a. 980, de Smet 1: 495], if later distorted and misinterpreted, could have led to the present claim.
Supposed daughter by an
earlier marriage or a concubine (uncertain, source not
nun at Laon.
This supposed daughter comes from a statement of Ganshof, who did not indicate his source ["D'une première femme ou d'une concubine, il avait une fille qui fut religieuse à Laon." Ganshof (1949), 16].
m. Guifred, count of Barcelona, 870-897.
Gesta comitum Barcinonensium (of which this part was composed shortly after 1160) states that Guifred impregnated a daughter (unnamed) of the count of Flanders (also unnamed) and later married her [see RHF 9: 68]. Later authors have expanded the story to identify this girl with Guifred's known wife Guinidilda, with the count of Flanders in question being variously identified as Baldwin I or Baldwin II [e.g., Anselme 2: 714]. There is no good reason to accept this late and legendary source on this point. The legend is probably modelled on the story of Baldwin and Judith [see Freedman (1988), 15-6, 18 n. 54].
daughter: NN, mother of a certain Gautier.
This recent error, from the Medieval Lands database, is based on the legendary and unreliable history of the monastery of Waulsort, which states that a certain Walterus was the son of a sister of Rodulfus, count of Cambrai [Historia Walciodorensis monasterii, c. 8, MGH SS 14: 508], evidently misled by the mistaken footnote of the editor, G. Waitz, who identifies this Rodulfus with the son of Baldwin I [MGH SS 14: 507, n. 2]. However, even if the statement of Historia Walciodorensis monasterii could be regarded as reliable, the Raoul de Cambrai who was uncle of Gautier would be Raoul de Gouy, and not Baldwin's son [see above under Raoul, son of Baldwin I].
Supposed relatives (uncertain,
source not given):
Counts of Laon, ninth century (under Charles the Bald).
This claim has been made in the secondary literature, but the basis is unclear. For example, François-L. Ganshof states of Baldwin I, "Sa famille était peut-être originaire de Lorraine; elle était apparentée à un lignage connu qui a fourni à Charles le Chauve des comtes de Laon." [Ganshof (1949), 15-6]; David Nicholas makes a similar claim, saying that "He [Baldwin I] was the son of one Audacer, whose name suggests cognates with a family that furnished three counts of pagi between Scheldt and Leie. They were evidently related to the counts of Laon." [Nicholas (1992), 16] The counts of Laon in question would appear to be Adalhelm and his son Waltger, relatives of the Robertines/Capets [e.g., "... Waltgarius comes, nepos Odonis regis, filius scilicet avunculi eius Adalhelmi, ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 892, MGH SS 1: 604]. It is not clear whether a remark of Heather Tanner about events in 892 is related to these other two comments or is an error of another sort ["Baldwin (II), supported by his relative Waltger of Laon, ...", Tanner (2004), 53; see the page of Baldwin II].
See also the page of Baldwin I's son Baldwin II for some falsely attributed relatives of the latter.
Ann. Bert. = G. Waitz, ed., Annales Bertiniani (MGH SRG 6, Hannover, 1883).
Ann. Bland. = Annales Blandinienses, Grierson (1937a), 1-73.
Ann. Elmarenses = Annales Elmarenses, Grierson (1937a), 74-115.
Ann. Elnonenses = Annales Elnonenses, Grierson (1937a), 132-175.
Ann. Formos. = Annales Formoselenses, Grierson (1937a), 116-131.
Ann. Fuld. = Friedrich Kurze, ed., Annales Fuldenses (MGH SRG 7, Hannover, 1891).
Ann. Vedast. = B. de Simson, ed., Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini (MGH SRG 12, 1909), 41-82.
Anselme = Père Anselme, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France, 9 vols. (Paris, 1726-33).
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. = J.-J. de Smet, Corpus Chronicorum Flandriae, 4 vols. (Brussels, 1837-1865).
Dhondt (1940) = Jan Dhondt, "De Forestiers van Vlaanderen", Bulletin de la commission royale d'histoire 105 (1940): 282-305. [On pp. 304-5, there is a useful outline of early sources giving alleged ancestors of Baldwin. I am unable to read the article itself.]
Dhondt (1948) = Jan Dhondt, Études sur la naissance des principautés territoriales en France (Bruges, 1948).
Freedman (1988) = Paul Freedman, "Cowardice, Heroism and the Legendary Origins of Catalonia", Past & Present 121 (1988): 3-28.
Ganshof (1937) = François-Louis Ganshof, "Les origines du comté de Flandre", Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire 16 (1937): 367-385.
Ganshof (1949) = François-Louis Ganshof, La Flandre sous les premiers comtes (3rd ed., Brussels, 1949).
Gen. Com. Fland. = L. C. Bethmann, ed., Genealogiae Comitum Flandriae, MGH SS 9: 302-336.
Grierson (1935) = Philip Grierson, "The capitulary of Servais in its relations to Flanders", XXe congrès de la fédération archéologique et historique de Belgique. Programme du Congrès. Résumés des communications (Brussels, 1935), 84-6. [not seen by me]
Grierson (1936) = Philip Grierson, "The early abbots of St. Peters of Ghent", Revue benedictine 48 (1936): 129-145.
Grierson (1937a) = Philip Grierson, ed., Les Annales de Saint-Pierre de Gand et de Saint-Amand (Brussels, 1937). [Annales Blandinienses, Annales Elmarenses, Annales Formoselenses, Annales Elnonenses]
Grierson (1937b) = Philip Grierson, "The Translation of the Relics of St. Donatien to Bruges", Revue benedictine 49 (1937): 170-190.
Grierson (1937c) = Philip Grierson, "The early abbots of St. Bavo's of Ghent", Revue benedictine 49 (1937): 30-61.
Grierson (1938) = Philip Grierson, "La maison d'Evrard de Frioul et les origines du comté de Flandre", Revue du Nord 24 (1938): 241-266.
Grierson (1939) = Philip Grierson, "The translation of the relics of St. Amalberga to St. Peter's of Ghent", Revue benedictine 51 (1939): 292-313.
Guérard (1840) = M. Guérard, Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Saint-Bertin (Collection des cartulaires de France, III, Paris, 1840).
Meyer & Longnon (1882) = P. Meyer & A. Longnon, Raoul de Cambrai (Paris, 1882).
MGH Leg. = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Leges series.
MGH SRG = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Germanicarum series.
MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.
Nicholas (1992) = David Nicholas, Medieval Flanders (London & New York, 1992).
Prou (1920) = "Examen d'une diplôme de Charles le Chauve pour Saint-Pierre de Gand", Bulletin de la commission royale d'histoire 84 (1920): 41-63.
Sproemberg (1935) = Heinrich Sproemberg, Die Entstehung der Grafschaft Flandern, I. Die ursprüngliche Grafschaft Flandern (864-892) (Berlin, 1935).
Sproemberg (1936) = Heinrich Sproemberg, "Judith, Königin von England, Gräfin von Flandern", Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire 15 (1936): 397-428, 915-950.
Tanner (2004) = Heather J. Tanner, Families, Friends and Allies - Boulogne and Politics in Northern France and England, c. 879-1160 (Leiden, Boston, 2004).
Vanderkindere (1897) = "Le Capitulaire de Servais et les origines du comté de Flandre", Compte rendu des séances de la commission royale d'histoire (Bulletin de la commission royale d'histoire) 5th ser., 7 (1897): 91-138.
Vanderkindere (1898) = "Histoire de la formation territoriale des principautés belges au moyen âge", Compte rendu des séances de la commission royale d'histoire (Bulletin de la commission royale d'histoire) 5th ser., 8 (1898): 257-295, 397-554.
Vanderkindere (1902) = Léon Vanderkindere, La Formation Territoriale des Principautes Belge au Moyen Age (2 vols., 2nd ed., Brussels, 1902, reprinted 1981).
Werner (1960) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Untersuchungen zur Frühzeit des französischen Fürstentums (9.-10. Jahrhundert): V. Zur Geschichte des Hauses Vermandois", Die Welt als Geschichte 20 (1960): 87-119.
Compiled by Stewart Baldwin
This page is based in part on a very preliminary version which was written before I had obtained copies of some of the more important secondary sources, and was posted to the soc.genealogy.medieval/GEN-MEDIEVAL internet newsgroup/mailing list. I would like to thank Peter Stewart and Nathaniel Taylor for their comments on that preliminary version.
Originally uploaded 12 October 2006.
Minor update uploaded 25 November 2007: added citation to Cart. S.-Pierre de Gand, with other minor corrections
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