MALE Baldwin II "the Bald" (Baudouin "le Chauve", Balduinus Calvus)

Count/Marquis of Flanders, [presumably 879]-918.
Count of Artois and lay-abbot of Saint-Vaast, 892-9.
Lay-abbot of Saint-Bertin, 900 (de facto from ca. 892)-918.
Count of Boulogne, 898?-918.
Count of Ternois, 892 or before-918.

Called both comes and marchio by Folcwine [Gesta abbatum S. Bertini Sithiensium, c. 98, MGH SS 13: 624 (writing in the middle of the tenth century)], Baldwin II is presumed to have succeeded his father Baldwin I at the latter's death in 879 [Ann. Vedast. 43-4]. The early years of Baldwin II were marked by major Viking incursions, and their army wintered at Gand (Ghent) in 881 [Ann. Vedast. 51]. Baldwin first appears in the contemporary records in 888, when, along with archbishop Foulques (of Reims) and abbot Raoul (of Cysoing, Saint-Bertin, and Saint-Vaast), he was among those who asked king Arnulf of Germany to come and take the kingship of the western Frankish kingdom [Ann. Vedast. 65], but he submitted to Eudes in the same year [Ann. Vedast. 66]. When Raoul died on 5 January 892 [Ann. Vedast. 70; Folcwine, c. 97, MGH SS 13: 623], Baldwin sent messengers to king Eudes, demanding the abbacies of his cousin (consobrinus) Raoul (son of Eberhard of Friuli and Gisèle, daughter of emperor Louis the Pious) for himself ["..., Balduinus itaque comes legatos dirigit ad Odonem regem, mandans cum sua gratia velle tenere abbatias sui consobrini." Ann. Vedast, s.a. 892, p. 71; Folcwine, c. 98, MGH SS 13: 624]. Baldwin appears to have held Artois and the abbacy of Saint-Vaast until 899, when Arras was taken by Charles the Simple [Ann. Vedast. 81; Grierson (1938), 257-8]. In 900, archbishop Foulques was assassinated by a certain Winemar, at the order of Baldwin II [Ann. Vedast. 82; Folcwine, c. 98, MGH SS 13: 624; Ann. Bland. 16], after which Baldwin was recognized as lay abbot of Saint-Bertin by the king ["Baldwinus autem post haec abbatiam optinuit regia donatione." Folcwine, c. 98, MGH SS 13: 625]. Folcwine includes Boulogne and Ternois (along with the abbacy of Saint-Bertin) among the lands left by Baldwin II to his second son Adalolf [Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627], and Baldwin is called "princeps Morinorum" by Richer [i, 16, MGH SS 3: 574]. The time when Baldwin obtained Boulogne is not clearly set out in the sources. The year 896 has been often given by virtue of the fact that a certain Herkengerus appears to have lost his possessions in 896 as a result of the activities of Baldwin's brother Raoul (who was killed later in the same year) [Ann. Vedast. 77], and there are indications that Erkenger was a count of Boulogne ["Ex sancti enim Chiliani pontificis et martyris articulis manuum gaudmus habere nobiscum; quas reliquas Erkengerus comes et Arnoldus de Germania Bononiensem civitatem deportaverunt." Ex sermone de adventu SS. Wandregisili, Ansberti et Vulfranni, c. 14, MGH SS 15, part 2: 629; "Carolus rex regno Francorum occidentalium leges dictavit, quem postea Heribertus comes Viromanuorum dolo captum Peronae posuit in custodia. Quo adhuc imperium obtnente, Bononiensium comes fuit Erkengarius, genere et potentia non parum egregius, in cuius etiam ditione Rentica fuit predium, in quo beati Bertulfi corpus erat tumulatum.", Ex Vita Bertulfi Renticensis, c. 22, MGH SS 15, part 2: 635]. When Baldwin became count of Ternois depends on whether the abbacy of Saint-Bertin and the countship of Ternois were separate before 892. If, as Grierson argued, the offices were separate before Baldwin usurped the abbacy of Saint-Bertin, then the acquisition of the countship of Ternois might even extend back to the time of Baldwin I [Grierson (1938)]. It has been widely held that Baldwin was lay-abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand, based on the annal for 892 in Annales Blandinienses ["Rodulfus obiit. Baldwinus successit." Ann. Bland. 15; see e.g., Ganshof (1937), 383], but Grierson pointed out that this annal was probably based on lost annals from Saint-Bertin (known to be one of the sources of Annales Blandinienses), and probably refers to the abbacy of Saint-Bertin. In another paper, he argued that the abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand during this time was the later king Robert I [Grierson (1939)]. It is said that Baldwin's epithet of Calvus was not due to being bald, but to emphasize his descent from his maternal grandfather Charles the Bald (Karolus Calvus) ["Successit illi in comitatu Flandriae filius ejus Balduinus, qui se Calvum nominari fecit, non quia calvus actu fuerit, sed ut, nomen avi sui Karoli Calvi suscitans, nomen ac generis nobilitatem exalteret." Chronicon sancti Bavonis, s.a. 980, Corpus Chron. Fland., 1: 495]. Baldwin II was succeeded by his eldest son Arnulf I in Flanders, and by his younger son Adalolf in Boulogne, Ternois, and St. Bertin ["Markam vero eius filii eius inter se diviserunt; et Arnulfus, qui maior natu erat, Flandriam, Adalolfus vero civitatem Bononiam et regionem Taruennicam pariterque Sancti Bertini suscepit abbatiam.", Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627].

Date of Birth: Unknown, but probably not long after his parents' marriage (or elopement), say ca. 864.
Place of Birth:

Date of Death: 918, probably 10 September.
The year is given as 918 in Annales Blandinienses and Annales Elmarenses ["Balduvinus comes obiit, Blandinio sepelitur." Ann. Bland., s.a. 918, Grierson (1937), 16; similarly in Ann. Elmarenses (ibid., 84); Ann. Elnonenses give 919 (ibid., 149)]. The date is given variously as 2 January or 10 September. The date of 2 January appears in Baldwin's (noncontemporary) epitaph (see below) and in the obituary of Saint-Pierre de Gand [Dhondt (1940), 133, n. 4, where Dhondt gives these two dates as 3 January and 6 September, evidently careless calculations from the Roman dating]. The nearly contemporary Folcwine gives 10 September ["... obiit anno Verbi incarnati 918, 4 Idus Septembris." Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627]. The donation of his widow Elftrude, which occurred the next day (see below), suggests that Folcwine's date is correct.
Place of Burial: Saint-Pierre de Gand (St. Peters, Ghent)
Folcwine states that he was buried there because his wife desired to be buried next to him, and women could not be buried at Saint-Bertin [Folcwine, c. 103, MGH SS 13: 627]. His claimed epitaph reads as follows: "Qui legis hec, tu nosce, quod hic tumulatus habetur / Marchio Balduinus culmen honestatis. / Regem traxit avum Karolum cognomine Calvum, / Omnia magnificans moribus et meritis. / Effulsit quarto nonas cum sol Ianuarii, / Exuit hunc dominus corporis exuviis." [MGH Poetae Latini 5: 297].

Father: Baldwin I, d. 879, count [presumably of Flanders].
Baldwin II was named as a brother of count Raoul, son of Baldwin by the contemporary Regino "... 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]. See the page of Baldwin I.

Mother: Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, d. 877, king of the West Franks, emperor.
Witger, writing 951×9, states that Baldwin II was the son of Baldwin I and Judith ["Quam Iudith prudentissimam ac spetiosam sibi Balduinus comes fortissimus in matrimonii coniugium. Ex qua genuit filium, inponens ei nomen sibi equivocum, videlicet Balduinum.", Witger, Genealogia Arnulfi comitis, MGH SS 9: 303]

Spouse: Ælfthryth (Ælfþryð, Elftrude) of Wessex, said to have d. 7 June 929, daughter of Ælfred "the Great", king of Wessex.
Æthelweard, in his prologue dedicating his chronicle to his cousin Mathilde, gives the marriage, 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]. 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]. 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]. Later Flemish sources generally err by calling her a daughter of king Edgar [e.g., Genealogia comitum Flandriae Bertiniana, MGH SS 9: 305]. 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)]

With regard to Ælfthryth's date of death, Annales Blandiniensis is the only source for the year ["Obiit Elftrudis comitissa", Ann. Bland., s.a. 929, 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].

Children: Æthelweard names all four children, and the two sons are also named by Witger and by Folcwine, among others (see above for the quotes from all three of these sources).

MALE Arnulf I "the Great", d. 27 March 964×5, count/marquis of Flanders, 918-964×5; m. 934, Adèle (Attala), d. 960, daughter of Heribert II, count of Vermandois.
["... ab Arnulfo, filio Balduini." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 931, MGH SS 3: 379]

MALE Adalolf (Æthelwulf), d. 13 November 933, count of Boulogne and Ternois, abbot of St. Bertin, 918-933.
Adalolf (who was named after his great-grandfather Æthelwulf, king of Wessex) succeeded his father as count of Boulogne and Ternois and lay-abbot of Saint-Bertin in 918. Dying on 13 November 933, he was buried in the church at Saint-Bertin and was succeeded by his brother Arnulf ["Igitur post haec Adalolfus comes et abbas in hoc monasterio Sithiu egrotans, obiit anno nativitatis Domini 933, Idus Novembris, sepultusque est in basilica Sancti Bertini, in latere sinistro altaris sancti Martini capitanei. ... Post cuius luctuosum obitum Arnulfus, frater eius, abbatiam cum reliquo eius comitatu recepit." Folcwine, c. 105, MGH SS 13: 627]. [Falsely callled a uterine brother of Arnulf in De Arnulfo comite, MGH SS 9: 304]

FEMALE Ealhswid.

FEMALE Ermentrude.

See Commentary section for an alleged marriage of one of the daughters, and for supposed additional children.

Grandchild (nephew of Arnulf I):

MALE Hildebrand, living 961, abbot of Saint-Bertin and Saint-Vaast.
Folcwine, c. 108, refers to him as a nepos of Arnulf I [MGH SS 13: 629], and then (later in the same passage) refers to Arnulf as avunculus of Hildebrand [ibid., 630]. It is unknown which of Arnulf's siblings was Hildebrand's parent, although his two sisters would make much more likely candidates than his brother.


Supposed illegitimate son (probably falsely attributed, existence uncertain):

MALE Albert alias Ascelin, d. 977, provost in Tronchiennes, 951-77.
The Chronicle of Tronchiennes states that a certain Albertus, also called Ascelmus, formerly bishop of Paris, was made provost of Tronchiennes in 951 on the death of provost Reynerus. Called an illegitimate son of count Balduinus Calvus and brother of Arnulphus, his death is placed by the same source in 977 ["Concessit fato reverendissimus in Christo pater, dominus Reynerus, praepositus, cui succesit Albertus, qui et Ascelmus dicebatur. Hic Balduini comitis ex concubina erat filius, frater Arnulphi, qui quondam Parisiorum exstitit episcopus, sed ab eisdem pulsus in Flandriam rediit ad fratrum suum Arnulphum, qui ei omnes redditus oppidi Trunchiniensis, simulque cum praepositurae illius dignitate, dedit. Canonici tum erant omnino sexdecim, at hic Albertus quauor ex iis adimens beneficia, eadem militibus male distribuit." Chronicon Trunchiniense, s.a. 951, Corpus Chron. Fland., 1: 596; "Obiit R. D. Albertus, Balduini Calvi Flandriae comitis filius, XXV administrationis suae anno, qui Parisiorum quondam fuerat episcopus, cujus in locum successit R. D. Walterus." ibid., s.a. 977, p. 596]. The Chronicle of Saint-Bavon has a shorter notice giving no parentage, which indicates that the Ascelmus of the Chronicle of Tronchiennes was an error for Ascelinus (a common error confusing minims) ["Reinerus, praepositus Tronciniensis, obiit. Cui successit Albertus, qui et Ascelinus, Parisiorum episcopus." Chronicon sancti Bavonis, Corpus Chron. Fland., 1: 521].

Vanderkindere accepts the account, and suggests that this Albert alias Ascelin appears to correspond to an Alberic appearing in the list of bishops of Paris between 941 and about 954 [Vanderkindere (1902), 1: 286-7]. [See also Brandenburg, 89 (with a suggestion that his existence is not certain); Werner, 460 (accepting his existence, but not as a bishop of Paris).] However, in addition to the lateness of the sources, there is the problem of likely contamination from the story of Ascelin/Albert, bishop of Paris, ca. 1016 - ca. 1018, said by the history of the bishops of Cambrai (an eleventh century source) to be an illegitimate son of a count Baldwin of Flanders [Gesta episcoporum Cameracensium i, 110, MGH SS 7: 448; see the page of Baldwin III]. Given that the later Ascelin/Albert is clearly historical, there is good reason to doubt the information about the present Albert/Ascelin.

These comments about Albert should be read in conjunction with the comments on the page of Baldwin III concerning the latter's alleged illegitimate son Ascelin alias Albert.

Falsely attributed daughters:
Anselme lists the following three daughters for Baldwin II [Anselme 2: 714]. Guinichilde is a variant of an erroneous daughter who has also been falsely assigned to Baldwin I (and is discussed on his page). Egilfred and Elstrude (for whom Anselme cites Oudegherst) may be based on very corrupt misreadings of the names of the two genuine daughters Ealhswid and Ermentrude.

FEMALE Guinichilde, m. Wifred, count of Barcelona.

FEMALE Egilfred.

FEMALE Elstrude.
As "Elfstrude", a daughter of this name also appears in Tanner (2004), 292 (table), which is evidently an error of a different sort, since Egilfred does not appear in the table. (See below)

Falsely attributed nephew:

MALE Hernequin, 9th century, count of Boulogne (existence unlikely)
[Latrie (1889), 1564, where he is stated to be a nephew of Baudouin le Chauve, and is given a wife Berthe, daughter of Helgaud I, count of Ponthieu, and a son and successor Regnier; see Vanderkindere (1902), 411]

Additional claims recently given in Tanner (2004):
Some supposed additions to the family tree of Baldwin II can be found in Heather Tanner's recent book on the counts of Boulogne, which quite naturally also contains much on the counts of Flanders. The genealogical tables at the end of the book give many relationship which do not seem to be documented by any clear evidence, although the very inadequate index (which does not list Elfstrude, Evrard, Hilduin, or Ricsinde, among many others) makes the various claims difficult to check. In addition to the false daughter "Elfstrude" mentioned above, Baldwin's daughter Ermentrude is erroneously called "Ermengard" throughout Tanner's book. The following claims made by Tanner would require additional evidence.

Supposed daughter (no evidence supplied):

FEMALE Ricsinde, m. Evrard, advocate of Saint-Bertin. [Tanner (2004), 292 (table), qualified with a "dotted line", which denotes illegitimacy on other tables]
Everhardus (evidently the same as an Everhardus advocatus in the same passage) and Riksinda are named by Folcwine as the parents of Adalolf (II), abbot of Saint-Bertin [Folcwine, c. 126, MGH SS 13: 628]. This appears to be an onomastic conjecture based on the name Adalolf, but it seems likely that Folcwine would have mentioned a relationship if there was one (as he did with abbot Hildebrand, as seen above).

Supposed marriage of one daughter (no evidence supplied):

FEMALE NN, m. Hilduin, count of Tournai. [Tanner (2004), 292 (table)]
Without supplying a reason, Tanner states that "... it is probable that Hilduin married one of Baldwin II's daughters Ealhswid or Ermengard (sic)." [Tanner (2004), 56, n. 143] Since Hildouin is given a son named Arnulf on the table on page 292 [presumably the "Arnulfus filius Hilduuini" who appears in a charter of 5 March 981, Cart. S.-Pierre de Gand, 1: 51 (#54)], this appears to be an onomastically based conjecture.

Supposed relative (no evidence supplied):

MALE Waltger/Walcher, d. 892, count of Laon, lay-abbot of Saint-Pierre de Gand and Saint-Bavo de Gand.
["Baldwin, supported by his relative Waltger of Laon, ...", Tanner (2004), 53] This claim might just be the result of a careless reading of Balduinus as the antecedent of eius in the Annales Vedastini under the year 892, where Walkerus is called eius consobrinus, with rex being the correct antecedent of eius ["Balduinus Atrebatis iter arripiens per aliam viam antecessit regem venitque in Bruociam, atque ita rex sine aliquo effectu rediit ad loca sua. Nam antea Walkerus eius Consobrinus ..." Ann. Vedast., 72; The chronicle of Regino, under the same year, shows that Waltgar was a relative of king Eudes: "... Waltgarius comes, nepos Odonis regis, filius scilicet avunculi eius Adalhelmi, ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 892, MGH SS 1: 604]. However, this remark of Tanner's might instead come from some vague references in the secondary literature that the counts of Flanders and Laon were related [see the page of Baldwin I].


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

Ann. Bland. = Annales Blandinenses, Grierson (1937), 1-73.

Ann. Vedast. = B. de Simson, ed., Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini, MGH SRG 12 (1909): 40-82.

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).

Brandenburg (1964) = Erich Brandenburg, Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen (Frankfurt, 1964).

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]

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 bénédictine 51 (1939): 292-313.

Latrie (1889) = L. de Mas Latrie, Trésor de Chronologie d'Histoire et de Geographie (Paris, 1889).

MGH SRG = Monumenta Germaniae Historica - Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum separatim editi

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Oudegherst = Pierre d' Oudegherst, Les chroniques et annales de Flandres: contenantes les heroicques et tresvictorieux exploicts des forestiers, & comtes de Flandres, & les singularités & choses memorables advenuës audict flandres, depuis l'an de nostre seigneur Iesus Christi VIc. & XX (=620) jusques a l'an 1476 (Antwerp, 1571). [Not seen by me]

Tanner (2004) = Heather J. Tanner, Families, Friends and Allies - Boulogne and Politics in Northern France and England, c. 879-1160 (Leiden, Boston, 2004).

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 (1967) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen bis um das Jahr 1000 (1.-8. Generation)", Karl der Große 4 (1967), 403-483.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

Originally uploaded 27 May 2002 (with thanks to Todd Farmerie, who provided information from sources not available to me)

Major revision uploaded 12 October 2006. (with thanks to Peter Stewart, for comments on the previous version)

Minor update 25 November 2007: added citation to Cart. S.-Pierre de Gand, with other minor corrections

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