FEMALE Béatrix de Mâcon

Wife of Geoffroy (II) of Gâtinais and Hugues du Perche.

According to the life of Gauzlin of Fleury, Béatrix, countess of Château-Landon, gave land to the abbey of Fleury, probably late in the life of Gauzlin, abbot of Fleury and archbishop of Bourges (d. 1030) ["Beatrix Nandonensium comitissa non minima terrarum hisdem diebus donavit nobis predia." Vita Gauzlini, c. 29 (pp. 72-3)]. Her only other appearance in the records is in the Saint-Aubin genealogies (see below).

Date of birth: Unknown.
If Ermentrude was her mother, then a birth in the neighborhood of 970 seems likely. The estimate is based on the facts that Ermentrude's mother Alberada was probably born soon after 929 (the date of marriage of Alberada's parents - see the page of Alberada), and that the first husband of Béatrix died between 991 and 997. If Béatrix was a daughter of an otherwise unknown first marriage of Aubry, as suggested by some, then her birthdate could be significantly earlier. See the further comments on the birthdate of Béatrix in the Commentary section below.
Place of birth: Unknown.

Date of death: Probably after 1028.
Her donation of land under the title of countess late in the life of Gauzlin of Fleury suggests that she survived her son Aubry.
Place of death: Unknown.

Father: Aubry II, count of Mâcon.
The Saint-Aubin genealogies, evidently composed during the reign of Béatrix's grandson Foulques IV le Rechin (Fulco presens), give the names of the father and grandfather of Béatrix ["Letaldus comes Vesconsiosis (et Umbertus comes Matisconiensis fratres fuerunt ...); ex Letaldo Albericus natus est; ex Alberico Beatrix; ex Beatrice Gosfridus comes de Castello Landonensi. Ex Gaufrido Gaufridus et Fulco presens." Poupardin (1900), 208]

Probable mother: Ermentrude, daughter of Ragenold/Renaud, count of Roucy.
More than one conjecture exists regarding the possibility that Béatrix was a daughter of an otherwise unknown marriage of Aubry, as discussed below in the Commentary section. Despite these conjectures, the scenario in which Béatrix was a daughter of Ermentrude remains the simplest explanation of the evidence.

Spouses:
The contemporary records do not directly identify the spouses of Béatrix, nor her sons other than Geoffroy. Her marriages are based on the clear identification of her son Geoffroy with the Geoffroy, maternal half-brother of count Aubry, who appears in the 1028 charter mentioned below under Aubry. This is discussed in detail on the page of Geoffroy (III).

(1) Geoffroy (II), d. 991×7, count of Gâtinais, before 979-991×7.
Count Geoffroy appears on 9 June 979, in an act of king Louis V for the church of Sainte-Croix d'Orléans ["in pago etiam Blesiaco villam quae vocatur Curtis, quam nuper sepe dictae aecclesiae Odo comes reddidit cum omnibus ad eam pertinentibus, consentiente Hugone Franchorum duce, beneficium etiam quoddam Gauzfredi comitis, quod idem Hugo, Arnulfo ejusdem aecclesiae praesuli, consentiente eodem Gauzfredo, reddidit." Rec. Actes Lothair & Louis V, 171 (#69)]. Count Geoffroy of Gâtinais was a witness to a donation to Saint-Père de Chartres in 984 ["S. Gausfridi, comitis Wastiniensis." Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 1: 90 (#6)]. In an act of 990 of king Hugues Capet for the church of Sainte-Croix d'Orléans, count Geoffroy gave his consent ["... beneficium etiam quoddam Gaufredi comitis, quod jam dudum ecclesiae S. Crucis et Arnulfo praesuli, eodem Gaufredo consentiente, ..." RHF 10: 558]. He also appears in November 991 in an act of king Robert ["Beneficium etiam quoddam Gaufridi comitis ..." RHF 10: 573].

(2) Hugues du Perche.
A charter of Franco, bishop of Paris, dated 26 May 1028, mentions count Aubri of Gâtinais (son of a deceased count Geoffroy of Gâtinais) and his two brothers and heirs Geoffroy and Liétaud, sons of an otherwise unidentified Hugues du Perche [Devaux (1885), 81-2 (Pièces justificatives II); see the page of Geoffroy (III) for a quote of the charter].

Children:

(by Geoffroy)

MALE Aubry (Albericus), d. probably 1028×1030, count of Gâtinais, 1028.
He was count of Château-Landon (Gâtinais) on 26 May 1028, when the above charter of Franco, bishop of Paris, mentions him, his father Gosfredus (deceased), and his two maternal half-brothers and heirs Gosfredus and Letaldus, sons of Hugo of Perche. Probably about the same time, he donated lands situated in the region of Auxerre to the abbey of Fleury ["Albericus, comes Nandonensium, sui juris alodum, in Altissioderensi territorio situm, Dei genitricis Mariæ plene devotionis largitus est munere." Vita Gauzlini, c. 29 (pp. 72-3)]. Not long afterward, Beatrix donated to the abbey of Fleury as "countess", suggesting that Aubry was deceased by that time [ibid.; see also Devaux (1892), 257; Estournet (1928), 121; Settipani (1997), 255]. He is sometimes incorrectly identified as the full brother of count Geoffroy (III), and sometimes incorrectly combined with Geoffroy (III) into a supposed count Aubri/Geoffroy of Gâtinais. See the detailed discussion on the page of Geoffroy (III).

(by Hugues)
These two sons are often given incorrectly as children by the first marriage of Béatrix to Geoffroy (II). See the page of Geoffroy (III) for details.

MALE Geoffroy (III), d. 30 April 1042×5, count of Gâtinais;
m.
Ermengarde, d. 1076, heiress of Anjou.

MALE Liétaud (Letaldus), living 26 May 1028, lord of Yevre, viscount of Gâtinais.
[See Estournet (1928) for his descendants.]



Commentary

The date of birth of Béatrix
Although there is no direct evidence for the date of birth of Béatrix, it is useful to examine the chronology that would be suggested by her well documented relatives, independent of the various hypothesized relatives given to her in the conjectures mentioned below. The possible extremes are provided by the fact that her first husband Geoffroy (II) appears as living in a 991 document, but had been succeeded as count by 997 (when the simplest interpretation of the evidence would place him as deceased). Thus, at one extreme limit, she had to be old enough to marry by 997 at the latest, and at the other extreme, she could not have passed her childbearing years before 993 at the earliest (allowing the possibility of Geoffroy's death as early as 991 followed by a quick remarriage and births of two sons). Attempting to estimate between these two extremes (which allow a wide range of possible birthdates) clearly involves major uncertainties (beyond the obvious argument that dates near either extreme are much less probable). In addition to this, we have the appearance of her three sons Aubry, Geoffroy, and Liétaud in the 1028 charter. Aubry, by the first marriage, was clearly an adult at the time. We cannot rule out that Geoffroy and Liétaud, both by the second marriage, were under age at the time, but it seems unlikely. The other clue, also not very helpful, is the fact that Foulques IV "le Réchin" of Anjou, second (known) son of Béatrix's son Geoffroy, was aged 17 on 14 May 1060, placing his birth in 1042×3. This makes it less likely that Béatrix's son Geoffroy was born as early as the 990's, but it does not rule it out.

The only known marriage of count Aubry II of Mâcon, to Ermentrude de Roucy, had occurred by 14 January 971. Ermentrude's grandparents duke Giselbert of Lorraine and Gerberge of Germany were married in 929 [Continuatio Reginonis, s.a. 929, MGH SS 1: 616; Annales Heremi, s.a. 929, MGH SS 3: 141; Annales S. Maximini Trevirensis, s.a. 929, MGH SS 2: 213]. Thus, a marriage date for Aubry and Ermentrude earlier than the late 960's is less likely. Therefore (keeping in mind that the following years are no more than guesses), a birthdate for Béatrix of ca. 972, a first marriage to Geoffroy (II) of Gâtinais ca. 990, a birth of count Aubry of Gâtinais ca. 992, a second marriage to Hugues du Perche ca. 998, a birth of Geoffroy (III) of Gâtinais ca. 1000, and a birth of Liétaud ca. 1002, would all make perfectly plausible estimates, without pushing any of the possibilities to their extremes. Even though a much earlier birthdate can not be ruled out, the lack of evidence for an earlier wife of Aubry supports the simpler solution in which Béatrix was a daughter of his only known wife, which in turn would make a birth in the neighborhood of 970 likely on chronological grounds. Certain conjectural children who have been assigned to Béatrix would require her to have been born significantly earlier, which in turn would require her to be by an otherwise unknown wife of Aubry II. However, as noted below, the evidence for these other children is not strong.

Conjectured relationships
There are a number of conjectures (some mutually contradictory) involving additional relationships for Béatrix which have appeared in the literature. There does not seem to be any compelling reason to accept any of these conjectures, although lack of evidence also makes it difficult to rule them out.

Saint-Phalle:
Conjectured mother: NN, daughter of Geoffroy, viscount of Orléans.
Conjectured additional husband: Gautier I, count of Amiens, Valois, Vexin.
(placed as second husband, between Geoffroy and Hugues)
[Saint-Phalle (2000)] The underlying basis of Saint-Phalle's arguments for these two conjectures is the belief that the claims of Béatrix's sons to be counts of Gâtinais came via Béatrix herself, and through one of her parents before that. This is in turn based on the fact that sons of Béatrix by two different husbands were counts of Gâtinais. For, if Geoffroy (II) had been count of Gâtinais in his own right, the logic goes, the succession of Geoffroy (III), maternal half-brother of Aubry, as count of Gâtinais becomes more difficult to explain. If this argument is accepted, then a number of things appear to follow. Thus, for Saint-Phalle, Geoffroy (II) owed his position as count of Gâtinais to his marriage to Béatrix. Since Geoffroy was evidently count of Gâtinais by 979 (see above), Saint-Phalle would place the marriage of Béatrix to Geoffroy prior to this date. This in turn would make it extremely probable that Béatrix was a daughter of Aubri II of Mâcon by some otherwise unknown marriage prior to Ermentrude de Roucy (whose grandmother was married in 929 - see
Ermentrude's page). Since it has long been conjectured that the counts of Gâtinais were descended from Geoffroy (fl. 942) and Aubry (fl. 957, 966), viscounts of Orléans [Mabille (1871), lxxxiv-lxxxvi], Saint-Phalle conjectured that Aubry II of Mâcon had an earlier marriage to a daughter of viscount Geoffroy of Orléans, and that the viscount Aubry of Orléans who appears in 957 and 966 was Aubry II of Mâcon himself. As discussed on the page of Aubry II, this latter identification is unlikely.

A count Gautier of Gâtinais ruling, between Geoffroy (II) and his son Aubry, is presumed from a letter of Abbo of Fleury written in 997 to Pope Gregory V, which complained that Qauz[-], nepos of count Wal[-] of Château-Landon (i.e., Gâtinais), was ravaging church lands ["... Est quidem Qauz, nepos Wal comitis de castro Nantonis, qui devastat possessiones nostri monasterii; de quo precor ut cum ipso Wal, qui nunc Romae est, loquamini, minando contra ejus nepotem virgam excommunicationis nisi resipuerit, si inveni gratiam in oculis vestris; ..." PL 139: 421]. The two abbreviated names Wal[-] and Qauz[-] are generally interpreted as Walterius (Gautier) and Q[u]auzfridus (Geoffroy). Saint-Phalle would identify this Wal- with Gautier I, count of Amiens, Valois, and Vexin, and would suggest that he was an otherwise unidentified husband of Béatrix, coming between her marriages to Geoffroy and Hugues. The identification of count Wal- with a member of the dynasty of Amiens, Valois, and Vexin has also been made by others, with variations. Guillot and Settipani would identify Wal- with Gautier II, son of Gautier I (the chronology of Gautier I and Gautier II is vague enough to allow either identification), while Bachrach would make him as another Gautier, conjectured as a son of Geoffroy, son of Gautier I [Guillot (1972), 3-4; Settipani (2000), 247-9; Bachrach (1993), 264]. However, only Saint-Phalle conjectures a marriage of Wal- to Béatrix. The others would make count Geoffroy (II) of Gâtinais a member of the Amiens-Valois-Vexin dynasty (in various ways). See the page of Geoffroy (II).

Settipani:
Conjectured mother: NN, daughter of Hugues le Grand and sister of Hugues Capet, king of France.
(or, more generally, a wife conjectured to have some sort of Vermandois connection)

Conjectured son
(doubtful):

(by Geoffroy)
MALE Geoffroy (Qauz[-]), fl. 997, nepos of Wal[-], count of Château-Landon.
The conjectured mother is an onomastic conjecture based on the name Béatrix, which was also the name of the mother of Hugues le Grand (see the page of
Aubry II).The Qauz[-] who appears in the 997 letter of Abbo of Fleury as ravaging church lands (see above) is difficult to identify, because he cannot reasonably be identified with count Geoffroy (II) of Gâtinais (who appears to have been deceased), and he couldn't be Geoffroy (III), who was either an infant or not yet born. He would be placed by Settipani as a son of Béatrix by her first husband Geoffroy of Gâtinais (who is identified as the son of Gautier I of Amiens, and brother of Gautier II, whom Settipani identifies as the count Wal[-] of 997) [Settipani (2000), 247-9]. Note that this conjecture would give Béatrix two sons of the same name (by different husbands), and would probably require Béatrix to be old enough to be a daughter of an earlier marriage of Aubry. If Qauz[-] was indeed a son of Geoffroy (II), it seems more likely than not that he was son of a previously unknown earlier marriage of Geoffroy (II).

Chaume:
Conjectured daughter (very speculative):
(by Geoffroy)
FEMALE NN, m. Guy, joint count of Mâcon, son of Otte-Guillaume, count of Burgundy and Mâcon.
[Chaume (1925), 465, n.2; 533 (table 3)] This conjecture is based on a charter from 1017×1025 of Otto, count of Mâcon (son of Guy, son of Otte-Guillaume, son of Adalbert and Gerberge), which, in addition to naming his father Gui and grandfather Otte-Guillaume, and son Geoffroy, mentions his atavus Liétaud, who is almost certainly to be identified with Béatrix's grandfather Liétaud, count of Mâcon ["... ego Otto, comes Maticensis, ..., pro peccatorum quoque meroum abolitione, animæ etiam meæ et patris mei Guidonis, necnon avi mei Ottonis cognomento Wilelmi, et uxoris meæ et filii mei Gaufredi, omniumque parentum et fidelium meorum remedio, ... sicuti jam ante comes Leotaldus, atavus meus, ..." Cart. Cluny, 3: 735-6 (#2712)]. Making Otto's mother a daughter of Béatrix would be one way of explaining this evidence, and the presence of the name Geoffroy as a son of Otto has been mentioned as further support for the conjecture. Other interpretations have also been put forward for this evidence, which are discussed on the page of Gerberge, mother of Otte-Guillaume. This conjecture would almost certainly require Béatrix to be a daughter of a previous marriage of Aubry II, because Guy's son Otto, count of Mâcon, appears in a document in 1004.

Saint-Phalle:
Conjectured daughter (improbable):
(by Geoffroy)
FEMALE NN, m. Ebles de Poitou, son of Guillaume II (IV) "Fier-à-Bras", count of Poitou and duke of Aquitaine.
(conjectured mother of Ebles I, count of Roucy and archbishop of Reims and Liétaud de Marle)
[Saint-Phalle (2000), 242 (table 1)] Mathieu has a similar conjecture where the wife of Ebles de Poitou would be placed as a sister rather than a daughter of Béatrix, and that scenario is chronologically much more plausible [Mathieu (2000); see the page of
Aubry II].


 

Bibliography

Bachrach (1993) = B. Bachrach, Fulk Nerra, the Neo-Roman Consul, 987-1040 (University of California Press, 1993).

Cart. S.-Père de Chartres = M Guérard, Cartulaire de l'Abbaye de Saint-Père de Chartres, 2 vols. (Paris, 1840).

Chaume (1925) = Maurice Chaume, Les origines du duché de Bourgogne, (vol. 1, Dijon, 1925).

Devaux (1885) = J. Devaux, "Étude chronologique sur les comtes de Gâtinais", Annales de la Société Historique & Archéologique du Gâtinais 3 (1885): 55-83.

Devaux (1892) = J. Devaux, "Origines Gâtinaises" (parts I & II), Annales de la Société Historique & Archéologique du Gâtinais 10 (1892): 241-260.

Estournet (1928) = "Les origines historiques de Nemours et sa charte de franchises (1170)" (parts I-III), Annales de la Société Historique & Archéologique du Gâtinais 39 (1928): 105-158.

Guillot (1972) = Olivier Guillot, Le Comte d'Anjou et son entourage au XIe siècle (Paris, 1972).

Mabille (1871) = Émile Mabille, Introduction au Chroniques des Comtes d'Anjou (Société de l'Histoire de France, vol. 155, Paris, 1871).

Mathieu (1998) = Jean-Noël Mathieu, "Nouvelles recherches sur le premiers comtes de Tonnere et de Bar-sur-Seine", Bulletin annuel de la Société d'Archéologie et d'Histoire du Tonnerois 51 (1998), 4-18. [I have not seen this work.]

Mathieu (2000) = Jean-Noël Mathieu, "La succession au comté de Roucy aux environs de l'an mil. Les origines de l'archevêque de Reims Ebles (1021-1033)", in Keats-Rohan & Settipani, eds., Onomastique et Parenté dans l'Occident médiéval (Oxford, 2000), 75-84.

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

PL = P. Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, series Latina, 221 vols. (Paris, 1844-1859).

Poupardin (1900) = René Poupardin, "Généalogies angevines du XIe siècle", Mélanges d'Archéologie et d'Histoire (Paris, Rome) 20 (1900):199-208.

Rec. Actes Lothair & Louis V = Louis Halphen & Ferdinand Lot, eds., Recueil des actes de Lothaire et de Louis V rois de France (Paris, 1908).

RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.

Saint-Phalle (2000) = Edouard de Saint-Phalle, "Les comtes de Gâtinais aux Xe et XIe siècles", in Keats-Rohan & Settipani, eds., Onomastique et Parenté dans l'Occident médiéval (Oxford, 2000), 230-246.

Settipani (1997) = Christian Settipani, "Les comtes d'Anjou et leur alliances aux Xe et XIe siècles", in K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, ed., Family Trees and the Roots of Politics (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1997): 211-267.

Settipani (1998) = Christian Settipani, Les Widonides du VIIe au Xe siècle (mémoire D.E.A., Paris I, 1998). [I have not seen this work.]

Settipani (2000) = Christian Settipani, "Les vicomtes de Châteaudun et leur alliés", in Keats-Rohan & Settipani, eds., Onomastique et Parenté dans l'Occident médiéval (Oxford, 2000), 247-261.

Vita Gauzlini = Robert-Henri Bautier & Gillette Labory, ed. & trans., André de Fleury, Vie de Gauzlin, abbé de Fleury (Vita Gauzlini abbatis Floriacensis monasterii) (Paris, 1969). Edited previously by Léopold Delisle, "Vie de Gauzlin, abbé de Fleuri et archevèque de Bourges, par André de Fleuri", Mémoires de la Société Archéologique de l'Orléanais 2 (1853): 257-322.


Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 24 April 2008.

Minor revision uploaded 24 January 2011.

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