MALE Egbert

Saxon count, fl. 809-811.

In 809, Egbert and the Saxon counts took possession of Itzehoe (Esesfelth) on the river Stör ["Est autem locus super ripam Sturiae fluminis, vocabulo Esesfelth, et occupatus est ab Egberto et comitibus Saxonicis circa Idus Martias et muniri coeptus." ARF s.a. 809 (pp. 129-130)], and in 811, Egbert was one of Charlemagne's envoys in the peace treaty with the Danes [ibid., s.a. 811 (p. 134)].

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:

Date of death: After 811.
Place of death: Unknown.
Place of burial: Herzfeld.
["... ubi et domnus Ecberhtus laudandæ memoriæ conditus pausat." Vita S. Idæ, i, 7-8, Wilmans (1867), 475]

Father: Unknown.
Mother: Unknown.

Spouse: St. Ida.
In addition to the nearly contemporary Translatio S. Pusinnae, which names Egbert and Ida as the parents of abbot Warin [Translatio S. Pusinnæ, c. 2, Wilmans (1867), 1: 542; see below], Egbert is named as the husband of St. Ida in the tenth century Vita S. Idae ["... illustris vir Ecbertus, de præfatæ virginis nuptiis, ..." Vita S. Idae, i, 2, Wilmans (1867), 472].

Only Warin is directly documented as a son of Egbert. Other children and grandchildren of Egbert and Ida are documented by their relationship to Warin or to each other, as indicated below.

MALE Warin, d. 20 September 856, abbot of Corvey, 826-856.
["856. Warinus abbas obiit." Annales Corbeienses, MGH SS 3: 3; "Domnus Warinus abbas prefuit annis 30, menses 4, dies 25; obiit 12 Kalend. Octobr." Catalogus abbatum et nomina fratrum Corbeiensium, MGH SS 13: 275] Warin is called a son of Egbert and Ida by the Translatio S. Pusinnae ["Quo in monasterio [Corvey] primus abbas ab eisdem venerabilibus institutus est Warinus, nobilissimo genere propagatus: fuit enim genitus Echberto clarissimo comite et duce, matre splendidissima nomine Ida, ..." Translatio S. Pusinnæ, c. 2, Wilmans (1867), 1: 542; see below].

MALE Cobbo, fl. 842, ca. 845.
Cobbo is difficult to distinguish in the records from his nephew of the same name. A Cobbo, probably the elder, was among those sent by Ludwig the German and Charles the Bald to their brother Lothair in 842 [Nithard, iv, 3, MGH SS 2: 669]. Not long afterward, according to the Miracles of St. Germanus, a dux Cobbo was sent by Ludwig to king Harek I of Denmark ["... per Cobbonem illustrem ducem, hominem Ludowici Bewariorum regis, ..." Mirac. S. Germani, c. 15-18, MGH SS 15.1: 13-4; dated by Dümmler to 845, Dümmler (1887-8), 1: 283-4].

MALE NN (Egbert?).
The Translatio S. Pusinnae mentions Warin's brothers in the plural [Translatio S. Pusinnæ, c. 2, Wilmans (1867), 1: 542; see below]. An act of Otto I 947 mentions land in the comitatus of Egbert and Cobbo which the monastery of Essen had received from king Ludwig (presumably Ludwig the German) ["... a Ludouuico, curtem I Hucrithi nuncupatem et quidquid habuit in comitatu Ecberti et Cobbonis, ..." MGH DD O I, 167 (#85)]. It has been suggested with some degree of plausibility that this Egbert might be a brother of Warin and the elder Cobbo [e.g., Wilmans (1867), 260].

An unnamed sister of Warin was the mother of abbess Haduwy of Herford ["Horum ergo neptis, utpote ex eorum sorore genita, ..." Translatio S. Pusinnæ, c. 3, Wilmans (1867), 1: 542; for Warin and his brother as the antecedents of horum and eorum, see the Commentary section].

FEMALE [Adela?], abbess of Herford.
A ninth century letter of complaint (Querimonia) by Egilmar, bishop of Osnabrück, to pope Stephen V mentions a count Cobbo (a vassal of Ludwig the German) and Cobbo's brother abbot Warin, and their unnamed sister, abbess of Herford ["... quidam ejus fidelis comes ditissimus, Cobbo nuncupatis, ..., germano ejus nomine Werin in monasterio Huxiliensi tunc temporis abbate, et sorore ejus in puellarum coenobio Herivordensi abbatissa degentibus, ..." Erhard (1847), Urkunden, 36 (#41)]. The name of the abbess is given as Adela in an act of Heinrich IV dated 27 January 1068 ["Sub Ludeuuico secundo ... prefatus Coppo, primus usurpator earundem decimarum, ... partem Warino fratri suo germano, Corbeiensi abbati, partem abbatisse Adele Herefurdensi, germane sue, concessit" Wedekind (1823-36), 2: 381].

Grandchildren through his unnamed daughter:

FEMALE Haduwy (Hathuwig), abbess of Herford, 858-887;
m. Amalung.
Haduwy was daughter of a sister of Warin [see above and in Commentary section]. One entry in the Corvey traditions mentions a Haduwy, her husband Amalung, and her children Bennid and Amalung ["... tradidit Haduwy ... pro redemtione videlicet anime viri sui Amalung atque filiorum suorum Bennid, Amalung, ..." Trad. Corb., 82, B §373 (A §149); "Amulung comes Bikethop; Hathuwig, mater eius, Amulungessen." Notitiae fundationis monasterii Corbeiensis, MGH SS 15.2: 1044]. Since another tradition names Cobbo and his nephew Amalung, it is probable that Haduwy, wife of Amalung, was the same person as Haduwy, abbess of Herford ["Tradidit Cobbo pro remedio anime nepotis sui Amalung, ... . ... ipse Amalungus adhuc viuens elegit predictum ouunculum suum Cobbonem, ..." Trad. Corb., 76, B §349 (A §125)]. Haduwy could have become abbess after the death of her husband. However, Metz thought that Haduwy, abbess of Herford, and Haduwy, wife of Amalung, were two different closely related women [Metz (1964), 278].

MALE Cobbo, fl. 890?
The younger Cobbo, named as a brother of Haduwy, appears to have been a man of Charles the Bald at the time that Translatio S. Pusinnae was written ["... quod frater eius Cobbo ... in palatio quotidianis eius adherebat obsequiis; ..." (see below) Translatio S. Pusinnæ, c. 3, Wilmans (1867), 1: 542; see also MGH SS 2: 682; Dümmler (1887-8), 1: 370]. Wilmans identifes this Cobbo with the count of that name who appears in an act of king Arnulf dated 15 March 890 ["... cuidam dilecto atque venerabili comiti nostro Choppo ..." Wilmans (1867), 256 (#54); ibid., 301 (gen. table)].

Grandson or (less likely) son (brother of one of the Cobbos):

MALE Liudolf, d. ca. 844;
m. NN.
A widely discussed Corvey tradition mentions a Liudolf, his brother Cobbo and relative Fresgar, and Liudolf's unnamed wife ["Tradidit Bardo comes pro remedio anime Liudulfi familias XVIII in pago Bardengo. ... quidquid ipse Ludolfus habuit in pago Bardengo, ... exceptis seorsum denominatis familiis, quas ipse suo germano Cobboni atque suo propinquo Fresgario ad redimendum reliquerat. Omnia Bardo comes tradidit ... hac ei potestate contradita ab uxore Ludolfi atque a suis propinquis. ... ut predicti Ludolfi uxor ea possedeat usque ad obitum suum, ..." Trad. Corb., 76, B §350 (A §126)]. Hlawitschka dates the death of this Liudolf as ca. 844, based on the assumption that this tradition was of about the same date as neighboring entries [Hlawitschka (1974), 106 n. 56, 162 (table)]. If correct, this would rule out identification with duke Liudolf of Saxony, an identification which has frequently been attempted (see the Commentary section). The Cobbo who was this Liudolf's brother has generally been identified with the younger Cobbo, primarily on the basis that the Cobbo appearing in the adjacent notice seems to be the younger Cobbo. However, even though that seems like the more likely identification, it is difficult to rule out the possibility that Liudolf's brother was the elder Cobbo.

Possible grandson (nepos of Warin):

MALE Bovo I, d. 29 October 890, abbot of Corvey, 879-890.
["879. Avo abbas obiit; Bovo [senior] abbas ordinatur. ... 890. Bovo [senior] abbas obiit." Annales Corbeienses, MGH SS 3: 3; "Domnus Bovo abbas prefuit annis 11; obiit 4 Kalend. Novembris." Catalogus abbatum et nomina fratrum Corbeiensium, MGH SS 13: 275] Widukind makes Bovo I the ancestor of two other abbots of the same name, and states that Bovo I was a nepos of Warin ["Huius [Bovo III] patris avus Bovo Graecas litteras coram Cuonrado rege legendo factus est clarus; et huic eiusdem nominis avus erat, ut natu maior, omni virtute ac sapientia potior. Sed et ipse nepos erat Warini, qui ex milite factus est monachus et primus omnium apud Novam Corbeiam regulariter electus est in patrem." Widukind, iii, 2 (p. 90)]. Wilmans makes Bovo a brother of Haduwy and the younger Cobbo [Wilmans (1867), 301 (gen. table), 304-6].


The most informative source on the family of Egbert is Translatio S. Pusinnæ virginis, written in the 860's or 870's. It states that Warin, abbot of Corvey, was a son of the count and duke Egbert by his wife Ida, whose (unnamed) brothers were also distinguished. Their niece, daughter of their sister, was Haduwy, abbess of Herford. Haduwy is stated to have been related to king Charles [the Bald] in the third and fourth degree, and to have had a brother named Cobbo and an avunculus of the same name ["Quo in monasterio [Corvey] primus abbas ab eisdem venerabilibus institutus est Warinus, nobilissimo genere propagatus: fuit enim genitus Echberto clarissimo comite et duce, matre splendidissima nomine Ida, tam naturæ muneribus et generositatis, quam elegantia morum; cuius fratres adæque clarissimi viri, magnis dignitatibus illustres et apud exteros, et apud domesticos enituerunt. [Chapter] 3. Horum ergo neptis, utpote ex eorum sorore genita, patre viro spectabili et valde inclito, ad regimen Herifordensis monasterii venerabilis Haduini ... Erat autem ei aditus facilis ad ipsum, sive consanguinitatis gratia, cum ei [king Charles] tertio quartoque cognatione gradu iungeretur, ... quod frater eius Cobbo [avunculum suum ætate sua virum summa prudentia præstantissimum nomine referens], in palatio quotidianis eius adherebat obsequiis; ..." Translatio S. Pusinnæ, c. 2-3, Wilmans (1867), 1: 542; see also MGH SS 2: 681-2 (which does not include the clause avunculum ... referens)]. Here, getting a correct genealogical interpretation of these passages depends on correctly determining the antecedents of some ambiguous pronouns, indicated in bold face above (in both English and Latin). Different opinions about the antecedents of these pronouns have led to different opinions about the genealogical relationships [e.g., see the discussions in Wedekind (1823-36), 1: 151-2; Böttger (1865), 28-31; Waitz (1885), 182-3; Hlawitschka (1974), 132]. Some [including the editor of MGH, p. 682 n. 4] have thought that the antecedents of the word horum and eorum were the brothers Adalhard and Wala, abbots of Corvey, grandsons of Charles Martell, who had been mentioned in chapter 2 prior to the account of Warin and his family. This interpretation would indeed make Haduwy a relative of Charles the Bald in the third and fourth degrees, but it does not make grammatical sense that the antecedents would be located several sentences earlier when the previous sentence contains such obvious candidates for the antecedent of the pronoun. Thus, it seems clear that the antecedents of horum and eorum consist of the word fratres along with whichever individual was the antecedent of cuius (and thus any argument that the fratres should be identified with Adalhard and Wala would have to be based on other evidence). The modern consensus is that the antecedent of cuius is Warin, and not Ida or Egbert. If we accept this, then Haduwy would be a maternal granddaughter of Egbert and Ida, and her avunculus Cobbo would be one of the brothers of Warin. This is supported by the above mentioned letter of complaint of bishop Egilmar which mentions a count Cobbo as a brother of Warin ["... quidam ejus fidelis comes ditissimus, Cobbo nuncupatis, ..., germano ejus nomine Werin in monasterio Huxiliensi tunc temporis abbate, et sorore ejus in puellarum coenobio Herivordensi abbatissa degentibus, ..." Erhard (1847), Urkunden, 36 (#41)]. The basic outline of Egbert's family as given by Translatio S. Pusinnæ would then be as in the following table.

As noted above, further family members can be added to this basic outline from other sources. This would include a sister of Warin evidently named Adela, and a brother of one of the Cobbos named Liudolf, both of whom have been falsely identified with ancestors of king Heinrich I having the same or similar names.

The inheritance of Herzfeld

Egbert and his wife St. Ida have been claimed as ancestors of king Heinrich I in various different ways. Among other variations, they have been claimed as ancestors of Liudolf, duke of Saxony. Evidence that Liudolf was an heir by blood of Egbert and Ida has been claimed on the basis of the following two passages from the Life of St. Ida [see Hlawitschka (1974), 156 ff.].

"Post hæc autem cum ipse locus ab aliis hæreditaria successione possideretur, et, ob præsidentium incuriam, vilitatibus obsolescere cepisset, continuo benignus Dominus sanctæ famulæ suæ merita Idæ, ad castigationem improborum, terribili patefecit eventu. Nam præclari comitis Liuddolfi amabilis soboles, dum adhuc in albis ab luce raperetur, ad eandem ecclesiam defertur. Et quia sanctæ Dei opinio necdum in aperto emicuit, penes eam pusionem sepelierunt, ..." (Now, after this [i.e., the burial of the priest Berehtger at Herzfeld near Ida], when this place [Herzfeld] was possessed by others by hereditary succession, and, on account of negligent management, began to become worthless, the kind God immediatley disclosed the merits of his holy servant Ida with the castigation of the wicked in a terrifying event. For the lovable child of the distinguished count Liudolf, when he was snatched from the light while still in white (i.e., died as an infant), was carried away to the same church. And because the will of holy God was not yet well known, they buried the little boy with her, ...) [Vita S. Idæ, i, 9, Wilmans (1867), 475 (a story of the miraculous ejection of the boy from the tomb follows)]

"Ex quo enim preciosus inibi thesaurus recondebatur, usque ad venerandi nostri patris Hogeri tempora sub rege Arnulfo, locus ille iuri fuit addictus excellentissimi ducis Oddonis, qui huius serenissimi augusti Ottonis extitit proavus, a quo idem venerabilis abbas ipsam regiam curtem, aliis repensis possessionibus iuxta legalem cambiavit ritum, ac deinceps in nostræ abbatiæ proprietate, id est S. Liudgeri perpetuo usque in præsens cernitur perdurare." (In fact, since then a precious treasure was hidden away there [Herzfeld], until in the time of our revered father Hoger under king Arnulf, that place was awarded by law to the excellent duke Oddo, who was the great-grandfather of our most serene emperor Otto [II], from whom the same venerable abbot, with compensation by other possessions, purchased that royal palace by legal custom, and thereafter it can be seen to endure as the property of our abbacy, that is St. Liudger, without interruption until the present.) [Vita S. Idæ, ii, 1, Wilmans (1867), 482]

These passages indicate that at some point after the death of Ida, Herzfeld passed by hereditary succession to others, that some time after that Liudolf buried his son there, and that duke Otto of Saxony (son of Liudolf) was awarded the same place by law. These have been interpreted as implying that Liudolf held Herzfeld as an heir by blood of Egbert and Ida [e.g., Wedekind (1823-36), 1: 146; Hüsing (1880), 7; Waitz (1885), 186]. On the other hand, because it passed to "others", the first passage has also been seen as implying that Liudolf was not Egbert's son, but a more distant heir [e.g., Hüsing (1880), 7; Waitz (1885), 186].

However, as Hlawitschka has noted, the assumption that Liudolf was an heir of Egbert probably reads too much into the statements of the Life of St. Ida [Hlawitschka (1974), 156-9]. This source does not actually state that Liudolf held Herzfeld, only that he buried a son there. When it states that duke Otto was awarded Herzfeld by law, this was presumably after 880 (when Otto became duke), and therefore many years after the hereditary succession of unknown individuals to Egbert and Ida mentioned earlier. The Liudolfinger were from eastern Saxony, while Herzfeld is in Westfalen. Also, the fact that Otto II sold Herzfeld does not suggest that it was land long in hereditary possession of his family.

Conjectured son or grandson (improbable):

MALE Liudolf, d. 12 March 866, duke of Sachsen (Saxony);
The basis of this conjecture is the record mentioned above in which a Liudolf is called a brother of a Cobbo ["Tradidit Bardo comes pro remedio anime Liudulfi familias XVIII in pago Bardengo. ... quidquid ipse Ludolfus habuit in pago Bardengo, ... exceptis seorsum denominatis familiis, quas ipse suo germano Cobboni atque suo propinquo Fresgario ad redimendum reliquerat. Omnia Bardo comes tradidit ... hac ei potestate contradita ab uxore Ludolfi atque a suis propinquis. ... ut predicti Ludolfi uxor ea possedeat usque ad obitum suum, ..." Trad. Corb., 76, B §350 (A §126)]. Some have identified this Liudolf with Liudolf of Saxony, and the brother Cobbo with either the son or grandson of Egbert, resulting in Liudolf being placed as a son or grandson of Egbert. The two variations are discussed in more detail on the page of Liudolf. The principle objection to the identification of this Liudolf (who was deceased at the time of the entry) as Liudolf of Saxony is that the date of the entry has been estimated in the 840's, whereas Liudolf of Saxony died in 866. Thus, it is probable that the Liudolf of the Corvey tradition was a different man from duke Liudolf of Saxony.

Falsely attributed daughters:

m. Asic, fl. 813-46, count.
As a part of his identification of duke Liudolf as a brother of the younger Cobbo and of abbess Haduwy of Herford, Eckhardt conjectured that the parents of these siblings were count Asic and his second wife Ida. See the page of Liudolf for the details.

FEMALE Aeda (falsely identified with Adela, abbess of Herford);
This claim depends on the identification of Billung's wife Aeda with Adela, abbess of Herford. However, this questionable identification has little to recommend it. The daughter of Billung and Aeda, Oda, is said to be of Frankish (and not Saxon) descent by both Agius and Hrotsvitha ["... mater ex nobilissima aeque Francorum prosapia descendens, ..." Agius, Vita Hathumodae, c. 2, MGH SS 4: 167 (mater refers to the mother of Hathumod, i.e., Oda); "... Cui coniux ergo fuerat praenobilis Oda, Edita Francorum clara de stirpe potentum, ..." Hrotsvitha, Carmen de primordiis coenobii Gandersheimensis, MGH SS 4: 306].

FEMALE Mathilde, fl. ca. 909, abbess of Herford;
m. NN.
[RFC2 239 (line 338)] The claim is chronologically impossible.

Conjectured granddaughter (possible):

Heinrich, d. 28 August 886, marquis of Neustia.
In the life of Heinrich's aunt Hathumod, abbess of Gandersheim, the monk Agius states of Hathumod that "frater eius regum neptem in matrimonio habet" [Vita Hathumodae, c. 2, MGH SS 4: 167]. Although Agius does not specify which brother of Hathumod married a neptis of kings, attention has concentrated on Otto, duke of Saxony and his wife Hadwig [see the page of Hadwig for more details]. If Hadwig's father has been correctly identified as the "Babenberger" Heinrich (d. 886), then there would probably not be any royal descent there, so that the possible royal ancestry of Hadwig would presumably be through her mother. To this we can compare Haduwy (a variant of the name Hadwig), abbess of Herford, said to be a relative in the third and fourth degrees of Charles the Bald [Translatio S. Pusinnæ, c. 3, Wilmans (1867), 1: 542, see above]. Given two women with variants of the same name who are apparently both related to the Carolingians, it has been suggested that they were related, and that their Carolingian relationship came from the same source [Metz (1964), 276ff.; Metz (1971), 143; Hlawitschka (1974), 146ff.; Hlawitschka (2006), 1.2: 47-52]. Both Metz and Hlawitschka would conjecture Heinrich's unnamed wife as a granddaughter of Egbert and Ida, but with Metz placing her as a possible sister of Haduwy [Metz (1964), 281; Metz (1971), 143], and Hlawitschka placing her as a daughter of Cobbo or one of his siblings [Hlawitschka (1974), 162; Hlawitschka (2006), 1.2: 51]. Of all of the attempts to make Egbert an ancestor of king Heinrich I, this one seems the most plausible, but it is far from proven.

Falsely attributed identification: Ecgbeorht, d. 839, king of Wessex, 802-839.
The identification of count Egbert with king Ecgbeorht of Wessex was suggested by Henry Howorth [Howorth (1900), 73-5], but this identification cannot be accepted.


Ann. Fuld. = Friedrich Kurze, ed., Annales Fuldenses (MGH SRG 7, Hannover, 1891).

ARF = Georg Pertz & Friedrich Kurze, Annales Regni Francorum (Annals of the kingdom of the Franks), MGH SRG 6 (Hannover, 1895), a collective name commonly given to two closely related sets of annals, Annales Laurissenses Maiores and the so-called Einhardi Annales (Annals of Einhard), in parallel on alternate pages until the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 (s.a. 801).

Böttger (1865) = H. Böttger, Die Brunonen, Vorfahren und Nachkommen des Herzogs Ludolf in Sachsen (Hannover, 1865).

Dümmler (1887-8) = Ernst Dümmler, Geschichte des Ostfränkischen Reiches, 3 vols. (2nd. ed., Leipzig, 1887-8).

Eckhardt (1970) = K. A. Eckhardt, Studia Corbeiensia, 2 vols. (Bibliotheca rerum histroicarum, 1970). [I have not seen this work.]

Erhard (1847) = Heinrich August Erhard, Regesta Historiae Westfaliae (Münster, 1847).

Hlawitschka (1974) = Eduard Hlawitschka, "Zur Herkunft der Liudolfinger und zu einigen Corveyer Geschichtsquellen", Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter 38 (1974): 92-165.

Hlawitschka (2006) = Eduard Hlawitschka, Die Ahnen de hochmittelalterlichen deutschen Könige, Kaiser und ihrer Gemahlinnen. Ein kommentiertes Tafelwerk. Band I: 911-1137, 2 vols. (MGH Hilfsmittel, 25, Hannover, 2006).

Howorth (1900) = Henry H. Howorth, "Ecgberht, king of the West Saxons and the Kent men, and his coins", The Numismatic Chronicle 3rd. ser. 20 (1900): 66-87.

Hüsing (1880) = Hüsing, "Genealogie der heiligen Ida", Zeitschrift für vaterländische Geschichte und Alterthumskunde 38 (1880): 1-21.

Metz (1964) = Wolfgang Metz, "Die Abstammung König Heinrichs I." Historisches Jahrbuch 84 (1964): 271-287.

Metz (1971) = Wolfgang Metz, "Heinrich 'mit dem goldenen Wagen' ", Blätter für deutsche Landesgeschichte 107 (1971): 136-161.

MGH DD = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata series.

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

RFC2 = Roderick Stuart, Royalty for Commoners (2nd ed., Baltimore, 1992).

Trad. Corb. = Paul Wigand, ed., Traditiones Corbeienses (Leipzig, 1843). Citations labelled "B" are the section numbers from Wigand's edition, while those labelled "A" are the section numbers from the edition of J. F. Falke, Codex traditionum Corbeiensium (1752), the latter not seen by me.

Waitz (1885) = Georg Waitz, Jahrbücher des Deutschen Reichs under König Heinrich I. (3rd, ed., Leipzig, 1885).

Wedekind (1823-36) = Anton Christian Wedekind, Noten zu einigen Geschichtschreibern des Deutschen Mittelalters, 3 vols. (Hamburg, 1823-36).

Widukind = Georg Waitz & Karl Andreas Kehr, eds., Widukindi monachi Corbeiensis Rerum Gestarum Saxonicarum libri tres (4th ed., MGH SRG 55, Hannover & Leipzig, 1904).

Wilmans (1867) = Roger Wilmans, Die Kaiserurkunden der Provinz Westfalen 777-1313 (Erster Band: Die Urkunden des Karolingischen Zeitalters 777-900) (Münster, 1867).

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 3 April 2011.

Return to Henry Project home page

Go to Henry Project index page

Go to Henry II ancestor table