MALE Heribert I

Count of Vermandois, 896-900×6.
Count of Soissons and lay-abbot of Saint-Crépin, before 898-900×6.

Heribert first appears in 877, when he and his brother Pépin were among those sent by emperor Charles the Bald to prepare for a meeting between the pope and emperor ["Quapropter praemisit Odacrum secundi scrinii notarium, Goiramnum comitem et Pippinum atque Heribertum, ad procuranda ipsius papae servitia." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 877, 136]. In 893, he and Pépin are found with Charles the Simple upon his elevation as king ["Odone rege in Aquitania commemorata, Francorum principes ex permaxima parte ab eo deficiunt, et agnetibus Folcone episcopo, Heriberto et Pippino comitibus, in Remorum civitate Carolus filius Hludowici, ex Adalheide regina, ut supra meminimus, natus, in regnum elevatur." Regino, s.a. 892 (misdated), MGH SS 1: 605]. In 896, Heribert killed Raoul, brother of count Baldwin II [Ann. Vedast., s.a., 896, 78], who had been expelled earlier that year from the countship of Vermandois, and it is probably in this year that Heribert became count of Vermandois and lay-abbot of Saint-Quentin. Heribert last appears in 900 (the year that Annales Vedastini end), and he was killed not long afterward by a follower of Baldwin II of Flanders.

Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.

Date of Death: 900×906.
Regino of Prüm, writing ca. 906, in comments added to the obituary of king Bernard of Italy under the year 818, mentions that Bernard's grandson Heribert had killed count Rodulf, son of Baldwin, in Regino's own time, and that Heribert was killed not long after by a supporter (also named Baldwin) of Rodulf's brother Baldwin [II] of Flanders ["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, MGH SS 1: 567]
Place of Death: Unknown.

Father: Pepin/Pippin, d. after 840, count (near Paris).

Mother: Unknown.
The conjecture that she was a member of the "Nibelungen" family (descendants of Childebrand, son of Charles Martel) is based on the fact that Heribert I's predecessors in some of his possessions belonged to that family, and on the presence of the name Heribert in that family [see Werner (1960), 101-6].

Spouses: Unknown.
See the Commentary section.

Children (very probable):
It is rather surprising to see the extent to which modern scholars have glossed over the lack of direct documentation for the relationship between Heribert I and Heribert II. In fact, I did not notice this gap in documentation until the question of documentation for the parentage of Heribert II was raised on the soc.genealogy.medieval/GEN-MEDIEVAL internet newsgroup/mailing list on 13 September 2005 by Steve Barnhoorn, and soon after discussed in more detail by Peter Stewart. Indeed, in his detailed critical study of this family, Karl Ferdinand Werner started his paper by indicating that the Carolingian descent was well documented ["Im Gegnsatz zu den meisten andern westfränkischen Fürstengeschlechtern stellt das Haus Vermandois der Forschung nicht das heikle Problem der Herkunft - zumindest nicht in Mannesstamm. Der karolingische Ursprung ist sicher bezeugt." Werner (1960), 87], followed by a footnote which did in fact document the descent of Heribert I from Charlemagne, but then just stated that Heribert II was a son of Heribert I, without offering any direct documentation there or elsewhere in the paper. Brandenburg (1964) and Settipani (1993), both of them sources which should state such documentation (or at least mention the lack thereof), state the link without documentation or further comment.

The earliest source which would appear (at least at first glance) to offer such documentation is an eleventh century Angevin genealogical table, in which Adèle de Troyes, wife of count Geoffroy Grisegonelle of Anjou, is called a daughter of Robert, son of Heribert, son of another Heribert. [Poupardin (1900), 207; see also the page of Heribert's great-granddaughter Adèle, which shows the table] Unfortunately, there is a serious error which undermines this source (which is, of course, not contemporary anyway). In this table, it is the elder Heribert who is stated to be the captor of king Charles the Simple, whereas that deed was actually performed by Heribert II. Because Heribert II did have a son named Heribert, the exact nature of the error remains unclear (is Robert being erroneously assigned as son of his own brother, or was the captor of Charles simply misidentified in an otherwise correct genealogy?), and this source is therefore not good evidence for the parentage of Heribert II.

The strongest piece of indirect evidence for Heribert II's parentage is that he is found in possession of the lands which were also held by his namesake Heribert I, e.g. Soissons, Vermandois. Also of note is the statement of the annalist Flodoard that Heribert had a cousin (consobrinus) named Bernard ["..., et Heribertus comes Bernardum, consobrinum suum, cum aliis legatis consilium quod per illos agebatur, ut fertur, ignorantibus, ad Karolum dirigit." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 923, 15]. Since Heribert I had a brother named Bernard, this also gives good onomastic evidence. Thus, despite the lack of direct documentation for the relationship, it is very probable that Heribert II was the son and successor of Heribert I. (In the unlikely event that Heribert II was not a son of Heribert I, he would in that case almost certainly be a son of either Bernard or Pépin, brothers of Heribert I.)

MALE Heribert II, b. say 880, d. 23 February 943, count of Meaux, Soissons, and Vermandois, and abbot of Saint-Crépin and Saint-Médard (Soissons), 900×7-943; m. before 907, Adèle, daughter of Robert of Neustria (later Robert I, king of France).

FEMALE NN, m. Udo, count of Wetterau.
An entry in Flodoard's annals for the year 946 shows that Udo (identified as a brother of Hermann) had married an amita of bishop Hugues, also mentioning Arnulf, who had married the bishop's sister ["Videns autem praesul Hugo obsidionem se tolerare non posse, neque tantae resistere multitudini, locutus est cum quibusdam principibus qui videbantur sibi esse amici, videlicet cum Arnulfo, qui ejus sororem, et Uddone, qui amitam ipsius habebat uxorem, sed et cum Hermanno, Uddonis fratre, quaesivit ab eis, quid sibi foret agendum." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 946, 102]. Since Hugues was a son of Heribert II and Arnulf (I of Flanders) was married to a daughter of Heribert II, Udo's wife would be a sister of Heribert, assuming that amita is to be interpreted in the usual sense as paternal aunt. The suggestion that her name was Cunégonde is an unverified conjecture [See Settipani (1993), 222-3; Jackman (1997), 36, 38]. For the implausible attempt to identify Udo's wife with Béatrix, wife of Robert I of France [Vajay (1980), 770-1], see the page of Béatrix.


Falsely attributed wife (fictional):

Berthe, daughter of Guerri (Wedricus), count of Morvois, and his wife Eva.

The main basis of the claim is Historia Walciodorensis Monasterii, a very legendary account of the founder of Waulsort monastery, Ybert de Ribemont (Eilbertus, Elbertus), which includes a fabricated genealogy which, among other false claims, makes this Ybert a brother of count Heribert of Saint-Quentin, and states that Ybert and his brother Heribert were responsible for the famous capture of king Charles the Simple, thus clearly identifying Heribert as Heribert II. Eilbertus and comes Heribertus de Sancto Quintino are listed among the seven supposed sons of Ebroinus by his wife Berta, who brought Florennes to her husband as the daughter of Widricus and Eva. ["... Eius itaque pater comes Ebroinus fuit, vir armis strenuus. Hic armis strenuus et omni honestate preclarus. Iste igitur Ebroinus industria sua et virtute multa acquirens, filiam Wederici comitis et eius uxoris Evae, quae in nominis agnitione Berta nuncupabatur, sumpsit in coniugum, accipiens cum ea, dante ipso genitore atque genetrice, Florinas et quicquid ad eundem pagum Florinensem pertinet. ..." Hist. Walc. Monast., c. 1, MGH SS 14: 505; "... Iste autem Ebroinus ex prefati comitis Wederici et eius uxoris Evae filia, quae, ut superius prefati sumus, Berta dicebatur, septem habuit filios, qui terram longe lateque post decessionem patris tenuerunt hereditario iure et sibi prudentia sua multa acquisierunt. ..." Hist. Walc. Monast., c. 2, MGH SS 14: 505; "Primus itaque in ordine generationis come Eilbertus fuit, maior et natu et dignitate, secundus post hunc comes Uddo de Roix, deinde comes Heribertus de Sancto Quintino, Gerardus de Odenarde, comes Boso, comes Witerus et Macuardus venerabilis episcopus. ..." Hist. Walc. Monast., c. 3, MGH SS 14: 505-6; "Igitur anno ab incarnatione Domini nongentisimo vicesimo secundo Karolus rex Francorum captus ab Eilberto et fratre eius Heriberto usque ad Pernam et ab eisdem sub vinculis carceralis custodiae ibidem diebus multis religatur. ...", Hist. Walc. Monast., c. 5, MGH SS 14: 506].

From this starting point, the "logic" on which this false claim is based is easy enough to see. It has been assumed by some authors that the sibling relationship between Ybert and Heribert is at least partly correct, i.e., through their mother. If this argument is accepted, then Ybert's mother Berthe becomes the wife of Heribert I [e.g., Chaume, 1: 543 (table VIII)]. However, the account of Historia Walciodorensis Monasterii is legendary, and attempts to deduce genealogical truths from such legends are not valid. Indeed, for a very different genealogical scenario based on the same legends, see the page of Wigeric, d. 916×9, count of Bidgau, where more details are included.

Falsely attributed daughter:

FEMALE Béatrix, m. Robert I, d. 923, king of France.
The claim that Robert married a sister of Heribert II appears occasionally from the twelfth century on [e.g., "Habebat enim idem Robertus sororem istius Herberti in conjugio; de qua ortus est Hugo Magnus." Historia Francorum Senonensis, MGH SS 9: 366; "..., a Herberto comite, cuius sororem predictus Robertus habebat in uxorem, ..." Ex Stephanni Normannico Dracone, i, 24, MGH SS 26: 157]. However, since contemporary sources verify that Heribert II was married to Robert's daughter, these later accounts are more likely to be confused accounts of Heribert's marriage. Robert did have a wife named Béatrix, but she was not a daughter of Heribert [see the page of
Béatrix for more details]. For the implausible attempt to identify Béatrix with Udo's wife [Vajay (1980), 770-1], see the page of Béatrix.

Conjectured daughter (existence doubtful):

FEMALE Adèle, m. Gebhard, count of Ulfgau.
[Jackman (1990), 134-5, 178; Jackman (1997), 36, 38] The existence of this supposed daughter is based on a chain of arguments which will only be outlined here. It is closely related to the question of the parentage of Heribert, count of Kinziggau (d. 992) [for whom a page on this website is planned, but as yet unwritten]. In what might be called the "orthodox" account of Heribert's parentage, he is a son of the above marriage of count Udo with a daughter of Heribert I, and there is no need to hypothesize another daughter as a wife of Gerhard (a first cousin of Udo). In what might be called the "alternate" account of Heribert's parentage (proposed notably by Armin Wolf and Donald Jackman), Heribert was a member of another branch of the Konradiner dynasty, a son of Konrad, son of Gebhard of Ulfgau. In this second case, another daughter of Heribert I is hypothesized (and identified with an Adela who appears on a Reichenau memorial list) in order to explain the appearance of the name Heribert in this branch of the Konradiner dynasty. Thus, in order to accept the existence of this daughter, one must first accept the "alternate" scenario of Heribert's parentage, and even then it is still no more than a conjecture.


Ann. Bertin. = G. Waitz, ed., Annales Bertiniani (MGH SRG 6, Hannover, 1883).

Ann. Vedast. = B. de Simson, Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini (MGH SRG 12, Hannover, 1909).

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

Flodoard, Annales = Ph. Lauer, ed., Les Annales de Flodoard (Paris, 1905).

Jackman (1990) = Donald C. Jackman, The Konradiner. A Study in genealogical methodology (Frankfurt, 1990).

Jackman (1997) = Donald C. Jackman, Criticism and Critique. Sidelights on the Konradiner (Prosopographica et Genealogica 1, 1997).

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

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

Schwager (1994) = Helmut Schwager, Graf Heribert II. von Soissons, Omois, Meaux, Madrie sowie Vermandois (900/06-943) und die Francia (Nord-Frankreich) in der 1. Hälfte des 10. Jahrhunderts (Münchener historische Studien Abteilung mittelalterliche Geschichte, 6, 1994).

Settipani (1993) = Christian Settipani, La préhistoire des Capétiens 481-987 (Première partie - Mérovingiens, Carolingiens et Robertiens) (Villeneuve d'Ascq, 1993).

Vajay (1980) = Szabolcs de Vajay, "Comtesses d'origine occitane dans la Marche d'Espagne aux 10e et 11e siècles", Hidalguia 28 (1980): 585-616, 755-788.

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.

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

First uploaded 23 May 2007.

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