MALE Mathilde

Abbess of Herford, fl. ca. 909.

Mathilde appears as the mother of Dietrich and grandmother of queen Mathilde (wife of Heinrich I, king of Germany) in the biographies of queen Mathilde ["Hanc eandem, ut diximus, virginem, Herevordensi quae inerat monasterio, non inter sanctimoniales numeranda, sed ad quaeque utilia libris operibusque nutrienda cum sui matre genitoris, quae in viduitate bonis eo usque profecerat actibus, ut princeps et abbatissa constitueretur sanctimonialium, nobilitas simul et probitatis favor prodidit." Vita Mahthildis reginae antiquior, c. 2, MGH SS 10: 576; "Cum ergo illustris parvula [Mathilde, daughter of Dietrich] esset ablactata, desideravit abbatissa Mahthild, mater Thietrici comitis, quae in Herivordinense sedem possedit abbatiae, praefatam puellam nutriendam suscipere." Vitae Mahthildis reginae, c. 2, MGH SS 4: 285].

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:
Unknown.

Date of death: After ca. 909.
Mathilde was still living at the time of the marriage of her granddaughter Mathilde to Heinrich I ca. 909 ["... ceteris parentum ignorantibus, sola ava eius conscia, quae ibi erat abbatissa, ..." Vita Mahthildis reginae antiquior, c. 3, MGH SS 10: 576].
Place of death: Unknown.

Father: Unknown.
Mother: Unknown.
See the Commentary section.

Spouse: NN, probable descendant of Widukind, dux of the Saxons.
Mathilde's sons were descendants of Widukind ["Et hi erant stirpis magni ducis Widukindi ..." Widukind, i, 31 (p. 38, see below)]. A descent of Mathilde's husband from Widukind seems more likely than the descent coming through Mathilde. See the Commentary section for more discussion.

Children:
["Erat namque ipsa domina regina filia Thiadrici, cuius fratres erant Widukind, Immed et Reginbern. Reginbern autem ipse erat, qui pugnavit contra Danos multo tempore Saxoniam vastantes, vicitque eos, liberans patriam ab illorum incursionibus usque in hodiernum diem. Et hi erant stirpis magni ducis Widukindi, qui bellum potens gessit contra magnum Karolum per triginta ferme annos." Widukind, i, 31 (p. 38)]

MALE Dietrich, d. after 929, count in Westfalen;
m.
Reinhild, d. after 931×2.

MALE Widukind, perhaps living 929.
There was a Widukind living in 929 who appears in a memorial list between Dietrich and Reinhild ["... Theotirih, Uuitechind, Reginhilt, ..." Schmid (1960), 187, plate 2]. This was probably Dietrich's brother of that name.

MALE Immed.

MALE Reginbern, fought against the Danes.



Commentary

Wilmans (and many others):
Falsely attributed husband: NN/Immed/Sigebert, son of count Waltbert, son of Wikbert, son of Widukind.
Wilmans postulated that Mathilde's husband was an unnamed son of Waltbert [Wilmans (1867), 436-8; see Hlawitschka (2006), 72-4, for a list of references which have followed Wilmans, usually without giving Mathilde's husband a name, but sometimes with a name conjectured (e.g., Immed, Sigebert)] As the only descendants of Widukind whose exact line of descent is clearly documented, Wikbert, bishop of Verden, his father Waltbert, and Waltbert's father Wikbert (son of Widukind) make natural candidates to whom previous researchers have tried to connect those descendants whose exact line of descent is not known. However, as Schmid has shown, the documents of Wildeshausen have enough information about bishop Wikbert to show that Mathilde's husband was not a brother of Wikbert or a descendant of Waltbert [Schmid (1964), 14]. Whatever the relationship was between Dietrich and bishop Wikbert, Dietrich was not Wikbert's nephew.

Wenskus:
Falsely attributed husband (existence uncertain): Waltbert, son or grandson of Abbo, son-in-law of Widukind.
[Hlawitschka (2006), 73 cites Wenskus (1976), 131ff. (not seen by me) for this hypothesis.] The theory is based on the separation of Waltbert, the founder of Wildeshausen and Vreden, into two different people. [See Hlawitschka (2006), 73-4]

Falsely attributed father: Egbert, fl. 809, 811, count.
Falsely attributed mother: St. Ida.
[RFC2 239 (line 338)] This claim is not chronologically believable [see Hlawitschka (2006), 76].

Falsely attributed father: Waltbert, son of Wikbert, son of Widukind.
The alternative in which Mathilde is a daughter of Waltbert is also highly improbable [see Schmid (1964), 14-5].

Falsely attributed daughter: Altburg, m. Liudolf, count.
Altburg and Liudolf were the parents of count Gottschalk and of Liudolf, bishop of Osnabrück (968-978). Altburg was evidently a close relative of bishop Wikbert of Verden, son of count Waltbert (see above) [Schmid (1964), 8-9]. Thus, placing Mathilde's husband as a son of Waltbert has led some to conjecture that Altburg was a daughter of Mathilde [see, e.g., Schmid (1964), 13, 16, n. 63]. There is no reason to accept this [Schmid(1964), 13-4].


Bibliography

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).

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

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

Schmid (1960) = Karl Schmid, "Neue Quellen zum Verständnis des Adels im 10. Jahrhundert", Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins 108 (1960): 185-232.

Schmid (1964) = Karl Schmid, "Die Nachfahren Widukinds", Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 20 (1964): 1-47.

Wenskus (1976) = Reinhard Wenskus, Sächsischer Stammesadel und fränkischer Reichsadel (Göttingen, 1976). [I have not seen this work]

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 (I: Die Urkunden des Karolingischen Zeitalters 777-900) (Münster, 1867).


Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 3 April 2011.

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