MALE Otto alias Guillaume, or Otte-Guillaume

Count of Mâcon, ca. 981?-1026.
Count of Burgundy (Bourgogne).

Typically known by the double name Otte-Guillaume in the modern literature, he appears in records occasionally as Otto, also called Guillaume ["Otto comes, cognomento Willelmus" Chron. S.-Bénigne, 162-4; "Nobiliter natus Guillelmus et Otho vocatus" ibid., 181; "Otto, qui et Willelmus dictus est" ibid.; "Otto qui et Vuillielmus comes" MGH DD H II, 381 (#305); "... Ottonis cognomento Wilelmi" Cart. Cluny, 3: 735-6 (#2712)], but much more commonly under just one of his two names. Rodulfus Glaber states that when he was still a boy, Otte-Guillaume was taken from Lombardy, and brought secretly by a monk to his mother in Burgundy ["Qui licet advena, puer etiam furtim sublatus a Langobardorum patria matriaque non mediocriter astute, per quendam monachum redditus in Burgundia in tantum convaluit ut in divitiis et in militia non inveniretur secundus in patria." Rodulfus Glaber, iii, 6 (p. 57)]. He became count of Mâcon by marrying Ermentrude, the widow of the late count Aubry II. Presumably aided by his mother's Burgundian relatives and her marriage to duke Eudes-Henri of Burgundy, who adopted his stepson, Otte-Guillaume was able to pass the countship of Mâcon onto his son and grandson, but his attempts to secure the duchy of Burgundy for himself after the death of Eudes-Henri were unsuccessful. He appears in numerous charters under one of his two names [e.g., "S. Vuilelmi, comitis" 981, Cart. Cluny, 2: 625 (#1580); "S. Vuilelmo comiti." July 986 (date corrected by Chaume in Revue Mabillon 16: 47), ibid., 1: 441 (#451); "Otto comes" 971×986, Cart. Mâcon, 236 (#409); "S. Ottonis comitis" 987×996, ibid., 163 (#272); "... comite Wilelmo ..." 993×1020, Cart. Cluny, 3: 201 (#1989); "S. Otto comes. S. Ermentrude comitissa. S. Vuidoni." 2 September 994, ibid., 3: 397 (#2265); "Otto comes, Irvis comitissa." 994, ibid., 3: 399 (#2267); "S. Wilelmi comitis. S. Widonis comitis." 6 March 997, ibid., 3: 485 (#2387); "... domni Willelmi comitis comitis ...; ... comes Willelmus et filius ejus comes Wido, ..." 997×1007, ibid, 3: 498 (#2406); "S. Ottonis, comitis. S. Widonis, comitis." May 999, ibid., 3: 565 (#2484); "... Wille[l]mi comitis et uxoris ejus Ermentrudis, et filii eorum Widonis, ..." March 1002, ibid., 3: 617 (#2552)]; "S. Otto, comitis." March 1004, ibid., 3: 644 (#2589); "S. Otoni comitis. [S. Adaliz.] S. Renaldi, filii ejus." 12 March 1007×1026, ibid., 3: 691 (#2655); "Ego Otto comes et uxor mea Adeleidis, et filius meus Rainaldus, atque Otto nepos meus, ... Testes: Otto comes et uxor ejus Adeleidis, Rainaldus, filius ejus; Otto nepos sui; ..." ca. 1015, ibid.3: 721-2 (#2694); "Ego Otto comes et uxor mea Adila ... S. Ottonis comitis et uxoris sue Adde, qui fieri et firmare rogaverunt, Rainaldi filii sui." 1002×1015, Cart. Mâcon, 271 (#471); "Ego Otto comes et uxor mea Adela, ... S. Ottonis comitis, S. uxoris sue Adele, qui fieri et firmare rogaverunt. S. Rainaldi filii sui." 1002×15, ibid., 284-5 (#490); "Ugo, comes et episcopus, et nepos ejus, Otto, comes" 1020, Cart Cluny, 3: 754 (#2729)]. He was succeeded as count of Mâcon by his grandson Otto, son of his son Guy (who predeceased him), and as count of Burgundy (Franche-Comté) by his son Renaud.

Some late medieval and early modern Burgundian historians mention a supposed count of Mâcon named Guillaume "Barbe-Sale" or "Bouche-Ointe" ("Oily-Face"), who is made to be distinct from Otte-Guillaume. However, this figure is based on a count of Mâcon named "Willelmus, cognomine Bucca uncta" who appears in the work of Adémar de Chabannes, who was in fact referring to Otte-Guillaume under one of his names and with an unflattering nickname ["Willelmus, cognomine Bucca uncta, comes Matisconensis" Adémar Chab., iii, 50 (p. 173)]. Thus, the Guillaume "Barbe-Sale" of later historians had no separate historical existence, but was based on Otte-Guillaume. (See the page of Aubry II for more on Guillaume "Barbe-Sale")

Probable date of birth: Before ca. 962.
Probable place of birth:
See the discussion below in the Commentary section.

Date of burial: 21 September 1026 (or 1027?).
The date of 21 September for his burial is given in an inscription on his tomb, which is said to have read: "Nobiliter natus Guillelmus et Otho vocatus / Dormit in hac fossa, cuius lapis hic tegit ossa / Qui ducis et comitis gemino ditatur honore / Artifices scelerium pacis reprimerat amore / Anno domini millesimo vigesimo septimo / Undecimo kalendas octobris sepultus est." [Chron. S.-Bénigne, 181; see also RHF 10: 505, note (a)]. The year of death is given as 1026 ["Actum est hoc anno MXXVI, ab Incarnatione Domini post mortem Willelmi Comitis, qui ipso ano obiit." Chron. S.-Bénigne, 193; "Hoc anno obiit Otto Burgundiae comes." Annales S. Benigni Divionensis, s.a. 1026, MGH SS 5: 41] or 1027 ["Eo tempore mortuus est Otto, qui et Willelmus dictus est, Comes, anno videlicet MXXVII, et in hoc sancti Benigni monasterio sepultus, ubi et filius eius Comes Wido ante aliquot annos tumulatus iacebat." Chron. S.-Bénigne, 181; RHF 10: 175]. For 21 September 1026 as the date of burial, see Poupardin (1907), 229, n. 5.
Place of burial: Saint-Bénigne de Dijon.

Father: Adalberto, d. 975?, king of Italy.
["Necnon etiam Willemus, Heinrici ducis privignus, Adalberti Longobardum ducis filius, ..." Rodulfus Glaber, lib. 3, ii, 6 (pp. 56-7)] His ancestry is also given in a charter of the German king Heinrich II in 1014 ["Otto qui et Vuillielmus comes filius Adalberti nepos Berengarii regis" MGH DD H II, 381 (#305)]

Mother: Gerberge, daughter of Lambert, count of Chalon. She m. (2) Eudes-Henri, d. 1002, duke of Burgundy
In 1004, count Otte-Guillaume gave a donation for the souls of his adoptive father Henri, mother Gerberge, son Guy, and wife Ermentrude ["Otto comes, cognomento Willelmus, ... Dedit idem comes Otto sancto Benigno potestatem Vivariensis ville pro anima Hinrici ducis, qui eum loco filii adoptavit, et genetricis sue Gerberge uxoris predicti ducis, ac filii sui Widonis, et Hermintrudis coniugis. Proque anime sue salute dedit predictam potestatem cum appenditiis suis, sicut dono predicti ducis Hinrici et uxoris eius sue vero genetricis Gerberge, sibi datam legaliter tenuerat annis XXX, ita integram cum ecclesiis in ea sitis: ... Facta est hec donatio anno ab Incarnatione Domini nostri Ihesu XRI M IIII, indictione II." Chron. S.-Bénigne, 162-4].

Stepfather (and adoptive father): Eudes alias Henri, d. 15 October 1002, duke of Burgundy.


(1) Ermentrude, d. 5 March, 1002×4, daughter of Ragenold/Renaud, count of Roucy, and widow of Aubry II, count of Mâcon.
The documentation of Ermentrude's marriage to Otte-Guillaume is discussed in detail on
Ermentrude's page.

(2) Adélaïde/Adèle, fl. ca. 1015.
She appears in a charter of count Otto (i.e. Otte-Guillaume) of ca. 1015 ["Ego Otto comes et uxor mea Adeleidis, et filius meus Rainaldus, atque Otto nepos meus, ... Testes: Otto comes et uxor ejus Adeleidis, Rainaldus, filius ejus; Otto nepos sui; ..." Cart. Cluny 3: 721-2 (#2694)]. In a charter of 1002×1015 she is called Adila or Adda [Cart. Mâcon, 271 (#471), see above], and she is called Adela in another charter of about the same time [ibid., 284-5 (#490), see above]. For attempts to identify her with Adélaïde of Anjou, see the page of Foulques II of Anjou.

(by Ermentrude)

["Necnon etiam Willemus, Heinrici ducis privignus, Adalberti Longobardum ducis filius, eidem regi aliquando rebellis extitit, favente ei Landrico Nevernis comite, qui ejus filiam uxorem duxerat, et Brunone, Lingonensi episcopo, cujus habebat in matrimonio sororem. Ex qua suscepit filios et filias, de quibus prius natam Landricus, reliquas uterque Willemus scilicet Pictavensis et Arelatensis duxere uxores; unusque filiorum ejus Rainaldus nomine duxit filiam Richardi Rotomagensis ducis, Adeledam nomine, uxorem." Rodulfus Glaber, lib. 3, ii, 6 (pp. 56-7)]

MALE Guy, d. 1002×4, joint count of Mâcon, m. NN.
Guy became count of Mâcon during the lifetime of his father, whom he predeceased. He is probably the Vuido who appears with Otto [i.e., Otte-Guillaume] and Ermengarde on 2 September 994 ["S. Otto comes. S. Ermentrude comitissa. S. Vuidoni." Cart. Cluny, 3: 397 (#2265)]. He appears in charters of Cluny in 997×1007 ["comes Willelmus et filius ejus comes Wido, ..." ibid., 3: 498 (#2406)], May 999 ["S. Ottonis, comitis. S. Widonis, comitis." ibid., 3: 565 (#2484)], and finally on March 1002 ["... Wille[l]mi comitis et uxoris ejus Ermentrudis, et filii eorum Widonis, ..." ibid., 3: 617 (#2552)]. He probably died between then and 1004, when his father made a donation to Saint-Bénigne de Dijon for his soul (see above). Guy was succeeded by his young son Otto. Certain conjectures which have been made regarding the identity of Guy's wife are discussed on his grandmother Gerberge's page.

MALE Renaud I, d. 4 September 1057, count of Burgundy; m. Adélaïde, daughter of Richard II of Normandy.
Anselme cites the necrology of Saint-Bénigne for his date of death [Anselme, 8: 410].

FEMALE Mathilde, m. Landry, count of Nevers.
Her name is given by a charter of her son Renaud, count of Nevers ["... ego Rainaldus, gratia Dei comes, ..., pro remedio animæ meæ et anima patris mei Landrici et matris mæ Matildis et uxoris meæ Advisæ, et filiorum meorum ..." Cart. Cluny 4: 14 (#2811)]

FEMALE Gerberge, living 1019, m. Guillaume, d. 1018, count of Provence.
Her name is given by several charters, where she appears in the interval 1013×9 [e.g., "ego Wilelmus comes Provincie, conjuxque mea Girberga ..." (1013); "... ego Vuillelmus comes et uxor mea Gisberga ..." (1018); "Ego Geiriberga comitissa ..." (1018); "ego Geriberga comitissa, una cum consensu filiorum optimatumque nostrorum propter remedium anime senioris mei Guilelmi comitis Provincie ..." (1019), Manteyer (1908), 271-2]

FEMALE Agnès, m. (1) Guillaume V, duke of Aquitaine (III of Poitou); m. (2) Geoffroi II Martel, count of Anjou.
["... Agnes comitissa, filia Ottonis cognomento Willelmi, comitis Matiscensis, uxor etiam ejusdem nominis Willelmi, ducis Aquitanorum, ..." Cart. Cluny 3: 765-6 (#2742)]


Supposed additional son (nepos of Ermentrude's brother Bruno):
MALE Bruno, archdeacon of Langres.
As nepos of Ermentrude's brother bishop Bruno ["Bruno Archid. nepos Domni Brunonis Episcopi." Chron. S.-Bénigne, 295], the younger Bruno is sometimes placed as a son of Ermentrude [Anselme, 8: 410; Petit (1894), 1: 111; Bouchard (1987), 270 (qualified as uncertain)]. However, since Ermentrude's sister (name unknown, married to Frotmund of Sens) had a son named Bruno who was a cleric, it is likely that it was he who was the archdeacon [see the page of Ermentrude's father Ragenold/Renaud of Roucy].

The birthdate of Otte-Guillaume

The scene in which Otte-Guillaume was smuggled out from Italy as a boy (from Rodulfus Glaber, see above) has been interpreted as occurring during the fighting in Italy in 961-2 [e.g. Brandenburg (1964), 98 (n. 36)]. If correct, it would place the birth of Otte-Guillaume before that time. However, Rodulfus Glaber is not a contemporary source, and it is not clear that his testimony gives solid evidence that Otte-Guillaume was already born by that time.

Nevertheless, we get a rather similar terminus ante quem from estimations of lengths of generations, mainly by using the time of the first appearance of Otte-Guillaume's grandson count Otto of Mâcon. Otto appears for the first time as "adolescens" in a charter of July 1004 ["S. Ottonis adolescentis comitis" Cart. Mâcon, 283 (#487)]. Vajay interpreted this term as "adolescent" in the stricter sense, suggesting that Otto's birth was as early as 992, placing the birth of his father Guy at ca. 975 [Vajay (1962), 162, n. 3]. However, it is not clear that we need to interpret this term as "adolescent" in the strictest sense. As Bouchard pointed out, the term could just mean "the younger" or "junior" (so that the younger Otto would not be confused with his grandfather), and Settipani suggested an age as low as 4 or 5 [Bouchard (1987), 268, n. 36; Settipani (1994), 8-9]. Vajay placed the birth of Otte-Guillaume as ca. 960 at the latest [Vajay (1962), 157]. Bouchard suggested that the the information given by Rodulfus Glaber might be wrong, in which case Adalberto might have married only after taking refuge in Burgundy. She suggested that the birth of Otte-Guillaume might have been as late as 966. Settipani offered an estimate of 962 [Settipani (1994), 13].

Estimates of the birthdate of Otte-Guillaume are closely connected with the problem of the parentage of his mother Gerberge. For Bouchard and Settipani, who would make Gerberge a daughter of count Lambert of Chalon by his wife Adélaïde, an earlier birthdate for Otte-Guillaume leads to an earlier estimate for the birth of his mother, which leads to problems with the chronology of the children of Adélaïde. For Vajay, who would make Gerberge a granddaughter of count Liétaud of Mâcon (incorrectly), there is no problem with an earlier birthdate (which is in fact used to argue against the other scenario). These matters are discussed in detail on Gerberge's page, where it is argued that Gerberge was a daughter of Lambert by an unknown earlier wife (which also eases the chronological problems). In any case, a birthdate after 962 for Otte-Guillaume seems unlikely, based on the combined evidence of Rodulfus Glaber and the chronology of count Otto of Mâcon. If the conclusion that Gerberge was a daughter of an earlier marriage of Lambert is correct, then a birthdate in the late 950's for Otte-Guillaume would be plausible enough.


Adémar Chab. = Jules Chavanon, ed., Adémar de Chabannes - Chronique (Paris, 1897).

Anselme = Père Anselme, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France, 9 vols (Paris, 1726-33).

Bouchard (1987) = Constance Brittain Bouchard, Sword, Miter, and Cloister - Nobility and the Church in Burgundy, 980-1198 (Ithaca & London, 1987).

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

Cart. Cluny = A. Bernard & A. Bruel, Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Cluny, 6 vols., (Paris, 1876-1903).

Cart. Mâcon = M.-C. Ragut, ed., Cartulaire de Saint-Vincent de Mâcon (Mâcon, 1864).

Chron. S.-Bénigne = E. Bougaud, ed., Chronique de l'abbaye de Saint-Bénigne de Dijon (Dijon, 1875).

Manteyer (1908) = Georges de Manteyer, La Provence du premier au douzième siècle (Paris, 1908).

MGH DD = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata series (H II = Heinrich II).

Petit (1894) = Ernest Petit, Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne de la race Capétienne, 10 vols. (Paris, 1894; Kraus reprint, 1976).

Poupardin (1907) = René Poupardin, Le royaume de Bourgogne (888-1038) - Étude sur les origines du royaume d'Arles (Paris, 1907).

Rameau (1901) = Mgr. Rameau, "Les comtes héréditaires de Mâcon", Annales de l'Académie de Mâcon, 3ser., 6 (1901): 121-209.

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

Rodulfus Glaber = Maurice Prou, ed., Raoul Glaber - les cinq livres de ses histoires (900-1044) (Paris, 1886).

Settipani (1994) = Christian Settipani, "Les origines maternelles du comte de Bourgogne Otte-Guillaume", Annales de Bourgogne 66 (1994), 5-63.

Vajay (1962) = Szabolcs de Vajay, "A propos de la 'Guerre de Bourgogne' - Note sur les successions de Bourgogne et de Mâcon au Xe et XIe siècles", Annals de Bourgogne 34 (1962): 153-169.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 24 April 2008.

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