Erembourg de la Flèche

Ermengarde or Erembourg of Maine, also known as Erembourg de la Flèche was born about 1096 and was the daughter of Elias I, Count of Maine and Mathilda of Château-du-Loire. She married Fulk V and the couple had four children together: Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, Elias II, Count of Maine, Matilda of Anjou (who married William the heir of Henry I before he was killed on the White Ship) and Sibylla who was married first to William Clito then to Thierry, Count of Flanders.

When Ermengarde died in 1126, Faulk took off to the Holy Lands and eventually married Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem making him King.

Sorry for the short entry today but work and school got me behind but I didn’t want to miss a day either.


The History of Normandy and of England Volume IV


Margaret Douglas

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland (1489-1541), c.1620-38 (oil on canvas)

Margaret Douglas was born October 8, 1515 in Harbottle Castle in Northumberland to Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus and Margaret Tudor. Her earliest childhood was spent crossing back and forth across the English/Scottish border. When she was about 15 she joined the court of her cousin, Princess Mary. During this time Henry VIII gifted his neice with money for Christmas each year. When Henry married Anne Boleyn, she was appointed lady in waiting.

She has a favorite of her uncle Henry VIII and had become her heir after he had Mary and Elizabeth declared bastards. That was until she went and got engaged without his permission. (Has anyone noticed a trend with the women in my family?) Her engagement was to Lord Thomas Howard (Anne’s uncle) who was imprisoned in the Tower of London for the engagement, he died there in 1537. Margaret had been imprisoned as well but was released when she fell ill on October 29,1537. One of the things she is known for is the poetry she wrote, mainly for Howard and they are preserved in the Devonshire MS along with works of her peers.

Annoying her royal uncle with a history of beheading women who upset him seemed to be a habit for young Margaret. After Howard’s death she began an affair with his nephew, Sir Charles Howard, who was brother to the Queen Consort Catherine Howard.


She later became lady in waiting to Catherine Parr as well as they had been friends since they each came to court.

She eventually settled down and married Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox on July 6, 1544. They had accomodations in Westminster after Henry’s death when Mary was queen. When Mary died she was the chief mourner. Mary had wanted to make Margaret her heir but Parliment refused. She returned to Yorkshire when Elizabeth became queen, where they had been living through Edward’s reign and the time that Jane Seymour was encouraged to take the throne. Their home at Temple Newsam became a center for Roman Catholic intrigue. This is also where she was when she married her son Henry Stuart to Mary, the future Queen of Scotland.


She was accused of murdering her own son in 1566 and sent back to the Tower by Elizabeth but was released. This caused issues between her and her daughter in law that eventually were resolved. In 1571 her husband , who was acting as Regent of Scotland, was assissnated. She couldn’t stop angering her royal family members and in 1574 upset Elizabeth again, this time by marrying her younger son, Charles, to Elizabeth Cavandish without permission. Back to the Tower she went and was not released until Charles’ death in 1576. She used her remaining time to help care for his daughter, her granddaughter, Lady Arbella . Though she died in debt and disgrace Elizabeth paid for a lavish funeral at Westminster. She is married with her son and near Henry VIII.





Dangereuse de l’Isle Bouchard



Dangereuse de l’Isle Bouchard was born about 1079 and her baptismal name was most likely Amauberge. She was the daughter of Bartholomew de l’Isle Bouchard and Gerberge de Blaison. She married her first husband, Viscount Aimery I of Châtellerault, sometime before 1109. We know this because she is recorded to have advised her husband to donate land to the priory at St. Denis en Vaux. They had five children in the seven years that they were together, including Eleanor of Aquitaine. But she did as she pleased and the marriage wasn’t going to last. She met Duke William IX of Aquitaine (yes Eleanor’s other grandfather) while he was traveling and he decided to take her home with her, she didn’t mind, but their respective spouses did.

William was excommunicated for the kidnapping. He installed her at the Maubergeonne tower of his castle in Poitiers and had her painted on his shield. Phillipa was visiting family in Toulouse when this was happening and was none too happy to find another woman living in her home. She complained to the nobles and the church but none were raise up against William and he didn’t care what the church had to say about returning Dangereuse to her husband, “Curls will grow on your pate before I part with the Viscountess.” Phillipa retired to the Abbey of Fontevrault. William and Dangereuse had three children of their own, though some think his son Raymond was a child with Dangereuse and not Phillipa since no references list him as a legitimate son.

When Phillipa died his first wife, Ermengarde, stepped out to seek revenge for her. In October of 1119 she showed up at the Council of Reims and demanded that Pope Calixtus II excommunicate William again and toss Dangereuse out of the palace. The pope declined but that didn’t stop Ermengarde from causing the pair grief until his death in 1127. History tells us nothing about what happened to her from then until her own death in 1151.


Folklore, Legend and truth- The Story of Dangereuse!

Almodis de la Marche



Almodis de la Marche was born about 1020 to Bernard I, Count of Marche and Amélie. If you think your family tree is convulated and everyone hates one another, hold on to your hats, it’s about to get tricky. About 1038 Almodis married Hugh V of Lusignan and had three children before anyone noticed that they were too closely related and BANG divorced due to consanguinity. So what does a still young woman of nobility do, well she marries again with the help of Hugh, this time to Count Pons of Toulouse with whom she had four children. Things are going pretty well between the husband and ex and they even name one of their sons for Hugh, I mean really isn’t that how sane people like their divorces, nice and friendly. So 1053 rolls around and Almodis is kidnapped (possibly with her permission) by Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona. He steals her from Narbonne with the help of the emir of Tortosa (which is in Syria). He married her right off and the next year she delivered twin boys. This was a problem since her husband was still alive and all so Pope Victor II excommunicated the pair until 1056. They went on to have two other children as well. Yep, for those counting 11 kids. The extremely blended family still got along well enough and she had traveled to Toulouse for her daughter’s wedding and her husbands and sons often fought alongside one another to support various claims. Not counting the three sons that went off to join the Crusades. Now if that isn’t enough, Ramon was married before Almodis, to her neice. His first wife was Isabela Trencavel, the daughter of Almodis’ sister Rangearde de la Marche and their son Peter was to be his heir. Step-mom/aunt through a big ole’ kink in that plan, so he killed her in October of 1071. Not a good move because he had to flee the country and was disinherited leaving her sons as split heirs bringing about the very thing he feared.

Once the excommunication was over Ramon finally gave her her wedding present, all of his Grandmother Ermesinde’s villages, towns, cities and castles this may have been to toss it into Grandma’s face since she’s the one who pushed for the excommunication. She was a very powerful woman in her day and bonus points, LITERATE and she helped develop the Catalan legal system


Marjorie Bruce



Marjorie Bruce or Marjorie de Brus was born in either 1296 or 1297, she was the only child of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots and Isabella of Mar. Isabella died shortly after giving birth to Marjorie. Legend states that her parents were truly in love with one another, which is why he did not remarry until Marjorie was 6 years old. At the time Elizabeth de Burgh became her stepmother. On March 27, 1306, Robert was crowned King making her a Princess, not too shabby for a nine year old. However, three months later dad was defeated at the Battle of Methven. To keep the women and children in his family safe he sent them to live with Isabella MacDuff, one of his northern supporters. This didn’t last long and they were captured by the Earl of Ross and given to Edward I of England. Edward wasn’t happy simply with having Robert’s women in his hands, nope, he had to split them up and send them to different locations. But wait, there’s more, “Princess Marjorie went to the convent at Watton; her aunt Christina Bruce was sent to another convent; Queen Elizabeth was placed under house arrest at a manor house in Yorkshire (because Edward I needed the support of her father, the powerful Earl of Ulster, her punishment was lighter than the others’); and Marjorie’s aunt Mary Bruce and the Countess of Buchan were imprisoned in wooden cages, exposed to public view, Mary’s cage at Roxburgh Castle and Countess Isabella’s at Berwick Castle. For the next four years, Marjorie, Elizabeth, Christina, Mary and Isabella endured solitary confinement, with daily public humiliation for the latter two. A cage was built for Marjorie at the Tower of London, but Edward I reconsidered and instead sent her to the convent. Christopher Seton, Christina’s husband, was executed.”1 Did I even mention that Edward was a dick?

Then Edward died, and Edward II comes to power, remember, he wasn’t much less of a jerk than Daddy Dearest. Edward II decides to keep her in prison for another seven years and even then probably only as a prisoner exchange so that he could get his men back after the Battle of Bannockburn. She wasn’t exactly freed though. As fairly common in the era she was given as a gift to Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland, who was a second cousin, after he distinguished himself in battle. He got a teenaged bride and Barony of Bathgate in West Lothian, which included a castle. Two years after he marriage, on March 2, 1316, while far along in her pregnancy she was thrown from a horse. Her son, Robert, was born via Caesarean section, the first verified case, on the side of the road. Marjorie, like her mother, died due to childbirth at 19 years old. Her dying words included that he would be king.

Sources 1

Richilde of Provence


Richilde was born about 845 Bivin of Gorze, Count of the Ardennes. She was the second wife of Charles the Bald making her Queen of the West Franks and later Empress of the Franks. After Charles’ death in 877 she also stood as Regent of her husband while he was off to war and again on behalf of her step-grandchildren after their father (Louis the Stammerer) died while they were too young to rule for themselves. In the meantime, she attempted to have her brother Boso, Duke of Burgundy placed on the throne. That stunt upset a lot of people and she was accused of incest so none of the nobles listened to her. She did finally help Boso gain a throne as King of Provence. This didn’t stop her from trying to seize power after Louis III in died in 882 and again in 884 with the death of Carloman II.

Her political manipulations and power plays irritated the clergy including the archbishop of Rheims, Fulk “the Venerable.” Stating that:

“She had taken the “veil of Christ” on her husband’s death and ought to behave, said the archbishop, “like a true queen, adorned with the virtues of her widowhood, holding before her eyes the day of death and resurrection.” According to the logic of Carolingian reform legislation, this meant that she should have retired to a nunnery.”

And further:

“…as far as the archbishop of Rheims was concerned, simply remaining uncloistered and continuing to participate in worldly affairs” 1

She had to stop all of her power plays when the Normans stirred up trouble in the empire so she retired to Provence where her nephew was king and stayed there until her death June 2, 910.

Youtube on Richilde
Sources 1

Philippa Roet



Philippa Roet

Philippa Roet was born in 1346 and is the sister of Katherine Swynford who is mentioned in an earlier post. She is a twice over auntie for me which is pretty awesome because she married Geoffrey Chaucer. Now, I’m trying to avoid writing about women only from the perspective of who their father/husband/son was but this is the man who put to parchment The Wife of Bath’s Tale so there’s a good chance he didn’t believe that his wife was only property. They were separate often in their marriage due to their duties in the royal households that they were a part of and some believe that The Franklin’s Tale is based upon that distance.

Philippa was lady-in-waiting in a few noble households, Elizabeth of Ulster (where she met Chaucer where he was working as a page), Queen Philippa and Constanza of Castile. Her connections to these powerful women led her to receiving annuities from their husbands which made her wealthy in her own right. Her time in the house of Constanza who was married to John of Gaunt was not only advantagous to her and her husband but also opened the doors for sister Katherine who became his mistress and later, wife.

Philippa died about 1387 while her husband was abroad. He fell out of favor with the court after her death.

For those who haven’t read The Canterbury Tales, they can be found here, for free in modern English. Enjoy.


Geoffrey Chaucer’s Life Was Crazier Than an HBO Series

Luitgarde of Vermandois

Luitgarde of Vermandois

Luitgarde, Countess of Vermandois (also called Ledgarde or Luitgarda) was born around 914 in what is the northern region of what is now the Picardy region of France. Her father was Herbert II, Count of Vermandois and her mother, Adele of France. She originally married William I of Normandy in 940 which made her Duchess of Normandy but he died two years later, she remarried. In 943 she married Theobald I of Blois and they had four children together.


Angharad ferch Owain



Angharad ferch Owain

Angharad was born about 1065 around Tegeingl in Flintshire county, Wales. Her parents were Owain ab Edwin and Morwyl ferch Ednywain, who died when she was born or shortly thereafter. At 17 she married Gruffudd ap Cynan in the Kingdom of Gwynedd which is in northwest Wales. She got her queenly duties down and did them well for about 40 years and then was Queen Mother for their son, Owain ap Gruffudd, for another 25 years. Per her husband’s biographer, an unidentified Welsh monk, she was beautiful, good natured and sympathetic to the poor. She was 72 when her husband died and she inherited half of everything, as was the custom of Wales at the time. Part of that inheritance included the profits of the first ferry service at Abermenai Point.

And though I try not to dwell on the male line in this blog, at least at this time, she is supposedly a descendent of Joseph of Arimathea as is cited in Joseph of Arimathea: The Man Who Buried Jesus by Robert Cruikshank.


Joan , Lady of Wales and Lady of Snowdon, also known by her Welsh name of Siwan



Joan , Lady of Wales and Lady of Snowdon, also known by her Welsh name of Siwan

Siwan , Lady of Wales and Lady of Snowdon, also known by her Welsh name of Siwan was born about 1191, possibly in France. She is the “natural” daughter of John of England and “Queen” Clemance Pinal (though some records claim that Agatha
daughter of Robert, Earl Ferrers is her mother), that ladies and gents means she was bastard born, oh and that Queen was probably a nicety as there is no proof that mom was of noble birth. She was most likely brought to England from Normandy in December of 1203 for her marriage to Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, for those who haven’t run into many Welsh names his name isn’t out of the norm. Supposedly he built a church for his bride at Trefriw so that she didn’t have to walk so far though the mountains.

The two married sometime between December 1203 and October 1204 in St Werburgh’s Abbey in Chester. The couple had at least two children together and she may have been the mother of any of his four others. One of those possible children, Gwladus Ddu, married Ralph de Mortimer as her second husband, so this may also be a twice over relative.

In 1210 Llywelyn and his father in law got into a bit of a tiff that ended up in a rebellion that ended up causing many of Llewyln’s troops to starve. He retreated but not till after burning Bagnor. Siwan was sent to try to smooth things over with dad which worked for awhile. In 1212 war was blazing again and John came to Nottingham to put the rebellion down on August 14. That day at dinner he received a letter from Siwan (and the King of Scotland) warning him that there were traitors in his midst who would ensure he had an accident if he invaded Wales. He backed away from the invasion, sent young Prince Henry to safety, recalled his barons and then sent letters to those he suspected informing them that he expected hostages. He did find two of the traitors this way.

In April of 1226 Pope Honorius III legitimized Siwan since neither or her parents were married to others when they had her. However, it still kept her out of the line of succession for the English throne.

Being married didn’t stop Siwan from having an affair of her own. On Easter Sunday 1230, Siwan was caught with William de Braose in her bedroom. He was a Anglo-Norman Marcher Lord who had been taken prisoner by Llywelyn and was being held for ransom as part of that ransom Llywelyn and Siwan’s son, Dafydd, to Braose’s daughter Isabella. He was hung on May 2, but the wedding still occurred. She was put under house arrest for year during which she may have had a daughter. But, at the end of the year all was forgiven and she returned to her husband’s favor.

She died February 2, 1237 at home at Abergwyngregyn along the coast of Gwynedd. Llywelyn’s grieved so deeply over the loss that he founded a Franciscan friary on the seashore at Llanfaes, opposite the royal home, in her honor. The friary was consecrated shortly before Llywelyn died in 1240.

Though not confirmed it is believed that her coffin may have been used as a horse trough after Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries.

Sources _ap_llywelyn.html ,_Lady_of_Wales -lady-of-wales/