The unknown Countess Othilde




There is no known image of Othilde. This is her husband Dirk V, Count of Holland. (public domain)

Dirk V, Count of Holland was driven from his lands with his mother around 1070 but just a few years later, the lands would be restored to him with the help of his stepfather. He could now finally take up his rightful place as Count of Holland.

He probably tried to find a wife in Saxony but it is unclear where Othilde eventually came from. Chronicles from that time tell us that she was the daughter of a powerful Duke in Saxony but the register of counts – written when Othilde was still alive – does not mention where she is from. Even the exact date of their wedding is not clear. They went on to have at least two children: Floris (future Count of Holland) and a girl whose name is not recorded. She was possible called Machteld.

Dirk died on 17 June 1091 but although we know that Othilde died on 18 November, the year is unclear. We do know that she was buried in Egmond Abbey beside her husband. Her body was dug up during archaeological research and her remains were examined. It was established that she was between 65 and 70 years old at the time of her death so she must have outlived her husband for quite some time.1

  1. E.H.P. Cordfunke – Gravinnen van Holland






About Moniek 1466 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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