Hildegard of Flanders – A charitable Countess

(public domain)

Hildegard of Flanders was the daughter of Arnulf I, Count of Flanders and Adele of Vermandois. Her exact birthdate is unknown but by 938 – her parents had married in 934 – she was betrothed to the son of Dirk I, Count of Holland. She was certainly no more than a toddler considering her parents’ wedding year. Her future father-in-law was killed near Andernach in 939 and her future husband was raised under the protection of Hildegard’s parents, probably near Ghent.

Hildegard and Dirk II, Count of Holland were married around 948/949 and their first child – a son named Dirk – was born around 950. Unfortunately, he died before 975. They had two more sons named Arnulf – who succeeded his father as Count of Holland – and Egbert – who became Archbishop of Trier. They also had three daughters named Adela and Geva – who both died young – and Erlinde – who became Abbess of Egmond.

When Hildegard’s father died in 965, her husband acted as regent for her minor great-nephew Arnulf II, who was just five years old.

Unfortunately, we don’t know much about Hildegard. She died on 11 April in an unknown year but between 975 and 980 when she was around 40 years old. She and her husband are perhaps best remembered for the Egmond Gospels which they donated to Egmond Abbey. They also donated two crystal candlesticks, books and a shrine for the remains of Saint Adalbert of Egmond. Hildegard was buried there and Dirk was buried with her when he died in 988.1

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

About Moniek Bloks 2091 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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