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Marriages of Eustace II, count of Boulogne

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Peter Stewart

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Feb 9, 2023, 1:02:59 AM2/9/23
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The old debate about the "incestuous" marriage for which Eustace was
excommunicated in October 1049 has not had an airing here for at least
some years now.

As far as is known his first marriage was to Godgifu (aka Goda),
daughter of the English king Æthelred II by Emma of Normandy, and widow
of count Drogo of Mantes & Vexin who died in 1035 (by whom she had
sons). There is no evidence that Eustace had any offspring by Godgifu,
although it has been unconvincingly speculated that they had a daughter
and even more implausibly that an illegitimate son of Eustace (Geoffrey
of Carshalton) was theirs together. Godgifu was evidently born by ca
1012 and may have been older than Eustace. It is not known when she died.

His other explicitly-documented wife was the Blessed Ida (died 13 April
1113), daughter of Godfrey II the Bearded of Bouillon, duke of Upper
Lorraine, by a lady named Uoda (aka Doda) who possibly belonged to the
comital family of Toul. Ida is believed to have been born ca 1040 though
this, like the origin of her mother, is not certain.

On the last day of the council of Reims, 5 October 1049, Pope Leo IX
excommunicated two counts, named Enguerrand ("Angilrai" in the sole
account of this) and Eustace, over marriages within forbidden degrees
("propter incestum"). At the same time the pope also forbade Balduin V
of Flanders from marrying his daughter (Mathilda) to William of Normandy
and the latter from accepting her as his wife.

Historians have generally assumed that one of the consanguineous unions
causing trouble in October 1049 involved Eustace II of Boulogne, but
have been divided over whether it was his earlier marriage to Godgifu or
a recent one to Ida. The possibility that it was to another lady - whose
name is unrecorded - in an interval between these two, and that Eustace
complied with the papal directive by repudiating her soon after October
1049, is not usually taken into account. His excommunication certainly
did not last through his marriage to Ida, who outlived him by around 20
years, since he was later threatened with the same sanction over a
property dispute.

The other count excommunicated in 1049 was almost certainly Enguerrand
II of Ponthieu (killed 1053), who had married William of Normandy's
sister Adeliza, countess of Aumale. She subsequently (as a widow or
divorcee) married Eustace of Boulogne's brother Lambert, count of Lens,
and later Odo III of Blois, count of Champagne.

Occasionally it has been suggested that the Eustace named in October
1049 was not the count of Boulogne but rather a namesake count of
Guînes. However, this is problematic because it relies on the
late-12th/early 13th-century chronicle written by Lambert of Ardres, a
very shonky historian, where Eustace of Guînes is represented as living
in high honour after the mid-11th century but also as having grossly
bullied the heiress of a vassal before March 1004 and as having married
the daughter of a chamberlain of Flanders well before such an office is
documented.

Accepting that Eustace II of Boulogne was the count who needed a drastic
papal measure to bring an end to an illicit marriage in 1049, the
possibility of a short-lived union with an unknown lady between Godgifu
and Ida seems to me the most likely explanation.

Eustace visited England in September 1051, when he was mentioned in the
Worcester (D) version of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle as having married the
sister of Edward the Confessor, see folio 73r here
https://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=cotton_ms_tiberius_b_iv_f073r:
"com eustatius up æt doferan se hæfde eadƿardes cẏnges sƿeostor to ƿife"
(Eustace arrived at Dover who had King Edward's sister as wife). The
preterite verb "hæfde" suggests that the marriage was over by that time
- or at any rate by the time of writing. This information was later
repeated in the Latin chronicle ascribed to John of Worcester (formerly
to Florence of Worcester), see p. 336 here
https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/93b83416-7972-40d7-9789-18f54e17ae25/surfaces/621ea924-0e11-4807-ba2c-4f3ca849dbac/:
"bononiensis comes Eustatius [senior] qui sororem EADWARDI regis Godam
nomine in coniugium habuerat paucis doruuerniam applicuit nauibus"
(Eustace [the elder] count of Boulogne who had the sister of King Edward
in marriage arrived at Canterbury with a few ships), where the verb
"habuerat" is pluperfect also suggesting the marriage was understood to
be over in contrast to "applicuit" in the perfect tense. It is not very
credible that the saintly Edward would have shown the reported favour to
his sister's ex-husband or widower in 1051 if Eustace had defied the
pope to the point of being excommunicated over the marriage in 1049.

It is even less credible that Ida of Lorraine would have been the
partner in an incestuous union causing so much trouble with the pope.
She was the child of parents whose marriage had taken place before June
1040, when her mother's donation through her husband to
Sainte-Marie-Madeleine church at Verdun was confirmed along with gifts
by others presumably made over a period of several years beforehand.
According to her Vita written in the early 1130s Ida had an elder
brother and was thoroughly educated with a glowing reputation for her
manners, conduct and beauty before Eustace sent emissaries to ask for
her hand in marriage. After consultation she was handed over by her
"parentes" and taken to Boulogne for her wedding. If this means her
mother was still living it must have taken place by 1053, although the
term "parentes" could have covered her father (who died in 1069) and
step-mother (married to him in April 1054). In any event, Ida's eldest
son was probably born in the late 1050s.

The year 1057 often given for Eustace's marriage to Ida is specious.
This comes from a forced interpretation by Jacques Malbrancq in the 17th
century of an inscription in verse that had disappeared before his time
from the collegiate church of Notre-Dame at Lens, stating that canons
had been established there "Anno milleno ter deno bis minus uno". The
plain interpretation of this is the year 1000+(3x10)-(1x2) = 1028, but
Malbrancq took it to mean 1000+((3x10)x2)-1 = 1059. He thought that Ida
had instituted the canons two years after marrying Eustace, but he
overlooked their charter dated 1070 stating that this had been done by
their predecessors, i.e. by his father Eustace I and his mother Mathilde
of Louvain.

Ida enjoyed a very high reputation for her pious life as Eustace's wife.
She had a long friendship with St Anselm, who would hardly have praised
her as extravagantly as he did in letters to her if her marriage had
been the cause of her husband's excommunication. This sort of
contretemps is never mentioned in the voluminous documentation of her
three famous sons, Eustace III of Boulogne, Godfrey of Bouillon the
great hero of the first crusade and Balduin I, king of Jerusalem. She is
often called St Ida, but this is a slight exaggeration as she is
officially recognised only as (informally) beatified. Her commemoration
on 13 April (formerly on 14 April in some places) is noted as of local
status, especially in Boulogne and Rouen. She died as a resident of her
own foundation, Notre-Dame-la-Capelle abbey at Les Attaques in the Pas
de Calais, and was initially buried (according to her own premonition)
in Saint-Michel priory at Le Wast. In 1669 her remains were taken to
Paris, with a rib sent back to Le Wast, and after being kept safe by a
nun through the Revolution her relics went to Sainte-Trinité abbey (La
Joie Saint Benoît) at Bayeux in 1808, where she is now venerated. None
of this is at all likely to have come about for a woman whose marriage
was ever considered illicit.

Peter Stewart

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Peter Stewart

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Feb 9, 2023, 1:31:18 AM2/9/23
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On 09-Feb-23 5:02 PM, Peter Stewart wrote:

> Ida enjoyed a very high reputation for her pious life as Eustace's wife.
> She had a long friendship with St Anselm, who would hardly have praised
> her as extravagantly as he did in letters to her if her marriage had
> been the cause of her husband's excommunication. This sort of
> contretemps is never mentioned in the voluminous documentation of her
> three famous sons, Eustace III of Boulogne, Godfrey of Bouillon the
> great hero of the first crusade and Balduin I, king of Jerusalem. She is
> often called St Ida, but this is a slight exaggeration as she is
> officially recognised only as (informally) beatified. Her commemoration
> on 13 April (formerly on 14 April in some places) is noted as of local
> status, especially in Boulogne and Rouen.

I have no idea why I typed Rouen, when I meant Bayeux.

By the way, the closest relationship that can be traced (although not
100% definite) between Eustace and Godgifu is as 4th cousins twice
removed in descent from Alfred the Great. The closest that can be
documented between Eustace and Ida is as 5th cousins once removed in
descent from Louis the Stammerer. Neither of these connections is very
likely to have scandalised Pope Leo IX.

Hans Vogels

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Feb 9, 2023, 2:54:36 AM2/9/23
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Op donderdag 9 februari 2023 om 07:31:18 UTC+1 schreef pss...@optusnet.com.au:
Could this (hypothetical) second wife not be the mother of the illegitimate son Geoffrey?
I have read somewhere (counts of Namour?) that children born from a "incestuous" marriage (be it in the 4th degree) could be barred from succession because of the blemish of their birth.

Peter Stewart

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Feb 9, 2023, 4:03:12 AM2/9/23
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Alan Murray thought that Geoffrey was the son of Eustace and Godgifu on
this basis, but it seems highly implausible to me that a first son of
Eustace would have been disbarred from inheriting from either his father
or his mother (anyway in the case of Godgifu, whose property in England
remained with Eustace) because they were separated for consanguinity.

It was known that Emperor Henry III and his second wife Agnes of Poitou,
married in 1043, were third cousins by descent from Gerberga of Saxony
and fourth cousins once removed by descent from Gerberga's father Henry
the Fowler - yet their son Henry IV, born in 1050, became German king
before he was 3 years old and later emperor. With this glaring precedent
it would have been invidious, to say the least, for Rome to try imposing
illegitimacy on a son of Eustace. There were many other heirs from
parents related in forbidden degrees, whether separated or not, in the
11th century.

It is also very implausible to me that Eustace would have named his
first son Geoffrey if the boy had been born to a wife he resisted
divorcing until excommunicated. Although Eustace had a brother of this
name, the latter was a cleric and there had never been a count of
Boulogne of that name. The first son born to Ida was named Eustace like
his father and paternal grandfather, the second son was named Godfrey
after his maternal grandfather and the third son Balduin like his
(presumed) paternal great-grandfather.

Geoffrey of Carshalton named his son William (despite the child's
maternal grandfather being also a Geoffrey), and William's son & heir
was named Faramus. This pattern of extraneous names does not suggest
nostalgia for a denied paternal heritage.

Peter Stewart

donna.hart...@gmail.com

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Feb 9, 2023, 8:58:15 AM2/9/23
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On Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 4:03:12 AM UTC-5, pss...@optusnet.com.au wrote:
> On 09-Feb-23 6:54 PM, Hans Vogels wrote:
> > Op donderdag 9 februari 2023 om 07:31:18 UTC+1 schreef pss...@optusnet.com.au:
> >> On 09-Feb-23 5:02 PM, Peter Stewart wrote:

Does this mean that the parentage of Geoffrey of Carshalton is unknown?? Or is he still considered to be an illegitimate son of Eustace II of Boulogne??

Donna Hartley

taf

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Feb 9, 2023, 2:06:45 PM2/9/23
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Domesday Book explicitly refers to him as 'son of count Eustace', and his descendants used the Boulogne toponymic. That makes for a strong case for his paternity as son of Eustace II. He is commonly presumed to have been illegitimate, because the children of Eustace and Ida are well-documented and he is never named among them. However, historians being historians, other placements have been suggested: like that he was eldest son of Eustace and his wife Godgifu (or by extension, a divorced wife who was not Godgifu) illegitimated by the annulment as already discussed here as unlikely, or that he was identical to Ida's son Godfrey based on a flawed argument from onomastic etymology but flying in the face of what was written about Godfrey.

taf

Peter Stewart

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Feb 9, 2023, 5:09:34 PM2/9/23
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Geoffrey was certainly an illegitimate son of Eustace - in the first
posting of this thread I referred to him as "an illegitimate son of
Eustace (Geoffrey of Carshalton)".

Beyond the record in Domesday book, as Todd posted, proof is given also
in a charter by William the Conqueror of the late-1070s/early-1080s
confirming Geoffrey's gift on behalf of his wife Beatrice of three hides
(one at Balham, two at Walton near Morden, neighbouring Carshalton) to
Westminster abbey: "tres hidas quas Gaufridus filius comitis Eustachii
pro Beatrice uxore sua ibidem libere donavit annuente Gaufrido de Magna
villa".

Geoffrey's grandson Faramus of Tingry, castellan of Dover (where
Eustace's travelling entourage caused mayhem in 1071) specified the
relationships in a charter for Oakburn priory, witnessed by his brothers
Eustace and Simon: "Faramus filius Willelmi Boloniæ ... Gaufridus filius
comitis Eustacii de Bolonia, avus meus, et Willelmus de Bolonia, filius
ipsius, pater meus ... hujus concessionis meæ fuerunt concessores, et
testes fratres mei, Eustacius, et Simon.". In the earliest extant pipe
roll he is called "Faramus filius Willelmi de Bolonia".

The fatuous identification of Geoffrey with his paternal half-brother
Godfrey de Bouillon that was unfortunately repeated twice by the editors
(who should have known better) in the first volume of *Regesta Regum
Anglo-Normannorum*, and followed by the editors of *Westminster Abbey
Charters* (1988), is undoubtedly false - indeed preposterous.

Peter Stewart

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Feb 9, 2023, 5:11:26 PM2/9/23
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On 10-Feb-23 9:09 AM, Peter Stewart wrote:

> Geoffrey's grandson Faramus of Tingry, castellan of Dover (where
> Eustace's travelling entourage caused mayhem in 1071)

Apologies, 1051 not 1071. Morning fingers.
Message has been deleted

donna.hart...@gmail.com

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Feb 10, 2023, 7:02:53 AM2/10/23
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On Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 5:11:26 PM UTC-5, Peter Stewart wrote:
> On 10-Feb-23 9:09 AM, Peter Stewart wrote:

Thanks taf and Peter for the clarification.

Also a shout out to Peter for introducing me (an American) to the word shonky, which he used in a post yesterday. I thought this was a typo but no, it's a real word. And I can see that it will be an eminently useful addition to my vocabulary.

Donna Hartley

Peter Stewart

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Feb 10, 2023, 4:04:04 PM2/10/23
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It was originally an Australian term, Donna, but one of our useful
exports. As an American, with many shonky operators in your country's
public life, you may have as much use for it as my compatriots always have.

Peter Stewart

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Feb 10, 2023, 5:13:46 PM2/10/23
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On 09-Feb-23 5:02 PM, Peter Stewart wrote:

> Eustace visited England in September 1051, when he was mentioned in the
> Worcester (D) version of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle as having married the
> sister of Edward the Confessor, see folio 73r here
> https://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=cotton_ms_tiberius_b_iv_f073r: "com eustatius up æt doferan se hæfde eadƿardes cẏnges sƿeostor to ƿife" (Eustace arrived at Dover who had King Edward's sister as wife). The preterite verb "hæfde" suggests that the marriage was over by that time - or at any rate by the time of writing. This information was later repeated in the Latin chronicle ascribed to John of Worcester (formerly to Florence of Worcester), see p. 336 here
> https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/93b83416-7972-40d7-9789-18f54e17ae25/surfaces/621ea924-0e11-4807-ba2c-4f3ca849dbac/: "bononiensis comes Eustatius [senior] qui sororem EADWARDI regis Godam nomine in coniugium habuerat paucis doruuerniam applicuit nauibus" (Eustace [the elder] count of Boulogne who had the sister of King Edward in marriage arrived at Canterbury with a few ships), where the verb "habuerat" is pluperfect also suggesting the marriage was understood to be over in contrast to "applicuit" in the perfect tense.

I should have noted that this distinction of tenses is not clear in the
Anglo-Saxon chronicle since - unlike the perfect "applicuit" (arrived or
landed) contrasting with the pluperfect "habuerat" (had) in Latin -
"com" (arrived) and "hæfde" (had) are both preterite.

These two chronicles were written at Worcester: this part of the Latin
chronicle was apparently compiled in mid-1101, and the unknown scribe
may have expressed his understanding of the earlier Anglo-Saxon one (or
of a different source common to both) in implying that the marriage was
no longer current when Eustace visited England in September 1051.
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