Vermandois was a French county that appeared in the Merovingian period. In the tenth century, it was organised around two castellan domains: St Quentin (Aisne) and Péronne (Somme).
Pepin I of Vermandois, the earliest of its hereditary counts, was descended in direct male line from the emperor Charlemagne.
More famous was his grandson Herbert II (902–943), a man absolutely devoid of scruples, who considerably increased the territorial power of the house of Vermandois, and kept the lawful king of France, the unlucky Charles the Simple, prisoner for six years.
Herbert II was son of Herbert I, lord of Péronne and St Quentin, who was killed in 902 by an assassin in the pay of Baldwin II, Count of Flanders. His successors, Albert I, Herbert III, Albert II, Otto and Herbert IV, were not as historically significant.
In 1077, the last count of the first house of Vermandois, Herbert IV, received the county of Valois through his wife.
His son Eudes (II) the Insane was disinherited by the council of the Barons of France. He was lord of Saint-Simon through his wife, and the county was given to his sister Adela, whose first husband was Hugh the Great, the brother of King Philip I of France. Hugh was one of the leaders of the First Crusade, and died in 1102 at Tarsus in Cilicia.
The eldest son of Hugh and Adela was count Raoul I (c. 1120-1152), who married Petronilla of Aquitaine, sister of the queen, Eleanor, and had by her three children: Raoul (Rudolph) II, the Leper (count from 1152-1167); Isabelle, who possessed from 1167 to 1183 the counties of Vermandois, Valois and Amiens conjointly with her husband, Philip, Count of Flanders; and Eleanor.
By the terms of a treaty concluded in 1186 with the king, Philip Augustus, the count of Flanders kept the county of Vermandois until his death, in 1191. At this date, a new arrangement gave Eleanor (d. 1213) a life interest in the eastern part of Vermandois, together with the title of countess of St Quentin, and the king entered immediately into possession of Peronne and its dependencies.
For detailed historical and genealogical information see the Counts of Vermandois section of the FMG Medieval Lands Database by Charles Cawley.
Carolingian counts (and years of their reigns)
- Pepin I (II?) of Vermandois (ca. 886–892), son of Bernard, King of Italy
- Herbert I of Vermandois (892–907), also count of Senlis, son of previous.
- Herbert II (907–943), Count of Vermandois by marriage, lord of Péronne and St Quentin de Monte, and count of Meaux, son of previous.
- Albert I the Pious (943–988), Count of Vermandois, lord of Péronne and St Quentin de Monte, son of previous. In 964 he founded the monastery of St Quentin de Insula near Augusta Veruomanduorum (now St Quentin).
- Herbert III (987-997), Count of Vermandois, son of previous.
- Albert II (997-1035), Count of Vermandois, son of previous.
- Eudes/Otto (1035–1045), Count of Vermandois, brother of previous.
- Herbert IV (1045–1080), son of previous, Count of Vermandois and by marriage of Valois .
- Eudes I the Insane (1080–1085), Count of Vermandois and of Valois, son of previous, he was disinheredited by the council of Barons of France and then he was lord of Saint-Simon by marriage.
- Adele (d. 1122) (1085–1101), Countess of Vermandois and of Valois, sister of previous, wife of Hugh I the Great. The last remaining Carolingian.
- Hugh I the Great (1085–1101), Count of Vermandois and of Valois, by marriage, son of Henry I and Anne of Kiev.
- Raoul I the Valiant (1102–1152), also known as Le Borgne, Count of Vermandois and of Valois, son of previous.
- Hugh II (1152–1160), Count of Vermandois and of Valois, son of Raoul I and Eléonore of Blois.
- Raoul II (1160–1167), Count of Vermandois and of Valois, son of Raoul I and of Petronilla of Aquitaine.
- Elisabeth (1167–1183), Countess of Vermandois and of Valois, daughter of Raoul I and of Petronilla of Aquitaine; wife of Philip of Alsace.
- Philip of Alsace (1167–1183), Count of Vermandois and of Valois by marriage, Count of Flanders (1168-1191).
- Eleonore (1183–1214), Countess of Vermandois and of Valois, daughter of Raoul I and of Laurette of Flanders; she renounced to his lands in favor to the French Crown and became a nun.
- Philip II of France, added Vermandois to the royal domain.
- Louis de Bourbon, comte de Vermandois (1669–1683), illegitimate son of Louis XIV and Louise de la Vallière.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Anselme, Histoire Genealogique de la Maison royale de France, 1726.
- M. Fouquier-Cholet, Histoire des Comtes héréditaires du Vermandois, Saint-Quentin, 1832.
- Ioh. Mabillon, Annales ord. Sancti Benedicti. Ticinense. Lucae, 1739.
- Louis Moreri, Le Gran Dictionnaire Historique, Paris, 1743-1749.