Ebles de Roucy, Seigneur d'Aquitaine

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Ebles de Roucy (de Poitou), Seigneur d'Aquitaine

Also Known As: "de Poitou"
Birthdate: (30)
Birthplace: Aquitaine, France
Death: circa 997 (22-38)
Immediate Family:

Son of Guillaume 'Fier-à-Bras' de Poitiers, IV Duc d'Aquitaine et II Comte de Poitou and Emma of Blois
Husband of N.N. de Mâcon
Father of Lietaud I, seigneur de Marle; Judith de Roucy, Comtesse de Rethel; Ebles I, Count of Roucy and Eudes de Roucy
Brother of William V, duke of Aquitaine; Emma d'Aquitaine and Blanche d'Aquitaine

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About Ebles de Roucy, Seigneur d'Aquitaine

From: "Todd A. Farmerie" <farmerie@interfold.com> Subject: Mathieu: Parentage of Ebles, Count of Roucy Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 16:28:09 -0700

Jean-Noel Mathieu, La succession au comte de Roucy aux environs de l'an mil. Les origines de l'archeveque de Reims Ebles (1021-1033). in Onomastique et Parente dans l'Occident medieval, K.S.B. Keats-Rohan and C. Settipani, eds., (2000) pp. 75-84.

In 967, Renaud, Count of Roucy died, leaving four children: Bruno, Gislebert, Ermentrude, and another daughter, name unknown, who married Fromond II of Sens. Bruno (a name which by this time seemed to mark those destined for the church) became Bishop of Langres, while Gislebert succeeded his father as Count of Roucy, dying about 1000. At this time (in fact, for a period before) Roucy passes into a period of obscurity, which only resolves with the appearance of Ebles, Count of Roucy, in the 1020s, who was likewise made Archbishop of Reims. Ebles has traditionally been placed in a direct line of succession, viewed as son of Gislebert, but Gislebert is not known to have married or had children, while several other factors raise red flags (i.e. the name Ebles has no prior exemplar in this family, the time from the death of Renaud to the appearance of Ebles seems long for only one intervening generation). This leads Mathieu to conclude that Ebles was not son of Gislebert, and came about his title through a less direct route.

Ebles' family consisted of a brother, Eudes, known from contemporary documents, and two siblings, Letaud of Marle and Jutta, wife of Manasses of Rethel found in an ancient genealogical source from Foigny. (Jutta is not discussed further, but while Ebles apparently d. 1033, Manasses was not even active until 1066, and was still living in 1081 - the chronology doesn't work, so there must be some sort of error here, as others have pointed out). This gives us a group of names, Ebles, Eudes, and Letaud (leaving out Jutta because of the chronological difficulties) that can be useful in identifying their kinship. Also of use are the titles themselves. Rumigny, Coucy (in the hands of the maternal grandson of Letaud, and thought to have come through this line) and Reims itself have links to the Blois counts, and specifically the descendants of Thibaud with Liegarde of Vermandois. This is where the data ends, and the hypotheses begin.

The name Ebles appears prominantly only in the family of Ebles Manzer, Count of Poitou. His grandson William II (IV), Count of Poitou, married Emma, sister of Eudes I, Count of Blois and son of Thibaud and Liegarde, so a descent from this marriage would seemingly explain not only the names Ebles and Eudes, but also the descent of some of the smaller holdings of the family. The chronology is a bit of a challenge because of the multiple marriages and children of William III (V), but it would seem that Ebles Count of Roucy would belong in the generation of his grandchildren, and a possible candidate for his father is an Ebles, brother of Count William III, who is known from only one document dating from the reign on Robert II of France.

Such a solution leaves unaddressed the succession to Roucy itself, as well as the name Letaud, and so provisionally accepting Eudes as father, we turn to the maternal lineage. The most obvious earlier occurance for Letaud is the father of Count Aubri of Macon. This man married a woman named Ermentrude, and from an early date, she has been identified with the daughter of Renaud de Roucy, and subsequent wife of Otto-William, Count of Burgundy. However, recently it has been argued that there are difficulties with this identification, mostly chronological. However, a closer look shows that these problems can be resolved, and an early source specifically states that the widow of Aubri married William, and from this marriage came Otto, Count of Macon. Thus it would seem that the name Letaud and the Roucy inheritance would have been united in a child of the marriage of Aubri II with Ermentrude de Roucy.

(As an aside, this resolution of the chronological difficulties with identifying Ermentrude as wife both of Aubri and Otto-William requires the supposition that Aubri married twice, and that Beatrice, wife of Geoffrey of Gatinais, ancestress of the Anjou Counts, must have been by the earlier wife. The author hypothesizes that she may have been a sister of Hugh Capet. While not explained, the reasoning would seem to be based on the name Beatrice, a name found in that family since Robert (I) married Beatrice of Vermandois. Other writings in the same compilation add a generation, making Beatrice daughter of Aubri by a daughter of Geoffrey, Vicomte of Orleans, who in turn is made brother-in-law, of Hugh Capet.)

By hypothesizing a marriage between Eudes of Poitou and a daughter of Aubri II and Ermentrude, Mathieu brings together the various names, Ebles, Eudes and Letaud, with the various titles, Rumigny, Coucy, Reims, and most importantly Roucy. (It would also recapitulate a common pattern, in which brothers William and Ebles of Poitou married half-sisters daughters of Ermentrude.) The solution is not without problems - most importantly, Ebles and his wife Beatrice of Hainaut would both be great-grandchildren of William I (III) (assuming the correct identification of Adelaide, wife of Hugh Capet). Mathieu suggests that this marriage, which produced just two daughters, may have been ended in premature separation due to consanginity.

That, then, is the Mathieu hypothesis.


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Ebles de Roucy, Seigneur d'Aquitaine's Timeline

Aquitaine, France
Age 21
Roucy, Aisne, Picardy, France
Age 21
Roucy, Aisne, Picardie, France
Age 23
Aisne, Picardy, Roucy, France
Age 30