Henri I Le Grand, duc de Bourgogne

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Otto (Henri) 'Le Grand', duc de Bourgogne

Also Known As: "Château de Pouilly-sur-Saône"
Death: October 15, 1002 (49-58)
Château de Pouilly-sur-Saône, Pouilly-sur-Saône, Côte-d'Or, Burgandy, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugh "Magnus" of Paris, count of Paris, duke of the Franks and Hedwige of Saxony
Husband of Gersende de Gascogne; Gerberga, Countess of Macon and Mahaut de CHÂLON
Father of Aremburge de Nevers and Eudes de Vergy
Brother of Hugues Capet, roi des Francs; Emma de France; Eudes, duc de Bourgogne; N.N. av franska huset Capet, Hertig and Beatrix de France
Half brother of Heribert, évêque d'Auxerre

Occupation: Duke of Burgundy 965-1002, Comte de Nevers, Conde de Autun, Avallon e Beaune, Duc de Bourgogne 965
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Henri I Le Grand, duc de Bourgogne

According to the FMG Medieval Lands Database:

Henri I (Eudes) "le Grand" de Bourgogne was the son of Hugues "le Grand' Prince of France and Duke of Burgundy (Bourgogne):

EUDES ([948]-Château de Pouilly-sur-Saône 15 Oct 1002).

  • The Historia Francorum Senonensis names (in order) "Hugo, Otto et Heinricus" as the three sons of "Hugo Magnus dux Francorum…ex filia Odonis regis"[89]. Flodoard names "Hugonem et Oddonem clericum" as brothers of "Otto filius Hugonis", when he records that the rectores of Burgundy named them as his successors[90].
  • He adopted the name HENRI, and the title Duke of Burgundy. He possessed the counties of Autun, Beaune and Avallon, and was suzerain of the Counts of Chalon, Tonnerre, Nevers and Auxerre, and probably of the Counts of Mâcon and Oscheret[91].
  • King Lothaire confiscated the counties of Langres and Dijon in 967 and gave them to the Bishop of Langres[92].
  • Duke Henri married the widow of the ex-king of Italy who had sought refuge in Autun in 971 and adopted her son by her first marriage, Otto-Guillaume, who later became Comte de Bourgogne et de Mâcon.
  • The Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne, interpolated into the Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines, records the death in 1002 of "dux Burgundie Henricus"[93]. Rodulfus Glaber records the death of "dux Heinricus" in the third year of the millennium at "Castrum Pulliacum super Ararim" in Burgundy and his burial at Auxerre in Oct[94]. The necrology of Auxerre cathedral records the death 15 Oct of "Henricus Burgundiæ marchio"[95].


(1) m firstly ([973]) as her second husband, GERBERGE, widow of ADALBERTO II di Ivrea ex-King of Italy, daughter of --- ([945]-11 Dec [987/91]).

  • Her name and her two marriages are confirmed by the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne, interpolated into the Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines, which names "Guilelmum Ottonem et eius matrem Gerbergam" when recording that her son was adopted by his mother's second husband "dux Burgundie Henricus"[96].
  • Her birth date is estimated from the estimated birth date of her son in [960/62]. The Vita of Hugues Comte de Chalon refers to his (unnamed) sister as having married the Duke of Burgundy[97]. Chronologically, this refers most probably to Duke Henri who died in 1002, although the original of the document has not yet been consulted to check whether the wording supports this conclusion.
  • Gerberge's origin has not yet been corroborated in the other primary sources so far consulted. The Vita appears to indicate that she was Gerberge, daughter of Lambert Comte de Chalon, but this raises several problems if it is correct.
  • Firstly, on the death without direct heirs in 1039 of her supposed brother Hugues Comte de Chalon, the county was inherited by the comparatively obscure children of his younger sister Mathilde, apparently ignoring the superior claims of Gerberge's own numerous descendants, among whom were the powerful counts palatine of Burgundy who, one would have thought, would not have missed the opportunity of acquiring another county. Rodulfus Glaber does record that "Hugo filius Lanberti Cabilonensis comitis…episcopus Autissioderi" was an opponent of "Willemus, Henrici ducis priuignus, Adalberti Longobardorum ducis filius"[98], which could explain why Bishop Hugues favoured his nephew by his younger sister to succeed to his county. Nevertheless, after the bishop's death, his past opposition to Comte Otto-Guillaume may have provided an excuse for his son to intervene in the Chalon succession if he had a legitimate claim.
  • Secondly, considering the likely birth date of her son, Gerberge's first marriage must have taken place while her husband and father-in-law were still reigning kings of Italy. They were under continuous pressure from Otto I King of Germany and it is likely that Adalberto's marriage could have brought additional political support. It is not clear how the relatively obscure count of Chalon could have provided this.

  • Thirdly, after the death in 978 of Lambert Comte de Chalon, and his widow's second marriage to Geoffroy I Comte d'Anjou, no record has been found in the primary sources so far consulted of Henri Duke of Burgundy intervening to prevent Comte Geoffroy taking control of the county of Chalon, which would seem the likely course of action if his wife was the deceased count's oldest child.
  • Fourthly, Gerberge's estimated birth date creates serious chronological problems if she was the daughter of Lambert's only known wife Adelais. Considerable doubt therefore appears to subsist on this origin of Gerberge, although no alternative can as yet be proposed if we are to respect the wording of the Vita.
  • The necrology of Auxerre cathedral records the death 11 Dec of "Gerberga comitissa uxor Henrici ducis"[99].

(2) m secondly (before Jun 992, repudiated 996 before 24 Oct) GERSENDE, daughter of ---.

  • This second marriage is deduced from the evidence provided by three charters. "Domnus Hugo comes atque mater sua Adeleidis" donated property "in pago Cabilonensi" to the abbey of Paray-le-Moniale by an undated charter signed by "Hugo comes, Adeleidis matris suæ, Mauritii filii eius, Enrici ducis, Garlindis uxoris eius"[100]. "Henrici ducis…[et] dominæ Garsindis comitissæ" and "Henricus dux, Gersindis ducatrix" are named in two charters of Saint-Symphorien d'Autun dated Jun 991 or 992 and 10 May 993 respectively[101].
  • The question of Gersende's parentage is more complex. In Europäische Stammtafeln[102] she is named GERSENDE de Gascogne, daughter of GUILLAUME Sanchez, Comte de Gascogne & his wife Urraca de Navarra. The Historia Abbatiæ Condomensis notes that "Gimbaldum Comitem, patrem Ugonis Episcopi" donated property "ecclesiam S. Johannis, Cablisa" to the convent of Condom and also "nobilissima femina Gavarsens…eius videlicet neptis, soror Sanctii Guasconiæ Comitis" after returning from "quadam provincia Burgundia…ubi maritum habuerat"[103].
  • Bouchard suggests that Garlindis/Garsindis are name variants of "Gerberga", the wife of Duke Henri named in earlier sources (and assumed to be his first wife)[104]. However, this appears unlikely to be correct as the suffix root elements of these names "-sendis" and "-berga" are not normally interchangeable and appear separately with different prefix roots in many different contemporary names[105]. It therefore appears likely that "Gersende" was a different person from "Gerberge".
  • Bouchard also highlights that the only allusion to the origin of Duke Henri's supposed second wife is a satirical poem written about Landry Comte de Nevers which includes an obscure reference to a wife who felt distressed and "sought Gascony"[106]. She also comments that the context of the poem implies that, in any case, it was Landry's wife to whom this refers[107]. However, it does not appear that she was aware of the passage in the Historia Abbatiæ Condomensis quoted above.


Duke Henri [Eudes] had [two] illegitimate children by unknown mistresses:

a) EUDES (-after 25 Aug 1005). The Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne, interpolated into the Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines, names "Odo vicecomes Belnensis" as son of "Henrici ducis Burgundie, frater ex matre Guillelmi Ottonis"[108]. The absence of any reference to his claiming the succession to the duchy of Burgundy makes it probable that he was illegitimate rather than Duke Henri's son by his first wife. - VICOMTES de BEAUNE.

b) [HENRI (-before 1023). Seigneur de Vergy. J. Richard[109] suggests that Henri Seigneur de Vergy was the illegitimate son of Henri Duke of Burgundy. He asserts that the transfer of the seigneurie de Vergy from Henri's son Humbert to Jean, son of Eudes Vicomte de Beaune, indicates a close family relationship, which he assumes to be one of first cousins. However, Vergy was recorded in the hands of Jean several years before the death of Humbert, suggesting a transfer by sale rather than inheritance. In any case, the natural heir to Vergy if it had passed by inheritance would have been Geoffroy Comte de Mâcon, son of Humbert's sister Elisabeth. The same author links the father of Bishop Humbert with the Henri who signed a charter at Flavigny in 992, along with other Burgundian lords. - SEIGNEURS de VERGY.]

From the French Wikipedia page on Henry I de Bourgogne

Eudes-Henri[1], dit Henri le Grand, comte d'Autun, d'Avallon et de Beaune, duc de Bourgogne, né vers 948, mort le 15 octobre 1002, est le fils d'Hugues le Grand, duc de France et d'Hedwige de Saxe. Il est le frère du roi Hugues Capet.

D'abord prénommé Eudes, il est clerc lorsque meurt son frère Otton, duc de Bourgogne (965). Les comtes bourguignons le choisissent alors comme duc et il prend alors le nom d'Henri.

Il épouse :

1°)971 Gerberge, comtesse de Mâcon, fille de Létald Ier, comte de Mâcon et Ermengarde III de Châlon

2°)998 Dame Mahaut de Chalon de Donzy, fille de Lambert, comte de Châlon-sur-Saône, Beaune et Autun et Adélaïde, comtesse de Châlon dite de Vergy

On lui importe deux paternités, sans certitude :

1. Eudes de Beaune, d'où descendrait la lignée des robertienne des Vergy 2. Aremburge de Vergy de Bourgogne (990 - ) 1 (de Dame Mahaut de Chalon de Donzy) qui aurait épousé Dalmace de Sémur

Notes et références

1.↑ Généalogie de Eudes sur le site FMG [archive]


Christian Settipani, La préhistoire des Capétiens, 1993 (ISBN 2-9501509-3-4)

In English:

Eudes-Henri, nicknamed Henry the Great ("Henri le Grand"), was Comte d'Autun, d'Avallon, et de Beaune, and duc de Bourgogne. He was born c.948 and died 15 October 1002. He was the son of Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks, and Hadwig von Sachsen. He was the brother of King Hugh Capet.

He was first named Eudes (Odo), and became a cleric. When his brother Otton died, he succeeded him as Duc de Bourgogne (965). The counts selected him as the new Duke and he took the name Henri.

He married:

1. In 971, Gerberga, Comtesse de Macon, daughter of Letald I, Comte de Macon, and Ermengarde de Chalon. 2. In 988, Dame de Chalon Donzy Mahaut, daughter of Lambert, Comte de Chalon-sur-Saone, Beaune, et Autun, and Adelaide, Comtesse de Chalon dite de Vergy.

There are two children attributed to him, but neither of which are certain: 1. Eudes de Beaune, who descended from the Robertian lineage of Vergy. 2. Aremburge de Vergy de Bourgogne (b. 990-991, from the Dame Mahaut de Chalon de Donzy), who married Dalmac de Semur.

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Henri I Le Grand, duc de Bourgogne's Timeline

- 1002
Age 17
duke of Burgandy
Age 42
Nevers, Nievre, Bourgogne, France
October 15, 1002
Age 54
Pouilly-sur-Saône, Côte-d'Or, Burgandy, France
December 23, 1933
Age 54
December 23, 1933
Age 54
December 23, 1933
Age 54
December 23, 1933
Age 54