Lyderic, count of Harelbeke (Fictitious)

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Lideric le Buc

Dutch: Liederik van Buc, French: Lydéric le Buc
Also Known As: "Lyderic", "Lideric", "Liderie", "Ardennen", "de Therouanne", "van Harlebeke", "Vlaanderen", "Flandre", "Flanders", "Flandern", "Flandres", "Harlebec"
Birthplace: In a forest named 'without mercy', Buc, Flanders
Death: Died in Flanders, Normandy, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Salvert of Dijon (Fictitious) and Ermengaert de Roussillon (Fictitious)
Husband of Richilde of the Franks (Fictitious) and Inge ?
Father of Antoine of Harlebeke (Fictitious); Burchard of Harlebeke (Fictitious); Anacher (Gov.) of Great Flanders, , Of Flanders and Adalhelm d'Artois

Occupation: 4ʻ, Forestier, Sieur, d'Harlebecque, Grand, de Flandre, Comte, de To...
Managed by: Private User
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About Lyderic, count of Harelbeke (Fictitious)

Lydéric and Phinaert were semi-legendary figures tied to the foundation of the French city of Lille.

According to a very popular legend, in the year 620, the prince of Dijon, Salvaert, made his way to the Kingdom of England with his pregnant wife, Ermengaert. While traveling through Flanders, they fell into a trap laid by the local lord, the giant Phinaert. Phinaert had the prince and his men killed. Ermengaert fled and found refuge in the forest, at a hermit's home,where she gave birth to a son. She then died, leaving the baby with the hermit, who gave him the name Lydéric.

Lydéric soon learnt the truth about his origins, and, as a youth, went in search of Phinaert. He found him at the court of Dagobert I at Soissons. Lydéric then killed Phinaert in a duel, thus avenging his parents' deaths. Phinaert's lands were then given to Lydéric, and the young man founded the city of Lille in the year 640.

  • Pierre d'Oudegherst, Les chroniques et annales de Flandres ( 1571)


Appointed Grand Forester and Governor of Flanders by Dagobert I, King of the Franks in 621. Married Dagobert’s sister, Richilda, Princess of Merovingia. His 2nd son, one of 15 children, was named Antoine Forester de Flanders.

Forester, the forerunner of all others who bear the name in its many variations across early Europe, and since then, the entire globe.

His name was Lydric, only son of Saluart, Prince of Dijon. He was granted both the government and the fiefdom of Flanders by Dagobert I, King of the Franks in the year 621.

The entry about him in the old Flemish chronicle I found is a follows: "Lydric the first Lord of the name called Buc, only son of Saluart, Prince of Dijon and Madame Emgarde, daughter of Girard (Gerald) Lord of Roussilon, having conquered and killed Phinart the tyrant, the Lord of Buc was appointed the First (or Grand) Forester of the country of Flanders, in the year 621, by Dagobert, the King of Austrasia and of the Franks, and carried the first arms that are blazoned as being ‘garonny or et azur (blue and gold) of ten pieces in the middle of an escutchon gules,’ He died in the year 692." This coat of arms was one of the earliest granted.

(The origin of the title "Grand Forester" is unknown, but it probably related to the high importance of those titled officials who had complete charge and oversight of the very heavily wooded lands in those times. These huge forests were the most valuable asset of their royal owners, the kings, being such an extremely vital source of both timber and meat for their realms! The same significance of forestry and sylviculture applied just as much in Europe then as it did in England and Scotland.)

“Lyderic Le Buck governed Flanders wisely and humanely, until his death. In A.D. 640, he completed a castle on the bank of the river, which, from its insolated position was called "l’Isle," since easily changed to Lille. In this castle, Lyderic’s descendants and successors, as Foresters and Counts of Flanders, resided for several centuries. Guicciardine says its ruins were extant in his time.

About this castle, in time, grew the since famous City of Lille, Capital of Flanders, which once vied in importance with Lancashire, England, in the extent and value of its manufactures. It is still [1889] "one mean city" and contains some of the most valuable works of art in all Europe. The celebrated Hotel de Ville, built by Jean Sans Peur in 1430, contains forty four of Raphael’s paintings. The portraits of Lyderic Le Buc and several of his descendants, hang in the Musee in Lille.”

By Richilda, his wife, Lyderic Le Buck had fifteen children. His descendants who for fourteen generations after his death governed Flanders.

Foundation of Lille

The legend of "Lydéric and Phinaert" puts the foundation of the city of "L'Isle" at 640. Although the first mention of the town appears in archives from the year 1066, some archeological digs seem to show the area as inhabited by as early as 2000 BC, most notably in the modern-day quartiers of Fives, Wazemmes, and Old Lille.

The name Lille comes from insula or l'Isla, since the area was at one time marshy. This name was used for the Counts of Flanders' castle, built on dry land in the middle of the marsh. The Count of Flanders controlled a number of old Roman cities (Boulogne, Arras, Cambrai) as well as some founded by the Carolingians (Valenciennes, Saint-Omer, Ghent, Bruges). The County of Flanders thus extended to the left bank of the Scheldt, one of the richest and most properous regions of Europe. The original inhabitants of this region were the Gauls, such as the Menapians, the Morins, the Atrebates, and the Nervians, who were followed by Germanic peoples, the Saxons and the Frisians, and the Franks later. From 830 until around 910, the Vikings invaded Flanders. After the destruction caused by Norman and Magyar invasion, the eastern part of the region fell under the eyes of the area's princes.


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