public profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Russian: Плектруда
Also Known As: "Plectrudis", "Plectrude"
Birthplace: Herstal, Liege, Walloon Region, Belgium
Death: 717
Cologne, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Place of Burial: Santa Maria, Colônia (Alemanha)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Hugobert and Irmina, Abbess of Oeren
Wife of Pépin ll "the Fat" d'Héristal, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia
Mother of Drogo, duc de Champagne et Bourgogne and Grimoald II the Younger
Sister of Chrodelinde; Hardrad van Aquitanië and Hubertus van Aquitanië

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Plectrude

Plectrude founded the Abbey St. Maria im Kapitol in Cologne.

CHARLEMAGNE THE PIOUS AND PROLIFIC PROGENITOR By: Xenia Stanford Biography & Archived Articles Article Published December 23, 1999

...As explained in the past issues, Charlemagne arose from the line of chief administrators known as Mayors of the Palace who served under and later over the Merovingian kings. However, despite the hard efforts of genealogists the Carolingian lineage named for Charlemagne can only be truly documented as far back as his 3rd great grandfather. We know his grandfather Pepin d'Herstal or Pepin I (Pippin I to some historians) was the grandson of Pepin the Elder but the generation before and the generation between are unnamed in the histories found to date.

... Pepin d'Herstal was married to a woman named Itta. Pepin and Itta had three known children. One, a girl named Gertrude, became an abbess and was not known to have any offspring but the other two had descendants. Although the other daughter, Begga, was to produce the most significant heirs, initially the couple's only known son, Grimoald, gained his father's position and title of Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia after Pepin I's death about 639 or 640 AD.

Grimoald had a daughter Wulfetrude who became a well-known abbess. Although the actual paternity of another child called Childebert has been questioned, Grimoald claimed him as son and named him in 656 AD as the successor to King Sigebert of Neustria over Sigebert's son and heir Dagobert. Dagobert was exiled to Ireland but his supporters were so angered by the coup they captured and killed Grimoald soon after.

Childebert died in 662 but already the kingdom had been thrown into turmoil with the wars between Neustria and Austrasia and between the Merovingian heirs and the descendants of the powerful mayors. Although Grimoald had a grandson Childebrand whose parents' names are unknown, it was his nephew, son of sister Begga who regained the mayoral supremacy and the rule.

Begga married Ansegisel and produced a son, Pepin or Pippin named for her father. This Pepin (now called Pepin II) had children by at least two women. One of these women was his wife Plectrude and the other his mistress Alpaida.

He married Plectrude around 670 for her inheritance of substantial estates in the Moselle region. They produced at least two children and through them at least two significant grandchildren. These legitimate children and grandchildren claimed themselves to be Pepin's true successors and with the help of his widow Plectrude tried to maintain the position of Mayor of the Palace after their progenitor's death on December 16, 714.

The position of Mayor of the Palace had over the years become one of great significance and with the work of Pepin the Elder and his grandson Pepin d'Herstal it had become as important if not greater than the role of the king. Under Grimoald the land holdings and influence of the Mayor had increased. Pepin II was not satisfied with ruling only Austrasia, thus in 690 he also took over as Mayor of the Palace for Neustrian King Theuderic. Although the king still sat on the throne, the role and title of Mayor as well as Pepin's fortunes in land were inheritances to be coveted.

However, the son of Pepin II and his mistress Alpaida gained favour among the Austrasians and despite the efforts of Plectrude to silence her rival's child by imprisoning him, he became the one Mayor of the Palace and true ruler of Francia. This illegitimate son of Pepin II was Charles Martellus (the Hammer) or Charles Martel whose deeds have been explained in previous issues.

Plectrude or Plectrudis (d.717) was the wife of Pepin of Herstal, the mayor of the palace and duke of the Franks, from about 670. She was the daughter of Hugobert, seneschal of Clovis IV, and Irmina d'Oeren.

She brought a large amount of property to the Arnulfing house and this probably helped to save Pepin in his warmaking with the Neustrians. She tried to assure that her grandchildren (for both her sons by Pepin predeceased him) would inherit and she got Pepin's assent that Theudoald should be his main heir. When Pepin died soon thereafter (714), she imprisoned his dangerous bastard son Charles Martel in Cologne.

In 716, Chilperic II, king of the Franks, and Ragenfrid, his mayor of the palace, together led an army into Austrasia. Near Cologne, in which Plectrude had shut herself up, they defeated the escaped Charles Martel. The king and his mayor then turned to besiege their other rival in the city and took it, the treasury, and received the recognition of both Chilperic as king and Ragenfrid as mayor.

At this juncture, events turned in Charles favour. In 717, he chased the king and the mayor to Paris before turning back to deal with Plectrude in Cologne. He took the city and dispersed her adherents. She died later that year in Cologne, where she is buried.

Her sons by Pepin were:

   * Drogo, duke of Champagne

* Grimoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria

PEPIN [II] m firstly ([670/75]%29 PLECTRUDIS, daughter of HUGOBERT & his wife [Irmina ---] (-after 717, bur Köln, St Maria im Kapitol). "Pippinus" names "matrona mea Plectrudis, filia Huogoberti quondam" in his two charters dated 13 May 706[125]. The Liber Historiæ Francorum names "Pippino…uxor nobilissima…Plectrudis" but does not give her origin[126]. After the death of her husband, she "took everything under her control" according to Fredegar (Continuator)[127]. The Monumenta Epternacensia records that "Raginfredum maiorem domus" married "Plectrudem"[128], but this is not corroborated by other sources. She was regent for her grandson Theodebald, but opposed by her stepson Charles "Martel" whom she imprisoned. Charles escaped, and defeated the forces of Plectrudis at Vinchy, near Cambrai, 28 May 717. She founded St Maria im Kapitol at Köln.

view all

Plectrude's Timeline

Herstal, Liege, Walloon Region, Belgium
Heristal, Leige Province, Belgium
Heristal, Liege, Belgium
Age 67
Cologne, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Age 67
Santa Maria, Colônia (Alemanha)
February 25, 1933
Age 67
March 10, 1933
Age 67