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Richenza's Geni Profile

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About Richenza

About Richenza and her likely two sons before the Count of Perche died: (source: Matilda had been born in Germany in 1171 [3] and had come to the Anglo-Norman realm when her father had been exiled in 1180, but neither she, nor her younger brother Otto, accompanied their parents when they later returned to Germany [4]. On her marriage in 1189 she brought an extensive dowry to the Rotrou family, consisting of holdings in Suffolk, Essex and Kent, which had formerly been the property of Henry of Essex, an important English baron [5]. During the absence of her husband and father-in-law on the Third Crusade, Matilda was active in the running of the Perche and it is likely that she had a son, Geoffrey [6]. Matilda’s husband became count of the Perche after his father’s death at Acre in July 1191, but did not return from the Holy Land until 1192.

Throughout the 1190s Count Geoffrey dealt with the political implications of the rivalry of his relatives, the French and English kings, for Geoffrey was himself the cousin of the French king, Philip Augustus, through their respective mothers, Matilda and Adela of Blois-Champagne, while his wife was the niece of the English kings, Richard and John. Geoffrey died in April 1202 as he prepared to embark on the Fourth Crusade and his brother, Stephen, assumed command of the Percheron forces. Matilda was left to control the Perche on behalf of her second son, Thomas, who had probably been born around 1193 [7]. During the reign of her uncle John Matilda needed considerable political acumen to retain her son’s English lands and her own dowry land. King Philip Augustus was able to exercise his rights as overlord of the counts of the Perche and arranged a second marriage for the widowed countess in 1204-1205, when she became the wife of Enguerrand de Coucy.

Matilda died in January 1210, when King John seized her dowry and all the other family lands in England. Her son, Thomas, was a promising young man, but he was killed at the Battle of Lincoln in 1217 and the independent line of the Rotrou counts of the Perche became extinct with the death in 1226 of Matilda’s brother-in-law, William, bishop of Châlons-en-Champagne and count of the Perche.

I am assuming that the son Sigerus listed in my family tree is the same as the obscure Geoffrey named above. Sigerus went on to have a son named Geoffrey the VI of Perche. I am not sure that the count Geoffrey IV of Perche III of Chateudun was the father as she had the child in his absence. His father could have had the name Bars as I do not know where else this name would come from. Also this man did not inherit the county of Perche which went on his younger brother's death to the country of France. see information about the counts of Perche. This would explain that as well.

Henry had the following known children by his second wife, Matilda, daughter of King Henry II of England (married 1168):

  • Richenza (1172–1204), also called Matilda, married Godfrey, Count of Perche, and Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy
  • Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine (c. 1173–1227)
  • Lothar of Bavaria (c. 1174–1190)
  • Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor and Duke of Swabia (c. 1175–1218)
  • William of Winchester (1184–1213)