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Margaret II, Countess of Hainaut

Margaret II, Countess of Hainaut

Countess suo jure of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Countess suo jure of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut
Occupations Politician
Gender female
Death 23 June 1356 (Le Quesnoy)
Mother: Joan of ValoisCountess of Hainaut
Father: William ICount of Hainaut
Spouse: Louis IVHoly Roman Emperor
Children: Margaret of BavariaDuchess of SlavoniaLouis IIElector of BrandenburgWilliam IDuke of BavariaAlbert IDuke of BavariaOtto VDuke of BavariaBeatrice of BavariaAgnes of BavariaElisabeth of Bavaria
The details

Margaret II of Avesnes (1311 – 23 June 1356) was Countess of Hainaut and Countess of Holland (as Margaret I) from 1345 to 1356. Margaret was the daughter of William I, Count of Hainaut, and his wife, Joan of Valois. On 26 February 1324 in Cologne she married Emperor Louis IV the Bavarian.


She succeeded in 1345 her brother William II of Hainaut (William IV) following his death in battle with later Louis IV the Bavarian designating that Hainaut, Holland, Zeeland and Friesland were his wife's possessions. and later these passed to their son William V. Margaret's sisters, including Philippa of Hainaut who was Queen consort of Edward III of England disavowed their hereditary claims. Due to the dangerous hostility of the House of Luxemburg Louis increased his power base ruthlessly. Margaret then returned to Holland in 1346 to secure her position of power but did not manage to prevent the coronation of the Luxemburg Charles IV as anti-king in Aix-la-Chapelle by force.

When Louis IV died on 11 October 1347, he was succeeded by his six sons. In 1349 the brothers decided to partition their possessions; Louis V, Duke of Bavaria kept Brandenburg and Tyrol, he and his younger brothers Louis VI the Roman and Otto V the Bavarian received Upper Bavaria. Stephen II, William and Albert received Lower Bavaria, Holland and Hainaut. Louis V and Stephen were not sons of Margaret and her youngest sons Albert and Otto were still minors. Louis VI released Holland and Hainaut for his brothers William and Albert in 1349 since he expected the Polish crown by his marriage with Cunigunde of Poland. In 1353 also Stephen released Holland and Hainaut to his brother William.

Despite Margaret resigning her sovereignty in favour of her son William, in 1350, the nobles of Holland asked Margaret to return to run Holland again. Her son William refused to pay her alimony so she then battled for the power in Holland and Hainaut for some years with her son. The Cod League was formed on 23 May 1350 by a number of supporters of William. On 5 September of the same year, the Hook League was formed. Soon afterward these factions clashed and a civil war began, known as the Hook and Cod wars.

Edward III of England, Margaret's brother-in-law through her sister Philippa of Hainault, came to her aid, winning a naval engagement off Veere in 1351; a few weeks later the Hooks and their English allies were defeated by William and the Cods at Vlaardingen, a defeat which ruined Margaret's cause. Edward III shortly afterwards changed sides and the empress saw herself compelled (1354) to come to an understanding with her son: he being recognized as count of Holland and Zeeland, she of Hainaut in her lifetime. Margaret's health failed and she died two years later of infectious tuberculosis, leaving William in possession of the entire Holland-Hainaut inheritance.

Family and children

Coats of Arms of the Counts of Hainaut and Holland.

In 1324 she married Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor. Their children were:

  1. Margaret (1325–1374), married:
    1. in 1351 in Buda Stephen, Duke of Slavonia (d. 1354), son of the King Charles I of Hungary, and had issue;
    2. 1357/58 Gerlach von Hohenlohe.
  2. Anna (c. 1326 – 3 June 1361, Fontenelles) married John I of Lower Bavaria (d. 1340)
  3. Louis VI the Roman (1328–1365), duke of Upper Bavaria, elector of Brandenburg. No issue.
  4. Elisabeth (1329 – 2 August 1402, Stuttgart), married:
    1. Cangrande II della Scala, Lord of Verona (d. 1359) in Verona on 22 November 1350. No issue
    2. Count Ulrich of Württemberg (d. 1388) in 1362. No issue
  5. William V of Holland (1330–1389), as William I duke of Lower Bavaria, as Wiliam V count of Hainaut and Holland. He married Maud of Lancaster but their only daughter died young
  6. Agnes (Munich, 1335 – 11 November 1352, Munich). She became a nun, due to ill health and died young
  7. Albert I of Holland (1336–1404), duke of Lower Bavaria, count of Hainaut and Holland
  8. Otto V the Bavarian (1340–1379), duke of Upper Bavaria, elector of Brandenburg
  9. Beatrice of Bavaria (1344 – 25 December 1359), married bef. 25 October 1356 Eric XII of Sweden
  10. Louis (October 1347 – 1348)


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