- Marie of France, Countess of Champagne
Marie of France Marie's Seal Countess consort of Champagne Tenure 1164-1181 Spouse Henry I, Count of Champagne Issue Henry II of Champagne
Marie of Champagne
Theobald III of Champagne
Scholastique of Champagne
House House of Capet Father Louis VII of France Mother Eleanor of Aquitaine Born 1145 Died March 11, 1198
Marie's younger sister was Alix of France.
She was an older paternal half-sister to Marguerite of France, Alys, Countess of the Vexin, Philip II of France and Agnes of France. She was also an older maternal half-sister to William IX, Count of Poitiers, Henry the Young King, Matilda, Duchess of Saxony, Richard I of England, Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany, Leonora of England, Joan of England and John of England.
Marie's parents' marriage was annulled in 1152, and custody of Marie and her sister, Alix, was awarded to their father, King Louis. Their mother, Eleanor, married Henry, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy, later King Henry II of England, and so left France. In 1160, when her father, King Louis, married Adele of Champagne, he betrothed Marie and Alix to Adele's brothers. After her betrothal, Marie was sent to the abbey of Avenay in Champagne for her education.
In 1164, Marie married Henry I, Count of Champagne. They had four children:
- Henry II of Champagne (1166–1197)
- Marie of Champagne (died 1204), married Baldwin I of Constantinople
- Theobald III of Champagne (1179–1201)
- Scholastique of Champagne (died 1219), married William IV of Macon
Marie was left as Regent for Champagne when Henry I went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. While her husband was away, Marie's father died and her half-brother, Philip, became king. He confiscated his mother's dower lands and married Isabelle of Hainaut, who was previously betrothed to Marie's eldest son. This prompted Marie to join a party of disgruntled nobles—including Queen Adele and the archbishop of Reims -- in plotting against Philip. Eventually, relations between Marie and her royal brother improved. Her husband died soon after his return from the Holy Land. Now a widow with four young children, Marie considered marrying Philip of Flanders, but the engagement was broken off suddenly for unknown reasons.
After Henry I's death in 1181, Marie acted as regent until 1187 when her son, Henry, came of age. However, Henry II also went on Crusade and so Marie was regent from 1190 to Henry's death in 1197. She retired to the nunnery of Fontaines-les-Nones near Meaux, and died there in 1198.
Marie is remembered today mainly for her role in the heresy that was the target of the Albigensian Crusade. She was also a patron of literature, including Andreas Capellanus, who served in her court, and Chrétien de Troyes. She was literate in French and Latin and maintained her own library. A deep affection existed between Marie and her half-brother Richard I of England, and his celebrated poem J'a nuns hons pris, lamenting his captivity in Austria, was dedicated to her.
16. Henry I of France 8. Philip I of France 17. Anne of Kiev 4. Louis VI of France 18. Floris I, Count of Holland 9. Bertha of Holland 19. Gertrude of Saxony 2. Louis VII of France 20. Amadeus II of Savoy 10. Humbert II of Savoy 21. Joan of Geneva 5. Adelaide of Maurienne 22. William I, Count of Burgundy 11. Gisela of Burgundy 23. Etiennette 1. Marie of France, Countess of Champagne 24. William VIII of Aquitaine 12. William IX of Aquitaine 25. Hildegarde of Burgundy 6. William X of Aquitaine 26. William IV of Toulouse 13. Philippa of Toulouse 27. Emma of Mortain 3. Eleanor of Aquitaine 28. Boson II de Châtellérault, Viscount of Châtellérault 14. Aimery I de Rochefoucauld, Viscount of Châtellérault 29. Aenora of Thouars 7. Aenor de Châtellerault 30. Bartelmy de l'Isle-Bouchard 15. Dangereuse de L' Isle Bouchard 31. Gerberge de Blaison
- Wheeler, Bonnie. Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady, 2002
- Evergates, Theodore. Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, 1999
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