Henry I, Duke of Brabant


Henry I, Duke of Brabant

Henry I of Brabant (French: "Henri I de Brabant", Dutch: "Hendrik I van Brabant"), named "The Courageous", was (probably) born in 1165 in Leuven and died in the German city of Cologne on September 5, 1235. He became Duke of Brabant in 1183/1184 and succeeded his father as Duke of Lower Lotharingia in 1190. He was the son of Godfrey III of Leuven, Duke of Lower Lotharingia and landgrave of Brabant, and Margaret of Limburg.

He married Mathilde of Boulogne (Mathilde of Flanders), daughter of Marie of Boulogne and Matthew of Alsace 1179. He had six children by his first marriage:
# Marie (c. 1190 – May 1260), married in Maastricht after May 19, 1214 Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, married July 1220 Count William I of Holland
# Adelaide (b. c. 1190), married 1206 Arnulf, Count of Loos, married February 3, 1225 William X of Auvergne (c. 1195–1247), married before April 21, 1251 Arnold van Wesemaele (d. aft. 1288)
# Margaret (1192–1231), married January 1206 Gerhard III, Count of Guelders (d. October 22, 1229)
# Mathilde (c. 1200 – December 22, 1267), married in Aachen in 1212 Henry II, Count Palatine of the Rhine (d. 1214), married on December 6, 1214 Floris IV, Count of Holland
# Henry II of Brabant (1207–1248)
# Godfrey (1209 – January 21, 1254), Lord of Gaesbeek, married Marie van Oudenaarde

His second marriage was at April 22, 1213 in Soissons to Marie, princess of France, daughter of King Philip II of France. They had two children:
# Elizabeth (d. October 23, 1272), married in Leuven March 19, 1233 Count Dietrich of Cleves, Lord of Dinslaken (c. 1214–1244), married 1246 Gerhard II, Count of Wassenberg (d. 1255)
# Marie, died young

Under Henry I, there was a town policy and town planning. Henry's attention went out to those regions that lent themselves to the extension of his sovereignty and in some locations he used the creation of a new town as an instrument in the political organisation of the area. Among the towns to which the Duke gave city rights and trade privileges was 's-Hertogenbosch.

He was buried in St. Peter's chapter church at Leuven where you can still see his late romanesque effigy.

See also: Dukes of Brabant family tree


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