William IV of Ponthieu

William IV of Ponthieu

William III Talvas (1179 – October 4, 1221) was William III, Count of Ponthieu and William IV (of the house of Belleme/Montgomery). He was Count of Ponthieu, ruler of a small province in northern France that fell under the suzerainty of the dukes of Normandy (later also kings of England) since at least the mid 11th century. He was son and heir of John I, Count of Ponthieu (d 1191) by his third wife Beatrice de St Pol.

Family history and background

His father Jean I, Count of Ponthieu (d 1191 was the son of Guy II, Count of Ponthieu (who died on the Second Crusade 1147) and grandson of William III of Ponthieu, also frequently called William III Talvas, and who represented the senior line of the lords of Montgomery, once trusted vassals and allies of William the Conqueror.

Marriage to Alys, Countess of the Vexin

Talvas was married on August 20, 1195 to Alys, Countess of the Vexin, the daughter of King Louis VII of France. She was some eighteen years older than he, and had previously been seduced by King Henry II of England while betrothed to his son, King Richard the Lion-Hearted. Richard sent her back to her brother, King Philip II of France, refusing to marry his father's mistress.

Philip then arranged for Alys to marry William Talvas, with the intent that the couple would be childless, and he would thus gain control of Ponthieu, a small but strategically important county. However, Alys then gave birth to a daughter and heiress, Marie, in 1197/1198. This daughter was the maternal grandmother of Eleanor of Castile, first wife of Edward I, King of England, to whom Ponthieu and the disputed Vexin inheritance would eventually pass as Eleanor's dowry. William Talvis died in 1221, his daughter Marie being his heiress.


Monicat, M.J. Recueil des Actes de Philippe Auguste Roi de France, 1996.

External links

* [http://web.genealogie.free.fr/Les_dynasties/Les_dynasties_celebres/France/Dynastie_de_Ponthieu.htm The First Dynasty of Ponthieu - in French]
* [http://web.genealogie.free.fr/Les_dynasties/Les_dynasties_celebres/France/Dynastie_d'Alencon.htm The Dynasty of Belleme/Montgomery - in French]
* [http://www.stirnet.com/HTML/genie/british/mm4fz/montgomery01.htm Montgomery family The Montgomery Family, Earls of Shrewsbury] albeit with some mistakes, attributing Robert de Belleme's sister-in-law to his first wife.

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