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Gertrude of Flanders (d. 1117)

Gertrude of Flanders (d. 1117)

Duchess of Lorraine. Name variations: Gertrude of Lorraine. Died in 1117; daughter of Robert I, count of Flanders (r. 1071–1093), and Gertrude of Saxony (fl. 1070); married Henry III, count of Louvain, count of Brussels (died 1095); married Thierry of Alsace, duke of Lorraine; children: (first marriage) four daughters (names unknown); (second marriage) Thierry of Alsace.

Gertrude of Flanders became a powerful and active widow. She eventually buried two husbands, each time increasing her own wealth and individual power. When her second husband died, Gertrude refused to marry again; instead, she seemed quite content with the feudal powers she gained through her extensive properties and by the very fact that, without a husband, she had no legal guardian to keep her from acting as she wished. Gertrude's independence led to her involvement in the politics of the Holy Roman Empire, including plotting against the royal family and sending her troops into battle to defeat her enemies.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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