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Matilda de Dammartin (d. 1258)

Matilda de Dammartin (d. 1258)

Countess of Dammartin, countess of Boulogne, and wife of Alphonso III, king of Portugal . Name variations: Mahaut de Dammartin or Dammaratin; Mahault; Matilda of Dammartin or Dammaratin; Matilde. Died in 1258 (some sources cite 1257); daughter of Ide d'Alsace (c. 1161–1216), countess of Boulogne, and Reinaldo, count of Dammartin; married Philippe Hurpel, count of Clermont, in 1216; married Alphonso III, future king of Portugal (r. 1248–1279), around 1238; children: (first marriage) Jeanne de Clermont; (second marriage) Robert (b. 1239, died in infancy).

Born in the early 13th century, Matilda de Dammartin was the only child of Reinaldo, count of Dammartin, and Ide d'Alsace . In 1216, Matilda married Philippe Hurpel, count of Clermont, who died in 1234. Perhaps in 1238, she married again, this time to a Portuguese prince, the future Alphonso III, who was residing at the court of Louis VIII. Alphonso hoped to make his fortune in France. He also apparently envied and feared his brother Sancho II, who was then ruling Portugal. Matilda's marriage to Alphonso served his interests, as she was a wealthy heiress (the richest in France, according to some estimates).

When Portuguese nobles overthrew Sancho, Alphonso returned home to claim the throne, leaving Matilda in France. This led to a permanent separation between the couple, which Matilda apparently did not protest. When Alphonso tried to wed Beatrice of Castile and Leon (1242–1303) in 1253, however, Matilda sought redress from Pope Alexander IV, who excommunicated Alphonso. The marriage of Alphonso and Beatrice was celebrated in 1259, soon after Matilda's death in 1258.

sources:

O Grande Livro dos Portugueses. Lisbon: Círculo de Leitores, 1991.

Oliveira, Américo Lopes de, and Mário Gonçalves Viana. Dicionário Mundial de Mulheres Notáveis. Porto: Lello & Irmão, 1967.

Kendall W. Brown , Professor of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

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