Richilde of Autun (d. around 910)

views updated

Richilde of Autun (d. around 910)

Queen of France. Name variations: Richild; Richilda; Richildis. Died around 910 in France; daughter of Count Beuves (Biwin or Buwin) and Richilde of Lotharingia ; became second wife of Charles I the Bald, king of France (r. 840–877), known also as Charles II, Holy Roman emperor (r. 875–877), in 870; children: Rothild (c. 871–c. 928); Charles (b. 876); stepchildren: Judith Martel and Louis II the Stammerer (846–879), king of France (r. 877–879).

Richilde of Autun, who came from a noble Frankish family, was the mistress of Charles I the Bald, king of the Franks, for several years before they married in 870, one year after the death of his first wife Ermentrude . Richilde was crowned queen in a special ceremony and went on to become a crucial member of Charles' administration. She ruled as an equal authority with her husband, in the established tradition of Frankish queens. Besides direct involvement in legislation, judicial decisions, and political negotiations, Richilde was an important patron of artists during the "Carolingian renaissance," a period during Charles' rule characterized by high intellectual achievement in the arts and sciences. When Charles died in 877, he left the government in Richilde's control. She first attempted to use her influence to have her brother crowned, but eventually she yielded to public pressure and allowed her stepson to succeed to the throne as Louis II the Stammerer.


Anderson, Bonnie S., and Judith P. Zinsser. A History of Their Own. Vol. I. NY: Harper & Row, 1988.

Laura York , Riverside, California

About this article

Richilde of Autun (d. around 910)

Updated About content Print Article