Counts of Chiny

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The Counts of Chiny were part of the nobility of Lotharingia that ruled from the 9th to the 14th century in what is now part of Belgium. The County of Chiny was created in the early 10th century out of the ancient county of Ivois. The county now forms part of the province of Luxembourg in present-day Belgium. The county of Chiny included the present-day cantons of Virton, Etalle, Florenville, Neufchâteau, Montmédy and Carignan, as well as the castles of Warcq on the Meuse, which was built in 971 by Otto, ancestor of the later Counts of Chiny. There is a close relationship between the Counts of Chiny and the Counts of Looz, the Counts of Verdun and the Bishops of Verdun.

Ivois was a military settlement of the Romans under the name Epoissium, Eposium, Epusum or Ivosium. Gaugericus, Bishop of Cambrai, was born in Eposium around 550. The division of the Lotharingian territories was agreed to on 8 Aug 870 between Louis the German and his half-brother Charles the Bald. This agreement allocated Wavrense comitatus II [two counties in Wavrense] to Charles. Although the name does not appear in the document, it is assumed that one of these was Ivois. Ivois is first referred to by name in a charter dated 21 Nov 955 which records an agreement between Eremboldus miles [a military commander] and Robert, the Archbishop of Trier, relating to property including Aduna in comitatu Ivotio inter Boura et Lannilley [the county of Ivois].

Ivois, with its strategic location between the Frankish and Germanic kingdoms, was an ideal neutral location for meetings between the Frankish kings and the Holy Roman Emperors. Such a meeting took place between Robert the Pious and Emperor Henry II on 11 August 1023, where they swore mutual friendship and resolved to reform the clergy, calling for an assembly at Pavia of both German and Italian bishops.

Later in the eleventh century, upon after the death of his mother Gisela of Swabia in 1043, the Emperor Henry III held a meeting in Ivois with Henry I, King of France. It has been speculated that it may have been in connection with the emperor’s upcoming wedding with Agnes of Poitou. They met again in May 1056, and the matter of Lorraine was so contentious that Henry of France challenged Henry of Germany to single combat. The emperor left without a response in the dead of night, returning to Germany where the disaffected members of his domain were returning to obedience.

The history of the rulers of the county of Chiny begins with the Counts of Ivois, then with the Counts of Chiny, and finally with the merging of the Counts of Chiny and Looz. The final Count of Chiny, Arnold IV de Runimgy, sold the county to the Duke of Luxembourg, ending a dynasty of five hundred years. Belgian historian Léon Vanderkindere has written extensively about Chiny and Looz.

Counts of Ivois

The known Counts of Ivois are the following:

Ricfried is also the great-grandfather of Giselbert, the first Count of Looz. Presumably, the agreement above with Robert of Trier is with Étienne .

Counts of Chiny

The Counts of Chiny begin with the first dynasty started by Otto:

With the marriage of Jeanne and Arnold, the Counts of Looz and Chiny became merged in a single office (with the exception of Louis V), beginning the second dynasty of counts.

  • Arnold II (1228–1273). Also, Count of Looz (as Arnold IV).
  • John I (1273–1278) (also, Count of Looz), eldest son of Arnold II and Jeanne. Married first to Matilda, daughter of William IV, Count of Jülich, and second to Isabelle, daughter of Jacques, Lord of Conde.
  • Louis V (1278–1299), second son of Arnold II and Jeanne. Married Jeanne de Bar, a daughter of Henry II, Count of Bar, and Philippa de Dreux.
  • Arnold III (1299–1328) (also, Count of Looz as Arnold V), son of John I. Married Marguerite Vianden, daughter of Philip I, Count of Vianden, and Marie de Louvain,
  • Louis VI (1328–1336) (also, Count of Looz as Louis IV), son of Arnold III. Married Marguerite of Lorraine, daughter of Theobald II, Duke of Lorraine and Isabella of Rumigny.
  • Thierry de Heinsberg (1336–1361), grandson of Arnold III. Married Cunegonde de la Marck, daughter of Engelbert I, Count de la Marck, and Cunegonde Bliescastel.
  • Godfrey de Heinsberg (1361–1362), great-grandson of Arnold III. Married Philippa of Jülich, daughter of William V, Duke of Jülich and Joanna of Hainaut.
  • Arnold IV de Rumigny (1362–1364) (also Count of Looz as Arnold VI), grandson of Arnold III. He married Elizabeth of Flanders, illegitimate daughter of Louis I of Flanders, Count of Nevers.

Arnold IV sold Chiny and Looz to Wenceslaus, Duke of Luxembourg, on June 16, 1364, thus ending the line of Counts of Chiny and Looz.

There are many interesting family relationships among the Counts of Ivois and Chiny that include two Counts of Verdun and a host of others, including:

An alternate history of the origins of the Counts of Chiny is provided by Jean Bertels (known as Bertelius), abbot of Saint Gregory of Munster, who wrote of Chiny in his Historia Luxemburgensis, first published in Cologne in 1605. Here he claims that the territory now known as Chiny was owned by Ricuin, Duke of Mosellane [presumably, Ricwin, Count of Verdun], and it served as dowry for his younger daughter Mathilde in her marriage to Arnulf Grandson, a subject of Ricuin. Arnoul was granted the title Count of Chiny by Archbishop Bruno the Great after a high church was built. Thus Arnoul became the first Count of Chiny, father of Otto I. According to Laret-Kayser, this narrative is a complete fabrication, probably initiated in the thirteenth century by Count Louis V to enhance is standing at the Tournament of Chauvency by showing an ancestral line to the Counts of Verdun. Nevertheless, this version continues to be repeated.

Sources

Settipani, Christian, La Préhistoire des Capétiens (Nouvelle histoire généalogique de l'auguste maison de France, vol. 1), Villeneuve d'Ascq, éd. Patrick van Kerrebrouck, 1993, 545 p.

Laret-Kayser, Arlette, Entre Bar et Luxembourg : Le Comté de Chiny des Origines à 1300, Bruxelles (éditions du Crédit Communal, Collection Histoire, série in-8°, n° 72), 1986

Vanderkindere, Léon, La Formation territoriale des principautés belges au Moyen Âge, Bruxelles, H. Lamertin, 1902

Bury, J. B. (Editor), The Cambridge Medieval History, Volume III. Germany and the Western Empire, Cambridge University Press, 1922.

References

Laret-Kayser, Arlette, Entre Bar et Luxembourg : Le Comté de Chiny des Origines à 1300, Bruxelles (éditions du Crédit Communal, Collection Histoire, série in-8°, n° 72), 1986

Medieval Lands Project, Comtes d’Ivois et Chiny

Comté de Chiny

Liste des Comtes de Chiny

Vanderkindere, Léon, La Formation territoriale des principautés belges au Moyen Âge, Bruxelles, H. Lamertin, 1902