Gertrude of Saxony

Gertrude of Saxony (c. 1030 – August 4, 1113), also known as Gertrude Billung, was a countess of Holland by marriage to Floris I, Count of Holland, and countess of Flanders by marriage to Robert I, Count of Flanders. She was regent of Holland in 1061-1067 during the minority of her son Dirk V, and regent of Flanders during the absence of her spouse in 1086-1093.

Gertrude of Saxony
Gertrude of Saxony
Bornc. 1030
Died(1113-08-04)4 August 1113
Noble familyBillung
Spouse(s)Floris I, Count of Holland
Robert I, Count of Flanders
FatherBernard II, Duke of Saxony
MotherEilika of Schweinfurt


She was the daughter of Bernard II, Duke of Saxony[1] and Eilika of Schweinfurt.

Countess of Holland

In c. 1050, she married Floris I, Count of Holland (c. 1017 – June 28, 1061).[2] Upon the death of her spouse in 1061, her son Dirk V became Count of Holland.[2] Since he was a minor, she became regent.

When Dirk V came into power, William I, Bishop of Utrecht, took advantage of the situation, occupying territory that he had claimed in Holland. Gertrude and her son withdrew to the islands of Frisia (Zeeland), leaving William to occupy the disputed lands.

Countess of Flanders

In 1063 Gertrude married Robert of Flanders (Robert the Frisian),[3] the second son of Baldwin V of Flanders. This act gave Dirk the Imperial Flanders as an appanage – including the islands of Frisia west of the Frisian Scheldt.

She and her husband then acted as co-regents of Holland for her son during his minority.

When her spouse left for a journey to Jerusalem in 1086-1093, Gertrude served as regent of Flanders during his absence.

Family and children

She had a total of seven children with Floris I, Count of Holland:

  1. Albert (b. c. 1051), a canon in Liege.
  2. Dirk V (c. 1052, Vlaardingen–17 June 1091).
  3. Peter (b. c. 1053), a canon in Liége.
  4. Bertha (c. 1055–1094, Montreuil-sur-Mer), who married Philip I of France in 1072.[2]
  5. Floris (b. c. 1055), a canon in Liége.
  6. Matilda (b. c. 1057)
  7. Adela (b. c. 1061), who married Count Baudouin I of Guînes.

From her second marriage to Robert of Flanders she had five children:

  1. Robert II of Flanders (c. 1065 – October 5, 1111).[3]
  2. Adela (d. 1115), who first married king Canute IV of Denmark,[3] and was the mother of Charles the Good, later count of Flanders. She then married Roger Borsa, duke of Apulia.
  3. Gertrude, who married Theodoric II, Duke of Lorraine,[3] and was the mother of Thierry of Alsace, also later count of Flanders.
  4. Philip of Loo, whose illegitimate son William of Ypres was also a claimant to the county of Flanders.
  5. Ogiva, abbess of Messines.


  1. Rider 2013, p. 65.
  2. Nicholas 1999, p. 117.
  3. Nicholas 1999, p. 113.


  • Nicholas, Karen S. (1999). "Countess as Rulers in Flanders". In Evergates, Theodore (ed.). Aristocratic Women in Medieval France. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Rider, Jeff (2013). "Vice, Tyranny, Violence, and the Usurpation of Flanders (1071) in Flemish Historiography from 1093 to 1294". In Guynn, Noah D.; Stahuljak, Zrinka (eds.). Violence and the Writing of History in the Medieval Francophone World. Boydell & Brewer.
Title last held by
Countess consort of Holland
Title next held by
Title last held by
Richilde, Countess of Hainaut
Countess consort of Flanders
Title next held by
Clementia of Burgundy
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