Ralph I, Count of Vermandois

Ralph I of Vermandois (French: Raoul Ier "le Vaillant") (d. 14 October 1152) was Count of Vermandois. He was a son of Hugh, Count of Vermandois and his wife, Adelaide, Countess of Vermandois. By his father, he was a grandson of Henry I of France, while his mother had been the heiress to Herbert IV, Count of Vermandois.

His only paternal uncle was Philip I of France. Through him Ralph was a first cousin of Louis VI of France and a first cousin once removed of Louis VII of France.

Ralph served as the seneschal of France during the reign of his cousin Louis VII. Under pressure from Queen consort Eleanor of Aquitaine, Louis allowed him to repudiate his wife Eleanor of Champagne, daughter of Stephen, Count of Blois and Adela of Normandy and sister of the reigning King Stephen of England, in favor of Eleanor of Aquitaine's sister, Petronilla of Aquitaine.[1] This led to a war with Theobald II of Champagne, who was the brother of Ralph's first wife Eleanor. The war lasted two years (1142–44) and ended with the occupation of Champagne by the royal army.

Ralph and Petronilla were excommunicated by Pope Innocent II for a marriage deemed illegitimate, overriding three bishops who had already annulled Ralph's prior marriage.[1] In 1148, Pope Eugene III, legitimized the marriage at the Council of Reims.[2]

Family and children

Ralph was married three times:

1. in 1125 to Eleanor, daughter of Stephen, Count of Blois. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1140[1] and she died in 1147.

2. in 1140 to Petronilla of Aquitaine;[1] they had three children:

3. in 1152 with Laurette of Flanders, daughter of Thierry, Count of Flanders and Swanhilde. They had no children.


  1. Bradbury 2007, p. 152.
  2. Duval-Arnould 1984, p. 82.
  3. Baldwin 1986, p. 15.
  4. Gislebertus (of Mons) 2005, p. 40.
  5. Dyggve 1935, p. 67-68.
  6. Baldwin 1986, p. 81.


  • Baldwin, John W. (1986). The Government of Philip Augustus: Foundations of French Royal Power in the Middle Ages. University of California Press.
  • Bradbury, Jim (2007). The Capetians: Kings of France 987-1328. Hambledon Continuum.
  • Duval-Arnould, Louis (1984). "Les dernières années du comte lépreux Raoul de Vermandois (v. 1147-1167...) et la dévolution de ses provinces à Philippe d'Alsace". Bibliothèque de l'École des chartes (in French). 142-1.
  • Gislebertus (of Mons) (2005). Chronicle of Hainaut. The Boydell Press.
  • Dyggve, Holger Petersen (1935). "Personnages historiques figurant dans la poésie lyrique française des XII e et XIII e siècles. III: Les dames du »Tournoiement» de Huon d'Oisi". Neuphilologische Mitteilungen (in French). 36 (2): 65–91.
Preceded by
Adelaide and Hugh
Count of Vermandois
Succeeded by
Ralph II
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