Welf II, Duke of Bavaria

Welf II (1072 24 September 1120, Kaufering),[1] or Welfhard, called Welf the Fat (pinguis),[2] was Duke of Bavaria from 1101 until his death. In the Welf genealogy, he is counted as Welf V.

Welf II
Duke of Bavaria
Welf II, Duke of Bavaria in the Weingarten Stifterbüchlein, c.1510
Died(1120-09-24)24 September 1120
Noble familyHouse of Welf
Spouse(s)Matilda of Tuscany
FatherWelf I, Duke of Bavaria
MotherJudith of Flanders


Welf was the oldest son of Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, and his wife Judith of Flanders.[3] In 1088[4] or 1089,[5] when Welf was still a teenager, he married Matilda of Tuscany,[3] who was more than twenty years older than him, in order to strengthen the relation between his family and the pope during the Investiture Controversy between king and pope.[6] During King Henry IV's Italian campaign of 1090, Welf and Matilda fought against the King.

Sometime after April 1095, Welf and Matilda separated from each other. It is not clear whether Welf left Matilda, or vice versa.[7] It is possible that Welf left Matilda after he found out that she had willed her lands to the papacy and he could not expect to inherit them.[8] Together with his father, he changed sides to that of King Henry IV, possibly in exchange for a promise of succeeding his father as duke of Bavaria.[9]

After his father's death in 1101 Welf indeed inherited the office of duke of Bavaria. He continued his alliance with the kings of Germany. Although separated from Matilda, he remained married to her until her death in 1115. Thereafter he did not remarry and died childless in 1120. He was succeeded as duke of Bavaria by his younger brother, Henry IX. Welf was buried at Weingarten Abbey.


  1. Ghirardini, Storia critica, pp. 143, 146.
  2. One of the first references to Welf ‘the Fat’ is found in the thirteenth-century text, the Necrologium Weingartense, p. 228.
  3. Luscombe & Riley-Smith 2006, p. 755.
  4. Ghirardini, Storia critica, pp. 143, 146-147; Goez, ‘Welf V und Mathilde’, p. 369.
  5. Overmann, Gräfin Mathilde, p. 155.
  6. Robinson, Henry IV, pp. 279-281.
  7. Ghirardini, Storia critica, p. 156; Hay, Military Leadership, p. 166.
  8. E. Goez, ‘Welf V und Mathide,’ pp. 376-377; Robinson, Henry IV, p. 295.
  9. Ghirardini, Storia critica, p. 159.


  • L.L. Ghirardini, Storia critica di Matilde di Canossa (Modena, 1989).
  • E. Goez, ‘Welf V und Mathilde von Canossa,' in Welf IV. Schlüsselfigur einer Wendezeit: regionale und europäische Perspektiven, Bauer D. and Becher M. (eds.), Munich, 2004, pp. 360-387.
  • Hay, David (2008). The military leadership of Matilda of Canossa, 1046-1115. Manchester University Press.
  • A. Overmann, Gräfin Mathilde von Tuscien: Ihre besitzungen. Geschichte ihres Gutes von 1115-1230 und ihre Regesten (1895).
  • Luscombe, David; Riley-Smith, Jonathan, eds. (2006). The New Cambridge Medieval History. Cambridge University Press.
  • I.S. Robinson, Henry IV of Germany, 1056-1106 (Cambridge, 2003).
Welf II, Duke of Bavaria
Born: 1072 Died: 1120
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Welf I
Duke of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Henry IX

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