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The first race of the Lords of Coucy

update 23/09/2020

The first race of the Lords of Coucy

update the 20th March 2011

Enguerran of Boves, Count d'Amiens, in 1079 becomes, by his marriage to Ade of Marle, sire of Coucy and Marle, and the fiefdom of La Fère, which he already had. In 1095, upon the death of Ade, he kidnap the wife of the Comte de Namur, Sibylle of Porcien. Thence a terrible war against him.

Meanwhile, Thomas, the son of his first marriage, took the cross to Jerusalem, where he became famous, and get back the arms of family, which are: "barry of six vairand gules." Upon his return, he married N. Montaigu, which receives dowry the land of the same name. From this place, they say, it leads to odious robberies. This leads her father to come siege to the place. However, Thomas manages to escape from there, and to alert the king who comes there with rescuing 700 riders. As a result, Thomas was struck excommunication because of ties of consanguinity between him and his wife. Obliged to part ways, he loses Montaigu. But he has remarried with Milsende of Crécy which provides him Crécy, Nouvion-le-Comte and Nouvion-l'Abesse. However, at that time, it is the explosion of communal movement. In 1112, in Laon, the people revolted against the tyrannical power of the bishop Gaudry, who was assassinated. Fearing the wrath of the king, the rebels called for the protection of Thomas, who host them in his land, while the city was looted during the unrest that has wracked. Then, in 1113, it was the turn of the Amiénois who come to the hands with the lord Adam, who take shelter in the fortress. Enguerran, then temporarily reconciles with his son, to help Adam. Yet Sibylle break the truce by preparing an ambush in which Thomas is doing badly injured and must withdraw. Finally, King Louis VI the Fat comes help the bourgeois. The title of Count of Amiens is lost for Coucy.

Excommunicated again, for having built fortresses on the land depends on the Church of St. John of Laon, Thomas must endure the onslaught of Louis VI, in 1114, who give back the land to the Church and accept a ransom from Thomas as a compensation.

At the same time, Enguerran agrees for the first time in 1116 to pay the census of 60 cents to the Church of Reims just before shutting down in 1117. Thomas therefore inherits of Coucy. He attends the foundation of Prémontré in 1120 with his son Enguerran the Second. He also gave some gifts to the Abbey of Nogent-sous-Coucy whose foundation is claimed both by him, and even his father, and also by Aubri.

In 1130, Thomas assaults on his land merchants equipped with safe conduct from him. Louis VI comes siege Marle. Thomas then died, during an ambush he had erected without receiving last rites.

Enguerran II, Lord of La Fère succeeds him on the lordships of Coucy, La Fère, Marle, Crécy-sur-Serre, Landeuzy and Fontaines. Boves passes to his younger brother, Robert, who founded the branch of Coucy-Boves.

But Louis VI does not least the continuing war against him, although he was not responsible for the crimes of the father. La Fère is under siege from May 7 to July 9, 1132, when Louis VI deals with Enguerrran II, in order to avoid a seat for too long, and had him marry his cousin Agnes of Beaugency.

Then Enguerran II takes part in the second crusade in which he died in 1148. His son, Raoul the First, succeeds him, while his uncle Robert of Boves seeks to depriving them of his inheritance in 1154, without success. A few years later, in 1160 he married Agnes of Hainaut, which puts the house of Coucy among the most powerful in the kingdom. Then, in 1163, it fortify Vervins, which also depended of Coucy. Agnes died in 1172 and he married two years later, Alix of Dreux, princess of royal blood, which gaves him the support of the kings Louis and Philippe-Auguste. He went then for the 3rd Crusade in 1190, leaving behind his house full of prosperity. He finds death at St Jean d'Acre in November 1191.

His son, who will be,  undoubtedly, one of the largest among Lord of Coucy, hence its nickname "Great" (but also "Builder") that Enguerran III, sire of Coucy, Marle, La Fère, Vervins, Crécy, Pinon and other places, and Count of Roucy and Perche, succeeded him despite the attempted Renaud III, lord of Coucy, his uncle, to take over his property.

While his mother grants a charter for peace to the people of Coucy in 1197, he married Eustache of Roucy in 1202 which separates shortly after, having previously tried to claim the stronghold of Roucy. It takes advantage then to remarry with Mahaut of Saxony, daughter of Henry, Duke of Saxony, and Mahaut of England, and granddaughter of Henry Plantagenet.

After administering for a time his lands, he gives in particular a charter to La Fère, in 1207 he went to the crusade against the Albigeois in 1209. He was noticed there, at the siege of Cabaret and Lavaur. Then, back in 1211, his wife was dead in his absence, is thinking of remarrying with Jeanne, heir of the County of FIandre, but it falls to Ferrand. He married Marie of Montmirail that would bring him lordships of Montmirail, Condé-en-Brie, La Ferté-Gaucher, La Ferté-Ancoul, and also the vicounty of Meaux and lands of Oisy, Crèvecoeur, Havrincourt, and finally the castellan of Cambrai.

He took part in the battle of Bouvines in 1214, during which he distinguishes himself. But the brilliance he draws is being tarnished by its involvement with the Dean of Chapter of Laon: Adam Courlandon. This one has put in prison the vassals of Enguerran, for having ventured on the lands of the Church. Enguerran III have not supported, went to Laon, knocking the doors of the cathedral and back to the Dean in Coucy where he holds them prisoner. An excommunication is pronounced against him in 1216.

Enguerran III share the same year in England, where he accompanied Louis VIII called by the English who preferred to John Lackland. He has the responsibility of a garrison in London in 1217. Then he returned to France, where he was removed from his excommunication.

In 1126, he went on an expedition against the Albigeois for forty days, during which he witnessed the death of King, event, which will in a lifetime of serious repercussions.

Because,  it is from that moment that has fomented a plot, whose principal investigators were Thibaud IV, Count of Champagne, and Pierre Mauclerc, Count of Bretagne. The coronation of Louis IX took place in Reims on November 29, 1226: Enguerran lII attended. It was a proud and independent and is regarded as, a leading barons France and was confident that he could deal with almost peer with the king. According to chroniclers of the time, Enguerran III, Lord of Coucy, would have amounted to his throne set ambitious. Rear-grandson of Louis VI by Alix of Dreux and, as such, from germain cousin of Louis VIII! In addition, it was from his sister, uncle, the Earl of Dreux, Robert Ill, Pierre de Mauclerc, of the Count of Macon, the Archbishop of Reims, countess of Bar and Roucy! The Lord of Coucy then had a real power.

That is why he then rebuilt the castle of Coucy, giving proportions that a castle had never met. In addition, he built the castles of St Gobain, and Marle, Acy, the châtelier above La Fère, home and Folembray Park, the home of St Aubin between Coucy and Noyon, of St Lambert-des-Eaux ... It ensured a number of fortresses, where it could demonstrate its power and where it might withdraw in case of failure.

In addition, he marry his eldest daughter Mary to the King of Scotland, Alexander II, which is a great political feat. Yet, he seems to have rallied early on to the king, no later than 1230 and has testified for the rest of his life a lot of loyalty, which was appreciate by the king. Do Enguerran III tried to be king of France? The answer can not be made without careful consideration...

Its purpose was also unusual that his life: his way to Chinon on the call of the king who commanded an army against the Count of the Marche league with Henry III of England, his horse pitched up to the passage of the ford Gersis, cast ashore and at the same time as his sword scabbard separated from, he falls on edge to it through the body.

He create the order of the Lion and the motto of his family, which is:

King I am not,
Nor Prince,
Nor Duke,  nor count either
I am the Lord of Coucy.

Raoul II, his eldest son, succeeded him for a relatively short period. Indeed, since 1249, he embarked in Aigues-Mortes with St Louis, May 13 he left Cyprus on June 7 and he said to Damietta. Finally, he died on February 8, 1250, at the Battle of Mansourah.

Raoul II, married to Philippa, who had a son, Enguerran, who died in infancy, died without heirs. It was his brother, Enguerran IV, who succeeded him. He is f in Hainaut to support the claims of the Duke of Anjou in 1254, he withdrew without the slightest advantage. He married Margaret in 1256, the daughter of Otto II, Count of Gueldre.

A few months after his marriage, in July, he had a dispute with the first abbot of St Amand, provost of Barisis cleric who had taken a night, without trial, one of his serfs caught in the act of theft. An instance was brought by the Lord of Coucy, ended in a status quo. But the case that attracted generally about Enguerran IV, is that of St Nicolas des Bois: who surprised three young Flemish schoolchildren who had come to St Nicolas to study the french, in the process of pursuing game on his land He hanged without there has been is no longer trials. The case came to the ears of Louis IX, which cited to appear in Paris Enguerran IV, had him locked up at the Louvre and trial for murder. He could not, however, apply the law of Talion because Enguerran was supported by an assembly of barons and lords, allied to the house of Coucy, which defend his cause. He was sentenced to a fine of 10,000 pounds, to build two chapels and a monument in honor of the dead, and starting a crusade, which he avoided by paying 12,000 new pounds in 1264.

Previously, he received from his mother, Marie of Montmirail, in 1260, the land his family then turned off in males, and whose Enguerran III was unable to claim that the right to inheritance. Of these, it sells to the Count of Flanders 20,000 pounds for the Land of Crèvecoeur and Alleux and the chatellenie of Cambrai, which enables it to refloat its funds and even to lend a king 15,000 pounds for the purchase of the True Cross in 1265. In addition, a new relationship with the Count of Flanders allow him to marry the daughter, Joan, Countess of Nevers, after he lost Marguerite of Gueldres without having had a child. He died himself in 1311 without heirs.