Henry I, Duke of Brabant

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Henry I of Brabant (French: Henri I de Brabant, Dutch: Hendrik I van Brabant) (1165 – 5 September 1235), named "The Courageous" Duke of Brabant (from 1183) and Duke of Lower Lotharingia (from 1190) until his death.


He was probably born in Leuven. He became Duke of Brabant in 1183 / 1184 and succeeded his father as Duke of Lower Lotharingia in 1190. He was the son of Godfrey III of Leuven, Duke of Lower Lotharingia and landgrave of Brabant, and Margaret of Limburg.

He was one of the leaders of the Third Crusade, which he joined in mid-1197. In the October of the same year he took part in the recapture of Beirut and, then moved to Jaffa with the Crusaders: however, before reaching the city he got news of the death of the King of Jerusalem, Henry II of Champagne, and he returned to Acre. Here he acted as regent until the arrival of the new King, Amalric II.

In 1208, after the assassination of Philip of Swabia, King of the Romans, Henry was proposed as successor by King Philip II Augustus. In the war which followed, he reached in Germany emperor Otto IV, but the two were defeated in the Battle of Bouvines.

Under Henry I, there was a town policy and town planning. Henry's attention went out to those regions that lent themselves to the extension of his sovereignty and in some locations he used the creation of a new town as an instrument in the political organisation of the area. Among the towns to which the Duke gave city rights and trade privileges was 's-Hertogenbosch.

Henry died at Cologne in 1235. He was buried in St. Peter's chapter church at Leuven where his late Romanesque effigy can still be seen.


He married Mathilde of Boulogne (Mathilde of Flanders), daughter of Marie of Boulogne and Matthew of Alsace 1179. He had six children by his first marriage:

His second marriage was at April 22, 1213 in Soissons to Marie, princess of France, daughter of King Philip II of France. They had two children:

See also

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