Judith (844-870)

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Judith Carolingian was born 844 to Charles the Bald (823-877) and Ermentrude d'Orléans (830-869) and died 870 of unspecified causes. She married Æthelwulf of Wessex (c795-858) in Verberie sur Oise. She married Æthelbald of Wessex (-860) 858 . She married Baldwin I of Flanders (c835-879) 863 in Auxerre. Notable ancestors include Charlemagne (747-814). Ancestors are from France, Germany, Belgium.

Early Life

Great-granddaughter of the Emporer Charlemagne, thru her father.


Judith, Queen of Wessex, Countess of Flanders. Judith was second wife & queen to Æthelwulf of Wessex, King of Wessex, being married at age 12; when he died she married his son and successor Æthelbald of Wessex (-860), who died shortly afterwards. Twice widowed in her teens, Judith then eloped with Baldwin, with whom she founded the county and dynasty of Flanders.

The restoration of Æthelwulf included a special concession on behalf of Saxon queens. The West Saxons previously did not allow the queen to sit next to the king. In fact they were referred to not as a queen but merely as the "wife of the king." This restriction was lifted for Queen Judith, probably because she was a high-ranking European princess.

Judith had no children by Æthelwulf, who died on 13 January 858. He was succeeded by Æthelbald, who married Judith, his step-mother, probably to enhance his status because she was the daughter of the West Frankish king. The marriage was condemned by Asser in his Life of Alfred the Great:

Once King Æthelwulf was dead, Æthelbald, his son, against God's prohibition and Christian dignity, and also contrary to the practice of all pagans, took over his father's marriage-bed and married Judith, daughter of Charles, king of the Franks, incurring great disgrace from all who heard of it.

Judith was still childless when Æthelbald died in 860 after a reign of two and a half years.

Following Æthelbald's death, Judith sold her properties in Wessex and returned to France. According to the Chronicle of St. Bertin, her father sent her to the Monastery at Senlis, where she would remain "under his protection and royal episcopal guardianship, with all the honour due to a queen, until such time as, if she could not remain chaste, she might marry in the way the apostle said, that is suitably and legally." Presumably, Charles may have intended to arrange another marriage for his daughter. However, around Christmas 861, Judith eloped with Baldwin, later Count of Flanders.


Offspring of Judith Carolingian and Baldwin I of Flanders (c835-879)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Charles of Flanders (aft863-?) 863
Baldwin II of Flanders (c865-918) 865 10 September 918 Ælfthryth of Wessex (?-929)

Gunhilda of Flanders (c865-?) 865 Wilfred I of Urgel (c840-897)

Rodulf of Flanders (c869-896) 869 28 June 896


Sources and notes


  Robin Patterson

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