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John II, Count of Hainaut


John II, Count of Hainaut

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John II of Avesnes (1247 – 22 August 1304), Count of Hainaut, Holland, and Zeeland.


John II, born 1247, was the oldest son of John I of Avesnes and Adelaide of Holland, daughter of Floris IV, Count of Holland.[1] He was Count of Hainaut from 1280 to his death and Count of Holland from 1299 until his death.[1] John continued the war between the House of Dampierre and the House of Avesnes against count Guy of Flanders for imperial Flanders.

He became Count of Holland in 1299 with the death of John I, Count of Holland,[2] through his mother Adelaide of Holland, heiress and regent of this county. The personal union he established between Hainaut and Holland–Zeeland lasted for another half-century.[2]

His cousin, Count Floris V, was fighting against Flanders for Zeeland.[3] He sought help of France against Flanders.[3] The French defeated the Flemish in 1300 and 1301. The rebels in Zeeland were defeated as well. John's brother, Guy of Avesnes, became Bishop of Utrecht.[4] So all his main enemies were gone.

The tide changed dramatically after a Flemish uprising and the defeat of the French army at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, where his eldest son was killed fighting for the French. Flemish patriots attacked Hainaut and Zeeland supported by the dissatisfied population there. Guy of Namur defeated John's son, William, in a battle on the island of Duiveland. Bishop Guy of Utrecht was taken prisoner. Guy of Namur and Duke John II of Brabant conquered most of Utrecht, Holland, and Zeeland. Guy of Namur was finally defeated in 1304 by the fleet of Holland and France at the naval Battle of Zierikzee. John II regained most of his authority when he died in the same year.


In 1270, John married Philippa of Luxembourg, daughter of Count Henry V of Luxembourg and Margaret of Bar. Their children were:

  1. John, Lord of Beaumont, Count of Ostervant. Killed in battle near (11 July 1302).[1]
  2. Henry, a canon in Cambrai, (died 1303).[1]
  3. William I, Count of Hainaut(c. 1286 – 7 June 1337) He succeeded his father in 1304. Married Joan of Valois, daughter of Charles, Count of Valois.[1]
  4. John of Beaumont (1288 – 11 March 1356). He was married to Margaret, Countess de Soissons.[1]
  5. Margaret (died 18 October 1342), married Robert II of Artois, who was killed at the battle of Kortrijk 11 Jul 1302.[1]
  6. Alice or Alix (d. 26 October 1317), who married 1290 Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk, by whom she had no issue.[1]
  7. Isabelle (died 1305), married Raoul de Clermont Lord of Nesle, who was killed in battle at Kortrijk 11 Jul 1302.[1]
  8. Joan, a nun at Fontenelles.[1]
  9. Mary of Avesnes (1280–1354), married Louis I, Duke of Bourbon.[1]
  10. Matilda, Abbess of Nivelles.[1]
  11. Willem de Cuser (illegitimate)[5]


See also


Belgium portal
John II, Count of Holland
Born: 1247 Died: 22 August 1304
Preceded by
Count of Hainaut
Succeeded by
William I
Preceded by
John I
Count of Holland and Zeeland

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