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Aimery I, Viscount of Châtellerault

Aimery I, Viscount of Châtellerault

French nobleman; grandfather of Eleanor of Aquitaine
The basics
About
Gender male
Death November 7, 1151
Family
Father: Boson II de Châtellerault
Spouse: Dangerose de l'Isle Bouchard
Children: Aenor de Châtellerault
The details
Biography

Aimery I de Rouchefoucould (c. 1075 – 7 November 1151), was the Viscount of Châtellerault and father of Aenor de Châtellerault. Through his daughter he was the grandfather of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who would become Duchess of Aquitaine (in her own right) as well as queen of both France and England. Eleanor was arguably the most celebrated woman in Medieval European history.

Family

Aimery was born to Boson II de Châtellerault and his wife, Aleanor de Thouars. His paternal grandparents were Hugues I de Châtellerault and his wife, Gerberge. His maternal grandparents were Aimery IV, Viscount of Thouars and Aremgarde de Mauléon.

Through his granddaughter, Eleanor, Aimery was an ancestor of various nobles and monarchs including: Richard I of England, Marie, Countess of Champagne, John of England, Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany, Joan, Queen of Sicily, Eleanor, Queen of Castile, Matilda, Duchess of Saxony and Henry the Young King.

Life

Marriage

Aimery was married to Amauberge, called Dangereuse, the daughter of Bartholomew de l'Isle Bouchard and his wife Gerberge de Terrasson. Their marriage produced at least three children:

  • Hugh, succeeded his father as Viscount of Châtellerault
  • Raoul, who became the lord of Fay-la-Vineuse through his marriage to Elisabeth de Faye
  • Aenor (c. 1103 – March 1130), who married William X, Duke of Aquitaine. She was the mother of Duchess Eleanor, Petronilla, and William Aigret, who died at the age of four.

Eleanor of Aquitaine was known to have been quite fond of her maternal uncles, Hugh and Raoul, and granted them during her two tenures as queen of France and then of England.

The Affair

In 1115, after seven years of marriage, Amauberge was "abducted" from her bedchamber by William IX, Duke of Aquitaine. She was taken to a tower in his castle in Poitiers called Maubergeonne. As a result, Amauberge or Dangereuse was nicknamed La Maubergeonne. Abductions like these were quite common among nobles during the Middle Ages. However, in this particular case she seems to have been a willing contributor to the affair.

The Duke of Aquitaine, the earliest known troubadour whose work survives, was quite popular with the women of his time and was known to have had many affairs. However, the Viscountess would become his mistress for the rest of his life. There is no record of complaint by Aimery. This is believed to be because the Viscount feared the wrath of his powerful and volatile overlord. It would be the Duke's wife, Philippa of Toulouse who took action against the "abduction" and affair. Her actions would lead to both William and Dangereuse being excommunicated by the Pope. William used his wealth and power to eventually reconcile with the Pope and was accepted back into the Church.

In 1121 Aimery and Dangereuse's daughter, Aenor, married William IX's son and heir, who would become Duke William X of Aquitaine. It is believed that this union came about at Dangereuse's urging. Historians don't see another reason for the union of such a powerful man to the daughter of a minor vassal. Not only that, but Aenor was the daughter of the woman the future duke hated for her role in the treatment of his mother. Despite the cause, the marriage led to the birth of Eleanor of Aquitaine and made Aimery an ancestor of some of Europe's most famous nobles and rulers.

Ancestry

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