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Floris III, Count of Holland

Count of Holland
The basics
Date of birth
Date of death Aug 01, 1190 Antioch, Antakya, Hatay Province, Turkey
Spouse: Ada of Huntingdon
Children: Florence of Holland William I, Count of Holland Dirk VII, Count of Holland Ada of Holland
Father: Dirk VI, Count of Holland
Brother(s): Baldwin II van Holland Otto Count of Bentheim Dirk I
Mother: Sophia of Rheineck
Authority VIAF id
The details

Floris III of Holland (1141 – August 1, 1190), Count of Holland from 1157 to 1190. He was a son of Dirk VI and Sophia of Rheineck, heiress of Bentheim.


On September 28, 1162, he married Ada, sister of king William I of Scotland, also known as William the Lion. The county of Holland adopted from him the rampant lion in the coat of arms and the name of William.

Floris III was a loyal vassal to Frederick I Barbarossa. He accompanied the emperor on two expeditions to Italy in 1158 and 1176–1178. Frederick thanked him by making Floris part of the imperial nobility.

The emperor gave Floris the toll right of Geervliet, the most important toll station in Holland at that time. This was actually the legalisation of an existing situation, because the counts of Holland had charged tolls illegally since the start of the 11th century.

Many farmers came to Holland to turn the swamps into agricultural lands. Dikes and dams were built and the border between Holland and the bishopric of Utrecht had to be determined. There was a dispute between Floris and the bishop of Utrecht about a new dam in the Rhine at Zwammerdam in 1165, which had to be settled by emperor Frederick. The brother of Floris, Baldwin became bishop of Utrecht in 1178.

War broke out between Flanders and Holland. Count Philip of Flanders wanted to have Zeeland back. Floris was captured in Brugge and had to accept Flemish overlordship in Zeeland as ransom in 1167.

During his reign Floris III had troubles with West Friesland and a war with Philip count of Flanders concerning their respective rights in West Zeeland, in which he was beaten. In 1170 a great flood caused immense devastation in the north and helped to form the Zuider Zee.

In 1189 Floris accompanied Frederick Barbarossa upon the third Crusade, of which he was a distinguished leader. He died in 1190 at Antioch of pestilence and was buried there.

Two sons of Floris III became Count of Holland: Dirk VII in 1190 and William I in 1203.

Family and children

Coats of Arms of the Counts of Holland.

He married 28 August 1162 Ada of Huntingdon, daughter of Henry of Scotland, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon and Ada de Warenne. Their children were:

  1. Ada of Holland (died after 1205), married 1176 Margrave Otto I of Brandenburg.
  2. Margaret (died after 1203), married 1182 Count Dietrich IV of Cleves.
  3. Dirk VII, Count of Holland.
  4. William I, Count of Holland.
  5. Floris (died 1210), bishop of Glasgow.
  6. Baldwin (died 1204).
  7. Robert
  8. Beatrix
  9. Elisabeth
  10. Hedwig
  11. Agnes (died 1228), Abbess at Rijnsburg.
Preceded by
Dirk VI
Count of Holland
Succeeded by
Dirk VII


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