Women's Biography: Clementia of Burgundy, countess of Flanders
There are letters written to and by Clementia of Burgundy, countess of Flanders.
Clementia was a daughter of William I, count of Burgundy; two of her brothers were archbishops, one pope Calixtus II. She was married to Robert II, count of Flanders from 1097-1111, and was co-ruler with him and regent for him while he was on the first crusade. She minted coins in her own name and put down rebellions in Bruges. Her dower included one-third of Flanders, with twelve towns on the coast and in the southwest. Clementia and Robert had three sons, after which she employed some contraceptive means to have no more children in order to prevent fighting among them over the inheritance, according to Herman of Tournai who considered it divine vengeance that they all predeceased their mother. She co-ruled with her son Baldwin after Robert died though she quarreled with him about her dower, and bishop Lambert wrote to Baldwin in her support. She raised an army against her son’s chosen successor in favor of a different heir and lost some of her dower lands but continued to rule the others until her death. See Karen S. Nicholas, “Countesses as Rulers in Flanders,” Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, ed. Theodore Evergates (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1999).