Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy
(c. 1182 – 1242) was the eldest son and successor of Raoul I, Lord of Coucy
. He succeeded as Lord of Coucy
(sieur de Couci
) in 1191, and held it until his death; he was also lord of Marle
Enguerrand III was one of the most ambitious and powerful of all the French nobles, called by one historian "the greatest baron in all Picardy
", and earning himself his epithet, Enguerrand le Grand
, or Enguerrand "the Great".
Enguerrand had an illustrious military career, helping the King of the French Philip Augustus reduce the French territories of the King of the English. Enguerrand campaigned in Anjou in 1205, and in 1214 fought in the French victory over an Anglo-German alliance at the Battle of Bouvines. He was a notable member of the French force which invaded the Kingdom of England (1216-1217) to depose King John. He also participated in the Albigensian Crusade.
After the death of Louis VIII of France, Enguerrand was chief among the nobles who resisted the regency of Blanche of Castile for her son Louis IX of France, although he eventually returned to the royal favour. Enguerrand made his mark on the Picardy landscape by constructing Coucy Castle, and he is said by tradition to have started the famous rhyme associated with his successors:
|Je suis ni roi, ni prince aussi: Je suis le seigneur de Coucy!
||Neither king nor prince am I: I am the Lord of Coucy! |
Through his mother Alice de Dreux
, Enguerrand III was related to King Louis IX of France
. Enguerrand also married into the family of King Henry III of England
, taking as his second wife the latter king's cousin, the granddaughter of Henry II of England
. He married three times. His first wife was Eustacia, his second Mahaut de Saxe
(d. 1211), the aforementioned granddaughter of Henry II, Duke of Saxony
and nice of Richard the Lion-hearted
, and the third Marie de Montmirall
. Enguerrand cemented his powerful connections by marrying his daughter Marie de Coucy
to King Alexander II of Scotland
Enguerrand died in 1242 by falling off of his horse onto his sword. He was succeeded by his eldest son Raoul II, Lord of Coucy.
- Brown, Michael, The Wars of Scotland, 1214-1371, (Edinburgh, 2004)
- Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 120-30, 272-30, 273-29
- Barbara Tuchman. A Distant Mirror. Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1978), pp10-11