Castellans of Coucy in the Middle Ages
Castellans of Coucy in the Middle Ages

Castellans of Coucy in the Middle Ages

This list of the castellans of Coucy between the mid-tenth and late fifteenth centuries is translated and abridged from Maxime Sars, Le Laonnois féodal, volume 4 (1931), 269-273. I’m reproducing this here because Sars’ text is difficult to get hold of, I’ve not been able to find another reliable listing of the castellans online, and I figured it might be useful to other people working on the medieval Laonnois.

These castellans were responsible for the staffing and defence of the northern French castle of Coucy: overseeing its domestic staff and garrison, protecting its territory (particularly during periods when the lord of Coucy was absent), and sometimes administering local justice. This was no small job. At its greatest extent, the castle of Coucy was not just one of the most important castles in the region, it was one of the largest structures of its type in Europe.

The castellans’ interests weren’t entirely logistical, however. One of their number, Gui (ca. 1170), is commonly thought to have been a trouvère, or poet-composer, and to be the subject of the late thirteenth-century romance Roman du châtelain de Coucy et de la dame du Fayel. (Not a story to read if you intend on eating in the near future.)

A reconstruction of the castle of Coucy, from V.-A. Malte-Brun, La France illustrée, géographie, histoire, administration, statistique, etc., vol. I, (1897). [Source]

1. Harduin. 951. Vassal of Thibaud le Tricheur, later passed into the service of the archbishop of Reims.

2. Tiezzon (Techon). 1059. Viscount of Soissons, chatelain under Aubri de Coucy. Attested in gifts to Nogent (1059, 1086) and Saint-Vincent de Laon (1078). His wife, Alix, called viscountess of Coucy in 1086, became a nun at Nogent and was still alive in 1104 in a small house neighbouring the monastery; she was buried at the abbey. Children: Gui (living in 1086); Renaud (succeeded his father).

3. Renaud. 1083. Chatelain after his father. In 1096, he and his wife Élinde founded the priory of Saint-Paul-aux-Bois. He is also attested in gifts to Nogent (1095) and Saint-Gervais de Soissons (1098).

4. Gui. Around 1107. Chatelain and viscount. Son of Oidèle and an unknown father. Attested in a gift to Nogent with his mother and stepfather Evrard ca. 1107. Took the habit at Prémontré (1140). His wife’s name is unknown. Children: Gui (succeeded his father); Jean (became a cleric in 1122, temporarily becomes the chatelain during the minority of his nephew).

5. Gui le Vieux. 1143. Chatelain and Viscount of Soissons. Attested in gifts to Saint-Vincent de Laon (1143), Prémontré (1153), Nogent (1165). In an 1156 charter, he is referred to as the chatelain of Noyon. In 1168, he departed on Crusade and probably died on the journey. His wife’s name is unknown. Children: Hugues (canon of Noyon); Jean (chatelain of Noyon, married Adèle of Dreux); Gui (succeeded his father); Yves; Renaud (took the habit at Ourscamp); Pierre le Vermeil (took the habit at Ourscamp); Robert le Boeuf; Mauduite (succeeded her father); Béatrice.

6. Gui. 1170. Appears in many acts dated 1186-1201. Went on Crusade in 1190, having made many gifts to Nogent, Saint-Crépin-en-Chaye and Ourscamp. Returned in 1198, then went on Crusade again. Died in Greece, 1205. His wife’s name was Marguerite.

7. Mauduite. 1203. Chatelaine of Coucy and lady of Magny, inherited on the death of her nephew. Her husband, Renier de Magny, died on crusade. Children: Jean (d. before 1198); Renaud (succeeded his mother); Arnoul (knight); Aude (married Jean de Condren); Comtesse (married Geoffroi de Chelles); Alix (mother of Pierre de Marquéglise); Eustachie (married Geoffroi de Ham before 1211).

8. Renaud. 1207. Chatelain of Coucy and lord of Magny. Canon of Notre-Dame de Noyon (1198), but left the religious life. Cited as chatelain in a charter of 1207, and died 1222. His wife, Aanor, remarried to one Henri who is named as chatelain in two charters of late 1222. Children: Gui (living in 1211); Renaud (succeeded his father).

9. Renaud. 1222. Knight, Chatelain of Coucy and lord of Magny. Attested in gifts of 1235 and 1256. His wife’s name was Mabille.

10. Simon. 1261. Chatelain of Coucy and lord of Nampcel. Succeeded his uncle Renaud. He and his wife, Hermine de Cramaille, sold land to Prémontré in 1266.

11. Renaud. 1280. Chatelain of Coucy. Attested in a gift to Saint-Nicolas-aux-Bois (1280), consented to by his wife A. Still alive in 1288.

12. Marie. 1310. Grants rights to Prémontré in 1310.

13. Foucault d’Anchain. 1365. Attested in a charter of Prémontré of 1365.

14. Nicole de Lappion. 1375. Chatelaine of Coucy, held land in fief from the bishop of Laon in 1375 and 1386.

15. Regnault d’Antoing. 1386. Chatelain of Coucy, lord of Aast and Villette.

16. Hugues d’Antoing. 1394.

17. Henry de Pottes. 1403. Receives wages for his service in 1403 from the duc d’Orléans in 1403.

18. Jeanne d’Antoing. 1437. Chatelaine of Coucy, made her will on August 8, 1437. Her first husband was Guillaume de Pontmolain, lord of Theuil; her second husband was Geoffroy, lord of Saint Gobert (d. before 1437). Children: Jeanne de Pontmolain (married Jean de Villebéon, knight); Jeanne de Saint-Gobert (married Charles de Châtillon, lord of Bonneuil-sur-Marne).

19. Jean de Chatillon. 14??. Chatelain of Coucy, lord of Bonneuil-sur-Marne, capitaine of Gonnesse. Succeeded his grandmother.

20. Guy Goulart de Moy. 14??. Chatelain of Coucy, lord of Tournoison, Parpes, Verrignes, Treslon, and Thiernu-lès-Marle, hereditary seneschal of Vermandois.

21. Antoine de Moy. 1493. Chatelain of Coucy, seneschal of Vermandois, lord of Treslon, Saint-Mard and Cramant. Given the chatelainnie of Coucy in August 1493 on his marriage. His wife was Marguerite de Saint-Blaise, lady of Saint-Mard and Cramant (d. before 1519). Children: Adrien (who succeeded his father); Charles (lord of Fontaine-Notre-Dame, Holnon and Saint-Mard; married Madeline de Boham and Catherine de Créquy); Jeanne (lady of Tournoison; married Jean de Caulaincourt, Balthazar de Coland, Louis de Sorbey); Marguerite (married Philippe de Miremont, lord of Lhéry); Marie (married Bonaventure de Touges, lord of Touges); Jacqueline (married Enguerrand de Mailly, lord of Auvilliers en Bray and of Mametz).

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