1902 Encyclopedia > Lorraine

Lorraine




LORRAINE (LOTHARINGIA, LOTHRINGEN) is geogra-phically the extensive Austrasian portion of the realm allotted by the partition treaty of Verdun in August 843 to the emperor Lothair I., and inherited by his second son, King Lothair II., 855-869, from whose days the name Regnum Lotharii first arose. This border-land between the realms of the Eastern and Western Franks in its original extent took in most of the Frisian lowlands between the mouths of the Bhine and the Ems, and a strip of the right shore of the Bhine to within a few miles of Bonn. In the neighbourhood of Bingen it receded from the left shore of the river so as to exclude the dioceses of Worms and Spires, but to admit a certain connexion with Alsace. Towards the west it included nearly the whole ter-ritory which is watered by the rivers Moselle and Meuse, and spread over the dioceses of Cologne, Treves, Metz, Toul, Verdun, Liege, and Cambrai. Hence this artificial realm embraced, broadly speaking, almost all modern Holland and Belgium (with the exception of Flanders), part of the Prussian Bhine provinces, and what is still called Lorraine, partly French and partly German, divided, however, from Alsace and the Palatinate by the natural frontier line of the Vosges and the Haardt mountains. Its inhabitants were soon called Hlotharii, Lotharienses, Lotharingi. Lo-tharingia, as the designation of the country, hardly appears before the middle of the 10th century.

Up to this time Lorraine had belonged alternately to the eastern and the western kingdom ever since Louis the German and Charles the Bald divided the realm of Lothair II. more ethnographically by the treaty of Meersen, August 8, 870. After the deposition in 887 of the em-peror Charles III., who for a short time appeared at the head of the three reunited realms, the country still remained distinct, though the invasions of the Northmen and feudal disintegration creeping in from the west vied to tear it to pieces. Yet the emperor Arnulf, after his success against the Scandinavians, restored some order, and made his son Zwentebulch king over that part of the empire in 894. But he never overcame the difficulties inherent in a country peopled by Franks, Burgundians, Almains, Frisians, and Scandinavians, speaking various Bomance and Teutonic dialects, the western group being evidently attracted by the growth of a French, the eastern by that of a German nationality. King Zwentebulch quarrelled with certain powerful lords, offended mortally the bishops, especially that of Treves, and finally lost his life in battle on the 13th August 900. In the days of Louis the Child, the last of the eastern Carolings, there rose to ducal dignity Beginar Long-neck, count of Haspengau, Hennegau, or Hainault, who owned a number of fiefs and monasteries in the diocese of Liege. He found it profitable to adhere to Charles, king of the Western Franks, especially after Louis's death in 911. His son Gisilbert from 915 began to rule the Lotharingians likewise in opposition to Conrad I. and Henry I., who were the successors of Louis the Child, with the exception, however, of Alsace and the Frisian districts, which now separated, definitively to remain with the German kingdom. By the treaty of Bonn (921) the Lotharingian duchy was ceded formally to France, until Henry I., profiting by the disunion between Charles the Simple and his rivals, subdued Gisilbert and his dominion (925), and about 928 returned it to him with the hand of his daughter as a member of the German kingdom, though rather more independent than other duchies. Its western frontier now appears to have extended up to the Dutch Zealands.

Henry's son, the great Otto I., when his brother rebelled in conjunction with Eberhard and Gisilbert, the dukes of Franconia and Lotharingia, beat and annihilated these two vassals (939), and secured the latter country by a treaty with the French king Louis IV., who married Gisilbert's widow, entrusting it consecutively to his brother Henry, to a Duke Otto, and from 944 to Conrad the Red, his son-in-law. Chiefly with the help of the Lotharingians he invaded France in order to reinstate the king, who had been dethroned by his proud vassals. But a few years later, when Liudulf, the son of King Otto and the English Edith, and Duke Conrad, discontented with certain measures, rose against their father and lord, the ever-restless spirit of the Lotharingians broke out into new commotions. The stern king, however, suppressed them, removed both his son and his son-in-law from their offices, and appointed his youngest brother, the learned and statesmanlike Brun, archbishop of Cologne and chancellor of the realm, to be also duke or, as he is called, archduke of Lotharingia. Brun snatched what was still left of demesne lands and some wealthy abbeys like St Maximine near Treves from the rapacious nobles, who had entirely converted the offices of counts and other functionaries into hereditary property. He presided over their diets, enforced the public peace, and defended with their assistance the frontier lands of Germany against the pernicious influence of the death struggle fought between the last Carolings of Laon and the dukes of Paris. Quelling the insurrections of a younger Beginar in the lower or ripuarian regions, he admitted a faithful Count Frederick, who possessed much land in the Ardennes, at Verdun, and at Bar, to ducal dignity. Although the emperor, after Brun's early death, October 10, 965, took the border-land into his own hands, he connived, as it appears, at the beginning of a final division between an upper and a lower duchy,—leaving the first to Frederick and his descendants, while the other, administered by a Duke Gottfrid, was again disturbed by a third Reginar and h'.s brother Lambert of Louvain. When Otto II. actually restored their fiefs to them in 976, he nevertheless granted the lower duchy to Charles, a son of the Caroling Louis IV., and his own aunt Gerberga. Henceforth there are two duchies of Lorraine, the official name applying originally only to the first, but the two dignitaries being distinguished as Dux Mmellanorum and Dux Ripuariorum, or later on Dux Metensis or Barrensis and DuxLovaniensis, de Brdbantia, Bidlionis, or deLimburg. Both territories now swarmed with ecclesiastical and temporal lords, who struggled to be independent, and, though nominally the subjects of the German kings and emperors, frequently held fiefs from the kings and the-, grand seigneurs of France.

Between powerful vassals and encroaching neighbours the imperial delegate in the lower duchy could only be a still more powerful seigneur. But Duke Charles became the captive of the bishop of Laon, and died in 994. His son, Duke Otto, dying childless (1004), left two sisters married' to the counts of Louvain and Namur. Between 1012 and 1023 appears Duke Gottfrid I., son of a count of Verdun, and supporter of the emperor Henry II., who, fighting his way against the counts of Louvain, Namur, Luxemburg, and Holland, is succeeded by his brother Gozelo I., hitherto margrave of Antwerp, who since 1033, with the emperor's permission, ruled also Upper Lorraine, and defended the frontier bravelyagainstthe incursions of CountOdo of Blois, the adversary of Conrad II. At his death (1046) the upper duchy went to his second son Gottfrid, while the eldest, Gozelo II., succeeded in the lower, until he died childless (1046). But Gottfrid II. (the Bearded), an energetic but untrustworthy vassal, rebelled twice in alliance with' King Henry I. of France and Count Baldwin V. of Flanders against the emperor Henry V., who opposed a union of the duchies in such hands. Lower Lorraine therefore was given (1046) to Count Frederick of Luxemburg, after whose death (1065) it was nevertheless held by Gottfrid, who in the mean time, being banished the country, had married Beatrice, the widow of Boniface of Tuscany, and acted a prominent part in the affairs of Italy. As duke of Spoleto and champion of the Holy See he rose to great importance during the turbulent minority of Henry IV. When he died December 21, 1069, his son Gottfrid III., the Hunch-backed, succeeded in the lower duchy, who for a short time was the husband to Matilda of Canossa, the daughter of Boniface and Beatrice. Soon, however, he turned his back on Italy and the pope, joined Henry IV, fought with the Saxon rebels and Robert of Flanders, and in the end was miserably murdered by an emissary of the count of Holland, February 26, 1076. Conrad, the emperor's young son, now held the duchy nominally till it was granted 1088 to Gottfrid IV, count of Bouillon, and son of Ida, a sister of Gottfrid III., and Count Eustace of Boulogne, the hero of the first crusade, who died king of Jerusalem in 1100. After him Henry, count of Limburg, obtained the country; but, adhering to the old emperor in his last struggles, he was removed by the son in May 1106 to make room for Gottfrid V., the great-grandson to Lambert I., count of Lorraine, a descendant of the first ducal house, which had been expelled by Otto the Great. Nevertheless he joined his predecessor in rebellion against the emperor (1114), but returned to his side in the war about the see of Liege. Later on he opposed King Lothair III., who in turn supported Walram, son of Henry of Limburg, but died in peace with Conrad III., January 15, 1139. His son Gottfrid VI. was the last duke of Lower Lorraine, and second duke of Brabant. Henceforth the duchy split definitely into that of Limburg, the inheritance of the counts of Verdun, and that of Louvain or Brabant, the dominion of the ancient line of the counts of Haspengau. Various fragments remained in the hands of the counts of Luxemburg, Namur, Flanders, Holland, Juliers, &c.

Upper Lorraine, a hilly table-land, is bordered on the east by the ridge of the Vosges, on the north by the Ardennes, and on the south by the table-land of Langres. Towards the west the open country stretches on into Champagne. The Meuse and the Moselle, the latter with its tributaries Meurthe and Saar, run through it from S.E. to N.W. in a direction parallel to the ridge of the Argonne3. In this country Duke Frederick was succeeded by his son and grandson till 1033. Afterwards Gozelo I. and Gottfrid the Bearded, Count Albert of Alsace and his brother or nephew Gerard, held the duchy successively under very insecure circumstances. The ducal territories were even then on all sides surrounded and broken in upon, not only by those of the three bishops, but also by the powerful counts of Bar. Moreover, when in 1070 a new dynasty was established in Theodoric, son of Count Gerard of Alsace, his brother Gerard of Vaudemont became the founder of a separate line. The former political and feudal ties still connected the duchy with the empire. The bishops were the suffragans of the archbishop of Treves, who rose to be one of the prince-electors. The dukes, however, de-scending from Theodoric in the male line, though much weakened by the incessant dilapidation of their property, for two centuries adhered generally to the emperor. Duke Simon I. was step-brother of the emperor Lothair III.; his son Matthew I. intermarried with the Hohenstaufen family. His son and grandsons appear traditionally on the side of Henry VI., Philip, Frederick II., and but rarely prefer the Welfish opponent. Later on Theobald II. and Frederick IV. supported Albert and Frederick of Austria against Louis the Bavarian. Yet during the same age French feudalism and chivalry, French custom and language, advanced steadily to the disadvantage of German policy and German idioms amongst knights and citizens. King Philip Augustus already promoted Frenchmen to the sees of Cambrai, Verdun, and Toul. Though remaining a fief of the empire, the duchy of Lorraine itself, a loose accumulation of centrifugal elements, was irresistibly attracted by its western neighbour, although the progress of French monarchy for a time was violently checked by the English invasion. Duke Budolf, a great grandson of Budolf of Hapsburg, died at Cr£cy among the French chivalry, like his brother-in-law the count of Bar. To his son John, who was poisoned at Paris (1391), Charles, called the Bold, succeeded, while his brother Frederick, who was slain at Agincourt, had annexed the county of Vaudemont by right of his wife. Charles, who died in 1431 without male iss'ie, had bestowed his daughter Isabella in marriage on Rene, count of Anjou, and titular king of Naples, Sicily, and Jerusalem, and also a French vassal for fragments of the duchy of Bar, and the fiefs of Pont h Mousson and Guise. However, when he obtained by right of his wife the duchy of Lorraine, he was defeated by Anthony, the son of Frederick of Vaudemont. But by his daughter Iolanthe marrying Frederick II., Count Anthony's son and heir, the duchies of Lorraine and Bar were in the end united by René II. with the county of Vaudemont and its dependencies Aumale, Mayenne, and Elboeuf. In the mean-time all these prospects were nearly annihilated by the conquests of Charles of Burgundy, who evidently had chosen Lorraine to be the keystone of a vast realm stretching from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. This new border empire, separating Germany from France, fell almost in-stantly to pieces, however, when the bold Burgundian lost his conquests and his life in the battle of Nancy, January 4, 1477. After this the duchy tottered on, merging ever more into the stream of French history, though its bishops were princes of the empire and resided in imperial cities. At the death of Beno II. (1508), his eldest son Anthony, who had been educated in the court of France, inherited Lorraine with its dependencies. The second, Claude, was first duke of Guise, and the third, John, alternately or conjointly with his nephew Nicolaus, bishop of Metz, Toul, and Verdun, better known as the cardinal of Lorraine. Still the old connexion reappeared occasionally during the French wars of the emperor Charles V. In 1525 the country was invaded by German insurgents, and Lutheran-ism began to spread in the towns. When Maurice, elector of Saxony, and the German princes rose against the emperor (1552), they sold the three bishoprics and the cities of Toul, Metz, and Verdun, as well as Cambrai, to King Henry IL, and hailed him as imperial vicar and vindex libertatis Germania. In vain did Charles V. lay siege to Metz for nearly three months ; the town, already entirely French, was successfully defended by the duke of Guise. German heresy also lost its hold in these territories owing to the Catholic influence of the house of Guise, which ruled the court of France during an eventful period. Charles II., the grandson of Duke Anthony, who as a descendant of Charles the Caroling even ventured to claim the French crown against the house of Bourbon, had by his wife, a daughter of King Henry II., two sons. But Henry, the eldest, brother-in-law to Henry of Navarre, leaving no sons, the duchy at his death, July 31, 1624, reverted to his brother Francis, who, on November 26, 1625, resigned it in favour of his son Charles III., the husband of Duke Henry's eldest daughter. Siding against Bichelieu with the house of Austria and Duke Gaston of Orleans, Charles, after being driven out by the French and the Swedes, resigned the duchy, January 19, 1634; and like the three bishoprics it was actually allotted to France by the peace of Westphalia. The duke, however, after fighting with the Fronde, and with Condé and Spain against Turenne and Mazarin, and quarrelling in turn with Spain, was nevertheless reinstated by the treaty of the Pyrenees (1659) under hard conditions. He had to cede the duchy of Bar, to raze the fortifications of Nancy, and to yield the French free passage to the bishoprics and Alsace. But, restless as ever, after trying to be raised among the princes of the blood royal in return for a promise to cede the duchy, he broke again with Louis XIV, and was expelled once more together with his nephew and heir Charles IV. Leopold. Both fought in the Dutch war on the German side in the vain hope of reconquering their country. When Charles IV. after his uncle's death refused to yield the towns of Longwy and Nancy according to the peace of Nirneguen, Louis XIV. retained the duchy, while its proprietor acted as governor of Tyrol, and fought the Turks for the emperor Leopold I., whose sister he had married. In the next French war he commanded thj imperial troops. Hence his son Leopold Joseph, at the cost of Saarlouis, regained the duchy once more by the treaty of Byswick (1697). This prince carefully held the balance between the contending parties, when Europe struggled for and against the Bourbon succession in Spain, so that his court became a sanctuary for pretenders and persecuted partisans. His second son Francis Stephen, by a daughter of Duke Philip of Orleans, and his heir since 1729, surrendered the duchy ultimately, owing to the defeat of Austria in the war for the Polish crown (1735). This being lost by Stanislaus Leszczynski, the father-in-law of Louis XV., the usufruct of Lorraine and a comfortable residence at Nancy were granted to the

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