House of La Marck

House of La Marck
von der Mark coat of arms

The House of La Marck', (Maison de La Marck), original German name von der Mar(c)k, was an important family in the history of Europe, which from about 1200 appeared as the Counts of Mark.



The family history started with Count Adolf I, scion of a cadet branch of the Rhenish Berg dynasty residing at Altena Castle in Westphalia. In the early 13th century Adolf took his residence at his family's estates around Mark, a settlement in present-day Hamm-Uentrop. Adolf had inherited the Mark fortress from his father Count Frederick I of Berg-Altena (d. 1198) together with the older county around Altena and began to call himself Count de La Mark.

Originally liensmen of the Archbishops of Cologne in the Duchy of Westphalia, the family reigned the County of Mark, an immediate state of the Holy Roman Empire, and, at the height of their powers, the four duchies of Julich, Cleves, Berg and Guelders as well as the County of Ravensberg. Members of the family became Bishops in the Prince-Bishoprics of Liège, Münster and Osnabrück, and Archbishops in Cologne. Later collateral lines became Dukes of Bouillon, a title which was later inherited by the House of La Tour d'Auvergne, Princes of Sedan, Dukes of Nevers, Counts of Rethel and so forth. Anne of Cleves is one of the most renowned figures in history descending from the main line of the House of La Mark.

Notable members

  • Adolph de la Marck (1288-1344) was Prince-Bishop of Liège from 1313 until 1344
  • Adolph II of the Marck the son of Engelbert I of the Marck and Mechtild of Arberg
  • Engelbert III of the Mark (13331391) was a son of Count Adolph II of Mark.
  • Adolf III de la Marck (13341394) was a son of Count Adolph II. He was bishop of Münster and later archbishop of Cologne. In 1364 he left his position as bishop of Cologne to his cousin Engelbert III, to become Count of Cleves. {See Duchy of Cleves.}
  • Engelbert de la Marck (13041368) was prince-bishop of Liège from 1345 until 1364. He was also archbishop of Cologne from 1364 until 1369.
  • William I de la Marck was the younger brother of Erard III de la Marck. He was nicknamed Le Sanglier des Ardennes ("The Wild Boar of the Ardennes").
  • Erard de la Marck (14721538), nephew of William I, was prince-bishop from 1506 till 1538.
  • Robert II de la Marck, nephew of William I, was Duke of Bouillon, seigneur of Sedan and Fleuranges.
  • Robert III de la Marck (1491-1537), son of Robert II, was Marshal of France in 1526 and historian.
  • Robert IV de la Marck (15201556) was Duke of Bouillon and Prince of Sedan, and Marshal of France in 1547.
  • William II de la Marck (15421578) was admiral of the Gueux de mer, the so-called 'sea beggars' who fought in the Eighty Years' War (15681648). He was the great-grandson of William I de la Marck.

In 1591 the heiress of one of the collateral lines of the family, Charlotte de la Marck, was married to Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Marshal of France. In 1594 Charlotte died without issue, and her claims to Bouillon passed to her husband.

  • Louis Pierre Engelbert, Comte de la Marck (1674–1750)[1]
  • Louis Engelbert, Compte de la Marck (1701–1773)[1] He was the last male descendant of the Counts de la Marck, so his title Compte de la Marck was passed on to his grandson through his daughter, Louise-Marguerite, who married Charles Marie Raymond of Arenberg.[2]
  • Auguste Marie Raymond, Comte de la Marck (1753–1833)

Simplified genealogy

Counts of Mark

  1. Adolf I (d. 1249), first documented as comes de Marca in 1202
    1. Engelbert I (d. 1277)
      1. Eberhard (d. 1308)
        1. Engelbert II (d. 1328)
          1. Adolf II (d. 1346), married Margaret of Cleves in 1332
            1. Engelbert III (d. 1391)
            2. Adolf III (1334-1394), Count of Cleves from 1368 → see below
          2. Engelbert (1304-1368), Prince-Bishop of Liège 1345-1364, Archbishop of Cologne 1364-68
          3. Eberhard I (d. about 1378), Count of Arenberg → see below
        2. Adolf (1288-1344), Prince-Bishop of Liège 1313-1344

Dukes of Cleves—Mark

Cleves-Mark coat of arms, 15th century
  1. Adolf III (1334-1394), second son of Adolf II with Margaret of Cleves, Prince-bishop of Münster 1357-1363 and Archbishop of Cologne in 1363, inherited the County of Cleves upon the death of his maternal uncle Count Johann in 1368 and became Count of Mark upon the death of his elder brother Engelbert III in 1391
    1. Adolph I (1373–1448), Duke of Cleves from 1417
      1. Margaret of Cleves, Duchess of Bavaria-Munich (1416-144)
      2. John I (1419–1481)
        1. John II (1458–1521)
          1. John III (1490–1539), married Maria of Jülich-Berg in 1509, inherited the duchies of Jülich and Berg and the County of Ravensberg upon the death of his father-in-law Duke William IV of Jülich-Berg, ruled the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg upon the death of his father in 1521
            1. Sybille (1512–1554), married to Elector John Frederick of Saxony
            2. Anne (1515–1557), married to King Henry VIII of England
            3. William the Rich (1516–1592), married Maria of Habsburg, Archduchess of Austria and daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I, claimed the Duchy of Guelders upon the death of Duke Charles in 1538
              1. Marie Eleonore (1550–1608), married to Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia
              2. John Frederick (1555-1575)
              3. John William (1562-1609), extinction of the line, followed by the War of the Jülich succession
            4. Amalia (1517–1586)
        2. Engelbert, Count of Nevers (1462–1506)
      3. Elisabeth (1420–1488), Countess of Schwarzburg
      4. Agnes (1422–1446), Queen of Navarre
      5. Adolph of Cleves, Lord of Ravenstein (1425–1492)
      6. Mary (1426–1487), Duchess of Orléans
    2. Dietrich II (1374-1398)

Counts of Marck—Arenberg

Arenberg coat of arms, Siebmacher, about 1605
  1. Eberhard I (d. about 1378)
    1. Erard II von der Mark, Lord of Sedan & Arenberg
      1. Johann II von der Mark, Lord of Sedan & Arenberg
        1. Erard III von der Mark (+ 1496), Lord of Arenberg whose issue will die into the house of Ligne
        2. Robert I de la Marck (+ 1487), Lord of Sedan, chatellain de Bouillon
          1. Robert II de la Marck (1460-1536), Lord of Sedan, Duke of Bouillon
            1. Robert III de la Marck (1491-1537), Lord of Sedan, Duke of Bouillon
              1. Robert IV de la Marck (1520–1556), Duke of Bouillon, Earl of Braine & Maulevrier, Lord of Sedan.
                1. Henri Robert de la Marck (1539-1574), Duke of Bouillon, sovereign Prince de Sedan,
                  1. Guillaume Robert de la Marck (1563-1588), Pr of Sedan, Dke de Bouillon, Marquess of Cotron
                    1. Charlotte de la Marck (1574-1594), Dss of Bouillon, Pss de Sedan oo Henri de La Tour D'Auvergne
          2. Erard de la Marck (1472-1538), Prince-bishop of Liège 1506-1538
        3. William von der Marck Le Sanglier des Ardennes
          1. Johann I von der Marck, Baron of Lummen
            1. Johann II von der Marck, Baron of Lummen (1500-1552)
              1. William II de la Marck, Baron of Lummen, admiral of the Gueux de mer(1542–1578)

See also


  1. ^ a b Neil Jeffares Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800, LA MARCK
  2. ^ Honoré-Gabriel de Riquetti Mirabeau (comte de), Auguste Marie Raymond Arenberg (prince d', comte de La Marck), Adolphe Fourier de Bacourt. Correspondance entre le comte de Mirabeau et le comte de La Marck: pendant les années 1789, 1790 et 1791 volume 1, V. Le Normant, 1851 p. 280 (French)

External links

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