Exploring the Limits of Female Largesse: The Power of Female Patrons in Thirteenth-Century Flanders and Hainaut

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


In his Chronique Rimée, first circulated in northern France in the late thirteenth century, Philippe Mouskes described the spending habits of Jeanne, the countess of Flanders and Hainaut, during her husband’s twelve-year incarceration in Paris following the battle of Bouvines in 1214. According to Mouskes, Jeanne was so generous in her donations to religious communities that, upon his return in 1226, Ferrand found the county teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. As a result, Ferrand was forced to rescind many of the donations made by his imprudent and overly pious wife. Mouskes stated “tous les dons que la comtesse avait dounes fist resaisir, a son oes et a son plaisir.” [all of the gifts that the countess had given were taken back, for his use and for his pleasure.]1


Religious Community Thirteenth Century Religious Foundation Annual Rent Medieval Society 
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  1. 2.
    Penelope Johnson, “Agnes of Burgundy: An Eleventh-Century Woman as Monastic Patron,” Journal of Medieval History 15 (1989): 93–104. According to Johnson, Agnes turned to religious patronage because more mainstream avenues of exercising power were denied her due to her sex.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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