Limburg-Luxemburg dynasty

The Limburg-Luxemburg dynasty, one of several families from different periods known as the Luxembourg dynasty (French: Maison de Luxembourg; German: Haus Luxemburg) was a royal family of the Holy Roman Empire in the Late Middle Ages, whose members between 1308 and 1437 ruled as kings of Germany and Holy Roman emperors as well as kings of Bohemia, Hungary and Croatia. Their rule was twice interrupted by the rival House of Wittelsbach.

House of Luxembourg
Maison de Luxembourg
Royal family
Parent familyHouse of Ardennes

Kingdom of Croatia

Founded12 February 1247 (1247-02-12)
FounderHenry V, Count of Luxembourg
Current headNone; extinct
Final rulerElizabeth of Luxembourg
  • Margrave of Brandenburg
  • Margrave of Moravia
  • Duke of Görlitz
  • Count of Tyrol
  • Count of Soissons
  • Counts of Ligny
  • Count of Saint-Pol
  • Count of Brienne
  • Count of Conversano
DistinctionsOrder of the Dragon
Dissolution2 August 1451 (1451-08-02)
Deposition1443 (1443)
Cadet branchesLuxembourg-Brienne
(extinct in 1648)


Coat of arms of Luxembourg (see also Armorial of Luxembourg and Limbourg (fr)
arms of Waleran III, Duke of Limburg
arms of the Counts of Grandpré and Counts of Loon
arms of Henry V, Count of Luxembourg, his father's arms of Limburg with addition of azure stripes leaving a barry of argent and azure.

The Luxembourg line was initially a cadet branch of the Lotharingian ducal House of Limburg–Arlon, who were in turn a branch of the Luxembourg branch of the so-called House of Ardenne. In 1247 Henry, younger son of Duke Waleran III of Limburg inherited the County of Luxembourg upon the death of his mother Countess Ermesinde, a scion of the House of Namur. Her father, Count Henry IV of Luxembourg, was related on his mother's side to the Ardennes-Verdun dynasty (also called the elder House of Luxembourg), which had ruled the county since the late 10th century.

Holy Roman Empire under Charles IV

Count Henry V's grandson Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg upon the death of his father Henry VI at the 1288 Battle of Worringen, was elected Rex Romanorum in 1308. The election was necessary after the Habsburg king Albert I of Germany had been murdered, and Henry, backed by his brother Archbishop-Elector Baldwin of Trier, prevailed against Charles, Count of Valois. Henry arranged the marriage of his son John with the Přemyslid heiress Elisabeth of Bohemia in 1310, through whom the House of Luxembourg acquired the Kingdom of Bohemia, enabling that family to compete more effectively for power with the Habsburg and Wittelsbach dynasties. One year after being crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Rome, Henry VII, still on campaign in Italy, died in 1313.

The prince-electors, perturbed by the rise of the Luxembourgs, disregarded the claims raised by Henry's heir King John, and the rule over the Empire was assumed by the Wittelsbach duke Louis of Bavaria. John instead concentrated on securing his rule in Bohemia and gradually vassalized the Piast dukes of adjacent Silesia from 1327 until 1335. His son Charles IV, in 1346 mounted the Imperial throne. His Golden Bull of 1356 served as a constitution of the Empire for centuries. Charles not only acquired the duchies of Brabant and Limburg in the west, but also the former March of Lusatia and even the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1373 under the Kingdom of Bohemia.

The family's decline began under Charles' son King Wenceslaus, deposed by the prince-electors in 1400 who chose the Wittelsbach Elector Palatine Rupert. In 1410 rule was assumed by Wenceslaus' brother Sigismund, who once again stabilized the rule of the Luxembourgs and even contributed to end the Western Schism in 1417; however, with his death in 1437, the senior branch of the dynasty became extinct. He was succeeded by his son-in-law, the Habsburg archduke Albert V of Austria. The Habsburgs finally prevailed as Luxembourg heirs, ruling the Empire until the extinction of their senior branch upon the death of Maria Theresa in 1780.

Notable members

Emperor Charles IV
  • Henry VII (1275–1313) – elected king of Germany in 1308 in succession to the assassinated Albert I, crowned emperor in 1312. He was succeeded by Louis IV from the House of Wittelsbach.
    • Baldwin – brother of Henry, prince-archbishop of Trier and thereby archchancellor of Burgundy 1307–1354.
  • John the Blind (1296–1346) – only son of Henry. He was enfeoffed with Bohemia by his father in 1310, married the Přemyslid heiress Elisabeth of Bohemia and deposed the Bohemian king Henry the Carinthian.
  • Charles IV (1316–1378) — eldest son of John. He was elected king of Germany in opposition to Louis IV in 1346 and succeeded his father as king of Bohemia in the same year, crowned emperor in 1355.
    • John Henry, Margrave of Moravia – younger brother of Charles. He married Countess Margaret of Tyrol, daughter of Henry the Carinthian in 1330.
      • Jobst of Moravia (1351–1411) – eldest son of John Henry. Margrave of Brandenburg 1388–1411, elected King of the Romans in 1410.
  • Wenceslaus (1361–1419) – eldest surviving son of Charles. As margrave of Brandenburg from 1373 to 1378, he was elected king of Germany in 1376 and succeeded his father as king of Bohemia in 1378. Declared deposed by the prince-electors in 1400, he was succeeded by Rupert of Wittelsbach.
  • Sigismund (1368–1437) – younger son of Charles. Margrave of Brandenburg from 1378 to 1388, he was king of Hungary and Croatia from 1387 in right of his wife Mary, and was elected king of Germany in 1411,[1] succeeding his brother as king of Bohemia in 1419, being crowned emperor in 1433 yet he left no male heirs.
  • Elizabeth of Luxembourg, only child of Emperor Sigismund, married Archduke Albert V of Austria from the Albertinian line of the House of Habsburg in 1422, becoming queen of Hungary from 1437 as well as queen of Germany and Bohemia from 1438 until Albert's death in 1439. She was the heiress who conveyed the major portion of the Luxembourg inheritance to the Habsburgs and, later, the Jagiellons through her daughter Elisabeth of Austria.


House of Limburg–Arlon

Having succeeded to the county of Luxemburg, the younger branch of the House of Limburg-Arlon is the family that succeeded in getting one of its scions elected Holy Roman Emperor. From there descended the Kings of Bohemia, several other Emperors and a King of Hungary as shown below.

House of Limburg–Arlon/the House of Luxemburg
Waleran I
(† 1082)
Count of Limburg
Henry I
(1059 † 1119)
Count of Limburg
Waleran II
(1085 † 1139)
Duke of Limburg
Henry II
(1111 † 1167)
Duke of Limburg
Henry III
(1140 † 1221)

Duke of Limburg
Cunigunda of MontjoieWaleran III
(1180 † 1226)

Duke of Limburg
Countess of Luxembourg
Henry IV
(† 1247)

Duke of Limburg and Count of Berg
(† 1242)

Lord of Fauquemont
Henry V
(1217 † 1281)

Count of Luxembourg
(† 1276)

Count of Durbuy
Adolf IV
(1220 † 1259)

Count of Berg
Waleran IV
(† 1279)

Duke of Limburg
Henry VI
(1250 † 1288)

Count of Luxembourg
Waleran I
(1252 † 1288)

Lord of Ligny
(† 1283)
Reginald I

Count of Guelders
Henry VII
(1275 † 1313)

Holy Roman Emperor
Waleran II
(1275 † 1354)

Lord of Ligny
Adolf V
(† 1296)

Count of Berg
William I
(† 1308)

Count of Berg
Henry of Windeck
(† 1292)
Adolf VI
(† 1348)

Count of Berg
John the Blind
(1296 † 1346)

King of Bohemia
John I
(1300 † 1364)

Lord of Ligny
Charles IV
(1316 † 1378)

Holy Roman Emperor
King of Bohemia
John Henry
(1322 † 1372)

of Moravia
Wenceslaus I
(1337 † 1383)

Duke of
(1340 † 1371)

Count of Ligny
Count of Saint-Pol
Wenceslaus IV
(1361 † 1419)

King of the Romans
King of Bohemia
(1368 † 1437)

Holy Roman Emperor
King of Bohemia and Hungary
(1370 † 1396)

Duke of Görlitz
(1351 † 1411)

King of the Romans
of Moravia and
Waleran III
(1356 † 1415)

Count of Ligny
and of Saint-Pol
(1370 † 1397)

Lord of Beauvoir
Count of Brienne
Albert II of HabsburgElizabeth of Luxembourg
(1409 † 1442)
(1390 † 1453)

Duchess of Luxembourg, sold duchy to the Dukes of Burgundy
(1390 † 1433)

Count of Saint-Pol
and Ligny
m. Margaret of Baux
John II
(1392 † 1441)

Count of Ligny
Ladislaus the Posthumous
(1440 † 1457)

King of Hungary and Bohemia,
Archduke of Austria and
Elizabeth of Austria
(1436 † 1505)
Queen consort of Poland, Grand Duchess consort of Lithuania,
from her descends the Kings of Bohemia and Hungary to 1918 and
Kings of Poland, 1458-1668
(1418 † 1475)

Count of Saint-Pol
and Ligny
(† 1477)

Lord of Fiennes, Count of Brienne, Bishop of Le Mans
Jacqueline "Jacquetta" of Luxembourg
(1415/1416 – 1472)
1m. John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford
2m. Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers,
one daughter was
Peter II
(c. 1440 † 1482)

Count of Saint-Pol
Anthony I
Count of Ligny

from here descends
the Dukes of Piney-Luxembourg
in France
(† 1487)

Lord of Fiennes and Gavre
Elizabeth Woodville
(c. 1437[1] – 1492)
Queen consort of
Edward IV of England
from here descends the Houses of
Tudor, Stuart,
and the Royal Family of England

Early Luxembourg counts

The House of Luxemburg stemmed from the House of Ardenne (or Ardennes, French Maison d'Ardenne) which was an important medieval noble family from Lotharingia, known from at least the tenth century. They had several important branches, descended from several brothers:[2]

  • The House of Ardenne-Luxembourg, including the counts of Luxembourg, descended from Count Sigfried of Luxembourg
  • The House of Ardenne-Verdun, with several dukes of Lower Lotharingia, descended from Count Gozlin of Bidgau
  • The House of Ardenne-Bar, with several dukes of Upper Lotharingia, descended from Duke Frederick I of Upper Lorraine.

Two houses descended from the women of the counts of Luxembourg, the counts of Loon and the Counts of Grandpré, which wear a shield barry. Both families had a place in relation to the succession of the House of Ardennes. Indeed, the count of Grandpré was the next heir of Conrad II of Luxembourg, the last representative of the Ardennes dynasty, but Emperor Frederick Barbarossa preferred that Luxembourg was held by a lord Germanic rather than French and attributed the county to Henry, son of Conrad's aunt Ermesinde and Count Godfrey I of Namur. The counts of Loon were also in position to claim the inheritance Luxembourg, albeit weaker position:

Ancestors of the House of Luxembourg
Conrad I
(1040 † 1086)
Count of Luxembourg
Henry III
(† 1086)
Count of Luxembourg
(1081 † 1131)
Count of Luxembourg
Matilda of NortheimAlbert II, Count of DagsburgErmesinde
(1075 † 1143)
Godfrey I, Count of Namur
Conrad II
(† 1136)
Count of Luxembourg
(1120 † 1170)
Henri II
(1125 † 1211)
Hugh VII1
(† 1137)
Count of Dagsburg
Mathilde1Folmar V
(† 1145)
Count of Metz
Henri IV²
(1112 † 1196)
Count of Namur and of Luxembourg
Counts of Grandpré
three children
died without issue
two sons
died without issue
AgnèsLouis I
(1110 † 1171)
Theobald I, Count of BarErmesinde
(1186 † 1247)
Waleran III, Duke of Limburg
Counts of Loon
Henry V
(1216 † 1284)
Count of Luxembourg

See also

  • Jacquetta of Luxembourg


  1. "Sigismund (Holy Roman emperor)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  2. Parisse, ‘Généalogie de la Maison d'Ardenne’, La maison d'Ardenne Xe-XIe siècles. Actes des Journées Lotharingiennes, 24 - 26 oct. 1980, Centre Univ., Luxembourg, (1981) 9-41
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