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Willem (Holland) van Holland (abt. 1227 - 1256)

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Willem (Willem II) "graaf van Holland en Zeeland" van Holland formerly Holland
Born about in 's-Hertogenbosch, (Hertogdom Brabant), Noord Brabant, (de Nederlanden) Nederlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 25 Jan 1252 in Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germanymap
Descendants descendants
Died in Hoogwoud (Hoechhoutswoude), Noord Holland, (graafschap Holland), (de Nederlanden), Nederlandmap
Profile last modified 14 Apr 2019 | Created 3 Apr 2011
This page has been accessed 1,105 times.


William II of Holland, (February 1228-28 January 1256), was a count of Holland and Zeeland (1235-1256). He was elected as German anti-king in 1247 and remained King until his death.

He was the son of Floris IV and Mathilde of Brabant. When his father was killed at a tournament at Corbie, William was only seven years old. His uncles William and Otto (bishop of Utrecht) were his guardians until 1239.

With the help of Henry II, Duke of Brabant and the archbishop of Cologne, he was elected in 1247 as king of Germany after Emperor Frederick II was excommunicated. After a siege of five months, he took Aachen in 1248 from Frederick's followers. Only then could he be crowned as king. He gained a certain amount of theoretical support from some of the German princes after his marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of Otto the Child, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1252; but, although "William lacked neither courage nor chivalrous qualities...his power never extended beyond the Rhine country."

In his home county, William fought with Flanders for control of Zeeland. He made himself (being king of Germany) count of Zeeland. In July 1253, he defeated the Flemish army at Westkapelle, and a year later a cease-fire followed. His anti-Flemish policy worsened his relationship with France.

From 1254, he fought a number of wars against the West Frisians. He build some strong castles in Heemskerk and Haarlem and created roads for the war against the Frisians.

Melis Stoke, a scribe employed by William's son Floris of Holland wrote the following about his death. In battle near Hoogwoud on January 28, 1256, William tried to traverse a frozen lake (by himself, because he was lost), but his horse fell through the ice. In this vulnerable position, William was killed by the Frisians, who secretly buried him under the floor of a house. His body was (forcefully) recovered 26 years later by his son Floris V, who was only 2 years old when he succeeded his father. William was then buried in Middelburg. Independent chronicles confirm his death at that time (by failing to jump over a muddy water way during a skirmish). Much of Stoke's writing may have been to justify his employer's deeds and his claim on current-day West Frisia, so that the details of the mishap and subsequent events could be largely legendary.

William gave city rights to Haarlem, Delft, 's-Gravenzande and Alkmaar. A castle he had built in 1248 was the beginning of the city of The Hague..[1]


  • ROYAL ANCESTRY by Douglas Richardson Vol. III, page 300
  • Source: S2 Title: Pedigree Resource File CD 49 Abbreviation: Pedigree Resource File CD 49 Publication: (Salt Lake City, UT: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 2002)
  • Source: S3 Title: Ancestral File (TM) Abbreviation: Ancestral File (TM) Author: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SAINTS Publication: June 1998 (c), data as of 5 JAN 1998 Repository: #R1
  • Repository: R1 Name: Unknown
  • Source: S3717 Title: Type: Ancestral File Number Abbreviation: Type: Ancestral File Number
  • Source: S4 Title: hofundssonAnces.ged Abbreviation: hofundssonAnces.ged Repository: #R1
  1. Entered by Living Large, Apr 6, 2013

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Some will say that 19 July 1227 is the day of birth of him, but there are no sources for that. So that is why it better to keep it at 1227 and do not fill in the month or day. But the best guess is: It is between jan 1227 and august 1227. A remark in general. The day of birth was not recorded, because on the day of birth he was a nobody and on the day of death a king (in name), but a duke of Holland for sure.
Van Holland-49 and Holland-689 appear to represent the same person because: He is the father of the same childern.

Willem II is 23 degrees from Claire Nava, 30 degrees from Levi Strauss and 10 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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