Noble families in Europe : House of Croÿ

When Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, founded in 1430 the Order of the
Golden Fleece, he granted members of his court the title knight. One of
them was Antoine I de Croÿ, Count of Porcéan.

This Antoine I de Croÿ, also called Antoine le Grand, was the eldest son and
heir of Jean I de Croÿ.

The de Croÿ family became important during the rule of the Burgundian Dukes.
They were actively involved in the difficult politics of France, Spain, Austria and
of course the Low Countries.

A noble history

Jean I de Croÿ

Jean served two dukes of Burgundy: Philip the Bold
and John the Fearless. Jean I de Croÿ married a wealthy heiress: Marie de Craon.
In 1397 Jean acquired the lordship of Chimay, which would become the main seat of
the de Croÿ family. Later he was appointed governor of Artois.
He was Grand Bouteiller of the King of France. Jean and two of his sons were killed
at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415.

Antoine I Le Grand 

Antoine I le Grand

Antoine I le Grand, became governor general of the Netherlands and Luxemboug,
he was pro French. He led the French and Burgundian army against Liege and
during the Battle of Brouwershaven.

Antoine married Marguerite of Lorraine-Vaudémont, a daughter of Antoine,
Count of Vaudémont and Marie of of Harcout. She brought Aarschot to his
family as her dowry.

When Charles the Bold became duke of Burgundy, Antoine I le Grand was
accused of plotting against the new duke. He was forced to flee to France. There
he took part in the coronation of King Louis XI and he was chosen as godfather
from the future King Louis XII. At the age of 83 he reconciled with the Duke of

Agnes de Croÿ

Agnes de Croÿ was the sister of Antoine I le Grand and the mistress of
Duke John the Fearless. They had one natural son together called:
John of Burgundy. He became Bishop of Cambrai and archbishop of Trier.

Philippe I de Croÿ

Philippe I de Croÿ (the line of Croÿ - Aarschot)

Philippe I de Croÿ succeeded his father Antoine I, as count of Porcéan. He also
became governor of Luxembourg and Ligny. Philippe de Croÿ was raised at the
court of Philip the Good, together with Charles the Bold. This Charles arranged
Philippe's marriage to Jacqueline of Luxembourg (1455).

Guillaume de Croÿ

Philippe had several sons inter alia: Antoine, Bishop of Thérouanne and
Guillaume de Croÿ. This Guillaume de Croÿ was the most noble one. He even
became the tutor of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Philippe, 4th Prince of Chimay and Duke of Aarschot

One of the nephews of Guillaume de Croÿ was another Philippe who became the
fourth prince of Chimay and Duke of Aarschot. He also was a knight in the
Order of the Golden Fleece. Due to his devotion to the Roman Catholic Church,
he became a favorite of King Philip II of Spain. He took part in the troubles against
William the Silent.

Charles II de Croÿ (1560-1612), who was created Duke of Croÿ by King
Henry IV of France, died childless, this line was passed to his sister Anne de Croÿ.
She had married Charles de Ligne, 2nd Prince of Arenberg. She brought Aarschot to
the Arenberg family.

But there also were a lot of important members of this noble family. Charles Philippe
de Croÿ, the son of of Philippe II and Anne of Lorraine was a successful imperial
general. He was created Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.

Charles Philippe de Croÿ

Charles Alexander de Croÿ the son of Charles Philippe de Croÿ was an advisor of
Archduke Albert of Austria. He also was a knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece.
King Philippe III of Spain even made him Superintendent of Finance and a Grandee
of Spain.

Over the complete line the house of Croÿ, 32 family members were
knights in the Order of the Golden Fleece! This really was a huge reccord.

In 1913, the family still had branches in Belgium, France, Austria and Prussia.

Source pictures: Wikipedia
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