Mary of Burgundy AKA Mary the Rich

Mary the rich or Mary of Burgundy was the richest heiress of her time and many important men wanted to marry her because of it.

Mary was called Mary of Burgundy because she was the Countess Palatine of Burgundy, but she also ruled other places. She was the duchess of Brabant, Limburg, Lothier, Luxemburg, and Guelders; Margravine of Namur and Countess of Artois, Flanders, Charolais, Hainaut, Holland, Zeeland and Zutphen.

Mary of Burgundy 3

Angel with the Coat of Arms of Mary of Burgundy.

Coat of Arms of Mary of Burgundy.

Coat of Arms of Mary of Burgundy.

By looking at the Coat of Arms of Mary of Burgundy you can already guess that this is a person that has many territories, because the more territories one had inherited the more complicated their Coat of Arms looked.

This is what her territories looked like on a map:

Territories of the house of Valois-Burgundy during the reign of Charles the Bold.

Territories of the house of Valois-Burgundy during the reign of Charles the Bold.

Compared to France it looked like this:

The orange represents the territories of Mary of Burgundy in 1477.

The orange represents the territories of Mary of Burgundy in 1477.

It’s easy to see why Louis XI would want to either get his hands on the Duchy of Brittany or the territories of the duke/duchess of Burgundy.

The two classic options of the time to obtain territories were war or marriage.

The interesting situation about this is that the king of France and the Duke of Burgundy were sworn enemies of each other even though Louis XI was Mary of Burgundy’s uncle.

Luckily Mary of Burgundy had many suitors that could become allies when her dad died in 1477 and could no longer protect her.

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