Hervé IV of Donzy

Hervé IV of Donzy (1173– 22 January 1222[1]) was a French nobleman and participant in the Fifth Crusade. By marriage in 1200 to Mahaut de Courtenay (1188–1257),[2] daughter of Peter II of Courtenay, he became Count of Nevers.[2]

In a dispute over the château de Gien with Peter of Courtenay, Hervé came to a settlement in 1199, having defeated and captured his overlord Peter at Cosne-sur-Loire.[3] After Peter's death in 1219, he became Count of Auxerre and Tonnerre also;[4] with Philip II, Marquis of Namur and Robert de Courtenay contesting Auxerre. He acquired Liernais also, in 1210.

Hervé and his countess were active in developing the Nivernais, his lands around Donzy adjoining the Nivernais and Burgundy. In 1209 they founded a Carthusian abbey at Bellary [fr].[5] He reconstructed the château Musard, Billy-sur-Oisy, around 1212–5. The priory at Beaulieu was founded in 1214.[6]

In 1204–05 Hervé supported the French side against the English in fighting in Normandy, Poitou and Touraine,[7] and in 1209 would take part in the Albigensian Crusade.[8] In 1214 he took part in the Battle of Bouvines, on the side of King John of England,[9] later with John's intervention Hervé would obtain King Philip's pardon.[9] In 1217 he would be involved in the French invasion of England.[10]

He died at Saint-Aignan.[11] His death has been attributed to poison.[11]


The daughter of Hervé and Mahaut,

Following Hervé's death in 1222, Mahaut married Guigues IV of Forez in 1226.[14]


  1. ^ Bouchard 1987, p. 350.
  2. ^ a b Bouchard 1987, p. 328.
  3. ^ Perry 2013, p. 30-31.
  4. ^ Sot, Lobrichon, Depardon 2006, p. 25.
  5. ^ Branner 1961, p. 114.
  6. ^ There are several places in France called Beaulieu, and it is uncertain which this one was. The County of Nevers roughly corresponds to the modern department of Nièvre, and this Beaulieu may have been Beaulieu, Nièvre. Alternatively, Beaulieu may have been the name of the priory itself; for example, French Wikipedia lists several Abbayes de Beaulieu, most of which are not associated with a settlement of that name.
  7. ^ Baldwin 1991, p. 194.
  8. ^ Marvin 2008, p. 33.
  9. ^ a b Baldwin 2002, p. 61.
  10. ^ Pollock 2015, p. 58,81.
  11. ^ a b Kupfer 2003, p. 19.
  12. ^ Evergates 2007, p. 222, 350.
  13. ^ Evergates 2007, p. 222.
  14. ^ a b Bouchard 1987, p. 342.


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  • Sot, Michel; Lobrichon, Guy; Depardon, Marie-Hélène (2006). Les gestes des évêques d'Auxerre: - Volume 2. Belles lettres.