House of Luxembourg

The House of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: D'Lëtzebuerger Haus; French: Maison de Luxembourg; German: Haus Luxemburg) or Luxembourg dynasty 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
COA Luxembourg with crest.svg
Parent familyHouse of Limburg
CountryHoly Roman Empire, Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, France, Luxembourg
Founded12 February 1247 (1247-02-12)
FounderHenry V, Count of Luxembourg
Current headNone; extinct
Final rulerElizabeth of Luxembourg
DistinctionsOrder of the Dragon
Dissolution2 August 1451 (1451-08-02)
Deposition1443 (1443)
Cadet branchesLuxembourg-Brienne
(extinct in 1648)
Coat of arms of François de Luxembourg-Martigues


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.

This royal Luxembourg dynasty were not direct descendants of the original counts of Luxembourg, but descended instead from their relatives, a cadet branch of the Lotharingian ducal House of Limburg-Arlon. In 1247 Henry, younger son of Duke Waleran III of Limburg inherited the County of Luxembourg, becoming Count Henry V of Luxembourg, upon the death of his mother Countess Ermesinde. Her father, Count Henry "the blind", was count of Namur, through his father, and Luxembourg, through his mother, who was also named Ermesinde. This elder Ermesinde was a member of the original House of Luxembourg, which was a branch of the House of Ardenne, and had ruled the county since the late 10th century.

Holy Roman Empire under Charles IV

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 membersEdit

Emperor Charles IV



House of Limburg–ArlonEdit

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
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 Valkenburg
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 countsEdit

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]

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.[citation needed] 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:

Connection between the earlier House House of (Ardenne–)Luxembourg, and the later royal dynasty of (Limburg-)Luxemburg
Sigfried (†998), count of the Ardennes, ruler of "Lucilinburhuc"
Frederick I (†1019),
count of Luxembourg and Salm
Giselbert (†1059),
count of Luxemburg
Frederick, Duke of Lower Lorraine, (†1065), count of Limburg
Conrad I (†1086),
count of Luxemburg
Henry III (†1086),
count of Luxembourg
William (†1131),
count of Luxembourg
Godfrey I, Count of Namur (†1139)Henry I, count of Limburg, († 1106), Duke of Lower Lorraine
Conrad II (†1136),
count of Luxembourg
Waleran Paganus, Duke of Limburg (†1139)
Henri IV (†1196), "the blind"
count of Namur and Luxembourg
Henry II, Duke of Limburg (†1167)
Henry III, Duke of Limburg (†1221)
Theobald I, Count of BarErmesinde of Luxembourg (†1247)Waleran III, Duke of Limburg (†1226)
Henry V (†1281), count of Luxembourg, Arlon and NamurHenry IV, Duke of Limburg, (†1247)

See alsoEdit


  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