List of rulers of Frisia

Of the first historically verifiable rulers of Frisia, whether they are called dukes or kings, the last royal dynasty below is established by the chronicles of Merovingian kings of the Franks, with whom they were contemporaries. In these contemporary chronicles, they were styled dux, a Latin term for leader which is the origin of the title duke and its cognates in other languages (duc, duce, doge, duque, etc.). They were independent until the death of Radbod at the earliest.

Flag of Frisia, with seven lilies

Finn, son of Folcwald, is a semi-legendary figure. He was killed by Hengest, who later migrated to Britain and founded the Kingdom of Kent. For rulers prior to Finn the later Frisians developed a rich store of legend and myth, and these too are listed here in chronological order.

After coming under Frankish rule, Frisia was governed by Frankish counts and by potestates elected by the Frisians.

List of rulersEdit


Counts and margravesEdit

In 775 the Franks under Charlemagne took control of what remained of Frisian territory and incorporated it into their kingdom. Counts appointed by the Frankish rulers were:


Most of the early potestaats are completely legendary.

With the victory of the Schieringers against the Vetkopers, the office passed to the dukes of Saxony:


In 1515, George of Saxony sold Friesland to the future Emperor Charles V. The Habsburgs appointed the following governors:

In 1581, Friesland and six other provinces revolted and formed the Dutch Republic. The office of stadholder became hereditary in the House of Oranje:

Fictional rulersEdit

A description of a course at the University of Amsterdam states ""One of the characteristics of Frisian historiography and literature from the Middle-Ages up to the nineteenth and twentieth century is the existence of a comprehensive corpus of fantastic, apocryphal and mystified historic works, which deal with the origins and identity of the Frisians. Well known examples are medieval myths of origin like the Gesta Frisiorum or the Tractatus Alvini, sixteenth-century humanistic scholarly books by e.g. Suffridus Petrus, Ocko van Scarl en Martinus Hamconius and nineteenth-century forgeries like the Tescklaow and the infamous Oera Linda Book."[1]

The 17th century chronicle Frisia seu de viris rebusque illustribus, by Martinus Hamconius, purported to list the ancient kings of Frisia, beginning with Friso who had allegedly migrated from India during the time of Alexander the Great. A 19th century work, the Oera Linda Book (authorship uncertain but considered to be a hoax), embellished these stories further by describing an ancient and glorious history for the Frisians extending back thousands of years, during which time they were supposedly ruled over by a line of matriarchs known as folk-mothers, founded by the eponymous goddess Frya, ancestress of the Frisians.

Goddess and Folk-mothersEdit

According to the Oera Linda Book.

  • Frya, ?-2194 BC (eponymous ancestress of the Frisians, who supposedly inhabited all of Northern and Western Europe)
  • Fasta, 2194-after 2145 BC (appointed by Frya when the latter ascended to the stars during a terrible flood)
  • Medea
  • Thiania
  • Hellenia
  • (unknown)
  • Minna, fl. 2013 BC (faced an invasion of Finns from the east, who settled in the Frisian lands in Scandinavia)
  • (unknown)
  • Rosamond, 1631-? BC (the Frisians in Western Europe revolted and became the Celts)
  • Hellicht, fl. 1621 BC
  • (unknown)
  • Frana, ?-590 BC (murdered by the Finns during an invasion)
  • Adela (de facto), 590-559 BC (supposedly ordered the compilation of what became the Oera Linda Book)
  • (vacant)
  • Gosa, 306-before 264 BC (elected after a long vacancy, Frisian rule confined to approximately the modern Netherlands)
  • (vacant)
  • Prontlik, fl. c. 60 BC (puppet folk-mother appointed by King Asinga Ascon)

Kings (Oera Linda Book & others)Edit

According to the Frisia seu de viris rebusque illustribus (and the Oera Linda Book).

  • Friso, 313-245 BC (Adel I Friso (de facto), 304-264 BC) (established a militaristic hereditary monarchy)
  • Adel, 245-151 BC (Adel II Atharik, 264-? BC)
  • Ubbo, 151-71 BC (Adel III Ubbo)
  • Asinga Ascon, 71 BC-AD 11 (Adel IV Asega Askar, or Black Adel) (reviled for employing foreign troops and bringing plague)
  • Diocarus Segon, 11-46
  • Dibbaldus Segon, 46-85 (? Verritus) (forced to accept Roman protection, and may have visited Rome in person)
  • Tabbo, 85-130 (? Malorix)


According to the Frisia seu de viris rebusque illustribus.

  • Asconius, 130-173 (title downgraded to duke as a Roman client)
  • Adelboldus, 173-187
  • Titus Boiocalus, 187-240
  • Ubbo, 240-299
  • Haron Ubbo, 299-335
  • Odilbaldus, 335-360
  • Udolphus Haron, 360-392

Kings (Merovingian chronicles & others)Edit

According to the Frisia seu de viris rebusque illustribus (and Merovingian chronicles).

  • Richardus, Uffo, 392-435 (? Finn Folcwalding)
  • Odilbaldus, 435-470 (? Sibbelt)
  • Richoldus, 470-533 (? Ritzard)
  • Beroaldus, 533-590 (? Audulf)
  • Adgillus I, 590-672 (Aldegisel, ?-680)
  • Radbodus I, 672-723 (Radbod I, 680-719)
  • (Poppo, 719-734) (not listed in the rebusque)
  • Adgillus II, 723-737 (Aldegisel II)
  • Gondobaldus, 737-749 (Gundebold, or Aldegisel III)
  • Radbodus II, 749-775 (Radbod II)


  1. ^ Historical Frisian Literature: Fakes and Forgeries, myths and mystifications in Frisian Literature Universiteit van Amsterdam (in Dutch)