Ursel family

d' Ursel is the name of an important old Belgian noble family of German origin. The Head of the House is styled the Duke of Ursel, others are Count d'Ursel.

House of Ursel
noble family
Cooat of arms
CountryBanner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg Holy Roman Empire
Bandera cruz de Borgoña 2.svg Spanish Netherlands
Austrian Low Countries Flag.svg Austrian Netherlands

Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands

Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium
Founded15th century
FounderGaspar Schetz
Current headStéphane, 10th Duke of Ursel
Estate(s)Château d'Ursel in Hingene, Château du Moisnil in Maizeret, Hôtel d'Ursel (Brussels), Hex Castle, Château de Moulbaix, Château de Linterpoort (Zemst), Château de Durbuy, Moulin de la Marquise


Coat of arms of the House of Ursel, containing 3 red Merlettes
Ambrosius Tucher and Mary of Ursel, Buried in St-James of Antwerp
Louis d'Ursel: King of Arms of Flanders
Schetz and Ursel in: Quartiers généalogiques des familles nobles des Pays-Bas.
d'Ursel Castle, Hingene redesigned by the Italian architect Giovanni Niccolò Servandoni
The castle of Durbuy is a private residence of the Count d´Ursel, since the 18th Century.
Philip Albert d'Ursel, (1668–1746)
Eleonore von Lobcowitz, Duchesse d'Ursel
Wolfgang, the 3rd Duke d'Ursel, Prince of Arche and Charleville, Count of Grobbendonk
Charles, the 6th Duke of Ursel was president of the Belgian Senate

The Ursel family roots are in Schmalkalden, Germany, and it originally had the name Schetzenbergh. In the late 15th century, some members moved to Hasselt and Antwerp. Amongst the family members we find Gaspard II Schetz, the Lord of Grobbendonck, who married Catherine van Ursel, daughter of Lancelot II of Ursel. The three daughters of Lancelot II died without heirs, and by request of Barbe of Ursel, Conrad III Schetz was adopted by her. His descendants carrying the name 'van Ursel'. The ancestors of Lancelot II came from Antwerp, and held important offices. Conrad Albert, Baron of Wesemael and Lord of Highene was created First Duke of Ursel by imperial decree of Charles VI on 19 August 1716 and later he was created First Duke of Hoboken on 24 April 1717.

During the centuries the family had the privilege of being the hereditary grand veneur and Haut Forestier of Flanders (Forestarius), a ceremonial function at court of the Count of Flanders.[1]


Today the Ursel family still holds residence in a few important old castles like Linterpoort Castle, property of counts d'Ursel, Hex Castle property of count Ghislian d'Ursel[2] and the large Castle of the Counts d´Ursel in Durbuy, descendants of Antony Schetz, Count of Durbuy.[3] Moulbaix Castle, residence of the late Aymard, count d'Ursel was recently sold, after the last Countess d´Ursel died.[4] Beerlegem Castle is the private residence of Count Hubert d'Ursel de Bousies, by marriage a descendant of Lopez-Maria Rodriguez d'Evora y Vega, 1st Marquess of Rode, the original Marquess of Rode.[5][6] Another residence Smissenbroek Castle is the property of Count Augustin d'Ursel de Bousies, this castle comes from the same heritage of Rodriguez d'Evora y Vega and is family property since 1808.[7][8]

The main summer residence of the family was d'Ursel Castle in Hingene, since the 18th century private property. Even today the main graveyard of the Dukes of Ursel is next to the church of Hingene. The successful restoration of the castle received the Flemish Heritage award.[9]


Members of the House of Ursel are allied to many old and important noble houses of Belgium. Even today these unions give them a large network in society. They are allied and married to the house of von Lobkowicz, Zu salm, Thurn und Taxis, von Arenberg, de Clermont-Tonnerre, de La Trémoille, Cornet d'Elzius, De Croy, de Merode, de la Rochefoucauld, de Riquet, Prince de Caraman-Chimay, de Lannoy, d'Oultremont, von Schönburg-Glauchau, de Brouchoven de Bergeÿck, de Spoelberch, de Broqueville, Visart de Bocarmé, de Hemricourt de Grunne, von Hohenlohe, de Villenfagne de Vogelsanck, de Montpellier de Vedrin, de Bèthune-Hesdigneul.[citation needed]


The head of the family still holds old recognised titles, given from father to son for generations.

  • Count of Grobbendonk, by Imperial Decree, Ferdinand III since 1638.
  • Count of the Holy Empire, by Imperial Decree, Ferdinand III since 1638.
  • Duke of Ursel, by imperial Decree since 1716.
  • Duke of Hoboken, By imperial Decree since 1717.
  • Prince of Arches and Charleville; Principauté d'Arches, inherited from the Princes zu Salm.[10][11]


Descendants Renout, Mayors of AntwerpEdit

Reinout van Ursel/Ursene[12] is considered the first Knight of Ursel, he was married to Sapientia Vele Roggemans.

    • Lancelot of Ursel, Lord of Asscherayen (Asschereyen/As-Schreyhane), m. Joanne, lady of Corswarem.
    • John of Ursel, alderman of Antwerp, m. Beatrix d'Alleyns.

Barons of HobokenEdit

Conrad III Schetz, (1553–1632), 1st Baron of Hoboken was the son of Gaspard II and Catharina van Ursel. He named himself Conrad d'Ursel after 1617.

Duke of Hoboken (Imperial Decree of 1717)Edit

Simplified genealogy of the generations and direct line of Dukes of Ursel upon today.[14]

Austrian and Holland periodEdit

Conrad-Albert, 1st Duke d'Ursel (1665–1738):
He married to Eleonore Christine Elisabeth zu Salm, daughter of Charles Theodore, Prince of Salm and noble lady of the Starry Cross.[13]

    1. Charles, 2nd Duke d'Ursel (1717–1775):[13]
      married to Eleonora von Lobkowicz, daughter of Georg Christian, Fürst von Lobkowitz and Henriette von Waldstein-Wartenburg (1702 - 1780).
      1. Wolfgang-William, 3rd Duke d'Ursel (1750–1804).[13]
        1. Charles-Joseph, 4th Duke d'Ursel (1777–1860):[13]

Kingdom of BelgiumEdit

Charles-Joseph, 4th Duke d'Ursel (1777–1860):[13]
Married to Louise-Victoire Ferrero Fieschi, princess of Masserano.

    1. Léon, 5th Duke d'Ursel (1805 – 1878).:[15]
      married to Sophie d'Harcourt (1812-1842), daughter of Eugène, Duke of Harcourt.
      1. Marie Charles Joseph, 6th Duke d'Ursel (1848 – 1903).[15]
        1. Robert-Marie, 7th Duke d'Ursel ( 1873 – 1955):
          1. Henri, 8th Duke d'Ursel, (1900 – 1974):
            1. Antonin, 9th Duke d'Ursel, (1925 - 1989)[citation needed]
              1. Stéphane, 10th Duke d'Ursel, (1971 -)
                1. Matisse, Count d'Ursel. (2001-)

Count d'UrselEdit

Cadet family members are to beknown as Count or Countess d'Ursel.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "GESCHIEDENIS – de tuinen van kasteel Hex". www.hex.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Streekproductenmarkt in het kasteel van Durbuy". Les Villas de Durbuy (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Grond kopen, kasteel gratis erbij". hln.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  5. ^ Penninck, Tekst en foto's Pierre. "Kunst & Zwalm stelt buitengewoon kunstparcours op in Zwalmstreek". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Kasteel van Beerlegem". Inventaris Onroerend Erfgoed (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  7. ^ Bever, Johan Van. "Regio Zottegem - Nieuws uit Herzele, Oosterzele, Sint Lievens Houtem en Zottegem - Adellijk huwelijk in Oosterzele". www.regiozottegem.be. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Kasteel Smissenbroek". Inventaris Onroerend Erfgoed (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Kasteeldomein d'Ursel winnaar van Vlaamse Monumentenprijs 2014". hln.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  10. ^ "d'Ursel (Famille)". search.arch.be. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  11. ^ Dictionnaire genealogique, heraldique, chronologique et historique ..., Volume 3
  12. ^ Annuaire de la noblesse de Belgique, Volume 21
  13. ^ a b c d e f Short historical overview of the d’Ursel family, retrieved 21 October 2009
  14. ^ Zomers in Hingene. Het kasteel d'Ursel en zijn bewoners/ ISBN 9789058268747
  15. ^ a b Melville Henry Massue Ruvigny et Raineval The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: Being a Complete Table of All the Descendants Now Living of Edward III, King of England, Genealogical Pub. Co., 1994, ISBN 0-8063-1436-2, ISBN 978-0-8063-1436-5. Page 461
  16. ^ "ODIS". www.odis.be. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Nieuwe Belgische ambassadeur bij Heilige Stoel". Kerknet. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2017.

External linksEdit