Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

Berthe De Savoy (Turin)

Berthe De Savoy (Turin)

Female 1051 - 1087  (36 years)

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  • Name Berthe De Savoy (Turin) 
    Born 21 Sep 1051  France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    History Berta was born on 21 September 1051, the daughter of Otto, comte de Savoie, and Adelaide de Susa, Markgräfin von Susa, Herrin von Torino. During the lifetime of Emperor Heinrich III, Berta and Heinrich IV were betrothed as young children on 25 December 1055 in Zürich. The wedding took place on 13 July 1066 in Trebur.

    While Berta was said to have fallen in love with Heinrich from the outset, Heinrich initially viewed his wife with aversion. Although she was apparently a pretty young woman, the Saxon chronicler Bruno, an avowed opponent of Heinrich IV, reported on the emperor\'s continual unfaithfulness: \'He had two or three Kebsweiber (concubines) at the same time, in addition (to his wife), yet he was not content. If he heard that someone had a young and pretty daughter or wife, he instructed that she be supplied to him by force. (...) His beautiful and noble wife Berta (...) was in such a manner hated by him that he never saw her after the wedding any more than necessary, since he had not celebrated the wedding out of free will.\'

    In 1069 Heinrich began procedures for a divorce, supplying what was for the time an unusually honest reason for the divorce: \'The king explained publicly (before the princes), that his relationship with his wife was not good; for a long time he had deceived others, but now he did not want to do so any longer. He could not accuse her of anything that justified a divorce, but he was not capable of carrying out conjugal relations with her any longer. He asked them for the sake of God to remove him from the bonds of a marriage closed under bad signs....so that the way to a luckier marriage might be opened. And nobody knowing any objection to raise, and his wife being an obstacle to a second marriage ceremony, he then swore that she was as he received her, unstained and her virginity intact.\' (Bruno of Merseburg)

    The German episcopacy dared not submit to the king\'s demands, and called on Pope Alexander II for assistance. He sent Petrus Damiani as his legate to the Synod in Frankfurt, and rejected the divorce. Heinrich then apparently submitted to his fate, his first daughter by Berta being born in the year after the divorce attempt. They had two sons and three daughters, of whom Heinrich (the future Emperor Heinrich V) and Agnes would have progeny.

    Berta also accompanied her husband on his dangerous journey to Canossa, carrying her three-year-old son Konrad. She remained with her husband between 25 and 28 January 1077 in freezing weather beyond the walls of the castle, in order to reach a solution of Heinrich\'s dispute with the pope. Together with Heinrich, Berta later also journeyed to Rome, and on 31 March 1084 she was crowned Empress.

    Berta died in Mainz on 27 December 1087. She was buried in the cathedral of Speyer.  [1
    History Canossa[edit]

    Henry and Bertha with their son, waiting at the gate of Canossa, Foxe\'s Book of Martyrs (1563)
    During the fierce Investiture Controversy, Bertha\'s husband was excommunicated by Pope Gregory VII at the Lenten synod in Rome in 1076. In October, the German princes took the occasion and swore an oath at Trebur that they would no longer recognise Henry as king unless this excommunication was lifted. Henry thus had to cross the Alps and travel to Italy in order to meet with Gregory during the winter of 1076/77.

    Bertha and their young son, Conrad, accompanied Henry on his dangerous journey. While the South German princes supporting his rival Rudolf of Rheinfelden blocked his path, Henry hoped to travel through one of the Alpine passes controlled by his mother-in-law, but Adelaide extracted a high price before allowing him to do this.[9] Adelaide then accompanied Henry and Bertha on the long and dangerous Walk to Canossa, where from 25 January 1077, Henry and Bertha underwent penance barefoot for three days outside in the cold and begged Gregory VII\'s forgiveness. Adelaide was among those who acted an oath-helper to secure Henry’s absolution from excommunication.[10]

    After the forces of Henry IV had besieged and occupied Rome, he and Bertha were crowned emperor and empress on 31 March 1084 by Antipope Clement III.[11]

    Death[edit]
    Bertha was thirty-six years old when she died in Mainz on 27 December 1087. She was buried in the Salian crypt at Speyer Cathedral.[12] In 1089 Emperor Henry married Eupraxia of Kiev but the marriage failed in 1095.

    Children[edit]
    From her marriage with Henry, Bertha eventually had five children, two of whom died while still young:[13]

    Adelheid (1070 – bef. 4 June 1079).[14]
    Henry (1/2 August 1071 – 2 August 1071).
    Agnes (summer 1072/early 1073 – 24 September 1143), married firstly Frederick I, Duke of Swabia (the first ruler of the Hohenstaufen dynasty) and secondly Leopold III, Margrave of Austria, a member of the House of Babenberg.
    Conrad (12 February 1074 – 27 July 1101), later Roman-German King and King of Italy.
    Henry V (11 August 1081/86 – 23 May 1125), later Roman-German King and Holy Roman Emperor.  [2
    Died 27 Dec 1087  France, age 36 Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I461  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 1 Mar 2018 

    Father Othon I (Otto) De Savoie, 3ème Troisième Comte De Savoie Et De Maurienne,   b. Abt 1023, Savoie, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Mar1060, Savoie, France, age 37 Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship putative 
    Mother Adelaide De Suse,   b. 1015-1020, Turin, Piemont, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Dec 1091, Canischio, Piemont, Italy, age 76 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Relationship putative 
    Family ID F242  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Heinrich IV (Henry IV) Holy Roman Emperor,   b. 11 Nov 1050, Goslar, Saxe, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Aug 1106, Liege, Wallonie, Belgique, age 55 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Children 
    +1. Agnes De Franconie (von Franken)(Waiblingen), Duchess of Swabia, Margravine of Austria,   b. 1072, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Sep 1143, Austria, age 71 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)  [putative]
    Last Modified 16 May 2017 
    Family ID F241  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Bertha of Savoy, Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, Queen consort of Germany
    Bertha of Savoy, Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, Queen consort of Germany
    Henry and Bertha with their son at the gate of Canossa
    Henry and Bertha with their son at the gate of Canossa

  • Sources 
    1. [S64] Genealogics, Leo Van de Pas, http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00027237&tree=LEO.

    2. [S12] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertha_of_Savoy.