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Count of Holland

The Counts of Holland ruled over the county of Holland in the Low Countries between the 10th and the 16th century.

Table of contents
1 House of Holland
2 House of Hainaut
3 House of Bavaria
4 Burgundy and Habsburg

House of Holland

The first count of Holland, Dirk I, was probably the son of Count Gerulf II of Frisia. He received land around Egmond from Charles the Fat in 922. This is seen as the beginning of the county of Holland. However, until about 1100, the usual name of the county was West-Friesland.

Note that the chronology of the first counts is uncertain. The existence of a count between Dirk I and Dirk II was only discovered in recent research.

House of Hainaut

When John I died childless, the county was inherited by John II of Avesnes, count of Hainaut from 1298. John of Avesnes was a son of Aleidis, sister of William II of Holland.

House of Bavaria

During the rule of Margaretha, her son William V had the real power in the county. He became ruler in his own right as a result of the Hook and Cod wars. He was also Count William III of Hainaut, and Duke William I of Bavaria.

There was a war of succession between John and Jacoba. This war was won by Philip of Burgundy, who had inherited John's claims on the duchy. Philip was a nephew of William VI, who had married a daughter of Philip the Bold of Burgundy.

Burgundy and Habsburg

During the 'foreign rule' by Burgundy and Habsburg, the county was governed by a stadtholder in name of the count. In 1581, the Estates General of the United Provinces declared themselves independent from the Spanish rule of Philip II (who was Philip III of Holland). Until the Treaty of Munster in 1648, the kings of Spain used the title Count of Holland, but they had lost the actual power over the county.