Belgium Eccleastical Territories

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Female Heads of Belgium Ecclesiastical Territories

Also see Belgium Heads, Belgium Substates and Princess-Abbesses

Ecclesiastical Territory of Münsterbilzen (Munsterbilzen)

The Benedictine Abbey (for ladies of noble birth) of Belisia/Bilzen (enclave in Loon) was founded ca 670. In the course of time the abbesses gained some temporal power, becoming ladies of Wellen, Haccourt, Hallembaye and Kleine-Spouwen (Belgian Limburg). They started considering themselves Reichsunmittelbar and in 1610 the Abbess was named "Princess" in a document a position disputed by the Prince-Bishop of Liège, but they continued using the title of Princesse de Bélise, in 1734 the Chapter was granted the official title of Princess of the Realm and a seat in the Imperial Diet but the conflict with Liège lasted until the "capitulation" of 1773 when the abbesse recognized the overlordship of Liège but kept her possessions until the French occupation in 1794

659 - 693   Landrade (Saint)

........ Aleidis I

....... Aleidis II

....... Amelrada

Until 986 Ermengardis I van Luxemburg

1017 Cunegonde I van Chiny

1069 Richsa van Acre

1096-1109 Mathilde I van Loon

1109-30 Mathilde II van Horne

1157-63 Goda van Heinsberg

1169-81 Gertrude I van Loon

1189 Aleidis III van Horn

Circa 1190-1205 Imagina van Loon
Also known as Imena, she entered the convent after the death of her husband, Godfried II van Leuven, Duke of Brabant (reigned 1142-90). Daughter of Lodewijk I van Loon en Rieneck and Agnes van Dagsburg van Metz, and (d. 1214/20). (d. 1214/1220)

1214-circa 20 Gertrudis II van Valkenburg

1220-circa 53  Mathilde III van Loon
In April 1220 she and her brother, Arnold III, the Count of Loon, gave the chapel of Alden Biesen to the Teutonic Order. Possessions surrounding the domain of Alden Biesen were also acquired by the Order

1259-87 Mathilde IV van Pietersem

1289-95 Aleidis IV van Valkenberg
She was daughter of Dietrich II von Falkenburg and one of his two wifes, either Berta von Limburg or Aledis von Looz. 

1295-1338 Aleidis V van Brunshorn

1338-41 Margaretha I van Pietersem

1345-80 Ermengardis II van Waldeck

1380-90 Gostule van der Schuren

1390-1439 Conegondis II van Dune

1439-58 Cecilia van den Broeck (Hoensbroeck)

1458-97 Maria I de Surlet
The de Surlet family was an old noble and famous family from the area around Liège, where they were in charge of various possessions.

1497-98 Maria II van Tille

1498/99-1504 Maria III van den Broeck (Hoensbroeck)

1505-49 Margaretha II van Merode
Member of the de Mérode-Falckenberg family who used the two names interchangeably. 

1558-82 Odilia de Buymelborch (Hoenstein)
Coadjutrice with right of succession from 1554. Niece of Marguerite de Mérode.

1582-84 Marie II  von Eynatten

1586-1636 Magalena II von und zu Eltz

1616-17 Coadjutrice Claudia von Eltz
The following year she married the Count de Lannoy at the age of 38.

1636-41 Maria Magdalena von und zu Eltz

1641-86 Isabella Henrietta d'Aspremont-Lynden

1686-1715 Anna Leonora d'Aspremont-Lynden
Elected Coadjutrice in 1784 amidst protest from Dechaness Maria Anna van Elderen and parts of the ladies of the chapter.

1715-28 Lambertine van Renesse d'Elderen
Former Decheness

1728-54 Christine Eberhardine Friederike von Hohenzollern-Hechingen 
(Christina von Hohenzollern) 1734 granted the official title of Princess of the Empire and a seat in the Imperial Diet.

1755-56 Maria Carolina von Leerodt von Born

1756-71 Antonetta Regina Sofia Francisca von und zu Eltz von Kempenich 
She was also supported by her powerful family in the power struggle with the bishop of Liège.

1772-89 Sophia Helena von Stadion-Tannhausen
Former Dechaness and candidate for the post of Princess Abbess in 1756.

1789-99 Maria Theresia Wilhelmina Antonietta van Bentinck, gen Wolfrath
Escaped to Gerresheim in 1794.

Dechanesses (Second in Command of the Chapter)

.... Sibille

... Elisabeth de Surch

.... Maria van Versen

Circa 1130 Bertgardis

.....1157-76 Hadewidis

.... 1199 Gertrudis

.... 1242 Aleidis

..... 1286 Clementina

1200s or 1300s Sofia (or Sybille) van Werme

1300s Mathilde d'Andenne

1335 Elisabeth van Heks

Before 1363 Gertrudis van Schueren

Until 1364 Gertrudis van Beeckoven

1380 Gertrudis van Schueren

1380-90 Lauretta van Schoonenberg

1390 Maria van Reymersdaal

1390-93 Ida van Haren

Circa 1400 Margaretha van Gutshoven

1410 Catharina von Kempenich

Before 1451-58 Guda van Ursvelt

1458-83 Pauline van Lemen

1483-1508 Jutta van Kessel

1508-45 Johanna van Surlet

Circa 1551-62 Anna von Eynatten

1562-89 Agnes von Harff

1590-1616 Johanna von Raesfelt

1616-34 Maria van Carondelet

1635-77 Anna Louisa van Berlo

1677-87 Maria Anna van Elderen

1687-97 Anna Catharina d'Aspremont-Lynden

1697-1715 Lambertine de Renesse

1716-1721 Amour Dorothea van Berlo

1721-28 Albertine de Dongelberg de Reves

1728-55 Maria Caroline von Leerodt von Born

1755-72  Sofia Helena von Stadion-Tannhausen

1772-83 Magdalena von Stadion-Tannhausen

1783-94 Walburga von Heidenheim

1794-95 Beate von Freyberg (Vice-Dechaness)
Acting Head of the Chapter after the Abbess left. She resigned from her office.

1795-98 Margaretha d'Isendorn de Blois de Cannenbourg
As Vice-Dechaness she was the Leader of the Chapter until it was abolished, as the Princess-Abbess had left it. She tried to steer the chapter through the hardship of the French occupation and Presided over the final Gathering of the Chapter before it was closed down. She lived the rest of her life by her family, after haveing lived (1727-1817).



Eccleciatical Territory of Chapitre de Nivelles (Abdij Nijvel)
In the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant

The Abbey was founded 647 and the Abbesses had the title of Princesses and were spiritual and political heads of  the City of Nivelles (Dame de Nivelles) The Abbey was suppressed after French occupation.   

647 - 657 Gertrude (Saint)

658 - 670 Wilfetrude

670 -??   Agnes I

.....        Dominique

....         Egburge

....         Rotrude

....         Iduberge

877        Tauperge

897        Gisèle


966         Adalbertine

992        Gode

1030       Athais

1040-49  Richsa I

1070      Ide

1073-1112 Richsa II

1126-36 Ode I

1158     Ode II

1161-78 Ade

1182     Berthe I

1183-1209 Berthe II

1218-25 Hedwidis

1227     Idulberge

1230-65 Ode III van Lays

1267-77 Elisabeth I de Brugelette 

1277-?  Aleide I van Beerbeke

Until  1278 Elisabeth II van Burget

1287-93 Isabelle I

1293-1340 Iolande de Steyne 

1340-41 Elisabeth III de Gavre

1341-51 Elisabeth IV de Liedekercke

1351-80 Mathilde de Leeuwenberg

1380-86 Aleide II de Ligne

1386-1417 Catherine van Halewyn (de Halluwin)

1417-23 Isa(belle) II de Franckenberg

1423-41 Christine van Franckenberg

1441-49 Agnes I van Franckenberg

1449-62 Marguerite I d'Escornay 

1462-74  Agnes II van Franckenberg

1474-90  Marguerite II van Hauchin

1490-94  Guillelme van Franckenberg

1494-1520 Elisabeth V van Herzelles

1520-22 Marguerite III d'Esne

1522-48 Adrienne I de St. Omer

1548-49 Adrienne II de Morbecq 

1549-61 Marguerite IV d'Estourmel

1561-69 Marguerite V de Noyelle

1569-1601 Marie I van Hoensbroek

1601-04 Anne-Marguerite de Namur

Circa 1604-23 Marguerite VI de Haynin

1623-30 Isabelle II de Schouteete van Zuylen

1630-54 Adrienne III de Lannoy

1654-68 Elisabeth VI d'Oyenbrugge 

1668-1705 Madeleine-Thérèse de Noyelle

1706-24 Marie-Françoise de Berghes

1724-43 Caroline Charlotte de Berlaymont (Berlaimont)

1743-74 Ursule-Antoinette de Berlo de Francdouaire

1774-96 Marie-Félicité-Philippine Vandernoot


Last update 07.08.06