Alberto Azzo II, margrave of Milan & 1st of Este

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Marquis Alberto Azzo II of the Obertenghi, count of Luni

Italian: marchese Alberto Azzo II degli Obertenghi, conte di Luni
Death: 1097 (96-106)
Vangadizza Abbey, Badia Polesine, Rovigo, Veneto, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Albert Azzo I, margrave of Milan and Adela Obertenghi
Husband of Cunegonde of Altdorf and Gersende du Maine
Partner of Matilda, from Padua
Father of Welf IV, duke of Bavaria; Fulco d'Este, I; Hughues d'Este, comte du Maine and Adelasia degli Adelardi
Brother of Adelasia Obertenghi, d'Este

Occupation: Margrave of Milan, and Liguria, Count of Gavello and Padua, Rovigo, Lunigiana, Monselice, and Montagnana. 1st Marquis of Este
Managed by: Private User
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About Alberto Azzo II, margrave of Milan & 1st of Este

Alberto Azzo II (997 or July 10, 1009, Modena – August 20, 1097, Modena), Margrave of Milan, and Liguria, Count of Gavello and Padua, Rovigo, Lunigiana, Monselice, and Montagnana, aka, Albertezzo II, was a powerful nobleman in the Holy Roman Empire. He is considered the founder of Casa d'Este (House of Este), having been head of the first family to be master of Este, a town of Padua.

Alberto Azzo II was the only son of Albert Azzo I, Margrave of Milan. He inherited his father's offices around 1020, and continually increased his properties in northern Italy. In 1069–1070, he tried to acquire Maine for his son Hugh, because his wife, Garsende, was a co-heiress of the previous counts of Maine. Hugh was declared count, but he could not prevail against Robert, the Duke of Normandy, who had been betrothed to the last heiress. In the Investiture Controversy between Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and Pope Gregory VII, Azzo attempted to mediate, but later he joined the side of the pope. Around 1073 he made a castle at Este his residence, from which the HOUSE OF ESTE, the dynasty to which he belonged, took its name. Before his building project, Este was little more than a village.

His son Welf (from his first marriage) moved first to Carinthia and then to Bavaria, giving rise to one of the most important families in European history, the Guelphs. Another son, Fulk I of Milan, (from his second marriage), made the first documented use of the title "Marquis d'Este."

  1. Azzo II married Kunigunde (also called Chuniza), the daughter of Welf II, Count of Altdorf, in 1036. They had one known child:
    1. Welf (died November 6, 1101, Paphos) Duke of Bavaria from 1070 to 1077 and from 1096 to his death who was the first member of the Welf branch of the House of Este.
  2. His second marriage was to Garsende, daughter of Herbert I, Count of Maine, around 1050. They had the following known sons:
    1. Fulco I, Margrave of Milan (died 1128), ancestor of the Italian branch of the House of Este
    2. Hugh V, Count of Maine (died 1131), had no issue.
  3. Some sources say he also married Vitalia Orseolo, daughter of Peter Orseolo. They had a daughter:
    1. Itta.
  4. He had an extra-marital affair with Matilda, sister of William, Bishop of Padua[citation needed], with whom he had a daughter named
    1. Adelasia who married Guglielmo Adelardi.
  Chapter 1.    MARCHESI d'ESTE


ALBERTO AZZO [II], son of ALBERTO Azzo [I] Conte di Luni & his wife --- ([996]-Vangadizza monastery 1097, after 13 Apr). "Oldericus Maginfredus marchio f. quondam…Maginfredi marchionis et Berta comitissa jugales filia q. Obberti marchionis" sold property "in comitatu Parmensi, Placensiensi, Ticinensi, Tortonensi, Vercellensi, Aquensi, Astensi, Eporediensi, Torinensi, Oradiensi, Albensi, Avigenensi, Aberganensi, Vigintimiliensi" to "Sigifredo presbitero filio q. Adelgisi", with "notitia propinquorum parentum suorum, id est Adalberti marchionis germani sui et Alberti infantis nepotis sui", by charter dated 6 Jun 1021[2]. He succeeded his father as Conte di Luni. Marchese. The Annalista Saxo calls him "Azoni marchioni de Langobardia de castris Calun et Estin"[3]. "Albertus qui Azo marchio vocatur…professus…lege Langobardorum" donated property "in comitatu Patavensis" to the monastery of Santa Maria in Vangadizza "in comitato Vicentino adque in comitato Patavino" to "Gaxdia puella…filia et germana nostra" by charter dated 26 Sep 1075[4]. A charter dated 31 May 1079 records an agreement between the church of Verona and "marchionem Azonem et Ugonem et Fulconem germanos filios eiusdem marchionis Azonis"[5]. The Genealogia Welforum calls him "marchio Etius cum curte Elisina"[6]. "Fulco filius Alberti marchionis qui Azo marchio" swore allegiance to "Ugo germano meo" by charter dated 6 Apr 1095, the text of which refers to their father as still living[7]. "Albertus marchio qui Azo marchio…[et] filius…Ugo" donated property to the monastery of Santa Maria in Vangadizza by charter dated 13 Apr 1097[8]. The Chronicon of Bernold records the death in 1097 of "Azzo marchio de Longobardia, pater Welfonis ducis de Baiowaria" commenting that he was "iam maior centenario"[9].

m firstly ( [1035] ) KUNIGUNDE von Altdorf, daughter of WELF [II] Graf von Altdorf & his wife Irmtrud im Moselgau [Wigeriche] ([1020]-31 Mar before 1055, bur Vangadizza monastery). The Genealogia Welforum names "Cunizam" as daughter of Welf and his wife Imiza, specifying that she married "marchio Etius cum curte Elisina"[10]. The Annalista Saxo names "Cunizam" daughter of Welf, and her husband "Azoni marchioni de Langobardia de castris Calun et Estin"[11].

m secondly ( [1049/51] ) as her second husband, GERSENDE du Maine, repudiated wife of THIBAUT [III] Comte de Blois, daughter of HERIBERT [I] "Euigilans Canis/Eveille-chien" Comte du Maine & his wife ---([1025/35]-). The Actus pontificum Cenomannis records that "Atho marchisius" left Maine in the hands of "Gaufridi de Meduana", also naming "uxor eiusdem marchisii Garcendis…filia Herberti Cenomannorum…comitis…Evigila Canem" and specifying that she had married firstly "Theobaldo duci Campanie" and that he had repudiated her[12]. Orderic Vitalis records that "Hugo filius Herberti" and his wife “Bertam ipsius relictam, Tedbaldi Blesensium comitis sororem” had “filium...Herbertum et tres filias”, of whom one married “Azsoni marchiso Liguriæ” (which would be difficult to sustain chronologically and confuses the children of Hugues [IV] Comte du Maine with his sisters)[13].

Mistress (1): MATILDA, sister of GUGLIELMO Vescovo, from Padua and Vedova.

Alberto Azzo [II] & his first wife had one child:
  • 1. WELF [IV] ([1035/40]-Paphos Cyprus 9 Nov 1101, bur Cyprus, removed to Weingarten, near Lake Constance). The Annalista Saxo names "Welfum seniorum" son of "Azoni marchioni de Langobardia de castris Calun et Estin" & his wife "Cunizam"[14]. He was installed in 1070 as WELF [I] Duke of Bavaria by Heinrich [IV] King of Germany. - DUKES of BAVARIA.
Alberto Azzo [II] & his second wife had two children:
  • 2. UGO d'Este (-1131). . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . .. . . .
  • 3. FOLCO [I] d'Este (-15 Dec 1128). ... . . . .. .. . . .. see below.
  Alberto Azzo [II] had one illegitimate child by Mistress (1): 
  • 4. ADELASIA . The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. m GUGLIELMO [I] Adelardi, son of ---. 1070/1140.