The first chapter of my house is… rather bloody to be honest.
The first van Kuik, Herman van Malsen, Count of Teisterbant (modern day Vianen, Culemborg, Batenburg, Geldermalsen and Nether-Betuwe) and Viscount of Utrecht, was born almost a thousand years ago, in 1020. He is the son of Unruoch III van Malsen, Count of Kempen. Not too much is known about the van Malsen periods, or the periods that came before. The short version of what we do know is that my first know ancestor through the paternal line is Duke Lotharius I of Alamannia (born ca. 510), the second Merovingian Frankish duke of Alamannia (modern day Swabia). For 500 years we ruled big chunks of the Netherlands and parts of Belgium.
We’ve also assassinated the Viking duke of Frisia together with Gerolf van Holland. We were rewarded the Duchy of Frisia and Gerolf was rewarded with the County of Holland (also known as West-Frisia). Even though our houses fought side by side against the Viking invaders, a feud would last between our families for almost 300 hunderd years, starting with, you guessed it… Herman van Malsen.
Floris I, the Count of Holland succeeds his childess brother Dirk IV in 1049, after he is killed by an army of the Bishops of Utrecht, Metz and Liège (so much for: “Thou shalt not kill”) under the orders of Emperor Henry III, for conquering and pillaging towns in the Dutch riverlands. Floris continued his brother’s plundering campaign, prompting the Empire to once again take action against the van Hollands. In 1058, Empress consort Agnes of Poitou (the Empreror passed away in 1056) orders the bishops of Utrecht, Metz and Liège and a number of nobles to defeat Floris and his army. As Viscount of Utrecht, Herman commanded the Utrecht army.
The first battle took place at Oudheusden. Floris was heavily outnumbered and had thus littered the battlefield with traps.The traps caused massive confusion among the troops and as a result Floris’ army easily won the battle. A few days later Floris decides to take the offensive and attacks the troops of Utrecht, Cologne and Brunswick at Nederhemert. Floris easily forces them to withdraw. Feeling content with their victory, Floris and his troops decide to rest in the shadow of the trees near the Meuse riverbank. Herman quickly regroups his army and ambushes Floris, slaughtering him and hundreds of his men, restoring peace in the riverlands for almost one hundred years.
Herman van Malsen ambushes Count Floris I of Holland and his army (June 21, 1061)
Herman was rewarded with fiefdom over the Lordship of Cuijk by the new Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Henry IV. In ca. 1070 he married Ida of Boulogne, daughter of Count Eustace II of Boulogne (House of Flanders) and Ida, the blessed, of Boulogne. She was the sister of the first crusader king of Jerusalem, Godfrey of Bouillon. They had three children:
- Henry I van Kuik (ca. 1070 – 1108)
- Andreas, Bishop of Utrecht
- Godfrey, Elect Archbishop of Cologne
Henry I’s son and Andreas were involved in the next blood stained chapter of my house. More on them in chapter 3.