Birth543, Paris, France
Death597, Paris, France
Misc. Notes
Originally a servant, Fredegund became Chilperic's mistress after he had murdered his wife and queen, Galswintha (c. 568). Galswintha, however, was also the sister of Brunhild, the wife of Chilperic's half-brother Sigebert I, king of the eastern kingdom of Austrasia. Galswintha's murder engendered a violent animosity between Fredegund and Brunhild and an irreconcilable feud of more than 40 years' duration between the respective families. Fredegund was certainly responsible for the assassination of Sigebert in 575 and made attempts on the lives of Guntram (her brother-in-law and the king of Burgundy), Childebert II (Sigebert's son), and Brunhild.

After the mysterious assassination of Chilperic (584), Fredegund seized his riches and took refuge in the cathedral at Paris. Both she and her surviving son, Chlotar II, were at first protected by Guntram, but, when he died in 592, Childebert II, who had taken over his throne, attacked Chlotar, albeit unsuccessfully. From Childebert's death (595) until her own, Fredegund intrigued on Chlotar's behalf against Brunhild, who sought to rule through Childebert's sons, Theodebert II of Austrasia and Theodoric II of Burgundy. Ruthlessly murderous and sadistically cruel, Fredegund can have few rivals in monstrousness.

Frankish queen. The mistress of King Chilperic I of Neustria, she became his wife after inducing him to murder his wife Galswintha (567). Fredegunde and Brunhilda, Galswintha's sister and wife of King Sigebert I of Austrasia, were among the leading figures in the long war (561–613) between the Frankish kingdoms of Neustria and Austrasia. Fredegunde procured the deaths of Sigebert I and of her own stepchildren. After Chilperic's murder (584) she acted as regent for her son Clotaire II.

As dowager queen, Fredegonda was regent for her baby son, Clothaire II. "She ws a strong and successful ruler.
Ambitious, unscrupulous and clever, she had made good use of her twenty years as Chilperic's queen, exerting a strong
background influence on the political and military affairds of his kingdom. ...We must infer that she was beautiful; it is
clear from all accounts that her sexual allure was irresistible to most men." - "The Birth of France...," Katharine
Scherman (NY: Random House, 1987), p. 197. She "was buried with honors at Saint Germains des Pres, beside her
husband and his uncles." (p. 200)
Birth539, France
DeathSep 584, Chelles, France
BurialSt Vincent Abbey, Paris, Seine, France
MotherRadegonda (~518-587)
ChildrenLothar (Clotaire) II (584-629)
Last Modified 16 Oct 1999Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh