The Elder House of Welf
was a dynasty
of European rulers in the 9th through 11th centuries to 1055. It consisted of two groups, a Burgundian
group and a Swabian
group. It is disputed whether the two groups formed one dynasty or whether they shared the same name by coincidence only.
The older of the two groups was the Burgundian group
. Its oldest known member was Welf
, the first Count of Altdorf
. He was mentioned in 819 as father of Empress Judith
. The younger sons of the first count of Altdorf, Conrad
accompanied their sister to the court of her husband, Louis the Pious
, where their ambitious spirit maintained their hereditary rank, and where they shared the happy, as well as the adverse fortunes of that sister. When Judith was surprised and confined by her stepsons, her brothers were shaven as monks but claimed and obtained permission to stand beside the throne.
Conrad had two sons: Conrad II
, who succeeded him; and Hugh
, from his church preferment, styled the Abbot
. He is traditionally given a third son, Welf I
of the Swabian group.
Conrad II succeeded his father in the dignity of Count of Paris
, and recovered the estates of his grand-uncle Otkarius, in the province of Burgundy. He left an only son Rudolph
, who assumed the royal crown, at the abbacy of St Maurice en Valais
, in 888, and whose independence being confirmed by two victories over Arnulf
, the emperor, was at last acknowledged, in a general diet of the German empire. His son, Rudolph......