Poppo, Ruler of Friesland

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Poppo of Middle Friesland

Birthplace: Probably Frisia, Netherlands
Death: circa 734 (51-69)
Egmond Binnen, Bergen, NH, Netherlands
Immediate Family:

Husband of N.N. van Friesland
Father of Alfbard / Abba of Middle Friesland, Ruler in Middle Friesland and Enkel (740-?) von Radbods König von Friesen

Managed by: Douglas John Nimmo
Last Updated:

About Poppo, Ruler of Friesland

Poppo (674–734), also known as Bubo or Bobba, was a king (or duke) of Frisia from the 8th century. After Aldgisl and Radboud he is the third Frisian ruler mentioned in the literature. He is possibly the last Frisian king. However Adgillis II, possibly Poppo's brother also ruled during the same period but no contemporary accounts of his rule exist.

Legend says he was a son of King Radbod but there is no known contemporary evidence.

King or Duke

What the exact title of the Frisian rulers was depends on the source. Frankish sources tend to call them dukes; other sources often call them kings.


The literature from the early Middle Ages is silent on the successor to King Radboud. Because Poppo was the leader of the Frisian army in the battles against the Franks, and he was often absent he was probably Radboud's son and successor.

The Frisian kingdom gained its maximum extent during the reign of king Radboud. These increases in territory were at the expense of the Frankish Realm. These gains came to an end in 719 with Radboud's death when the Frankish major-domo Charles Martel in turn attacked the Frisian kingdom and the Frisians were defeated.

From 720 the Frisian area west of the Vlie (Zeeland, Holland and Utrecht) was in Frankish hands. The written sources are briefly silence on the period after this. Nevertheless, there are indications that the local elite was involved in power sharing with the Franks. Presumably they chose the side of the Franks and no longer supported the Frisian king. Some people assume that after the defeat, Poppo agreed a treaty with Charles Martel. In any case, after 720 the territory west of the Vlie was in Frankish hands.

Then there is a brief period of peace with the Franks. This, however, came to an end when Charles Martel again attacked the Frisians in 733. With a fleet he stuck to the current Friesland and hit back against the Frisian territory of Oostergo. The following year (734), he returned and fought the Frisian army led by Poppo in the Battle of the Boarn, with the Frisian king being killed. And with this Frankish victory, the power of the Frisian kings was broken.


Aldegisel, Aldegisl, Aldgillis, Aldgisl, Aldgils or Eadgils (fl. c. 678) was the ruler of Frisia (as king or duke) in the late seventh century contemporarily with Dagobert II and a very obscure figure. All that is known of him is in relation to the famous saint that he harboured and protected, Wilfrid, but he is the first historically verifiable ruler of the Frisians.[1] What the exact title of the Frisian rulers was depends on the source. Frankish sources tend to call them dukes; other sources often call them kings.

Wilfrid, deposed from his Archdiocese of York, exiled from Northumbria and on his way to Rome to seek papal support, landed in Frisia in 678.[1] and was warmly received by Aldegisel, who entertained him for several months over the winter, probably at Utrecht. According to Stephen of Ripon, Wilfrid's biographer, Aldegisel encouraged Wilfrid in his effective evangelism and "[the Frisians] accepted his [Wilfrid's] teaching and with a few exceptions all the chiefs were baptised by him in the name of the Lord, as well as many thousands of common people." It is possible that Aldegisel was one of the early converts. However, it has been doubted whether Wilfrid was actually successful in Frisia, since there is no other evidence of the success of Christianity there before the work of Willibrord.

While Wilfrid was at Aldegisel's court, the Frankish mayor of the palace, Ebroin, offered a bushel of gold coins in return for Wilfrid, alive or dead. Aldegisel himself is said to have torn up and burned the letter from the Frankish mayor in front of the ambassadors and his household. It has been surmised by some that Aldegisel's kindness to Wilfrid was a mode of defiance of Frankish domination. His successor and possibly son was Radbod, who followed the older pagan ways and was an enemy of Charles Martel.

POPPO (-killed in battle River Bordo 736). Duke of Frisia. The Annales Metenses record that in 736 the forces of Charles "Martel" arrived "ad Wistriamchi et Wastrachia insulas" and killed "Poponem…ducem illorum" while capturing the castle "super Bordinem…fluvium"[152]. m ---. The name of Poppo's wife is not known. Poppo & his wife had one child:

a) ALFBAD (-before 786). Hugo Jaekel names Alfbad as son of Poppo and Graaf van Oostergo en Westergo, dying before 786[153], although the primary source on which this is based has not yet been identified.


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Poppo, Ruler of Friesland's Timeline

Probably Frisia, Netherlands
Age 60
Egmond Binnen, Bergen, NH, Netherlands
Egmond Binnen, Bergen, NH, Netherlands
Egmond, The Netherlands