- Acceded: 1304. William III the Good of Hainault,Guillaume III De AVESNES of Hainault.
In a time of knights and castles, Willem III, Count of Holland, Zeeland and Hainault for thirty-three years, was more a "political businessman". He achieved his influence not by the sword but by marriage alliances. Married himself to the sister of the French king, his son and heir married the only child and heir of the Duke of Brabant; his daughter, Philippa, married King Edward III of England; and his eldest daughter, Margaretha, made the most important alliance when she married Emperor Ludwig IV.
Because of the peace during his reign, he was able to re-organise the administration of his counties and evolve a better tax system. He also improved the legal system and saw to it that justice was done.
One of his judges, knowing the Count to be ill, had taken a healthy and beautiful cow from a poor farmer, the only cow the farmer possessed, replacing it with a poor specimen. The farmer went to the Count for justice and this judge was summoned and ordered to compensate the farmer. Once this was done, the Count took his sword and handed it to his executioner who, in the Count's room, beheaded the judge.
SURNAME: Also shown as d'Avesnes
GIVEN_NAMES: Also shown as William Iii "The Good"
SUFFIX: Also shown as Count of Hainault and Holland
BIRTH: Also shown as Born Hainaut, France.
DEATH: Also shown as Died Valenciennes.