Henry Peacham (1638) The Valley of Varietie, Chapter XVI, pp. 140-144.

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CHAP. XVI.

Of Margaret the Wife of Herman, Earle of Henneberge.

THIS Ladie lived in the time of Henrie the 3d Emperor, who brought forth at one birth 365 children, the just number of daies in the yeare; in memory whereof, not far from Leiden in Holland, in a village called Lausdunen, there is yet a faire Table of Marble, which containeth the whole Historie of this stupendious accident; which, as it there standeth ingraven upon the Marble, I will truly relate: for I my self have twice or thrice, when I lived in Holland, seen the same: these two Verses are ingraven uppermost,

En tibi monstrosum nimis, & memorabile factum,
Quale nec à mundi conditione datum.

Margaret the wife of Herman, Earle of Henneberge, and daughter of Florence the 4th Earle of Holland and Zeland, sister of William King of the Romanes, and after Cæsar, or Governor of the Empire, and of Alithea, Countesse of Henault, whose Uncle was the Bishop of Utrecht, and Cousin to the Duke of Brabant, and the Earle of Thuringia, &c. This Noble Countesse being about forty yeares of age, upon Easter day, and about nine of the clocke in the yeare of our Lord, 1276. was brought to bed of three hundred sixtie and five children, all which were baptized in two brazen Basons, by Guido the Suffragane of Utrecht; the males, how many soever there were of them, were christened by the name of Iohn, the daughters were al named Elizabeth, who all together with their mother dyed the same day, and with their mother lie buried in this Church of Losdunen. This happened by the meanes of a poore woman, who carried in her armes two children, who were twinnes, & both of them males, which the Countesse admiring, said, That she could not have them by one father, and so shooke her off in contempt and scorn. Whereupon this poore woman being much perplexed in her mind, presenly prayed to God to send her as many children as there were dayes in the whole yeare: which thing beside the course of Nature, in a stupendious and wonderfull manner came to passe, as it is briefly set downe and declared in this Table for a perpetuall Memorie, testified as well by ancient Manuscripts, as by many printed Chronicles. The Almightie and great GOD of Heaven hereupon bee feared, honoured, and praysed from this time forth for evermore. Amen.


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