Margaret II d'Avesnes Countess of Hainaut and Countess of Holland
- Born: 1311, le Quesnoy, Nord, France
- Marriage: Louis IV "the Bavarian" on 26 Feb 1324 in Cologne, Germany
- Died: 23 Jun 1356, le Quesnoy, Nord, France at age 45
- Buried: Valenciennes, Nord, France
Margaret II of Avesnes was Countess of Hainaut and Countess of Holland (as Margaret I) from 1345 to 1356. On 26 February 1324 in Cologne she married Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria.
She succeeded in 1345 her brother William IV following his death in battle: The emperor was conferring Hainaut, Holland, Zeeland and Friesland upon his wife, and shortly later also upon their son William V. The hereditary titles of Margaret's sisters, including Philippa of Hainaut who was Queen consort of Edward III of England, were ignored. Due to the dangerous hostility of the House of Luxemburg Louis had increased his power base ruthlessly. Margaret then returned to Holland in 1346 to secure her position of power but did not manage to prevent the coronation of the Luxemburg Charles IV as anti-king in Aix-la-Chapelle by force.
When Louis IV died on October 11, 1347, he was succeeded by his six sons. In 1349 the brothers decided to partition their possessions; Louis V, Duke of Bavaria kept Brandenburg and Tyrol, he and his younger brothers Louis VI the Roman and Otto V the Bavarian received Upper Bavaria. Stephen II, William and Albert received Lower Bavaria, Holland and Hainaut. Louis V and Stephen were no sons of Margaret and her youngest sons Albert and Otto were still minors. Louis VI released Holland and Hainaut for his brothers William and Albert in 1349 since he expected the Polish crown by his marriage with Cunigunde of Poland. In 1353 also Stephen released Holland and Hainault to his brother William.
Also Margaret had resigned her sovereignty in favour of her son William. In 1350, the nobles of Holland asked Margaret to return to Holland again. She then battled for the power in Holland and Hainaut for some years with her son William who had refussed to pay her alimony. The Cod league was formed in May 23, 1350 by a number of supporters of William. On September 5 of the same year, the Hook league was formed. Soon afterward, these factions clashed, and a civil war began.
Edward III of England, Margaret's brother-in-law through her sister Philippa of Hainault, came to her aid, winning a naval engagement off Veere in 1351; a few weeks later the Hooks and their English allies were defeated by William and the Cods at Vlaardingen, an overthrow which ruined Margaret's cause. Edward III shortly afterwards changed sides, and the empress saw herself compelled (1354) to come to an understanding with her son, he being recognized as count of Holland and Zeeland, she of Hainaut. Margaret died two years later, leaving William, in possession of the entire Holland-Hainaut inheritance (July 1356). William was married to Matilda ("Maud" in the English style) of Lancaster, sister to Blanche of Lancaster.
Margaret married Louis IV "the Bavarian" on 26 Feb 1324 in Cologne, Germany. (Louis IV "the Bavarian" died in 1347.)