The New International Encyclopædia/Fredegunda
FRED'EGUN'DA (c.545-597). A Frankish queen. Originally a servant of Audovere, wife of Chilperic of Neustria, she soon won the King's heart, and got him to put his wife in a convent and to divorce her. But Chilperic married Galsvintha, and put away Fredegunda. Galsvintha died in the same year (567), probably strangled by Fredegunda, who succeeded her as Queen. This brought on war between Chilperic and his brother Sigibert, King of Austrasia, and a bitter rivalry between Fredegunda and Brunhilda, sister of the murdered Queen and wife to Sigibert, who was soon assassinated by Fredegunda's agents at Vitry (575). Chilperic's sons by Audovere also died suddenly, and in 584 Chilperic was murdered, and by contemporary historians the Queen was accused of instigating all three murders. Now, with her son Clotaire upon the throne, she put forth all her efforts to kill Brunhilda and her son Childebert, and, unsuccessful in this, made war on Austrasia after Childebert's death, obtained possession of Paris and other cities, but died in the following year. See Brunhilda.