Brienne claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem

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Hugh, Count of Brienne claimed the regency of Jerusalem (and, indirectly, a place in the succession) in 1264 as senior heir of Hugh I of Cyprus and Alice of Jerusalem, being the son of their eldest daughter, but was passed over by the Haute Cour in favor of his cousin Hugh III of Cyprus. This claim fell to his son Walter V of Brienne and his descendants. They are the heirs-general of Queen Isabella of Jerusalem, and thus of the line founded by King Baldwin II.

Hugh of Brienne himself is said to have tried to sell his rights to Alfonso III of Aragon in 1289.

This claim was remembered in 1331 when Robert I of Naples conspired to seize Cyprus, and took Brienne heirs to the pursuit, obviously to utilize their hereditary claim.

In 1406, the then Brienne heiress, Mary of Enghien, was married to Ladislaus of Naples who thus strengthened his pretension to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but they did not have issue.

Line of succession[edit]

  • Walter VI of Brienne (killed in the battle of Poitiers 1356), sometime Lord of Florence, Constable of France. Count of Lecce, Conversano etc. He was ally of the Angevins of Naples, and participated in their policies in Italy. He had only one child which died young, both with his first wife Margert of Anjou-Taranto and the second, his distant kinswoman Joan of Brienne. His sons died young, and as he had no surviving children, it was rather evident that his sister's issue would inherit his possessions and claims.[citation needed]
  • Isabella of Brienne, who survived her brother, died 1360. Her husband Gauthier d'Enghien had died already in 1345. For a few years, she became Countess of Lecce and Brienne etc., as well as titular Duchess of Athens and of other claimed titles. Since her eldest son Gauthier had died before the uncle, her heir was her second son Sohier of Enghien. She allowed her inherited lands to be divided between her numerous children already during her own lifetime.[citation needed]
  • Walter IV of Enghien (died 1381), Duke of Athens etc., he had inherited the claims of the Brienne family,[1] but died childless, and his heir was his first cousin Peter, the only son of his grandmother's third son John of Enghien Lord of Castro who had just died 1380.
  • Ferdinand II of Naples, King of Naples, son of Alfonso II of Naples. Died childless in 1496, his successor in the Kingdom of Naples was his uncle (his grandfather's and Isabella di Chiaramonte's second son) don Federigo de Aragona who became King Frederick IV of Naples and was soon dethroned and imprisoned, but his heir-general was his sister Isabella, Dowager Duchess of Milan.[citation needed]
  • Isabella of Aragon, daughter of King Alphonse II of Naples, married in 1488, Gian Galeazzo II, who at the time was the Duke of Milan. Her son Francesco Sforza (1491–1512) died during the lifetime of his mother, and therefore did not succeed her. When she died in 1524, only Bona, her youngest daughter, survived her of all her children.[citation needed]
  • Bona Sforza[2] In 1518 became the second wife of king Sigismund I of Poland. Sovereign of Poland and Lithuania and all their dominions. When her mother died 1524, she, the Queen of Poland and Grand Duchess of Lithuania, succeeded also as Duchess of Bari and Princess of Rossano. It is not altogether clear whether she used also the title Queen of Jerusalem.
  • Sigismund August II of Poland (1520–1572), Elected Successor of Poland 1529–, Grand Prince of Lithuania 1544–, King of Poland 1548–1572. His first wife was Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, his second Princess Barbara Radziwill, and third Archduchess Catherine of Austria. However, he left no legitimate children.[citation needed]
  • Anna of Poland (1523–1596), was a spinster when her sister died. 1576 she married Stephen Bathory (1533–1586), then Reigning Prince of Transylvania, who was 1576 elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. She died childless. Her successor was her youngest sister's (Catherine Jagellon of Poland, Queen of Sweden) only son, Sigismund Vasa.[citation needed]
  • Sigismund III Vasa (1566–1632), was elected King of Poland and reigned 1587-1632. By paternal inheritance, he succeeded 1592 as King of Sweden and was regarded as having abdicated 1599 and finally deposed 1604. It is not altogether whether he, King of Poland, Lithuania and Sweden, also used the title King of Jerusalem. His first wife was Archduchess Anna of Austria and his second Archduchess Constance of Austria.[citation needed]
  • Vladislaus IV of Poland (1595–1648), Wladyslaw Zygmunt Vasa-Jagellon, was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania 1632-48. His first wife was Archduchess Cecilia Renata of Austria and second Princess Mary Louise of Mantua (Maria Ludovica Gonzaga). He died without surviving children.[citation needed]
  • John II Casimir of Poland (1609–1672), his only surviving brother, was a Cardinal of Roman Church when succeeded. He was elected King of Poland 1648 and abdicated 1668. As his father and brother, also he claimed the title King of Sweden, but after warring and Swedish invasion to Poland he was forced to relinquish that title in 1660. After 1668 abdication, he lived as Abbot of St. Martin in Nevers, France, where he died. He married his brother's widow Mary Louise of Mantua who died 1667—losing her support was one of the reasons he abdicated. He did not have surviving children. All his brothers and sisters having died, without surviving issue, before him, he was the last of the legitimate line of Bona Sforza. With him, all the legitimate issue of Alfonso II of Naples died out. His heir in Ferrante I of Naples and in Brienne succession was his distant cousin, Henry 2nd Duke of La Tremoille Prince of Talmond and Taranto, the heir-general of Federigo di Aragona (second son of Ferrante I and Isabella of Clermont), who also was the heir-general of Federigo's first wife Anne of Savoy.[citation needed]
  • Henry de La Tremoille, 2nd Duke of La Tremoille, Prince of Talmond and Tarant, the heir-general of Federigo di Aragona (second son of Ferrante I and Isabella of Clermont), who also was the heir-general of Federigo's first wife Anne of Savoy, the de jure heiress of the claim of the Kings Of Cyprus to the Throne of Jerusalem. At that point in 1672, the succession of Brienne and of Cyprus to the crown of Jerusalem united.[3]

The succession went through generations of the La Tremoille family. They became extinct in 1930s in the male line, and the eldest sister of the last Duke of La Tremoille—married to the Prince de Ligne—succeeded.[4] Her children began to use the additional name La Tremoille. As of 2011 the current claimant is Prince Charles-Antoine Lamoral of Ligne-La Trémoïlle.[citation needed]



  • Edbury, Peter. History of the Kingdom of Cyprus.