King of Jerusalem

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The King of Jerusalem[1] was the supreme ruler of the Crusader States, founded by Christian princes in 1099 when the First Crusade took the city; it disappeared with the departure of the last crusader of Tartus in August 1291, less than two centuries later. Its history can be divided into various periods: those where the title of King of Jerusalem was associated with Jerusalem itself (1099–1187 and 1229–1244), and those where the title represents the highest level of suzerainty in the Holy Land without the city itself as part of the realm.

After the Crusader States ceased to exist, the empty title of King of Jerusalem was claimed by numerous Western kings and princes.

Kings of Jerusalem (1099–1291)[edit]

King of Jerusalem
Former Monarchy
Arms of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Ströhl).svg
Royal Coat of arms
First monarch Godfrey of Bouillon
Last monarch Henry II
Official residence David's Tower
Appointer Hereditary
Election
Monarchy began 1099
Monarchy ended 1291
Current pretender(s) See Claimant

The Kingdom of Jerusalem had its origins in the First Crusade, when Godfrey of Bouillon, after refusing a crown and the title of King "upon the plea that he would never wear a crown of gold where his Saviour had worn a crown of thorns",[2] took the title Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri (Protector of the Holy Sepulcher) in 1099 and was inaugurated as ruler of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The following year, his brother Baldwin I was the first to use the title king and the first to be crowned king in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem itself.

The kingship of Jerusalem was partially elected and partially hereditary. During the height of the kingdom in the mid-12th century there was a royal family and a relatively clear line of succession. Nevertheless the king was elected, or at least recognized, by the Haute Cour. Here the king was considered a primus inter pares (first among equals), and in his absence his duties were performed by his seneschal.

The royal palace was located in the Citadel of the Tower of David. The Kingdom of Jerusalem introduced French feudal structures to the Levant. The king personally held several fiefs incorporated into the royal domain, that varied from king to king. He was also responsible for leading the kingdom into battle, although this duty could be passed to a constable.

While several contemporary European states were moving towards centralized monarchies, the king of Jerusalem was continually losing power to the strongest of his barons. This was partially due to the young age of many of the kings, and the frequency of regents from the ranks of the nobles.

After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187, the capital of the kingdom was moved to Acre, where it remained until 1291, although coronations took place in Tyre.

In this period the kingship was often simply a nominal position, held by a European ruler who never actually lived in Acre. When young Conrad III was king and living in Southern Germany, his father's second cousin, Hugh of Brienne, claimed the regency of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and, indirectly, his place in the succession. The claim was made in 1264 as senior descendant and rightful heir of Alice of Champagne, second daughter of Queen Isabella I, Hugh being the son of their eldest daughter. But was passed over by the Haute Cour in favour of his cousin, Hugh of Antioch, the future Hugh III of Cyprus and Hugh I of Jerusalem.

After Conrad III's execution by Charles I of Sicily in 1268, the kingship was held by the Lusignan family, who were simultaneously kings of Cyprus. However, Charles I of Sicily purchased the rights of one of the heirs of the kingdom in 1277.

In that year, he sent Roger of Sanseverino to the East as his bailiff. Roger captured Acre and obtained a forced homage from the barons. Roger was recalled in 1282 due to the Sicilian Vespers and left Odo Poilechien in his place to rule. His resources and authority was minimal, and he was ejected by Henry II of Cyprus when he arrived from Cyprus for his coronation as King of Jerusalem.

Acre was captured by the Mamluks in 1291, eliminating the crusader presence on the mainland.

Kings[edit]

House of Boulogne (1099-1118)[edit]

Monarch Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Godfrey
(Protector of the Holy Sepulchre, but not King)[2]
1099–1100
Godfrey of Bouillon, holding a pollaxe. (Manta Castle, Cuneo, Italy.jpg c. 1060
Boulogne-sur-Mer, France or Baisy, Brabant
son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine
never married 18 July 1100
aged about 40
Baldwin I
1100–1118
Baldwin 1 of Jerusalem.jpg c. 1058
Lorraine, France
son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine
Godehilde de Toeni
no children

Arda of Armenia
1097
no children

Adelaide del Vasto
1112
no children
2 April 1118
Al-Arish, Egypt
aged about 60

House of Rethel (1118-1153)[edit]

Monarch Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Baldwin II
1118–1131
Balduin2.jpg  ??
France
son of Hugh I, Count of Rethel and Melisende of Montlhéry
Morphia of Melitene
1101
four daughters
21 August 1131
Jerusalem
Melisende
1131–1153
with Fulk until 1143
with Baldwin III from 1143
Melisende and Fulk of Jerusalem.jpg 1105
Jerusalem
daughter of King Baldwin II and Morphia of Melitene
Fulk V, Count of Anjou
2 June 1129
2 sons
11 September 1161
Jerusalem
aged 56

House of Anjou (1153-1205)[edit]

In 1127 Fulk V, Count of Anjou received an embassy from King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. Baldwin II had no male heirs but had already designated his daughter Melisende to succeed him. Baldwin II wanted to safeguard his daughter's inheritance by marrying her to a powerful lord. Fulk was a wealthy crusader and experienced military commander, and a widower. His experience in the field would prove invaluable in a frontier state always in the grip of war.

However, Fulk held out for better terms than mere consort of the Queen; he wanted to be king alongside Melisende. Baldwin II, reflecting on Fulk's fortune and military exploits, acquiesced. Fulk then resigned his titles to Geoffrey and sailed to become King of Jerusalem, where he married Melisende on June 2, 1129. Later Baldwin II bolstered Melisende's position in the kingdom by making her sole guardian of her son by Fulk, Baldwin III, born in 1130.

Fulk and Melisende became joint rulers of Jerusalem in 1131 with Baldwin II's death. From the start Fulk assumed sole control of the government, excluding Melisende altogether. He favored fellow countrymen from Anjou to the native nobility. The other crusader states to the north feared that Fulk would attempt to impose the suzerainty of Jerusalem over them, as Baldwin II had done; but as Fulk was far less powerful than his deceased father-in-law, the northern states rejected his authority.

The death of Fulk, as depicted in MS of William of Tyre'sHistoria andOld French Continuation, painted in Acre, 13C. Bib. Nat. Française.

In Jerusalem as well, Fulk was resented by the second generation of Jerusalem Christians who had grown up there since the First Crusade. These "natives" focused on Melisende's cousin, the popular Hugh II of Le Puiset, count of Jaffa, who was devotedly loyal to the Queen. Fulk saw Hugh as a rival, and in 1134, in order to expose Hugh, accused him of infidelity with Melisende. Hugh rebelled in protest and secured himself to Jaffa, allying himself with the Muslims of Ascalon. He was able to defeat the army set against him by Fulk, but this situation could not hold. The Patriarch interceded in the conflict, perhaps at the behest of Melisende. Fulk agreed to peace and Hugh was exiled from the kingdom for three years, a lenient sentence.

However, an assassination attempt was made against Hugh. Fulk, or his supporters, were commonly believed responsible, though direct proof never surfaced. The scandal was all that was needed for the queen's party to take over the government in what amounted to a palace coup. Author and historian Bernard Hamilton wrote that the Fulk's supporters "went in terror of their lives" in the palace. Contemporary author and historian William of Tyre wrote of Fulk "he never attempted to take the initiative, even in trivial matters, without (Melisende's) consent". The result was that Melisende held direct and unquestioned control over the government from 1136 onwards. Sometime before 1136 Fulk reconciled with his wife, and a second son, Amalric was born.

In 1143, while the king and queen were on holiday in Acre, Fulk was killed in a hunting accident. His horse stumbled, fell, and Fulk's skull was crushed by the saddle, "and his brains gushed forth from both ears and nostrils", as William of Tyre describes. He was carried back to Acre, where he lay unconscious for three days before he died. He was buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Though their marriage started in conflict, Melisende mourned for him privately as well as publicly. Fulk was survived by his son Geoffrey of Anjou by his first wife, and Baldwin III and Amalric I by Melisende.

Baldwin III ascended the throne with his mother as co-ruler, in 1143. His early reign was laced with squabbles with his mother over the possession of Jerusalem, till 1153, when he took personal hold of the government. He died in 1163, without heirs, and the kingdom passed to his brother, Amalric I, although there was some opposition among the nobility to Amalric's wife Agnes; they were willing to accept the marriage in 1157 when Baldwin III was still capable of siring an heir, but now the Haute Cour refused to endorse Amalric as king unless his marriage to Agnes was annulled. The hostility to Agnes, it must be admitted, may be exaggerated by the chronicler William of Tyre, whom she prevented from becoming Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem decades later, as well as from William's continuators like Ernoul, who hints at a slight on her moral character: "car telle n'est que roine doie iestre di si haute cite comme de Jherusalem" ("there should not be such a queen for so holy a city as Jerusalem").

Nevertheless, consanguinity was enough for the opposition. Amalric agreed and ascended the throne without a wife, although Agnes continued to hold the title Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon and received a pension from that fief's income. The church ruled that Amalric and Agnes' children were legitimate and preserved their place in the order of succession. Through her children Agnes would exert much influence in Jerusalem for almost 20 years. Almaric was succeeded by his son by Agnes, Baldwin IV.

The marriage of Amalric I of Jerusalem and Maria Comnena at Tyre

Almaric's wives, Agnes of Courtenay, now married to Reginald of Sidon, and Maria Comnena, the dowager Queen, who had married Balian of Ibelin in 1177. His daughter by Agnes, Sibylla, was already of age, the mother of a son, and was clearly in a strong position to succeed her brother, but Maria's daughter Isabella had the support of her stepfather's family, the Ibelins.

In 1179, Baldwin began planning to marry Sibylla to Hugh III of Burgundy, but by spring 1180 this was still unresolved. Raymond III of Tripoli attempted a coup, and began to march on Jerusalem with Bohemund III, to force the king to marry his sister to a local candidate of his own choosing, probably Baldwin of Ibelin, Balian's older brother. To counter this, the king hastily arranged her marriage to Guy of Lusignan, younger brother of Amalric, the constable of the kingdom. A foreign match was essential to bring the possibility of external military aid to the kingdom. With the new French king Philip II a minor, Guy's status as a vassal of the King and Sibylla's first cousin Henry II of England - who owed the Pope a penitential pilgrimage - was useful.

William of Tyre discovers Baldwin's first symptoms of leprosy (MS ofL'Estoire d'Eracles (French translation of William of Tyre's Historia), painted in France, 1250s.British Library, London.)

By 1182, Baldwin IV, increasingly incapacitated by his leprosy, named Guy as bailli. Raymond contested this, but when Guy fell out of favour with Baldwin the following year, he was re-appointed bailli and was given possession of Beirut. Baldwin came to an agreement with Raymond and the Haute Cour to make Baldwin of Montferrat, Sibylla's son by her first marriage, his heir, before Sibylla and Guy. The child was crowned co-king as Baldwin V in 1183 in a ceremony presided by Raymond. It was agreed that, should the boy die during his minority, the regency would pass to "the most rightful heirs" until his kinsmen - the Kings of England and France and Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor - and the Pope were able to adjudicate between the claims of Sibylla and Isabella. These "most rightful heirs" were not named.

Baldwin IV died in spring 1185, and was succeeded by his nephew. Raymond was bailli, but he had passed Baldwin V's personal guardianship to Joscelin III of Edessa, his maternal great-uncle, claiming that he did not wish to attract suspicion if the child, who does not seem to have been robust, were to die. Baldwin V died during the summer of 1186, at Acre. Neither side paid any heed to Baldwin IV's will.

After the funeral, Joscelin had Sibylla named as her brother's successor, although she had to agree to divorce Guy, just as her father had divorced her mother, with the guarantee that she would be allowed to choose a new consort. Once crowned, she immediately crowned Guy. Meanwhile, Raymond had gone to Nablus, home of Balian and Maria, and summoned all those nobles loyal to Princess Isabella and the Ibelins. Raymond wanted instead to have her and her husband Humphrey IV of Toron crowned. However, Humphrey, whose stepfather Raynald of Châtillon was an ally of Guy, deserted him and swore allegiance to Guy and Sibylla.


Monarch Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Fulk
1131–1143
with Melisende
Melisende and Fulk of Jerusalem.jpg 1089/1092
Angers, France
son of Fulk IV, Count of Anjou and Bertrade de Montfort
Ermengarde of Maine
1109
4 children

Melisende of Jerusalem
2 June 1129
2 sons
13 November 1143
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged about 52
Baldwin III
1143–1163
with Melisende until 1153
Balduin3 big.jpg 1130
son of King Fulk and Queen Melisende
Theodora Komnene
1158
no children
10 February 1163
Beirut, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 33
Amalric I
1163–1174
Maria Comnena and Amalric I of Jerusalem.jpg 1136
son of King Fulk and Queen Melisende
Agnes of Courtenay
1157
3 children

Maria Komnene
29 August 1167
2 children
11 July 1174
Jerusalem
aged 38
Baldwin IV the Leprous
1174–1185
with Baldwin V from 1183
Balduin4.jpg 1161
Jerusalem
son of King Amalric and Agnes of Courtenay
never married 16 March 1185
Jerusalem
aged 24
Baldwin V
1183–1186
with Baldwin IV until 1185
BaldwinIVdeath-BaldwinVcrowned.jpg 1177
son of William of Montferrat and Sibylla of Jerusalem
never married August 1186
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 9
Sibylla
1186–1190
with Guy
Lettrine-Sibylle guy.jpg c. 1157
daughter of King Amalric and Agnes of Courtenay
William of Montferrat, Count of Jaffa and Ascalon
1176
one son

Guy of Lusignan
April 1180
2 daughters
25 July (probable), 1190
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged about 40
Guy of Lusignan
1186–1190/1192
with Sibylla until 1190
Jan Lievens- King Guy of Lusignan and King Saladin.tif c. 1150 or 1159/1160
son of Hugh VIII of Lusignan and Bourgogne de Rançon
Sibylla of Jerusalem
April 1180
2 daughters
18 July 1194
Nicosia, Cyprus
aged about 45
Isabella I
1190/1192-1205
with Conrad until 1192
with Henry I 1192–1197
with Amalric II from 1198
IsabelaKOnrad.jpg 1172
Nablus, Kingdom of Jerusalem
daughter of King Amalric I and Maria Komnene
Humphrey IV of Toron
November 1183
no children

Conrad of Montferrat
24 November 1190
one daughter

Henry II, Count of Champagne
6 May 1192
2 daughters

Amalric of Lusignan
January 1198
3 children
5 April 1205
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 33
Conrad of Montferrat
1190/1192–1192
with Isabella I
mid-1140s
Montferrat, Holy Roman Empire
son of William V, Marquess of Montferrat and Judith of Babenberg
unidentified woman
before 1179
no children

Theodora Angelina
1186/1187
no children

Isabella I of Jerusalem
24 November 1190
one daughter
28 April 1192 (murdered)
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged mid-40s
Henry I of Champagne
1192–1197
with Isabella I
Henry II of Champagne.jpg 29 July 1166
Champagne
son of Henry I, Count of Champagne and Marie of France
Isabella I of Jerusalem
6 May 1192
2 daughters
10 September 1197
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 31
Amalric II of Lusignan
1198–1205
with Isabella I
- 1145
son of Hugh VIII of Lusignan and Bourgogne de Rançon
Éschive d'Ibelin
before 29 October 1174
6 children

Isabella I of Jerusalem
January 1198
3 children
1 April 1205
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 60

Houses of Aleramici and Brienne (1205-1228)[edit]

Monarch Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Maria
1205–1212
with John I from 1210
JanBrienne.jpg 1192
daughter of Conrad of Montferrat and Queen Isabella
John of Brienne
14 September 1210
one daughter
1212
aged 20
John I
1210–1212
with Maria
c. 1170
son of Erard II of Brienne and Agnes de Montfaucon
Maria of Jerusalem
14 September 1210
one daughter

Stephanie of Armenia
one son

Berengaria of León
1224
4 children
27 March 1237
aged about 67
Isabella II
also called Yolande
1212–1228
DeathofYolande-Isabella.jpg 1212
daughter of John of Brienne and Queen Maria
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
August 1225
2 children
25 April 1228
Andria, Holy Roman Empire
aged 16

House of Hohenstaufen (1228-1268)[edit]

Monarch Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Conrad II
1228–1254
Conrad IV of Germany.jpg 25 April 1228
Andria, Holy Roman Empire
son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and Queen Isabella II
Elisabeth of Bavaria
1 September 1246
one son
21 May 1254
Lavello, Holy Roman Empire
aged 26
Conrad III
1254–1268
Konradin.jpg 25 March 1252
Wolfstein Castle, Landshut, Bavaria
son of King Conrad II and Elisabeth of Bavaria
never married 29 October 1268
Castel dell'Ovo, Naples
aged 16

House of Lusignan (1268-1291)[edit]

Monarch Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Hugh
1268–1284
- 1235
son of Henry of Antioch and Isabella of Cyprus,a granddaughter of Queen Isabella I
Isabella of Ibelin
after 25 January 1255
11 children
24 March 1284
Nicosia, Cyprus
aged 49
John II
1284–1285
- 1259/1267
son of King Hugh and Isabella of Ibelin
never married 20 May 1285
Nicosia, Cyprus
aged 17 or 26
Henry II
1285–1324
in title only after 1291
- 1271
son of King Hugh and Isabella of Ibelin
Constanza of Sicily
16 October 1317
no children
31 August 1324
Strovolos, Cyprus
aged 53

Regents[edit]

The frequent absence or minority of monarchs required regents to be appointed many times throughout the Kingdom's existence.

Regent Regent for Relation to the monarch Became regent Regency ended
Eustace Grenier, Constable of the Kingdom Baldwin II - 1123
King held captive by the Ortoqids
1123
death
William I of Bures, Prince of Galilee - 1123
King held captive by the Ortoqids
1124
return of the King from captivity
Queen Melisende Baldwin III mother 1154
as the King's advisor
1161
death
Raymond III, Count of Tripoli Baldwin IV cousin 1174
minority of the King
1176
majority of the King
Guy of Lusignan brother-in-law 1182
appointed by the King in his illness
1184
deposed by the King
Raymond III, Count of Tripoli Baldwin V first cousin once removed 1185
minority of the King
1186
death of the King
John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut Maria half-uncle 1205
minority of the Queen
1210
majority of the Queen
King John I Isabella II father 1212
minority of the Queen
1225
the Queen's marriage
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II father 1228
minority of the King
1243
majority of the king
Alice of Champagne, Queen of Cyprus half-aunt 1243
absence of the king
1246
death
Henry I of Cyprus half-cousin 1246
absence of the King
1253
death
Plaisance of Antioch, dowager Queen of Cyprus half-cousin-in-law 1253
absence/minority of the King
1261
death
Conrad III half-cousin-in-law once removed
Isabella of Antioch half-cousin once removed 1261
minority of the King
1264
death
Hugh of Antioch half-second cousin 1264
minority of the King
1268
death of the King, ascension to the throne

Claimant kings of Jerusalem (1291 until today)[edit]

Origins of the claims[edit]

Over the years, many European rulers claimed to be the rightful heirs to one of these claims. None of these claimants, however, has actually ruled over any part of the kingdom:

  • Count Hugh of Brienne claimed the regency of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and indirectly, his place in the succession in 1264 as senior heir of Alice of Jerusalem, second daughter of Queen Isabella I, and Hugh I of Cyprus. Hugh, being the son of their eldest daughter, was passed over by the Haute Cour in favour of his cousin Hugh of Antioch, the future Hugh III of Cyprus and Hugh I of Jerusalem. The Brienne claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem continued, but the family had afterwards next to no part in affairs in Outremer.
  • After the end of the kingdom, Henry II of Cyprus continued to use the title of King of Jerusalem. After his death the title was claimed by his direct heirs, the kings of Cyprus.
  • The title was also continuously used by the Angevin kings of Naples, whose founder, Charles of Anjou, had bought a claim to the throne from Mary of Antioch. Thereafter, this claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem was treated as a tributary of the crown of Naples, which often changed hands by testament or conquest rather than direct inheritance. As Naples was a papal fief, the Popes often endorsed the title of King of Jerusalem as well as of Naples, and the history of these claims is that of the Neapolitan Kingdom.

Lines of succession in several claims[edit]

Italics indicate individuals who did not themselves use the title of king of Jerusalem.

Cypriot claimants[edit]

House of Lusignan

  • James I 1382–1398
  • Janus 1398–1432
  • John 1432–1458
  • Charlotte I 1458–1485 (d. 1487) m. 1459 her cousin Louis of Savoy (d. 1482). In 1460, Charlotte was dispossessed of Cyprus by her illegitimate half-brother James. However, she maintained her claims until 1485, when she resigned them to the next legitimate heir, her 1st cousin once removed Charles I of Savoy (son of her first cousin Amadeus IX of Savoy).

House of Savoy: Savoyard claimants, heirs of Charlotte

House of Lusignan: Lusignan claimants and kings of Cyprus descended in the male line:

  • James II 1460–1473 (illegitimate son of John III, usurped Cyprus from his half-sister Charlotte)
  • James III 1473–1474
  • Catherine 1474–1489 (wife and widow of James II)
  • Catherine surrendered her rights to the Republic of Venice in 1489.

On the death of Charles II of Savoy, the Duchy of Savoy passed to his grand uncle and heir-male Philip (brother of Amadeus IX of Savoy). Although Charles II's sister Yolande Louise of Savoy did not succeed in Savoy because of her gender, she was the heir general of his brother and as such might be regarded to have succeeded him in claims to Cyprus and Jerusalem.

The Dukes of Savoy continued to claim Jerusalem. However, to avoid conflicts with claims of the major European houses as the Habsburg and Bourbons, the Savoyard claim appears hidden in the list of titles with the elliptical "&c."[3]

The direct line of the Lusignan kings continued in Constantinople with Prince Christodule de Lusignan in the 18th century, and later in Russia. Prince Louis de Lusignan arrived in Russia in 1827 and was matriculated in the nobility of the Russian Empire by Czar Nicholas I and accorded the title "Royal Prince of Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia"[7]. His son Prince Michel de Lusignan defended his titles before the French civil tribunals in the 1880s. The current representative of this line is the reigning Prince Constantine de Lusignan.[9]

Issue of Philip II of Savoy
House of Savoy:

Issue of Amadeus IX of Savoy

Neapolitan claimants[edit]

Mary of Antioch claimed the throne of Jerusalem from 1269 to 1277. She was the daughter of Prince Bohemond IV of Antioch and his second wife Melisende of Cyprus. Melisende was the youngest daughter of Isabella, Queen of Jerusalem and her fourth husband, Amalric II of Jerusalem, king of Cyprus.

Since Mary was, at the time of the death of Conrad III (Conradin), the only living grandchild of queen Isabella, she claimed the throne on basis of proximity in blood to the kings of Jerusalem. Denied by the Haute Cour, she went to Rome and sold her rights, with papal blessing and confirmation, to Charles of Anjou in 1277.

Thereafter, this claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem was treated also as tributary to the crown of Naples, which often changed hands by testament or conquest rather than direct inheritance.

House of Anjou-Sicily

House of Anjou-Sicily: Senior Angevin claimants :

House of Valois-Anjou: Junior Angevin claimants :

House of Anjou-Hungary: Senior Angevin claimant :

House of Valois-Anjou

  • René I 1434–1480. René I united the claims of junior and senior lines. However, in 1441, control of the Kingdom of Naples was lost to Alfonso V of Aragon, who also claimed the kingdom of Jerusalem thereby.
While René was succeeded in Bar by his grandson René of Vaudemont, René's nephew and heir male Charles IV of Anjou claimed the kingdoms of Sicily and Jerusalem, and he then testamented them to his cousin Louis XI of France.

Aragonese claimants:

Angevin-Lorraine claimants : House of Valois-Anjou

House of Lorraine

House of Habsburg-Lorraine

French claimants: House of Valois-Anjou

  • Charles IV 1480–1481, heir male of René, Titular King of Jerusalem and Sicily

House of Valois

  • Louis 1481–1483, first cousin, by testament
  • Charles V 1483–1498 — In 1494 Charles VIII of France claimed the Kingdom of Naples and Jerusalem as the great-grandson of Louis II of Anjou and launched his conquest. In 1495, he had conquered Naples and was crowned as king.

House of Valois-Orléans

  • Louis V 1498–1515. He took up the claim, although he lacked close descent from the main Neapolitan lines (he was a descendant of the eldest daughter of Charles II of Naples). He succeeded in conquering part of Naples 1500–1504. No other French king has adopted the title. [1].

Spanish Bourbon claimant :

Habsburg claimant :

  • Charles VI 1702–1740, who claimed the Spanish possessions in opposition to Philip V; he renounced lost the Kingdom of Naples in 1734 to a Bourbon prince, the future Charles III of Spain, and renounced his claims, retaining his titles to Naples and Jerusalem during his lifetime.

Two Sicilies claimants :

Senior line :

Junior line :

Brienne claims[edit]

  • Hugh of Brienne and his heirs represent the senior heirs-general to the Kingdom, although they never pressed the claim after Hugh's rejection by the Haute Cour. In 1672, the succession of Brienne and of Cyprus to the crown of Jerusalem united.

Potential claimants today[edit]

There are several potential claimants today on the basis of (disputed) inheritance of the title. None of these has, or claims, any power in the area of the former Kingdom.

Other historic claims[edit]

  • Frederick of Meissen, Landgrave of Thuringia, briefly used the title after the death of Conradin in 1268, as grandson of Frederick II, who had crowned himself King of Jerusalem in his own right. This claim was never recognized in Outremer or elsewhere.
  • According to E.P. Karnovich (1886),[6] Prince Louis de Lusignan reached the rank of colonel in the Russian service, and was granted by Tsar Nicholas I the title Prince of Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia. He claimed to be descended from Christobul de Lusignan, who had served in the Greek army under the Byzantine empire and was descended from the Cypriot House of Lusignan who'd moved to Egypt, Constantinople and onwards to St. Petersburg. Tsar Nicholas I allowed Colonel Lusignan to be matriculated as a Russian noble, that is a person holding an office which ennobled him.[7] The colonel was probably known as Louis Christian de Lusignan.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guy. 2012. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 27 August 2012, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/249989/Guy
  2. ^ a b Whitworth Porter (2013). A History of the Knights of Malta. Cambridge Library Collection - European History. Cambridge University Press. p. 18. ISBN 9781108066228. Retrieved 20 May 2014. Refusing the title of King and the diadem which were offered him, upon the plea that he would never wear a crown of gold where his Saviour had worn a crown of thorns, he modestly contented him with the title of Defender and Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre. 
  3. ^ Scott, John Beldon (2003) Architecture for the shroud: relic and ritual in Turin, University of Chicago Press
  4. ^ Catalogue of additions to the manuscripts - British Museum. Dept. of Manuscripts - Google Libros. Books.google.es. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  5. ^ The ... history of the feats, gests, and prowesses of the chevalier Bayard ... - Jacques de Mailles - Google Libros. Books.google.es. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  6. ^ Evgenii Petrovich Karnovich (1823-1885) Rodovye prozvaniya I tituly v Rossii (Family Names and Titles in Russia) St Peterburg 1886
  7. ^ Cecil R. Humphery-Smith, Princes of Lusignan page 5 The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies 2004.
  8. ^ In the issue No. 180 of the Peterburgskiy Listok (Petersburg List) Newspaper July 3–15, 1884, a list of deceased in St Petersburg between 11 June and 18 June was found. There was a record for Louis Christian de Lusignan, colonel (retired). In the same newspaper issue No. 172 June 25-July 7, 1884, the following article was published: "The deceased who was buried thereby on Smolensk graveyard on 23 July, was a titled King of Cyprus and Jerusalem and Armenia, descendant of one of the protector of God's Casket, colonel of the Russian service, Louis de Lusignan."

9. Histoire des Princes de Lusignan, anciens rois de Jerusalem, de la Petite Armenie et de Chypre, St. Petersbourg, Soikine, Stemiannaya 12, 1903