Theobald III, Count of Champagne

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Theobald III
Thibaut 1198.jpg
Seal of Theobald III
Spouse(s) Blanche of Navarre, Countess of Champagne
Father Henry I, Count of Champagne
Mother Marie of France, Countess of Champagne
Born (1179-05-13)13 May 1179
Died 24 May 1201(1201-05-24) (aged 22)

Theobald III (French: Thibaut) (13 May 1179 – 24 May 1201) was Count of Champagne from 1197 to his death. He was the younger son of Henry I, Count of Champagne and Marie, a daughter of Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He succeeded as Count of Champagne in 1197 upon the death of his older brother Henry II.

Charters were written by him and Philip II of France in September 1198 to dictate the rights of the Jews of the one vis-à-vis the other and to repay debts by Philip to the count of Champagne for the employment of his Jews. These laws were reinforced subsequently in charters that were signed between 1198 and 1231.

In 1198, Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Crusade. There was little enthusiasm for the crusade at first, but on November 28, 1199, various nobles of France gathered at Theobald's court for a tournament (in his Ecry-sur-Aisne's castle), including the preacher Fulk of Neuilly. There, they "took the cross", and elected Theobald their leader, but he died in 1201 and was replaced by Boniface I, Marquess of Montferrat.

Theobald married Blanche of Navarre[1] on July 1, 1199 at Chartres, and was succeeded by his posthumous son by her, Theobald IV.[2] Blanche and Theobald also had a daughter.[3] As her dower, Blanche received his seven castles – Épernay, Vertus, Sézanne, Chantemerle, Pont-sur-Seine, Nogent-sur-Seine and Méry-sur-Seine – and all the subsidiaries coming from these castles and castellaries at the Count's death. On May 24, 1201, she was to rule as regent for the following 21 years, during which the succession was contested by Theobald's nieces, Alice and Philippa.[4]

Theobald was buried beside his father at the Church of Saint Stephen, built at Troyes by the latter. On his tomb the inscriptions are:

“Intent upon making amends for the injuries of the Cross and the land of the Crucified
He paved a way with expenses, an army, a fleet.
Seeking the terrestrial city, he finds the one celestial;
While he is obtaining his goal far away, he finds it at home.”


  1. ^ Chronica Albrici Monachi Trium Fontium
  2. ^ Family of Blanche
  3. ^ Family of Theobald
  4. ^ Women in power
Theobald III, Count of Champagne
Born: 13 May 1179 Died: 24 May 1201
Preceded by
Henry II
Count of Champagne
Succeeded by
Theobald IV