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Count of Boulogne

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Coat of arms of the county of Boulogne

Count of Boulogne was a historical title in the Kingdom of France. The city of Boulogne-sur-Mer became the centre of the county of Boulogne during the ninth century. Little is known of the early counts, but the first holder of the title is recorded in the 11th century.

Eustace II of Boulogne accompanied William I of England (the Conqueror) during the Norman Conquest in 1066 and fought on his side at the Battle of Hastings. His son, Eustace III, was a major participant in the First Crusade with his younger brothers, Geoffrey and Baldwin (who later became king of Jerusalem). After Baldwin's death the throne was offered to Eustace, who was reluctant and declined; the throne was then offered to Geoffrey. Afonso (also King of Portugal) 1235-1253 from Dammartin became Count of Boulogne.

Count Renaud of Boulogne obtained the title by abducting and marrying Countess Ida in 1190, and later gained title to Dammartin and Aumale. An early friend of King Philippe II Augustus, he turned against the king by joining the forces of the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214 (where he was defeated, captured, imprisoned and committed suicide).

Boulogne came under nominal royal control in 1223, when it passed to Philippe Hurepel ("spiked hair", the son of Philippe II). Hurepel participated in the Albigensian Crusade in 1226 and later revolted in 1229 against Blanche of Castile. He was slain by Count Dietrich V of Cleaves in 1234, according to sources, after accidentally killing Count Florent IV of Holland in a tournament. The county reverted to the crown and was passed to Adelaide of Brabant, wife of William III of Auvergne.

Boulogne was attacked and besieged a number of times during the Hundred Years' War, repeatedly passing between the English and French. In 1477 Bertrand VI of La Tour gave the county to Louis XI, who incorporated the county into France. Boulogne remained part of France, except for a brief period of English rule under Henry VIII.

William I of Blois (c. 1137 – 11 October 1159) was Count of Boulogne (1153–1159) and Earl of Surrey jure uxoris (1153–1159). He was the third son of King Stephen of England and Countess Matilda I of Boulogne.

List of counts[edit]


House of Flanders[edit]

Black lion with red claws, rampant on gold background
Coat of arms of Flanders after about 1200

House of Blois[edit]

Blue shield with silver and gold diagonal lines
Coat of arms of Blois after about 1200
  • 1125–1151: Stephen (husband; also Count of Mortain, Duke of Normandy and King of England)
  • 1151–1153: Eustace IV (son; also Count of Mortain)
  • 1153–1159: William I (brother; also Count of Mortain and Earl of Surrey)
  • 1159–1170: Mary I (sister; married Matthew of Alsace)

House of Alsace[edit]

Gold background, with three white eagles on red diagonal
House of Alsace coat of arms

House of Dammartin[edit]

Alternating gray-and-blue horizontal-bar shield on red background
Dammartin coat of arms
  • 1216–1259: Matilda II (also Queen of Portugal, Countess of Mortain, Countess of Aumale and Countess of Dammartin)
    • 1223–1235: Philip I (also Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis)
    • 1235–1253: Afonso (also King of Portugal)

House of Auvergne[edit]

Red-and-green finger-shaped crest on gold background
Auvergne coat of arms

House of Burgundy[edit]

Alternating gold-and-blue diagonal shield on red background
Burgundy coat of arms
  • 1360–1361: Philip III (son; also Duke of Burgundy, Count of Auvergne, Count of Artois and Count of Franche-Comté)

House of Auvergne[edit]

  • 1361–1386: John II (cousin; also Count of Auvergne)
  • 1386–1404: John III (son; also Count of Auvergne)
  • 1404–1424: Joanna II (daughter; also Countess of Auvergne); married:
    • 1404–1416: John IV (also Duke of Berry)
    • 1416–1424: Georges (also Count of Guînes)
  • 1424–1437: Mary II (cousin; also Countess of Auvergne)

House of La Tour d'Auvergne[edit]

quartered shield of La Tour and Toulouse, with inescutcheon of Auvergne
La Tour d'Auvergne coat of arms
  • 1437–1461: Bertrand I (son; also Count of Auvergne)
  • 1461–1477: Bertrand II (son; also Count of Auvergne)

In 1477, Bertrand II dealed with Louis XI, exchanging the county of Boulogne with the county of Lauragais. Boulogne, so became part of the royal domain[1][2][3].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Joseph Vaesen e Étienne Charavay, Lettere di Luigi XI , vol. 6, Parigi, Biblioteca Renouard,1898, P. 159-160".
  2. ^ Les droits seigneuriaux dans la sénéchaussée et comté de Lauragais (1553-1789) : étude juridique et historique.
  3. ^ "Histoire généalogique de la maison d'Auvergne, Livre troisième, page 91 et seq".