Eustace III, Count of Boulogne

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Eustace III, Count of Boulogne
Godefroy de Bouillon.jpg
Eustace (shown with white hair) with his brothers Godfrey and Baldwin meeting with Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus
Spouse(s) Mary of Scotland
Noble family House of Flanders
Father Eustace II of Boulogne
Mother Ida of Lorraine
Born before c.  1058
Died c.  1125

Eustace III (died c. 1125) was the count of Boulogne from 1087, succeeding his father Count Eustace II.[1] His mother was Ida of Lorraine.

In 1088, Eustace supported the rebellion against William II of England in favour of Robert Curthose.[2]

Eustace participated in the First Crusade of 1096 along with his brothers Godfrey of Bouillon (duke of Lower Lotharingia) and Baldwin of Boulogne. It is unclear whether he travelled eastward with his brother Godfrey's or Robert Curthose's army. Throughout the crusade Eustace assisted Godfrey.[3] Eustace was present at the Siege of Nicaea (May-June 1097), helped rescue Bohemund of Taranto's beleaguered troops at the Battle of Dorylaeum (July 1st, 1097), defeated an enemy ambush during the Siege of Antioch and was one of the commanders during the capture of Antioch on June 3rd, 1098.[4]

Eustace was a member of the council held at Ruj on January 4th, 1099, mediating in the conflict over the control of Antioch between Bohemund of Taranto and Raymond IV of Toulouse.[5][6] Early December 1098 Eustace joined Raymond's attack on Maarrat al-Nu'man and an attack on Nablus in July 1099. He gained notoriety for his actions during the Siege of Jerusalem fighting relentlessly from a siege tower along with his brother Godfrey and the warriors they commanded. They were among the first to breach Jerusalem's city walls and participated in the ensuing massacre. Finally Eustace commanded a division of the crusader army during the Battle of Ascalon.[7]

While his brothers stayed in the Holy Land, Eustace returned to administer his domains. To commemorate Eustace's crusading adventures the mint at Boulogne struck silver coins with a lion above the walls of Jerusalem stamped on the obverse.[8]

Eustace married Mary of Scotland, daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland, and Saint Margaret of Scotland. Eustace and Mary had one daughter:

When his youngest brother king Baldwin I of Jerusalem died in 1118, the elderly Eustace was offered the throne. Eustace was at first uninterested, but was convinced to accept it; he travelled all the way to Apulia before learning that a distant relative, Baldwin of Bourcq, had been crowned in the meantime. Eustace returned to Boulogne and died about 1125.

On his death the county of Boulogne was inherited by his daughter, Matilda, and her husband Stephen de Blois, count of Mortain, afterwards king of England, and at the death of Matilda in 1152 it was inherited by their son, Eustace IV of Boulogne, later their second son William and ultimately by their daughter Marie of Boulogne, since both sons died without children.

Eustace founded the Cluniac house of Rumilly and was patron of the Knights Templar.[9]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eljas Oksanen, Flanders and the Anglo-Norman World, 1066-1216, (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 13, 19.
  2. ^ Barlow, p. 77.
  3. ^ Heather J. Tanner, 'In his brother's shadow: the crusading career and reputation of Eustace III of Boulogne' in: Khalil I. Semaan ed., The Crusades: other experiences, alternate perspectives. Selected proceedings from the 32nd annual Cemers conference (Albany 2003), 85.
  4. ^ Heather J. Tanner, 'In his brother's shadow: the crusading career and reputation of Eustace III of Boulogne' in: Khalil I. Semaan ed., The Crusades: other experiences, alternate perspectives. Selected proceedings from the 32nd annual Cemers conference (Albany 2003), 85.
  5. ^ Heather J. Tanner, 'In his brother's shadow: the crusading career and reputation of Eustace III of Boulogne' in: Khalil I. Semaan ed., The Crusades: other experiences, alternate perspectives. Selected proceedings from the 32nd annual Cemers conference (Albany 2003), 85.
  6. ^ Christopher Tyerman ed., Chronicles of the First Crusade (London 2012), 260.
  7. ^ Heather J. Tanner, 'In his brother's shadow: the crusading career and reputation of Eustace III of Boulogne' in: Khalil I. Semaan ed., The Crusades: other experiences, alternate perspectives. Selected proceedings from the 32nd annual Cemers conference (Albany 2003), 86.
  8. ^ Heather J. Tanner, 'In his brother's shadow: the crusading career and reputation of Eustace III of Boulogne' in: Khalil I. Semaan ed., The Crusades: other experiences, alternate perspectives. Selected proceedings from the 32nd annual Cemers conference (Albany 2003), 86.
  9. ^ Heather J. Tanner, 'In his brother's shadow: the crusading career and reputation of Eustace III of Boulogne' in: Khalil I. Semaan ed., The Crusades: other experiences, alternate perspectives. Selected proceedings from the 32nd annual Cemers conference (Albany 2003), 87.

Sources[edit]

  • Barlow, Frank (1983). William Rufus. University of California Press. 
  • Howarth, David Armine. 1066: The Year of the Conquest, 1977
  • Oksanen, Eljas, Flanders and the Anglo-Norman World, 1066-1216, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Payne, Robert. Dream and the Tomb, 1984


Eustace III, Count of Boulogne
House of Boulogne
Born: before 1060 Died: c. 1125
Preceded by
Eustace II
Count of Boulogne Blason Courtenay.svg
1087–1125
Succeeded by
Matilda I