Hugh, Count of Brienne

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Hugh, Count of Brienne
SCeau huguonis 1270 Brienne 02994.jpg
Seal of Hugh of Brienne.
Bornc. 1240
Died(1296-08-09)9 August 1296
Noble familyHouse of Brienne
Spouse(s)Isabella de la Roche
Helena Angelina Komnene
FatherWalter IV of Brienne
MotherMarie de Lusignan

Hugh, Count of Brienne and Lecce (c. 1240 – 9 August 1296) was the second surviving son of Count Walter IV of Brienne and Marie de Lusignan of Cyprus.


His father, Count of Jaffa and Ascalon in Palestine, was murdered in 1244 in Cairo, and was succeeded by his elder son, John.

On the death of John (c. 1260), Hugh inherited the County of Brienne, in France, and the family's claims in southern Italy, including the Principality of Taranto and the County of Lecce, which had been confiscated in 1205.

He claimed the regency of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (and, indirectly, a place in the succession) in 1264 as senior heir of Alice of Jerusalem and Hugh I of Cyprus, being the son of their eldest daughter, but was passed over by the Haute Cour in favor of his cousin Hugh of Antioch, and thereafter took little part in the affairs of Outremer. His first cousin King Hugh II of Cyprus died in 1267, and despite Hugh's rights as the senior heir, Hugh of Antioch, was crowned as Hugh III of Cyprus. When his second cousin's son Conradin, King of Jerusalem, was killed in 1268, the succession again went to the junior cousin Hugh III.

Hugh decided to seek his fortune in Europe rather than Outremer, and took service under Charles I of Naples. Charles made him Captain-General of Brindisi, Otranto and Apulia and Lord of Conversano, and he was an enthusiastic partisan of the Angevin cause in Italy. For this service, his family's County of Lecce was restored to him. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Gulf of Naples in 1284 with Charles II of Naples and again at the Battle of the Counts in 1287, both times in sea battles against Roger of Lauria. On one of these occasions, he obtained his parole by leaving his only son Walter as a hostage. He was killed in Sicily, at the Battle of Gagliano, fighting Catalan Almogavars, and was succeeded by Walter.

In 1291, he married Helena Angelina Komnene, the widow of William de la Roche, Duke of Athens, and regent for her underage son Guy II de la Roche. He thus became bailli of the Duchy of Athens until Guy II's coming of age in 1296.[1]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Hugh's first wife was Isabella de la Roche, heiress of Thebes. They had a son, Walter V (d. 1311), who succeeded Hugh, and a daughter, Agnes, who married Count John of Joigny. Hugh and his second wife, Helena Angelina Komnene, had a daughter, Joanna, who married married Duke Nicholas I Sanudo of Naxos.

Genealogical table[edit]

Hugh's relationship to the rulers of Champagne, Jerusalem, and Cyprus[2]
Erard II of BrienneAgnes of MontbéliardConrad of MontferratIsabella I of JerusalemHenry II of Champagne
Elvira of LecceWalter III of BrienneJohn of BrienneMaria of JerusalemAlice of ChampagneHugh I of Cyprus
Walter IV of BrienneMaria of CyprusHenry I of CyprusIsabella of Cyprus
Isabella II of Jerusalem
John of BrienneHugh of BrienneHugh II of CyprusHugh III of Cyprus & Jerusalem
Conrad II of Jerusalem
Conrad III of Jerusalem


  1. ^ Longnon 1969, pp. 263–264.
  2. ^ Perry 2018, pp. xxii, xxvi.


  • Longnon, Jean (1969). "The Frankish States in Greece, 1204–1311". In Wolff, Robert Lee; Hazard, Harry W. (eds.). A History of the Crusades, Volume II: The Later Crusades, 1189–1311. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 234–275.
  • Perry, Guy (2018). The Briennes: The Rise and Fall of a Champenois Dynasty in the Age of the Crusades, c. 950–1356. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 1107196906.

Hugh, Count of Brienne
Born: c. 1240 Died: 9 August 1296
Preceded by Count of Brienne
c. 1260–1296
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Walter IV of Brienne
Count of Lecce
Title last held by
Philip Chinard
Count of Conversano