Peter of Courtenay, Lord of Conches

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Peter of Courtenay, Lord of Conches
Pierre 1250a.jpg
Pierre of Courtenay, in a 13th century stained glass window in the Chartres Cathedral
Bornc. 1218
Died1249 or 1250
Egypt, probably Damietta or Al Mansourah
Noble familyCapetian House of Courtenay
Spouse(s)Pétronille of Joigny
Issue
FatherRobert of Courtenay
MotherMatilda of Mehun

Peter of Courtenay (French: Pierre de Courtenay (c. 1218 – 1249 or 1250 in Egypt) was a French knight and a member of the Capetian House of Courtenay, a cadet line of the royal House of Capet. From 1239 until his death, he was the ruling Lord of Conches-en-Ouche and Mehun-sur-Yèvre.

He was the eldest of five sons of Robert of Courtenay, Lord of Champignelles († 1239), and his wife Matilda of Mehun. From his parents he inherited the castle of Conches and Mehun. On 25 August 1248, he sailed with his cousin, King Louis IX of France, from Aigues-Mortes to Egypt to fight the Seventh Crusade, during which he died.

Most historians think he died during the battle for the city of Al Mansurah on 8 February 1250. On that day, Count Robert I of Artois led a vanguard of Crusaders in a spontaneous attack on the city. The vanguard was caught in a trap set by the defending Mamluks and all attackers were killed. However, the chronicler Jean de Joinville maintains Peter of Courtenay died on an earlier date. After the conquest of the Egytion port city of Damietta in June 1249, a large part of the crusader army camped outside the city wall, until they were ready to march to Al Mansurah in the autumn. The Sultan of Egypt offered a reward of one gold solidus for the head of each crusader. During the night, Saracens would sneak into the Crusader camp, kill sleeping Crusaders in their tents, and steal their severed heads. According to Joinville, Peter of Courtenay was the victim of one such attack.[1] However, Joinville may be mistaken. One should consider that he wrote his chronicle decades after the fact, and that Peter de Courtenay is mentioned twice later in the chronicle, in connection with the Battle of Al Mansurah.[2][3]

Marriage and issue[edit]

Peter was married to Pétronille (d.1289), a daughter of Gaucher of Joigny and Amicie de Montfort. They had one child:

  • Amicie (d. 1275 in Rome; buried in St. Peter's Basilica), Lady suo jure of Conches and Mehun, married in 1262 to Count Robert II of Artois (d. 1302).

Pétronille remarried in 1252 to Henry II de Sully (d. 1269).

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Jean de Joinville: Chronicle, part II, §7, ed. by Ethel Wedgwood, 1906
  2. ^ Jean de Joinville: Chronicle, , part II, §9-10, ed. by Ethel Wedgwood, 1906
  3. ^ It is possible that Joinville confused Peter with his cousin Guillaume de Courtenay, Lord of Yerre, who also participated in the Seventh Crusade, and survived (see Histoire généalogique de la maison de France, p. 517)
Peter of Courtenay, Lord of Conches
Born: c. 1218 Died: 1249 or 1250
Preceded by
Robert I
Lord of Conches-en-Ouche
1239-1250
Succeeded by
Robert II
jure uxoris
Lord of Mehun-sur-Yèvre
1239-1250