World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Kings of Jerusalem

Article Id: WHEBN0026341262
Reproduction Date:

Title: Kings of Jerusalem  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: April 28, Amalric II of Jerusalem, Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, House of Habsburg, July 4, Lists of office-holders, 1143, 1187, 1228, 1118
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kings of Jerusalem

The King of Jerusalem[1] was the supreme ruler of the Crusader States, founded by Christian princes in 1099 when the First Crusade took the city; it disappeared with the departure of the last crusader of Tartus in August 1291, less than two centuries later. Its history can be divided into various periods: those where the title of King of Jerusalem was associated with Jerusalem itself (1099–1187 and 1229–1244), and those where the title represents the highest level of suzerainty in the Holy Land without the city itself as part of the realm.

After the Crusader States ceased to exist, the empty title of King of Jerusalem was claimed by numerous Western kings and princes.

Kings of Jerusalem (1099–1291)

The Kingdom of Jerusalem had its origins in the First Crusade, when Godfrey of Bouillon took the title Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri (Protector of the Holy Sepulcher) in 1099 and was crowned as ruler of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The following year, his brother Baldwin I was the first to use the title king and the first to be crowned king in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem itself.

The kingship of Jerusalem was partially elected and partially hereditary. During the height of the kingdom in the mid-12th century there was a royal family and a relatively clear line of succession. Nevertheless the king was elected, or at least recognized, by the Haute Cour. Here the king was considered a primus inter pares (first among equals), and in his absence his duties were performed by his seneschal.

The royal palace was located in the Citadel of the Tower of David. The Kingdom of Jerusalem introduced French feudal structures to the Levant. The king personally held several fiefs incorporated into the royal domain, that varied from king to king. He was also responsible for leading the kingdom into battle, although this duty could be passed to a constable.

While several contemporary European states were moving towards centralized monarchies, the king of Jerusalem was continually losing power to the strongest of his barons. This was partially due to the young age of many of the kings, and the frequency of regents from the ranks of the nobles.

After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187, the capital of the kingdom was moved to Acre, where it remained until 1291, although coronations took place in Tyre.

In this period the kingship was often simply a nominal position, held by a European ruler who never actually lived in Acre. When young Conrad III was king and living in Southern Germany, his father's second cousin, Hugh of Brienne, claimed the regency of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and, indirectly, his place in the succession. The claim was made in 1264 as senior descendant and rightful heir of Alice of Champagne, second daughter of Queen Isabella I, Hugh being the son of their eldest daughter. But was passed over by the Haute Cour in favour of his cousin, Hugh of Antioch, the future Hugh III of Cyprus and Hugh I of Jerusalem.

After Conrad III's execution by Charles I of Sicily in 1268, the kingship was held by the Lusignan family, who were simultaneously kings of Cyprus. However, Charles I of Sicily purchased the rights of one of the heirs of the kingdom in 1277.

In that year, he sent Roger of Sanseverino to the East as his bailiff. Roger captured Acre and obtained a forced homage from the barons. Roger was recalled in 1282 due to the Sicilian Vespers and left Odo Poilechien in his place to rule. His resources and authority was minimal, and he was ejected by Henry II of Cyprus when he arrived from Cyprus for his coronation as King of Jerusalem.

Acre was captured by the Mamluks in 1291, eliminating the crusader presence on the mainland.


Monarch Portrait House Birth Marriages Death
(Protector of the Holy Sepulchre)
Boulogne c. 1060
Boulogne-sur-Mer, France or Baisy, Brabant
son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine
never married 18 July 1100
aged about 40
Baldwin I
Boulogne c. 1058
Lorraine, France
son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine
Godehilde de Toeni
no children

Arda of Armenia
no children

Adelaide del Vasto
no children
2 April 1118
Al-Arish, Egypt
aged about 60
Baldwin II
Boulogne  ??
son of Hugh I, Count of Rethel and Melisende of Montlhéry
Morphia of Melitene
four daughters
21 August 1131
with Fulk until 1143
with Baldwin III from 1143
Boulogne 1105
daughter of King Baldwin II and Morphia of Melitene
Fulk V, Count of Anjou
2 June 1129
2 sons
11 September 1161
aged 56
with Melisende
Anjou 1089/1092
Angers, France
son of Fulk IV, Count of Anjou and Bertrade de Montfort
Ermengarde of Maine
4 children

Melisende of Jerusalem
2 June 1129
2 sons
13 November 1143
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged about 52
Baldwin III
with Melisende until 1153
Anjou 1130
son of King Fulk and Queen Melisende
Theodora Komnene
no children
10 February 1162
Beirut, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 32
Amalric I
Anjou 1136
son of King Fulk and Queen Melisende
Agnes of Courtenay
3 children

Maria Komnene
29 August 1167
2 children
11 July 1174
aged 38
Baldwin IV the Leprous
with Baldwin V from 1183
Anjou 1161
son of King Amalric and Agnes of Courtenay
never married 16 March 1185
aged 24
Baldwin V
with Baldwin IV until 1185
Aleramici 1177
son of William of Montferrat and Sibylla of Jerusalem
never married August 1186
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 9
with Guy
Anjou c. 1157
daughter of King Amalric and Agnes of Courtenay
William of Montferrat, Count of Jaffa and Ascalon
one son

Guy of Lusignan
April 1180
2 daughters
25 July (probable), 1190
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged about 40
with Sibylla until 1190
Lusignan c. 1150 or 1159/1160
son of Hugh VIII of Lusignan and Bourgogne de Rançon
Sibylla of Jerusalem
April 1180
2 daughters
18 July 1194
Nicosia, Cyprus
aged about 45
Isabella I
with Conrad until 1192
with Henry I 1192–1197
with Amalric II from 1198
Anjou 1172
Nablus, Kingdom of Jerusalem
daughter of King Amalric I and Maria Komnene
Humphrey IV of Toron
November 1183
no children

Conrad of Montferrat
24 November 1190
one daughter

Henry II, Count of Champagne
6 May 1192
2 daughters

Amalric of Lusignan
January 1198
3 children
5 April 1205
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 33
Conrad I
with Isabella I
Aleramici mid-1140s
Montferrat, Holy Roman Empire
son of William V, Marquess of Montferrat and Judith of Babenberg
unidentified woman
before 1179
no children

Theodora Angelina
no children

Isabella I of Jerusalem
24 November 1190
one daughter
28 April 1192 (murdered)
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged mid-40s
Henry I
with Isabella I
Champagne 29 July 1166
son of Henry I, Count of Champagne and Marie of France
Isabella I of Jerusalem
6 May 1192
2 daughters
10 September 1197
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 31
Amalric II
with Isabella I
- Lusignan 1145
son of Hugh VIII of Lusignan and Bourgogne de Rançon
Éschive d'Ibelin
before 29 October 1174
6 children

Isabella I of Jerusalem
January 1198
3 children
1 April 1205
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
aged 60
with John I from 1210
Aleramici 1192
daughter of Conrad of Montferrat and Queen Isabella
John of Brienne
14 September 1210
one daughter
aged 20
John I
with Maria
Brienne c. 1170
son of Erard II of Brienne and Agnes de Montfaucon
Maria of Jerusalem
14 September 1210
one daughter

Stephanie of Armenia
one son

Berengaria of León
4 children
27 March 1237
aged about 67
Isabella II
also called Yolande
Brienne 1212
daughter of John of Brienne and Queen Maria
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
August 1225
2 children
25 April 1228
Andria, Holy Roman Empire
aged 16
Conrad II
Hohenstaufen 25 April 1228
Andria, Holy Roman Empire
son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and Queen Isabella II
Elisabeth of Bavaria
1 September 1246
one son
21 May 1254
Lavello, Holy Roman Empire
aged 26
Conrad III
Hohenstaufen 25 March 1252
Wolfstein Castle, Landshut, Bavaria
son of King Conrad II and Elisabeth of Bavaria
never married 29 October 1268
Castel dell'Ovo, Naples
aged 16
- Poitiers-Lusignan 1235
son of Henry of Antioch and Isabella of Cyprus
Isabella of Ibelin
after 25 January 1255
11 children
24 March 1284
Nicosia, Cyprus
aged 49
John II
- Poitiers-Lusignan 1259/1267
son of King Hugh and Isabella of Ibelin
never married 20 May 1285
Nicosia, Cyprus
aged 17 or 26
Henry II
in title only after 1291
- Poitiers-Lusignan 1271
son of King Hugh and Isabella of Ibelin
Constanza of Sicily
16 October 1317
no children
31 August 1324
Strovolos, Cyprus
aged 53


The frequent absence or minority of monarchs required regents to be appointed many times throughout the Kingdom's existence.

Regent Regent for Relation to the monarch Became regent Regency ended
Eustace Grenier, Constable of the Kingdom Baldwin II - 1123
King held captive by the Ortoqids
William I of Bures, Prince of Galilee - 1123
King held captive by the Ortoqids
return of the King from captivity
Queen Melisende Baldwin III mother 1154
as the King's advisor
Raymond III, Count of Tripoli Baldwin IV cousin 1174
minority of the King
majority of the King
Guy of Lusignan brother-in-law 1182
appointed by the King in his illness
deposed by the King
Raymond III, Count of Tripoli Baldwin V first cousin once removed 1185
minority of the King
death of the King
John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut Maria half-uncle 1205
minority of the Queen
majority of the Queen
King John I Isabella II father 1212
minority of the Queen
the Queen's marriage
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II father 1228
minority of the King
majority of the king
Alice of Champagne, Queen of Cyprus half-aunt 1243
absence of the king
Henry I of Cyprus half-cousin 1246
absence of the King
Plaisance of Antioch, dowager Queen of Cyprus half-cousin-in-law 1253
absence/minority of the King
Conrad III half-cousin-in-law once removed
Isabella of Antioch half-cousin once removed 1261
minority of the King
Hugh of Antioch half-second cousin 1264
minority of the King
death of the King, ascension to the throne

Claimant kings of Jerusalem (1291 until today)

Origins of the claims

Over the years, many European rulers claimed to be the rightful heirs to one of these claims. None of these claimants, however, has actually ruled over any part of the kingdom:

  • Count Hugh of Brienne claimed the regency of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and indirectly, his place in the succession in 1264 as senior heir of Alice of Jerusalem, second daughter of Queen Isabella I, and Hugh I of Cyprus. Hugh, being the son of their eldest daughter, was passed over by the Haute Cour in favour of his cousin Hugh of Antioch, the future Hugh III of Cyprus and Hugh I of Jerusalem. The Brienne claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem continued, but the family had afterwards next to no part in affairs in Outremer.
  • After the end of the kingdom, Henry II of Cyprus continued to use the title of King of Jerusalem. After his death the title was claimed by his direct heirs, the kings of Cyprus.
  • The title was also continuously used by the Angevin kings of Naples, whose founder, Charles of Anjou, had bought a claim to the throne from Mary of Antioch. Thereafter, this claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem was treated as a tributary of the crown of Naples, which often changed hands by testament or conquest rather than direct inheritance. As Naples was a papal fief, the Popes often endorsed the title of King of Jerusalem as well as of Naples, and the history of these claims is that of the Neapolitan Kingdom.

Lines of succession in several claims

Italics indicate individuals who did not themselves use the title of king of Jerusalem.

Cypriot claimants

House of Lusignan

  • Henry II (1285) 1291–1324
  • Hugh 1324–1359
  • Peter I 1359–1369
  • Peter II 1369–1382
  • James I 1382–1398
  • Janus 1398–1432
  • John 1432–1458
  • Charlotte I 1458–1485 (d. 1487) m. 1459 her cousin Louis of Savoy (d. 1482). In 1460, Charlotte was dispossessed of Cyprus by her illegitimate half-brother James. However, she maintained her claims until 1485, when she resigned them to the next legitimate heir, her 1st cousin once removed Charles I of Savoy (son of her first cousin Amadeus IX of Savoy).

House of Savoy: Savoyard legitimate claimants

House of Lusignan: Lusignan illegitimate claimants and effective kings of Cyprus:

  • James II 1460–1473 (illegitimate, usurped Cyprus from his half-sister Charlotte)
  • James III 1473–1474
  • Catherine 1474–1489 (wife and widow of James II)
  • Catherine surrendered her rights to the Republic of Venice in 1489.

On the death of Charles II of Savoy, the Duchy of Savoy passed to his grand uncle and heir-male Philip (brother of Amadeus IX of Savoy). Although Charles II's sister Yolande Louise of Savoy did not succeed in Savoy because of her gender, she was the heir general of his brother and as such might be regarded to have succeeded him in claims to Cyprus and Jerusalem.

The Dukes of Savoy continued to claim Jerusalem. However, to avoid conflicts with claims of the major European houses as the Habsburg and Bourbons, the Savoyard claim appears hidden in the list of titles with the elliptical "&c."[2]

Issue of Philip II of Savoy
House of Savoy:

Issue of Amadeus IX of Savoy

  • Yolande Louise of Savoy 1496–1499. Married her 1st cousin once removed Philibert II of Savoy (nephew of Amadeus IX of Savoy). Without issue. Although her husband continued to use the royal titles of Cyprus and Jerusalem, her heir however was her first cousin Charlotte, who was the only surviving child of the marriage of her aunt Anna of Savoy (1455–1480) with the then Federigo di Aragona, Prince of Naples
  • Charlotte of Naples (died 1506)
  • Anne de Laval (died 1554)
  • Louis III de La Trémoille (died 1577). His issue succeeded to the Cypriot claims to the title of King of Jerusalem when his father died. As descendants of Frederick IV of Naples, they also claimed Naples (and Jerusalem)[3][4] and they also succeeded to the Brienne claims to Kingdom of Jerusalem of his distant cousin John Casimir of Poland at the latter's death 1672, uniting the successions of Brienne and of Cyprus to the de jure crown of Jerusalem.[5]

Neapolitan claimants

Mary of Antioch claimed the throne of Jerusalem from 1269 to 1277. She was the daughter of Prince Bohemond IV of Antioch and his second wife Melisende of Cyprus. Melisende was the youngest daughter of Isabella, Queen of Jerusalem and her fourth husband, Amalric II of Jerusalem, king of Cyprus.

Since Mary was, at the time of the death of Conrad III (Conradin), the only living grandchild of queen Isabella, she claimed the throne on basis of proximity in blood to the kings of Jerusalem. Denied by the Haute Cour, she went to Rome and sold her rights, with papal blessing and confirmation, to Charles of Anjou in 1277.

Thereafter, this claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem was treated also as tributary to the crown of Naples, which often changed hands by testament or conquest rather than direct inheritance.

House of Anjou-Sicily

  • Charles I of Sicily 1277–1285; acquired title with approval of the Pope in 1277
  • Charles II of Naples 1285–1309
  • Robert of Naples 1309–1343, third but eldest surviving son, who succeeded in Naples superseding the rights of his eldest brother's heirs
  • Joan I of Naples 1343–1382. Joan left her kingdom by testament to Louis I of Anjou, whom she had previously adopted as heir, but she was ousted and soon murdered by Charles of Durazzo, the heir male of her house.

House of Anjou-Sicily: Senior Angevin claimants :

House of Valois-Anjou: Junior Angevin claimants :

House of Anjou-Hungary: Senior Angevin claimant :

House of Valois-Anjou

  • René I 1434–1480. René I united the claims of junior and senior lines. However, in 1441, control of the Kingdom of Naples was lost to Alfonso V of Aragon, who also claimed the kingdom of Jerusalem thereby.
While René was succeeded in Bar by his grandson René of Vaudemont, René's nephew and heir male Charles IV of Anjou claimed the kingdoms of Sicily and Jerusalem, and he then testamented them to his cousin Louis XI of France.

Aragonese claimants:

Angevin-Lorraine claimants : House of Valois-Anjou

House of Lorraine

House of Habsburg-Lorraine

French claimants: House of Valois-Anjou

  • Charles IV 1480–1481, heir male of René, Titular King of Jerusalem and Sicily

House of Valois

  • Louis 1481–1483, first cousin, by testament
  • Charles V 1483–1498 — In 1494 Charles VIII of France claimed the Kingdom of Naples and Jerusalem as the great-grandson of Louis II of Anjou and launched his conquest. In 1495, he had conquered Naples and was crowned as king.

House of Valois-Orléans

  • [1].

Spanish Bourbon claimant :

Habsburg claimant :

  • Charles VI 1702–1740, who claimed the Spanish possessions in opposition to Philip V; he renounced lost the Kingdom of Naples in 1734 to a Bourbon prince, the future Charles III of Spain, and renounced his claims, retaining his titles to Naples and Jerusalem during his lifetime.

Two Sicilies claimants :

Senior line :

Junior line :

Brienne claims

  • Hugh of Brienne and his heirs represent the senior heirs-general to the Kingdom, although they never pressed the claim after Hugh's rejection by the Haute Cour. In 1672, the succession of Brienne and of Cyprus to the crown of Jerusalem united.

Potential claimants today

There are several potential claimants today on the basis of (disputed) inheritance of the title. None of these has, or claims, any power in the area of the former Kingdom.

Other historic claims

  • Frederick of Meissen, Landgrave of Thuringia, briefly used the title after the death of Conradin in 1268, as grandson of Frederick II, who had crowned himself King of Jerusalem in his own right. This claim was never recognized in Outremer or elsewhere.
  • According to E.P. Karnovich (1886),[6] there was a colonel named Prince de Lusignan in the Russian service, allowed to be called the titular King of Cyprus and Jerusalem by Tsar Nicholas I. He claimed to be descended from Christobul de Lusignan, who had served in the Greek army under the Byzantine empire and was allegedly descended from a member of the Cypriot House of Lusignan who'd moved to Egypt and on to St Petersburg in Russia. Tsar Nicholas I allowed Colonel Lusignan to be matriculated as a Russian noble, that is a person holding an office which ennobled him.[7] The colonel was probably known as Louis Christian de Lusignan.[8]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.