Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem

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French: Baudouin, Dutch: Boudewijn, Latin: Balduinus, Spanish: Balduino
Also Known As: "formerly Baldwin II of Edessa", "also called Baldwin of Bourcq", "born Baldwin of Rethel", "King Baudouin II of /Jerusalem/", "Baldwin /De Rethel/", "King Of Jerusalem", "Graf von Edessa und als Balduin II. von 1118 bis zu seinem Tod König von Jerusalem."
Birthplace: Bourg Rethel, Bourg Fidèle, Ardennes, Grand Est, France
Death: August 21, 1131 (70-71)
Jerusalem, Israel
Place of Burial: Jerusalem, Israel
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugh I, count of Rethel and Mélisende de Montlhéry
Husband of Malfia of Meliteme, queen of Jerusalem
Father of Mélisende d'Édesse, Reine de Jerusalem; Alix de Rethel, Regent of Antioch; Hodierne of Jerusalem, countess of Tripoli and Ioveta de Rethel
Brother of Manassès de Rethel; Gervais, count of Rethel; Mathilde, Countess de Rethel; Hodierne Hierges-Hauteville and Cécile de Réthel
Half brother of Anseau I, seigneur de Traînel and Garnier du Trainel, Seigneur

Occupation: Prince d'Edesse, Roi de Jérusalem (1118-1131), Comte d'Edessa
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem


Baldwin II, also known as Baldwin of Bourcq or Bourg (French: Baudouin; died 21 August 1131), was Count of Edessa from 1100 to 1118, and King of Jerusalem from 1118 until his death. He accompanied his cousins, Godfrey of Bouillon, and Baldwin of Boulogne, to the Holy Land during the First Crusade. He succeeded Baldwin of Boulogne as the second count of Edessa when his cousin left the county for Jerusalem. He was captured at the Battle of Harran in 1104. He was held first by Sökmen of Mardin, then by Jikirmish of Mosul, and finally by Jawali Saqawa. During his captivity, Tancred, the Crusader ruler of the Principality of Antioch, and Tancred's cousin, Richard of Salerno, governed Edessa as Baldwin's regents.

Baldwin was ransomed by his cousin, Joscelin of Courtenay, Lord of Turbessel, in the summer of 1108. Tancred attempted to retain Edessa, but Bernard of Valence, the Latin Patriarch of Antioch, persuaded him to restore the county to Baldwin. Baldwin allied with Jawali, but Tancred and his ally, Radwan of Aleppo, defeated them at Turbessel. Baldwin and Tancred were reconciled at an assembly of the crusader leaders near Tripoli in April 1109. Mawdud, the Atabeg of Mosul, and his successor, Aqsunqur al-Bursuqi, launched a series of campaigns against Edessa in the early 1110s, devastating the eastern regions of the country. Baldwin accused Joscelin of treason for seizing the prosperous town of Turbessel from him in 1113 and captured the neighboring Armenian lordships in 1116 and 1117.

Baldwin of Boulogne, the first king of Jerusalem, died on 2 April 1118. He bequeathed Jerusalem to his brother, Eustace III of Boulogne, stipulating that the throne was to be offered to Baldwin if Eustace failed to come to the Holy Land. Arnulf of Chocques, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Joscelin of Courtenay, who held the largest fief in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, convinced their peers to elect Baldwin king. Baldwin took possession of most towns in the kingdom and gave Edessa to Joscelin. After the army of the Principality of Antioch was almost annihilated on 28 June 1119, Baldwin was elected regent for the absent Bohemond II of Antioch. The frequent Seljuq invasions of Antioch forced him to spend most of his time in the principality, which caused discontent in Jerusalem. After Nur al-Daulak Balak captured him in April 1123, a group of noblemen offered the throne to Charles I, Count of Flanders, but Charles refused. During his absence, the Jerusalemite troops captured Tyre with the assistance of a Venetian fleet. After he was released in August 1124, he tried to capture Aleppo, but al-Bursuqi forced him to abandon the siege in early 1125.

Bohemond II came to Syria in October 1126. Baldwin gave his second daughter, Alice, in marriage to him and also renounced the regency. Baldwin planned to conquer Damascus, but he needed external support to achieve his goal. He married off his eldest daughter, Melisende, to the wealthy Fulk V, Count of Anjou in 1129. The new troops who accompanied Fulk to Jerusalem enabled Baldwin to invade Damascene territory, but he could seize only Banias with the support of the Nizari (or Assassins) in late 1129. After Bohemond II was killed in a battle in early 1130, Baldwin forced Alice to leave Antioch and assumed the regency for her daughter, Constance. He fell seriously ill in Antioch and took monastic vows before he died in the Holy Sepulchre. Baldwin had been respected for his military talent, but he was notorious for his "love for money".

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BAUDOUIN de Rethel, son of HUGUES [I] Comte de Rethel & his wife Mélisende de Montlhéry ([1075/80]-Jerusalem 21 Aug 1131, bur Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre). William of Tyre names "Balduinus cognominatus de Burgo, domini Hugonis comitis de Retest filius" and records him as "consanguineus" of Godefroi Duke of Lower Lotharingia and his brothers Baudouin and Eustache[67]. In a later passage, William of Tyre names his mother and records that he was "primogenitus"[68], although the inheritance by his brothers of the paternal county seems to indicate that this is incorrect, unless he was passed over by family agreement either because of his absence in Palestine or his already superior position as Count of Edessa. His birth date range is estimated assuming that he was an adolescent or young adult when he joined the First Crusade. He was known as "BAUDOUIN du Bourg". Albert of Aix records that "Godefridus dux regni Lotharingiæ…fraterque eius uterinus Baldewinus, Warnerus de Greis cognatus ipsius Ducis, Baldewinus pariter de Burch, Reinhardus comes de Tul, Petrus…frater ipsius, Dodo de Cons, Henricus de Ascha ac frater illius Godefridus" left for Jerusalem in Aug 1096[69]. Albert of Aix records that "Cononem comitem de Monte Acuto, Baldwinum de Burch, Godefridum de Ascha" were sent by Godefroi de Bouillon for the first meeting with the emperor after the arrival of the crusading army in Constantinople, dated to end 1096[70]. He joined the crusading contingent of Godefroi IV Duke of Lower Lotharingia in Cilicia. After completing his pilgrimage, he returned to Edessa to rejoin Baudouin I Count of Edessa [Boulogne]. When the latter succeeded his brother in 1100 as Baudouin I King of Jerusalem, he invested Baudouin du Bourg as BAUDOUIN II Count of Edessa, as vassal of the kingdom of Jerusalem[71]. Albert of Aix records that "Baldewinus dux civitatis Rohas" installed "Baldewino de Burg…sui generis, filio comitis Hugonis de Rortest" at Edessa on succeeding to the kingdom of Jerusalem, dated to 1100 from the context[72]. Count Baudouin married the daughter of Gabriel, Armenian Lord of Melitene, in order to consolidate his position in Edessa. He was captured with Joscelin de Courtenay by Soqman, Ortokid Prince of Mardin, after the battle of Harran in 1104, but was released in 1107 in exchange for Joscelin de Courtenay who had allowed himself to be recaptured to ensure Baudouin's freedom[73]. During his imprisonment Tancred was appointed regent of Edessa, followed by Richard of the Principate [Sicily] after Tancred assumed the role of regent of Antioch[74]. Baudouin had to evict Richard forcibly to regain Edessa in 1108 following his release[75]. He captured more territory in Cilician Armenia by expelling the Armenian lords Vasil Dgha from Rabun and Kaisun in 1116 and Constantine from Gargar in 1117[76]. Albert of Aix records that Baudouin appointed "fratri Eustachio" as his successor on his deathbed if he would come to Jerusalem, or if he failed to come "Baldewinus de Burg"[77]. Despite being the fallback choice of his predecessor, he was unanimously elected by the council to succeed and was crowned 14 Apr 1118[78] as BAUDOUIN II King of Jerusalem by Arnoul Patriarch of Jerusalem. In Aug 1119, Baudouin marched to relieve Antioch after the defeat of Roger Prince of Antioch by Najm al-Din Ilghazi ibn Artuk, Turkish emir in north Syria, at the "Ager Sanguinis" and was victorious at Zerdana. He assumed the position of regent of Antioch for the rightful prince Bohémond II who was still in Toulouse[79] and who did not arrive in Palestine until 1126. King Baudouin II returned to Jerusalem to be crowned 25 Dec 1119. He was obliged to increase his time spent in the north to defend Antioch which was attacked in 1120 and 1122. This was unpopular in Jerusalem, where unrest increased after Pons Count of Tripoli renounced his allegiance to King Baudouin in 1122. The king was captured 18 Apr 1123 by Artukid forces and imprisoned in the fortress of Khartpert. The Frankish prisoners seized control of the fortress in Aug 1123, but it was recaptured by Balak and King Baudouin was moved to Harran. He was released 29 Aug 1124 on payment of a ransom, but did not return to Jerusalem until Apr 1125[80]. During his absence, Eustache Granarius Lord of Sidon and Caesarea was appointed Constable of the kingdom, and was succeeded in 1123 by Guillaume de Bures[81]. King Baudouin's armies defeated a Fatimid invasion, preventing the recapture of Jaffa in May 1123, and captured Tyre 7 Jul 1124 after a five month siege. While King Baudouin II was held captive, a faction in Jerusalem which was hostile to the king offered the throne of Jerusalem to Charles "the Good" Count of Flanders [Denmark], who refused the offer[82]. King Baudouin's forces made a major push northwards in 1129 to capture more territory, but failed to capture Damascus[83]. When dying, he became a monk and was admitted as a canon of the Holy Sepulchre[84].

m (1101) MORFIA of Melitene, daughter of GABRIEL Lord of Melitene & his wife ---. She is named by William of Tyre, who also names her father and specifies his Armenian origin but emphasises his Greek faith, when recording her marriage[85]. This marriage was arranged to consolidate her husband's position as newly installed count of Edessa. She was crowned as queen of Jerusalem at Bethlehem at Christmas 1119[86].

King Baudouin II & his wife had four children:

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Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem's Timeline

Bourg Rethel, Bourg Fidèle, Ardennes, Grand Est, France
June 2, 1105
Bourg, Rethel, France
Jerusalem, Israel
Tripoli, Libya
Bethany, Israel
August 21, 1131
Age 71
Jerusalem, Israel
Age 71
Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Israel