Godefroy IV de Bouillon / Duc de Basse - Lotharinge & Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre

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Godefroy “dit de Bouillon“ de Bouillon, IV

Also Known As: "Duc de Basse-Lotharingie", "Rei de Jerusalem"
Birthplace: Baissy, Genappe, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium
Death: July 18, 1100 (35-44)
Jérusalem, Kingdom of Jérusalem
Place of Burial: Christian Quarter, Old City (Jerusalem), Kingdom of Jérusalem
Immediate Family:

Son of Eustace II “aux Gernons” de Boulogne, comte de Boulogne and Ida of Lotharingia
Brother of Eustace III, count of Boulogne and Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem
Half brother of Guillaume de Boulogne, bâtard fils de Eustace II; Hugues, fils bâtard d’Eustache II and Geoffroi de Boulogne, bâtard, seignuer de Carshalton, Cambridgeshire, Coton-Manor

Occupation: Lord of Lorraine, Duque de la Baja Lorena - Defensor del Santo Sepulcro, Comte, de Verdun, Duc, de Lotharingie, de Basse-Lotharingie, Roi, de Jérusalem, Lord, de Carshalton, SENHOR FEUDAL
House of: Flanders
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Godefroy IV de Bouillon / Duc de Basse - Lotharinge & Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre

De naam "Godevaert van Bullioen, koning van Jeruzalem" staat onderaan op zijn ruiterstandbeeld op het Koningsplein te Brussel, vlak bij het koninklijk paleis en de koninklijke kerk van SInt-Jacob-op-den-Koudenberg.

Godfrey of Bouillon was one of the main leaders of the First Crusade. When Pope Urban II called the Crusade, Godfrey, along with his two brothers, started in August 1096 at the head of an army from Lorraine (some say 40,000 strong)


GODEFROI de Boulogne ([1060]-in Palestine 18 Jul 1100, bur Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre). "Godefridi et Balduini" are named sons of "Ida comitisse Boloniensis" in the latter's charter for the soul of her husband. His birth date is estimated on the basis of his being an adolescent when designated heir by his maternal uncle, and from the estimated birth date range of his mother. William of Tyre records "Godefridus Lotharingiæ dux" as brother of Baudouin and Eustache, and son of Comte Eustache and of Ida sister of Godefroi "Struma" Duke of Lotharingia. He was designated heir by his maternal uncle, on whose death in 1076 he inherited the county of Verdun, the allods of Stenay and Mouzay, and the castle of Bouillon with its dependencies. He was most often known as "GODEFROI de Bouillon", after this inherited castle. The inheritance was disputed by many parties. Theoderic Bishop of Verdun seized the opportunity to end the hereditary succession in the county of Verdun by bestowing it on Matilda Ctss of Tuscany, who granted it to Albert III Comte de Namur as guardian of her interests in Lotharingia. The emperor conferred the duchy of Lotharingia on his infant son Konrad, with Albert III Comte de Namur as vice-duke, although the Annalista Saxo records that he created Godefroi as Markgraf van Antwerpen in "Traiecti" at Easter 1076. When Konrad was crowned King of Germany in 1087, Godefroi de Boulogne was installed as GODEFROI IV Duke of Lower Lotharingia. Some time following Pope Urban II's call to liberate Jerusalem at the Council of Clermont in Auvergne 27 Nov 1095, Godefroi resolved to join the crusade. Leader of the Lotharingian contingent in the First Crusade in 1096, he sold his estates of Rosay and Stenay on the River Meuse and pledged the castle of Bouillon to the Bishop of Liège to fund the expedition, although he retained the title Duke of Lower Lotharingia. 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. After arriving outside Constantinople at Selymbria in Dec 1096, his army ravaged the countryside. Relations with Emperor Alexios I were tense, and Godefroi attacked Constantinople in Apr 1097. His troops were defeated by an imperial force, and he accepted to swear allegiance to the emperor on Easter Sunday, agreeing that the emperor should become overlord of any new principalities founded by the crusaders and that any land captured which had previously belonged to the empire should be handed back to Byzantium. The crusading army reached Jerusalem 7 Jun 1099 and captured the city 15 Jul 1099. The electoral council chose him as ruler of Jerusalem 22 Jul 1099, and after considerable debate about the correct title to adopt, he became GODEFROI princeps of Jerusalem. Murray highlights that the evidence concerning the alleged title "advocatus Sancti Sepulcri" is based on a single letter written in Laodicea in [Sep/Oct] 1099 to Daibert Archbishop of Pisa. The whole issue of Godefroi's title is discussed at length by Riley-Smith and Murray. Whatever the interest of this debate, its practical importance was swept aside when Godefroi's brother was crowned "King of Jerusalem" within a year. The crusaders' control over Jerusalem was strengthened by their defeat of the Fatimid army from Egypt in the plain of al-Majdal 11 Aug 1099[373]. Arnoul de Choques was elected Patriarch of Jerusalem 1 Aug 1099, but was deposed in Dec 1099 and compensated with the position of Archdeacon of Jerusalem. He was replaced by Daibert Archbishop of Pisa, who had recently arrived in Jerusalem accompanied by Bohémond Prince of Antioch and Baudouin Count of Edessa. Godefroi was confirmed as ruler in Jerusalem at Christmas 1099 by Patriarch Daibert. At that time, the territory of the kingdom was limited to two separated areas, Judea (with Jerusalem itself, Bethlehem, Jericho and Hebron) and a small coastal strip around Jaffa, Lydda and Ramla. Despite Godefroi's depleted military resources following the departure of most of the surviving crusaders, plans to expand his territory were in full swing with the siege of Acre when Godefroi died. In defiance of Patriarch Daibert, Godefroi's household, under the leadership of his kinsman Warner de Grez [Gray], assured the succession of his brother Baudouin by seizing the citadel of Jerusalem. Despite Warner's death 22 Jul 1100, this show of defiance continued into the Autumn when Robert Bishop of Lydda retrieved Baudouin from Edessa to secure his succession. According to Matthew of Edessa, Godefroi was poisoned.



Godfrey of Bouillon (c. 1060 – 18 July 1100) was a medieval Frankish knight who was one of the leaders of the First Crusade from 1096 until his death. He was the Lord of Bouillon, from which he took his byname, from 1076 and the Duke of Lower Lorraine from 1087. After the liberation of Jerusalem in 1099, Godfrey became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, although he refused the title "king" as he said that title belonged to God.

He was the second son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, and Ida of Lorraine (daughter of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine and his wife, Doda[1]%29 and never married.[2]

Early life

Godfrey of Bouillon was born around 1060 in either Boulogne-sur-Mer in France or Baisy, a city in the region of Brabant (part of present-day Belgium). During Godfrey's lifetime this region was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Godfrey was the second son of Count Eustace II of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine. As second son, he had fewer opportunities than his older brother and seemed destined to become just one more minor knight in service to a rich landed nobleman. However, his uncle on his mother's side, Godfrey the Hunchback, Duke of Lower of Lorraine, died childless and named his nephew, Godfrey of Bouillon, as his heir and next in line to his duchy of Lower Lorraine. This duchy was an important one at the time, serving as a buffer between the kingdom of France and the German lands.

In fact, Lower Lorraine was so important to the German kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire that Henry IV, the German king and future emperor (ruled 1084-1105), decided in 1076 that he would place it in the hands of his own son and give Godfrey only Bouillon and the Mark of Antwerp, in the Duchy of Brabant, as a test of Godfrey's abilities and loyalty. Godfrey served Henry IV loyally, supporting him even when Pope Gregory VII was battling the German king in the Investiture Controversy. Godfrey fought with Henry and his forces against the rival forces of Rudolf of Swabia and also took part in battles in Italy when Henry IV actually took Rome away from the pope.

At the same time, Godfrey was struggling to maintain control over the lands that Henry IV had not taken away from him. Matilda of Tuscany, the widow of his uncle, said that these lands should have come to her. Another enemy outside the family also tried to take away other bits of his land, and Godfrey's brothers, Eustace and Baldwin, both came to his aid. Following long struggles, and after proving that he was a loyal subject to Henry IV, Godfrey finally won back his duchy of Lower Lorraine in 1087. Still, Godfrey would never have had much power in the German kingdom or in Europe if it had not been for the coming of the Crusades.

First Crusade

In 1095 Urban II, the new Pope, called for a Crusade to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim forces and also to aid the Byzantine Empire which was under Muslim attack. Godfrey took out loans on most of his lands, or sold them, to the bishop of Liège and the bishop of Verdun. With this money he gathered thousands of knights to fight in the Holy Land. In this he was joined by his older brother, Eustace, and his younger brother, Baldwin, who had no lands in Europe. He was not the only major nobleman to gather such an army. Raymond of Saint-Gilles, also known as Raymond of Toulouse, created the largest army. At age fifty-five Raymond was also the oldest and perhaps the best known of the Crusader nobles. Because of his age and fame, Raymond expected to be the leader of the entire First Crusade. Adhemar, the papal legate and bishop of Le Puy, travelled with him. There was also the fiery Bohemond, a Norman knight who had formed a small kingdom in southern Italy, and a fourth group under Robert of Flanders.

Each of these armies traveled separately, some going southeast across Europe through Hungary and others sailing across the Adriatic Sea from southern Italy. Godfrey, along with his two brothers, started in August 1096 at the head of an army from Lorraine (some say 40,000 strong) along "Charlemagne's road", as Urban II seems to have called it (according to the chronicler Robert the Monk)—the road to Jerusalem. After some difficulties in Hungary, he arrived in Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, in November. The Pope had, in fact, called the Crusade in order to help the Byzantine emperor Alexius I fight the Islamic Turks who were invading his lands from Central Asia and Persia.

Godfrey and his troops were the second to arrive (after Hugh of Vermandois) in Constantinople. During the next several months the other Crusader armies arrived. Suddenly the Byzantine emperor had an army of about 4000 mounted knights and 25,000 infantry camped on his doorstep. But Godfrey and Alexius I had different goals. The Byzantine emperor wanted the help of the Crusader soldiers to recapture lands that the Seljuk Turks had taken. The Crusaders however had the main aim of liberating the Holy Land in Palestine from the Muslims and reinstating Christian rule there. For them, Alexius I and his Turks were only a sideshow. Worse, the Byzantine emperor expected the Crusaders to take an oath of loyalty to him. Godfrey and the other knights agreed to a modified version of this oath, promising to help return some lands to Alexius I. By the spring of 1097 the Crusaders were ready to march into battle.

Their first major victory, with Byzantine soldiers at their side, was at the city of Nicaea, close to Constantinople, which the Seljuk Turks had taken some years earlier. Godfrey and his knights of Lorraine played a minor role in the siege of Nicaea, with Bohemond successfully commanding much of the action. Just as the Crusaders were about to storm the city, they suddenly noticed the Byzantine flag flying from atop the city walls. Alexius I had made a separate peace with the Turks and now claimed the city for the Byzantine Empire. These secret dealings were a sign of things to come in terms of relations between Crusaders and Byzantines.

Godfrey continued to play a minor but important role in the battles against the Muslims until the Crusaders finally reached Jerusalem in 1099. Before that time, he helped to relieve the vanguard at the Battle of Dorylaeum after it had been pinned down by the Seljuk Turks under Kilij Arslan I, with the help of the other crusader princes in the main force and went on to sack the Seljuk camp. In 1098 Godfrey took part in the capture of Antioch, which fell in June of that year after long and bitter fighting. During the siege some of the Crusaders felt that the battle was hopeless and left the Crusade to return to Europe. Alexius I, hearing of the desperate situation, thought that all was lost at Antioch and did not come to help the Crusaders as promised. When the Crusaders finally took the city, they decided that their oaths to Alexius had breen breached and were no longer in effect. Bohemond, the first to enter the city gates, claimed the prize for himself. A Muslim force under Kerbogha, from the city of Mosul, arrived and battled the Crusaders, but the Christians finally defeated these Islamic troops.

After this victory, the Crusaders were divided over their next course of action. The bishop of Le Puy had died at Antioch. Bohemond decided to remain behind in order to secure his new kingdom and Godfrey's younger brother, Baldwin, also decided to stay in the north at the Crusader state he had established at Edessa. Most of the foot soldiers wanted to continue south to Jerusalem, but Raymond IV of Toulouse, by this time the most powerful of the princes, having taken others into his employ, such as Tancred, hesitated to continue the march. After months of waiting, the common people on the crusade forced Raymond to march on to Jerusalem, and Godfrey quickly joined him. As they traveled south into Palestine, the Crusaders faced a new enemy. No longer were the Seljuk Turks the rulers of these lands. Now the Christian army had to deal with armies of North African Muslims called Fatimids, who had adopted the name of the ruling family in Cairo, Egypt. The Fatimids had taken Jerusalem in August 1098. The Crusaders would be battling them for the final prize of the First Crusade in the siege of Jerusalem.

It was in Jerusalem that the legend of Godfrey of Bouillon was born. The army reached the city in June 1099 and built wooden ladders to climb over the walls. The major attack took place on July 14 and 15, 1099. Godfrey and some of his knights were the first to get over the walls and enter the city. It was an end to three years of fighting by the Crusaders, but they had finally done what they had set out to do in 1096 — namely, to recapture the Holy Land and, in particular, the city of Jerusalem and its holy sites, such as the Holy Sepulchre, the tomb of Jesus Christ. He endowed the hospital in the Muristan after the First Crusade. Once the city was returned to Christian rule, some form of government had to be set up. On July 22, a council was held in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Raymond of Toulouse refused to become king. Godfrey did no damage to his own piety by accepting the position, but only as secular leader and not as King with an unknown or ill-defined title (advocatus sancti sepulchri).

Kingdom of Jerusalem

However, perhaps considering the controversy which had surrounded Tancred's seizure of Bethlehem, Godfrey refused to be crowned king in the city where Christ had died. The exact nature and meaning of his title is thus somewhat of a controversy. Although it is widely claimed that he took the title Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri ("advocate" or "defender" of the Holy Sepulchre), this title is only used in a letter which was not written by Godfrey. Instead, Godfrey himself seems to have used the more ambiguous term Princeps, or simply retained his title of dux from back home in Lower Lorraine. Robert the Monk is the only chronicler of the crusade to report that Godfrey took the title "king".[3] During his short reign, Godfrey had to defend the new Kingdom of Jerusalem against Fatimids of Egypt, who were defeated at the Battle of Ascalon in August. He also faced opposition from Dagobert of Pisa, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who was allied with Tancred. Although the Latins came close to capturing Ascalon, Godfrey's attempts to prevent Raymond of St. Gilles from securing the city for himself meant that the town remained in Muslim hands, destined to be a thorn in the new kingdom's side for years to come.

In 1100 Godfrey was unable to directly expand his new territories through conquest. However, his impressive victory in 1099 and his subsequent campaigning in 1100 meant that he was able to force Acre, Ascalon, Arsuf, Jaffa, and Caesarea to become tributaries. Meanwhile, the struggle with Dagobert continued; although the terms of the conflict are difficult to trace. Dagobert may well have visualised turning Jerusalem into a fiefdom of the pope, however his full intentions are not clear. Much of the evidence for this comes from William of Tyre, whose account of these events is troublesome - It is only William who tells us that Dagobert forced Godfrey to concede Jerusalem and Jaffa, while other writers such as Albert of Aachen and Ralph of Caen suggest that both Dagobert and his ally Tancred had sworn an oath to Godfrey to accept only one of his brothers or blood relations as his successor. Whatever Dagobert's schemes, they were destined to come to naught. Being at Haifa at the time of Godfrey's death, he could do nothing to stop Godfrey's supporters, led by Warner of Grez, from seizing Jerusalem and demanding that Godfrey's brother Baldwin should succeed to the rule. Dagobert was subsequently forced to crown Baldwin as the first Latin king of Jerusalem on December 25, 1100.


"While he was besieging the city of Acre, Godfrey, the ruler of Jerusalem, was struck by an arrow, which killed him", reports the Arab chronicler Ibn al-Qalanisi. Christian chronicles make no mention of this; instead, Albert of Aix and Ekkehard of Aura report that Godfrey contracted an illness in Caesarea in June, 1100. It was later believed that the emir of Caesarea had poisoned him, but there seems to be no basis for this rumour; William of Tyre does not mention it. It is also said that he died after eating a poisoned apple. In any event, he died in Jerusalem after suffering from a prolonged illness.


According to William of Tyre, the later 12th-century chronicler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Godfrey was "tall of stature, not extremely so, but still taller than the average man. He was strong beyond compare, with solidly-built limbs and a stalwart chest. His features were pleasing, his beard and hair of medium blond."

Because he had been the first ruler in Jerusalem Godfrey of Bouillon was idealized in later accounts. He was depicted as the leader of the crusades, the king of Jerusalem, and the legislator who laid down the assizes of Jerusalem, and he was included among the ideal knights known as the Nine Worthies. Godfrey was only one of several leaders of the crusade, which also included Raymond IV of Toulouse, Bohemund of Taranto, Robert of Flanders, Stephen of Blois and Baldwin of Boulogne to name a few, along with papal legate Adhémar of Montiel, Bishop of Le Puy. Baldwin I of Jerusalem, Godfrey's younger brother, became the first titled king when he succeeded Godfrey in 1100. The assizes were the result of a gradual development.

Godfrey's role in the crusade was described by Albert of Aix, the anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum, and Raymond of Aguilers amongst others. In fictional literature, Godfrey was the hero of numerous French chansons de geste dealing with the crusade, the "Crusade cycle". This cycle connected his ancestors to the legend of the Knight of the Swan,[4] most famous today as the storyline of Wagner's opera Lohengrin.

By William of Tyre's time later in the 12th century, Godfrey was already a legend among the descendants of the original crusaders. Godfrey was believed to have possessed immense physical strength; it was said that in Cilicia he wrestled a bear and won, and that he once beheaded a camel with one blow of his sword.

Torquato Tasso made Godfrey the hero of his epic poem Gerusalemme Liberata.

In The Divine Comedy Dante sees the spirit of Godfrey in the Heaven of Mars with the other "warriors of the faith."

Godfrey is depicted in Handel's opera "Rinaldo" (1711) as Goffredo.

Since the mid-19th century, an equestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon has stood in the center of the Royal Square in Brussels, Belgium. The statue was made by Eugène Simonis, and inaugurated on August 24, 1848.

Godfrey's sword is given satirical mention in Mark Twain's "Innocents Abroad" (1869).

Godfrey plays a key figure in the pseudohistorical theories put forth in the books The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code.

In 2005 he came in 17th place in the French language Le plus grand Belge, a public vote of national heroes in Belgium. He did not make the 100 greatest Belgians, as voted by the Dutch speakers in De Grootste Belg (the Greatest Belgian).

Godfrey also plays a key role in the book The Iron Lance by Stephen R. Lawhead, and in an historical novel Godfrey de Bouillon, Defender of the Holy Sepulchre, by Tom Tozer.

Some speculate that he is Godfrey of Bouillon, but he was most likely the his half brother.

     Beatrice de Mandeville

Guillaume De Boulogne


Eustace de Boulogne, Comte de Bologne


Ida de Lorraine


Ida de Boulogne


Eustace III, Comte de Boulogne


Godefroy IV de Bouillon, Duc de Basse-Lotharingie


Baudouin I de Boulogne, Roi de Jérusalem


William FitzEustace


Hugh FitzEustace


Marie de Boulogne




Godofredo de Bouillón (¿Boulogne-sur-Mer, Francia, o Baisy-Thy, Provincia del Brabante Valón?, c. 1060 - Jerusalén, 18 de julio de 1100) fue uno de los principales jefes de la Primera Cruzada. Era el primer o segundo hijo de Eustaquio II, conde de Boulogne, y de Ida de Boulogne, hija de Godofredo III, duque de la Baja Lorena.

Su tío Godofredo el Jorobado lo eligió como heredero de la Baja Lorena, pero en 1076 el Emperador Enrique IV sólo le concedió la Marca de Amberes, quedándose para sí mismo el feudo de la Baja Lorena (entonces denominada Baja Lotaringia), ya que su tío no tenía descendientes directos, es decir un heredero directo masculino. Sin embargo, Godofredo luchó junto con Enrique IV tanto en Elster como en el asedio de Roma, y finalmente en 1082 éste le concedió el ducado de Baja Lorena. Este ducado estaba muy influido por la reforma cluniacense, y al parecer, Godofredo era una persona muy religiosa, de este modo y aunque había luchado a favor del Emperador contra el papado, Godofredo literalmente vendió todo lo que tenía y se unió a la Cruzada que predicó Urbano II en el Concilio de Clermont. wikipedia

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Godefroy IV de Bouillon / Duc de Basse - Lotharinge & Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre's Timeline

Baissy, Genappe, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium
July 18, 1100
Age 40
Jérusalem, Kingdom of Jérusalem
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Christian Quarter, Old City (Jerusalem), Kingdom of Jérusalem