Baldwin V of Jerusalem

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Baldwin V of Jerusalem (Baldwin of Montferrat, also known as Baudouinet) (1177 – August 1186) was the son of Sibylla of Jerusalem and her first husband, William of Montferrat. He was crowned co-King of Jerusalem with his uncle, Baldwin IV in 1183, and once his uncle died, became the nominal king from 1185 to 1186, under the regency of Count Raymond III of Tripoli.

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Baldwin V and the political factions

Baldwin, born a few months after his father's death, was little more than a pawn in the politics of the Kingdom. By the time he was born, the political situation had developed into two factions. Baldwin IV was dying slowly of leprosy, and the succession was likely to be contested between his older sister Sibylla and their younger half-sister Isabella. Their extended family and leading nobles were divided in support for the two heiresses.

Raymond III of Tripoli, first cousin of their father Amalric I of Jerusalem, had been bailli or regent for Baldwin IV while the latter was a child, but once the king came of age in 1176 his power began to recede. He had a claim to the throne in his own right, but his childlessness hindered him advancing it. Instead, he acted as a power-broker, and aided the interests of the Ibelin family. Amalric's widow (Isabella's mother) Maria Comnena had married Balian of Ibelin, and Raymond attempted to regain influence with a project to marry Sibylla to Balian's older brother Baldwin of Ibelin. However, the king countered this by marrying her to Guy of Lusignan instead in 1180. Guy, as a vassal of the Angevins, from Poitou, had the potential to attract aid from Baldwin IV's cousin Henry II of England to the kingdom.

The other faction, more supportive of Sibylla, centred around her maternal uncle Joscelin III of Edessa and mother Agnes of Courtenay, now the wife of Reginald of Sidon. Allied to them was Raynald of Châtillon, who had been in the country since the Second Crusade and was the widower of Amalric I's cousin Constance of Antioch. Amalric of Lusignan, although a son-in-law of Baldwin of Ibelin, had been won over by the patronage of Agnes and the king, and had brought his younger brother Guy to prominence. Eraclius, appointed Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1180, has sometimes been associated with this group, but also attempted to make peace between the shifting factions.

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