Baldwin I of Jerusalem

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Baldwin I of Jerusalem, formerly Baldwin I of Edessa, born Baldwin of Boulogne (French: Baudouin de Boulogne), 1058?[1] – 2 April 1118, was one of the leaders of the First Crusade, who became the first Count of Edessa and then the second ruler and first titled King of Jerusalem. He was the brother of Godfrey of Bouillon, who was the first ruler of the crusader state of Jerusalem, although he refused the title of 'king' which Baldwin accepted.


Early life

Baldwin was a son of Eustace II of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine (daughter of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine), and the younger brother of Eustace III of Boulogne and Godfrey of Bouillon. As the youngest brother, Baldwin was originally intended for a career in the church, but he had given this up around 1080; according to William of Tyre, who lived later in the 12th century and did not know Baldwin personally: "in his youth, Baldwin was well nurtured in the liberal studies. He became a cleric, it is said, and, because of his illustrious lineage, held benefices commonly called prebends in the churches of Rheims, Cambrai, and Liège." Afterwards he lived in Normandy, where he married Godehilde (or Godvera) de Toeni, daughter of Raoul de Conches of a noble Anglo-Norman family (and formerly betrothed wife of Robert de Beaumont). He returned to Lorraine in order to take control of the county of Verdun (previously held by Godfrey).

First Crusade

In 1096 he joined the First Crusade with his brothers Godfrey and Eustace III of Boulogne, selling much of his property to the church in order to pay for his expenses. His wife Godehilde (or Godvera) also accompanied him. This was the second movement of crusaders; the first, the People's Crusade, had been composed of the lower classes and caused much destruction on their march before being destroyed in Asia Minor. When Godfrey passed through Hungary, King Coloman demanded a hostage to ensure their good conduct, and Baldwin was handed over until his companions had left Hungarian territory.

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