The Crusaders
Written and researched by Margaret [Knight] Sypniewska, herbu Odrowaz

THE FIRST CRUSADE (1095-1099):

The first great Crusade was the first major conflict under arms between Christendom and Islam. This episode of conflict (be they victories or defeats)occured for eighty-eight (88) years. The dates for the actual First Crusades were fought in the eleventh century (from 1095-1099). Those that fought the longest were the French. Their armies came mainly from Normandy, the Provencal, Angevin, Lorraine, and Picard. These French were then called "Gallic." The Flemings and Rhinelanders added some help. The Franci (called Gauls by the court of Constantinople) had intense energy, an aptitude for arms, enthusiasm, and a certain unity. However, within fifty (50) years there were critical losses.


The Second Crusade was a brief attempt to recover Edessa. Another attempt was made in 1187, but resulted in the loss of Jerusalem. Hattin was also defeated.

THE THIRD CRUSADE (1189-1192):

The Third Crusade was led by the three great sovereigns of the West: The French King, the Plantagenets, and the German Emperor. In this Crusade, the players were Saladin and Couer-de-Lion. By the autumn of 1192 all was over.


The Fourth Crusade was to be organized and led by Thibault, Comte de Champagne et de Brie (age 22). Thibault was the nephew of Philip, King of France and the King of England. He died in 1201. He was buried in Saint-Etienne at Troyes. His heirs were a daugher and a son. Comte de Bar-le-Duc, Thibault's cousin was asked to lead in his place, but he refused. The Duc Eudesde Bourgogne was also asked to replace him but he refused. The Marquis de Boniface do Montferret finally agreed to take Thibault's place as leader.

Thibault's men were to be:

Simon de Montfort (a noble); Renaud de Montmirail (a noble); Renaud's nephew Herve du Chatel; Garnier, Bishop of Troyes; Comte Gautier de Brienne; Geoffrey de Joinville, Seneschal of Champayne and his brother Robert Gautier de Vignory (Champayne); Eustache de Confans (Champayne) and his brother Guy de plessier; Henri d' Arzillieres; Eudes de Champenois de Champlite and his brother Guillaume came with the Marquis de Boniface; Ogier de Saint-Cheron; Geoffrey du Villehardouin, Marshal of Champayne/envoy and his nephew Geoffrey; Guillaume de Nuller; Gautier de Fuligny; Hugues de Coligny; Bishop of Autun; Comte Guignes de Forez; Hughes de Bergy and his son Hughes; Manassier d' l'Isle; Macaire de Sainte-Menehould; Guy de Pesmes and his brother Aimon; Milon de Brebant (envoy); Guy de Conflans brought Guy de Chappes and his cousin Clarembaud; Renaud de Dampierre; Richard de Dampierre, and Eucles de Dampierre joined the Marquis Jean Toison

The Comte Louis la Blois et de Chartrain (age 27) was also the nephew of Philip, King of France and King of England. Louis' men were:

Gervais du Chatel and his son Herve; Jean de Virsin; Oliver de Rochefort; Henri de Montreuil; Paien d'Orleans; Pierre de Bracieux and his brother Hugues; Hughes de Cormeray and his brother Geoffroy; Herve de Beauvoir, Jean de Friaze (envoy); Gautier de Gaudonville (envoy); Robert de Frouville and his brother Pierre; Orry de l'Isle; Robert de Quartier.

Nevolon, Bishop of Soissons (Ile-de-France) brought his men:

Mathieu de Montmorency and his nephew Guy; Chatelain de Courcy; Robert be Ronsoi; Ferry d'Yerres and his brother Jean; Gautier de Saint-Denis (failed to arrive in Venice) and his brother Henri; Guillaume d'Aunoi; Dreux de Cressonsacq; Bernard de Moreyil (failed to come to Venice); Enguerand de Bovers and his brother Robert.

Bruges-Comte Baudoin de Flandre et de Hainault and his Wife Maria, sister of the Comte de Champagne orgainized these men:

Henri, brother of Comte Baudoin and his nephew; Thierry, the son of Comte Philippe de Flandre; Guillaume, Advocate of Bethune and his brother Conon; Jean de Neles, Governor of Bruges; Renier de Trit and his son Renier; Mathieu de Wallincourt; Jacques d'Avenes; Baudoin de Beauvoir; Hughes de Beaumetz; Girard de Mancicourt; Eudes de Ham; Guillaume de Gommeignies; Preuz de Beautrain; Roger de Marck; Euctace de Saubruic; Francois de colem; Gautier de Bousies; Renier de Mons; Gautier de Tombes; and Bernard de Soubrenghien.

The Comte Hugues de Saint-Pol brought:

His nephew, Pierre d' Amiens; Eustache de Canteleu; Nicholas de Mailly; Anseau de Coyeux; Guy de Houdain; Gautier de Nele and his brother Pierre.

Comte Geoffrey du Perche brought:

Etienne, his brother; Rotrou de Montfort; Yves de la Faille; Aimery de Villeroi; and Geoffrey de Beaumont

From Germany (1202):

Bishiop of Halbersstady; Graf Berthold von Katzellenbogen, Garnier von Boilande; Dietrich von Los; Heinrich von Ulman; Roger von Susteren; Alexandre von Villers, and Orry von Daun

From 1202-1203:

Marquis de Montferrat; Mathieu de Montmorency; Pierre de Bracieux; Comte Baudouin de Flandre et de Hainaut; Comte Louis de Blou et de Chartrain; Comte Hugues de Saint-Pol;; Guillamene, thr vidame of Chartes; Geoffroy de Beaumont; Jean de Frouville and his brother Pierre; Jean de Nesles, Governor of Bruges; Comte Phillip de Flanders and his son Thierry; Nicolas de Mailly; Nevelon, Bishop of Soissons; Jean de Noyon, chancellor to the Comte Baudouin de Flandre; Jean de Friaize; Robert de Boves; Guy de Montfort; Simon de Neauphle; Robert Mauvoisin; Dreux de Cressonsacq, Abbot of Vaux; Eudes de Champlette; Jacques d'Avesnes; Perre d'Amiens; Guy de Chappes; Guillaume d'Aunoi; Pierre Coiseau; Guy de Pesmes; Aimon de Plesmes; Clarembaud de Chappes; Guy de Conflans, and Richard de Dampierre.

*** this list is in no way complete but offers some men who fought for Christianity.


The plan to master the Mohammedan pressure upon our civilization was in ruins. Islam thus survived with its religion intact. Our own religion was in peril.

Mohammed had preached in the deserts of Arabia. He spoke heresy to the minds of the Christians. His converts were taken by force and converted the pagan Arabs to their cause. Mohammed promised easy religious thinkings. It promised freedoms to the individual. Their creed was called Islam or "the acceptance." When Mohammed died in 634 A.D. his followers became a swarm of eager cavalry that sweep north and made converts in their wake. If their converts were slaves they were made free. Islam did not require sacrifice and renunciation. They did not require a hierarchy of priests and mysteries. Islam was said to have revered Jesus Christ as the greatest of prophets, but they rejected the concept of the Trinity. Islam also revered Our Lady (the Virgin Mary) highly - the highest among women, but not as the Mother of God (rather the mother of a great prophet). In fact, Mary is the ONLY woman mentioned in the Koran.


Islam mastered Syria and Egypt, North Africa, and most of Spain. It then went Eastward to the fertile plains of Mesopotamia, taking the Persians and the borders of India. However, the Mongols were even more murderous and bent on destruction than the Arabs. The Asian forces became the bodyguards of the Islamics caliphs of Baghdad. The Mongols and the Turks were the warriors of warriors. They fit nicely into the Islamic faith. They were bloody, superstitious, and barbaric. They followed Mohamedism as fanatics. These were given the blanket name of "Turks." They had a lust for cruelty and mere destruction. They were considered "the Destoyers." Attila was their first conqueror. They brought death to their victims and never constructed. They even managed to beseige Vienna and threaten the Rhine, just two hundred years (plus) ago.

The Selijuk Clan took its name from its chieftain. They were the leaders of the bands in the steppes around the Aral Inland Sea. The Selijuk Turks were a dwarfish, slant-eyed Tartar, who rode crouched in their saddles on their smallish horses, while kneeling over the horses neck, much like today's jockeys ride in horse races.

The tactics were to come in galloping at a high speed, shooting their short bows from the saddle, then wheel back again and again. Then they would charge with their thin-bladed, razor sharp swords. Cutting all those in their path. Those that were not converted were a major threat to Islam.


The Day of Manizikert was a fatal day for the Crusaders. The Byzantium forces attacked the Syrian coast, and was about to take Mesopotamia.

The strength of the Orthodox ("Greek") Christians was infiltrated by an intrigue then known as "Pacifism" or "Anti-Militarism." This wave left the Macedonian Emperors with the uncertainty of proper support on the battlefields. This political movement left only the peasants who had not yet embraced this concept. However, there was a lack of qualified leaders, since leaders always came from the nobility. The few that were still in the fight were the landowners of the Anatolian region. At Manzikert, on August 19, 1071, the great-grandson of Selijuk, the Turk, Alp Arslan, struck his final blow. The Turks came in the hundreds of thousands defeating the Christians. The Byzantium emperor had sixty thousand highly trained men, and a small band of mercenaries from the West. The Emperor had a precarious position.

Before this battle the Greeks had managed to hold their own. Basically, this battle was one upon which the fate of the world was held in balance. The Mongols came like locust, pillaging and killing all in their path. Asia Minor was in ruins. Then they came to the gates of Constantinople. Manzikert's hordes launched the Crusades. The Europeans came to save Christianity.


Baldwin II

Birth: 1058, France
Death: Sep. 21, 1131
Yerushalayim (Jerusalem District), Israel

Baldwin of Rethel, Baldwin of Bourcq, Count of Edessa, King of Jerusalem

Baldwin was the son of Hugh, count of Rethel, and his wife Melisende, daughter of Guy I of Montlhery. He was the youngest of three sons, and the third of seven children.

Baldwin married Morphia of Melitene, the daughter of the Armenian prince Gabriel of Melitene. They would marry in 1100 and have four daughters:

* Melisende, heir and wife of Fulk V of Anjou
* Alice, wife of Bohemund II of Antioch
* Hodierna, wife of Raymond II of Tripoli * Ioveta, abbess of the convent in Bethany

Baldwin of Bourcq regarded Eustace III of Boulogne, Godfrey of Bouillon, and Baldwin of Boulogne as cousins, and followed them to Jerusalem on the first crusade. Godfrey of Bouillon became King Baldwin I of Jerusalem while Baldwin of Boulogne became the Count of Edessa, Baldwin of Bourcg was Regent and served Bohemond of Taranto, Prince of Antioch. When Geoffrey died in 1100, Baldwin Boulogne was elected King, and Baldwin of Bourcq was appointed Count of Edessa, Tancred became Regent.

Baldwin and Tancred fought with King Baldwin I at Ascalon against the Egyptians, and again at the Battle of Harran against the Seljuk Turks where Baldwin was captured. Tancred acted as Count in his stead, but he remained in captivity in Mosul until ransomed for 60,000 dinars by Joscelin of Courtenay in 1108. Tancred refused to step down until Baldwin gathered support from all the tribes including the Kurds, Arabs, Byzantines and Seljuks. After their reconciliation, Baldwin and Tancred joined in the capture of Tripoli in 1109. Meanwhile, Joscelin of Courtenay fell out of favor, left Jerusalem for Galilee where he was proclaimed the Price of Galilee in 1113.

King Baldwin I died in 1118, and the crown would have deferred to his older Brother, Eustace III had Joscelin not insisted Baldwin should have it, and Baldwin was crowned King Baldwin II of Jerusalem on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1118. Joscelin became Count.

The remainder of that year was spent dealing with invasions by Muslim Seljuks from Syria and Fatimids from Egypt. When Antioch was invaded by Seljuks, the Prince, Roger of Salerno, did not wait for Baldwin's reinforcements and the ensuing battle was known as the Field of Blood.

The Knights Hospitaller was founded in 1113, evolved to the Knights Templar in 1118 bu Hughes de Payens, and Baldwin II established the first written laws of Jerusalem at the Council of Nablus in 1120.Baldwin allowed Hughes to set up quarters in the royal palace of Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, thusly the name Knights Templar, referring to the building built on an older temple they called Solomon's Temple.

Joscelin and Baldwin were captured by Belek in 1122 and 1123 respectively, Eustace Greiner became acting regent, defeating an invasion of Egyptians in 1124. Joscelin and Baldwin escaped, Baldwin was captured again, ransomed for Joscelin's son and Baldwin's daughter. In 1125, the crusaders battled and won against the larger Seljuk army of at the Battle of Azaz. Baldwin's attempt to tale Damascus in 1126 failed.

In 1131 Baldwin became ill and died on the 21st of August, buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Melisende, by law the heir to the kingdom, succeeded her father with Fulk as her co-ruler. The new queen and king were crowned on 14 September.

There are many descriptions of Baldwin, some quite contradictory, including, "a devout and God-fearing man, notable for his loyalty and for his great experience in military matters" and "after him there was none left amongst them possessed of sound judgment and capacity to govern" along with "grasping and penurious" and "had not governed the people of God well."

Family links:

Spouse: Morphia of Melitene (1085 - 1127)*

Alice Of Antioch*
Melisende of Jerusalem (1105 - 1161)*
*Calculated relationship

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Yerushalayim (Jerusalem District), Israel

Record added: Mar 02, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66396443

As stated earlier, nearly nine tenths of the Crusaders were from Gaelic descent. The Count of Toulouse, a Duke of Normandy, Godfrey of Bouillon, Baldwin of Boulogne, and other nobles fought for the cause of Christianity. Later they were joined by Raymond IV (St Giles), Count of Toulouse and Marquis of Provence. Their servants and retainers became their infantry. Large funding was necessary to feed both man and beast, buy and maintain equipment, and at least 25 million pounds of money (based on the British monetary unit). By the time they reached Antioch that money was gone, and the only way to get more was by capturing the city. They came on foot and horseback. Coming from France they had to travel 2,500 miles. Godfrey de Bouillon alone had an estimated 80,000 men when he left France. Pope Urban estimated the entire numbers to be 300,000 men. These numbers changed during the trip as disease, hunger, thirst, casualties, and desertion cut them back. Their mission was to recover the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, and Constantinople. However, there were also monetary considerations. These, of course, were necessary to reimburse their efforts and loses. Tancred estimated that about one-tenth of the original fighting men were left for their final assault on the Holy City. The men were not used to the infernal heat, glaring sun, and brackish water that they found when they finally reached the Holy Lands.


The First Crusade was the most rewarding. Later Crusades offered less rewards. During the Second Crusade Damascus never fell. There were also natural disasters in the area. Earthquakes literally rocked the ground.

When analyzing the Crusades, we see some remarkable similarities between then and now (the events of September 11, 2001). Antioch, was then the rich prize of the Crusaders because of its wealth of goods. It was a modern city with a clearly superior trade center. The mind boggles that they also had a twin towers called the "Two Sisters." These five-sided towers (pentagons) stood in the southern end of the city, where the mountains came down to the plains. Sixty Christian knights occupied the Tower of the Two Sisters and garrisoned it. Bohemund dominated the whole town from the mountain fortress of the ridge over it.


A new Crusade is on the lips of the Taliban. They have told us that their plan is to capture the "West," and the United States. They want to go back to the 7th century, when the conquering and converting was acted out after the dead of their prophet, Mohammad. The history of Islam was built on conquering nations so they could convert them.

Is it a coincidence that they waited 2,000 years to re-invent themselves. I guess no one will ever know.


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