Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Godfrey de Saint-Omer - co-founder of the Knights Templar

Saint Bertin church and marble statue
of abbot Suger. Saint-Omer,
Pas-de-Calais (France)- source Wikipedia
Godfrey of Saint-Omer (also known as Gaufred, Godefroi, or Godfrey de St Omer, Saint Omer) was a French knight, one of the founding members of the Knights Templar.

He is said to have come from the family of the Lords of Saint-Omer, France, possibly the son of William I, Lord of Saint Omer and Melisende de Piquigny. William and Melisende were known to have at least one son, Hugh.

Both William and Hugh participated in the First Crusade as vassals of Robert II of Flanders. Hugh of Saint-Omer was also mentioned as one of the best knights in the Kingdom of Jerusalem which was established after the conquest op Jerusalem in 1099.

There are conflicting reports as to Godfrey's relationship to William and Hugh. Chronologically Godfrey may have been Hugh's brother but it is also said that he was Hugo's son. On the list of crusaders, a Gauthier de Saint-Omer is listed, which could be a mistake for Gaufred (Gauthier de Saint-Omer was not yet born). Therefore Godfrey probably came to Jerusalem William I and Hugh around 1099, so during the First Crusade.

According to legend Hugues de Payens the later first Grand-Master of the Knights Templar and Godfrey were so poor that between the two of them they had only one horse. This gave rise to the famous image on the the seal of the Templars, of two men riding a single horse.

The lineage of the Saint Omer family is described in detail here.

adapted from wikipedia 

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