February 17, 2017

The life of Hughes Count of Champagne (1074-1126) summarized

Born around 1074, Hughes is the third son of Thibaud I and Adèle of Valois. In 1089, his half-brother Etienne-Henri succeeds Thibaud I as the head of the Counties of Blois and Meaux. Four years later, on 1 January 1093, Hugh inherited his other brother's Eudes IV Counties of Troyes, Vitry and Bar-sur-Aube. Hughes in 1102 was the first to officially take the title of Count of Champagne. He also was the first to settle in Troyes.

In 1093 (or 1094), Hugues married Constance of France, Dame d'Attigny, daughter of King Philip I and Queen Berthe of Holland. This union was canceled on Christmas 1104 (or 1105), because the couple had not had children. In 1104, he suffered an attack on his life.

Having not participated in the First Crusade, Hughes left for his first three year stay in Palestine (1104-1107).

Back in Champagne in 1107, Hugues married again in 1110 a young girl, Isabelle de Bourgogne-Comté, Dame de Champlitte, daugther of Étienne Ier of Bourgogne and Béatrice of Lorraine.Soon, however, he seeks to repudiate it, at which point the Countess seek the help of the Bishop of Chartres, Yves, who made the count understand that a husband can not be separated from his wife without the consent of her, not even to enter religion.

In August 1114, Hugues de Champagne travel overseas again with his vassal Hugh, lord of Payns, who will establishe in Jerusalem in 1118 the Order of the Temple.

Back in 1116, the count again governed his principality some ten years, promoting the expansion of the new Clairvaux Abbey founded by St Bernard in 1115 and turning his affection on his nephew, Thibaut de Blois, whom he considered as his heir.

But then in 1120 (or 1123), Isabelle gives birth to a son named Eudes. The child was only two years old when Hughes took advantage of a quarrel with his wife to be declared incapable of child bearing by doctors. Considering himself now free of wedlock, he sent away Isabelle and Eudes, abdicated (1125) and sold his heritage to Thibaut IV of Blois who became Count of Champagne under the title of Thibaut II of Champagne. Hughes traveled to the Holy Land where he joined the Order of the Temple just before his death on June 14, 1126.

This is a French-English translation by TN of this article. Illustration from the same source; caption: "Reconstruction of the Templar armament at the middle of the 12th Century. from Moyen Age 1998 (3) p 25. Some additional information was added found on this webpage.

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