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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

II: The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted and Philip Augustus,   pp. 44-85 PDF (16.5 MB)


Page 66

66 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES  II 
 The death of Queen Sibyl made Guy of Lusignan's position extremely uncomfortable.
Even before this Conrad of Montferrat had refused either to recognize Guy's
rights in Tyre or to obey him as king, and the majority of the barons of
the kingdom had followed Conrad's leadership. Now, Guy's only claim to the
throne was that he had been crowned and anointed, and had done nothing to
deserve deposition. 
 The heir by blood of queen Sibyl was her sister Isabel, who was, however,
married to a man thoroughly despised by the barons, Humphrey of Toron, handsome,
gay, gentle, and amiable - qualities most unsuitable in a king of Jerusalem.
To Conrad of Montferrat the solution seemed simple and obvious. The marriage
of Isabel and Humphrey should be annulled, and he should marry the lady.
Isabel's mother, Maria Comnena, was the wife of Balian of Ibelin, one of
Conrad's strongest supporters, and she had never liked Humphrey of Toron.
Thus her mother and the barons put all the pressure they could on Isabel
to accept Conrad's suggestion. Unfortunately for all concerned, the very
qualities that made Humphrey an unpromising candidate for the crown made
him a pleasant husband, and Isabel loved him. Only when the gentle Humphrey
had been driven off by his fierce foes was Maria able to prevail over her
daughter. Two prelates, archbishop Ubald of Pisa, who was the papal legate,
and Philip of Dreux, bishop of Beauvais, were glad to aid. Maria calmly swore
that Isabel had been forced to marry Humphrey against her will, and the marriage
was solemnly annulled. Only one stumbling block remained. Archbishop Baldwin
of Canterbury was a stern old prelate with a rigid sense of propriety. His
unpopularity with King Richard stemmed from his fruitless prohibition of
the marriage of the king's brother John to Isabel, countess of Gloucester.
Now he firmly forbade the marriage of Conrad and Isabel of Jerusalem. But
Baldwin was old and worn. He died on November 19, 1190, and five days later
Conrad and Isabel were married. As far as Conrad was concerned, he was king
of Jerusalem. 36 
 When Philip Augustus reached Acre on April 20, 1191, he promptly aligned
himself with the party supporting Conrad. The reasons for this decision are
obvious. Conrad was the husband of the heiress to the kingdom of Jerusalem.
He was a vigorous soldier and effective ruler who had the support of the
majority of the barons of the kingdom. In taking his part, Philip was clearly
36 Eracles, pp. 151-154; Bernard le Trésorier, p. 267; Estoire, pp.
177-179; Gesta, II, 141-142. 


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