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

XIII: The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall, 1239-1241,   pp. 463-486 PDF (13.4 MB)

Page 470

combination of ineptness and bad luck an important part of his vast patrimony,
and had earned the distrust of every group in the feudal politics of France.
Only his status as a crusader had saved him from severe punishment for rebellion
against Louis IX. One can only guess at Theobald's motives in taking the
cross. He came of a crusading family. His uncle count Henry had been ruler
of Jeru salem, and his father Theobald III had died while preparing to go
to the Holy Land. Theobald quarreled with the church less than most feudal
princes and was an enthusiastic burner of heretics. Perhaps he felt grateful
to Divine Providence for the kingdom of Navarre. Perhaps he was chiefly interested
in papal protection in case his rebellion against king Louis failed. Certainly
nothing in his record gave any hope that he would furnish wise, determined,
or consistent leadership to the crusading host. 
 Peter of Dreux was a noted soldier and a skillful and unscrupulous politician.
He loved power, wealth, prestige, and strife of all kinds. Born a younger
son of the house of Dreux, and hence a relative of the Capetian kings, he
had spent his life struggling to obtain and keep a position that would satisfy
his ambitions. Husband to Alice, the heiress of Brittany, he had forced its
almost independent counties into a centralized feudal state. Her death reduced
his rights in the duchy to those of guardian of his young son John. Having
failed at rebellion against Blanche of Castile and Louis IX, Peter retired
to his second wife's domains in Poitou. His reasons for taking the cross
are not hard to guess. He needed the pope's friendship to aid him in settling
his numerous quarrels with the church, and he wanted more action than his
petty flefs in Poitou would be likely to supply. Few barons can have had
greater need of the crusader's indulgences. As an experienced and competent
soldier with no affection for useless risk Peter was a valuable addition
to the crusading host. 
 Amairic of Montfort was a bankrupt hero. Son of Simon, who had led the Albigensian
Crusade and won the title count of Tou louse, Amairic had been obliged to
surrender his rights in Toulouse to the French crown.9 Although he enjoyed
the dignity of constable of France, his lands were small and he was deeply
in debt. His crusade was financed by the pope and king Louis. Perhaps his
reputation as a soldier was more a reflection of his father's glory than
the result of his own prowess, but he was undoubtedly con sidered the first
soldier of France. Duke Hugh of Burgundy had little fame as either a soldier
or a statesman. But he came of a family 
 See above, chapter VIII, pp. 314—324. 

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