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)
470 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES H 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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