top of page



the house of flanders.png
Flanders to Jerusalem.png

The House of Flanders

Also called the Baldwins. 

founded by Baldwin I Iron Arm, husband of Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald.




From 1051, the House of Flanders also reigned over the County of Hainaut, with Baldwin I of Hainaut. In 1119, on the death of Baldwin VII, the House of Flanders ceased to rule in Flanders. But in 1191, the House of Flanders recovered the title of Count of Flanders with Baldwin VIII (Baldwin V of Hainaut).

A cadet branch, the House of Boulogne, ruled over the County of Boulogne

The dynasty established the Latin Empire of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. It also ruled briefly the County of Namur (1188-1212). The House of Flanders became extinct in 1280 with the death of Margaret II.










Baldwin V of Flanders

Baldwin V.png


Eustace II, Count of Boulogne.

Eustace II Bayreaux.png














With arms outstretched, Eustace II at the battle of Hastings with William the Conquerer. His " Gernons", moustach, clearly visible.


Eustace II, also known as Eustace aux Gernons, was Count of Boulogne from 1049–1087. He fought on the Norman side at the Battle of Hastings, and afterwards received large grants of land forming an honour in England. He is one of the few proven companions of William the Conqueror.


Born: 1015, Duchy of Lorraine

Died: 1087

Noble family: House of Flanders-Boulogne

SpouseIda of Lorraine (m. 1049)

ParentsEustace I, Count of Boulogne

ChildrenGodfrey of BouillonBaldwin I of Jerusalem,

Robert I Count of Flanders

Robert I of Flanders.png
Godfrey De Bouillion.png

Godfrey of Bouillion

Godfrey of Bouillon was born around 1060 the second son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and Ida, daughter of the duke Godfrey the Bearded. It was in Jerusalem that the legend of Godfrey of Bouillon was born.

Godfrey and his brothers Eustace and Baldwin joined the First Crusade in 1096. The army reached the city in June 1099 with Godfrey and Robert II very much leading. They built a wooden siege tower (from lumber provided by some Italian sailors who intentionally scrapped their ships) to get over the walls). The major attack took place on July 14 and 15, 1099.


Godfrey and some of his knights were the first to take the walls and enter the city. It was an end to three years of fighting by the Crusaders, but they had finally achieved what they had set out to do in 1096—to recapture the Holy Land, Jerusalem and its holy sites

Raymond of Toulouse declined the offer to become king of Jerusalem, and Godfrey accepted the rulership instead. He refused the title of king, however, as he believed that he ought not wear "a crown of gold" where Jesus Christ had worn "a crown of thorns". Godfrey secured his kingdom by defeating the Fatimids at Ascalon a month later, bringing the First Crusade to an end.

Godfrey only ruled Jerusalem for one year before his death in 1100. He was succeeded by his brother Baldwin, who was crowned the first King of Jerusalem.


Robert 'le Hiérosolymitain' de Flandre II Robert of Jerusalem

Robert II (c. 1065 – 1111) was Count of Flanders from 1093 to 1111. He became known as Robert of Jerusalem (Robertus Hierosolimitanus) or Robert the Crusader after his exploits in the First Crusade.

He ruled with his father as joint count of Flanders from 1086 succeeding his father in 1093 as ROBERT II Count of Flanders. He joined the First Crusade in 1096 and was joint-leader of a contingent with Robert Duke of Normandy and Etienne Comte de Blois. As the crusaders approached Antioch in Oct 1097, a contingent under Count Robert captured Artah to the south-west.


After the capture of Jerusalem, he left Palestine for Europe in Sep 1099. He helped Henry I King of England conquer Normandy from his brother Robert in 1106, in accordance with the alliance agreed in the Treaty of Dover in 1103 which was renewed in 1110.

Orderic Vitalis records that Count Robert was among the forces of Louis VI King of France which fought Thibaut IV Comte de Blois near Meaux, that he was trampled as the king fled with his men and died a few days later, but according to William of Malmesbury, he was mortally wounded in a tournament.

Robert II of Flanders.png



He was the eldest son of Robert I of Flanders and Gertrude of Holland. His father was hoping to place the cadet branch (or "Baldwinite" branch) of Flanders over the county.


After reaching Constantinople, the crusaders were obliged to swear an oath of fealty to Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus and promise to return to the Byzantine Empire any land they might capture

Robert then participated in the Siege of Nicaea, after which the army was split into two groups. Robert marched with Stephen of Blois, Bohemund of Taranto, Robert Curthose, and the Byzantine guides, one day ahead of the rest of the crusaders. This army was surrounded by the Seljuk sultan Kilij Arslan I at the Battle of Dorylaeum on June 30, 1097. The next day, the second army, led by Raymond IV of Toulouse, Godfrey of Bouillon, and Hugh of Vermandois, arrived and broke the encirclement; the two armies joined together, with Robert and Raymond forming the centre. The Turks were defeated, and the crusaders continued their march.

At the end of 1097 the crusaders arrived at Antioch. The Siege of Antioch lasted many months. Antioch was eventually betrayed  by an Armenian guard, and Robert was among the first to enter the city, but only a few days later they were themselves besieged by Kerbogha of Mosul. On June 28, 1098, the crusaders marched out to meet him in battle; Robert and Hugh of Vermandois led the first of six divisions. Kerbogha was defeated and the Muslim-held citadel finally surrendered to the crusaders.


When Jerusalem was captured on July 15, Robert supported Godfrey's claim over that of Raymond, and on August 9 marched out with him to meet the Fatimid army under al-Afdal Shahanshah which was coming to relieve Jerusalem. Robert formed part of the centre wing in the ensuing Battle of Ascalon, which resulted in a crusader victory. However, Godfrey and Raymond quarrelled over possession of Ascalon, and even Robert could not support Godfrey in this dispute; the city remained uncaptured, although the victory allowed for the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

At the end of August, Robert returned home with Robert Curthose and Raymond. On the way back they captured Latakia, which was returned to the Byzantine emperor, as promised years before. Raymond remained there but both Roberts continued home by way of Constantinople, after declining Alexius' request to stay there in his service.


Robert brought back with him a precious relic, the arm of Saint George, a gift from Alexius. The relic was placed in the church of Anchin Abbey in Flanders. After he returned, Robert built the monastery of St. Andrew in Betferkerke, near Bruges. Because of his crusade and the spoils he brought home, he was recognised as  Robert of Jerusalem.Robert II married Clementia of Burgundy, sister of Pope Callistus II. They had three children, but only the oldest survived to adulthood. He succeeded Robert as Baldwin VII of Flanders.




Baldwin I also known as Baldwin of Boulogne (1060s – 2 April 1118), was the first count of Edessa from 1098 to 1100, and the first king of Jerusalem from 1100 to his death.


Being the youngest son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, and Ida of Lorraine, he was destined for a church career, but he abandoned it and married  Godehilde of Tosny, a Norman noblewoman, He received the County of Verdun in 1096, but he soon joined the crusader army of his brother Godfrey of Bouillon and with Robert II  count of Flanders became one of the most successful commanders of the First Crusade.

During the Cusade many  lands were  overun and some welcomed the Crusaders more as liberators 

The Armenian lord of Edessa, Thoros, sent envoys—the Armenian bishop of Edessa and twelve leading citizens—to Baldwin in early 1098, seeking his assistance against the nearby Seljuq rulers. Being the first town to convert to Christianity, Edessa had played an important role in Christian history.  Baldwin left for Edessa in early February, but troops sent by Balduk, the emir of Samosata,or Bagrat prevented him from crossing the Euphrates. His second attempt was successful and he reached Edessa on 20 February. Baldwin did not want to serve Thoros as a mercenary. The Armenian townspeople feared that he was planning to leave the town, so they persuaded Thoros to adopt him. 


There followed a coup (during which Baldwin "allowed" his adoption father to be deposed. Afterwards the townspeople acknowledged Baldwin as their ruler (or doux), he assumed the title of COUNT OF EDESSA. and so established the first crusader state.  With the capture of Jerusalem Baldwin was then the highest ranked noble with titles in Europe and Asia and combined with a formidable and unsurpassed military record  claimed the innheritance of his late brother Godfrey as KING OF JERUSALEM

Baldwin I King of Jerusalem.png

















Baldwin I King of Jerusalem 

bottom of page