To celebrate the life of the last of the “Nine Worthies,” we will explore the life and accomplishments of Godfrey of Bouillon, who was born in 1060 in Boulogne sur Mer. As a medieval knight, he took on the role of leading the First Crusade from 1096 until his death in 1100 (Jerusalem). In this article, you will learn a little more about Godfrey , who becomes the Lord of Bouillon, which is where his byname comes from.
As the second son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine (who was the daughter of Godfrey III , the Duke of Lower Lorraine), Godfrey already came from a colorful historical past. After the fall of Jerusalem (which took place in 1099), Godfrey took over as the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem , yet he made it a point not to use the title of ‘king.’ To learn more about Godfrey of Bouillon (the third of the Christian “Nine Worthies”, consider the following facts:
1) Godfrey of Bouillon was born in a part of what is now present-day Belgium. When Godfrey was alive, the region of his birthplace was part of the Holy Roman Empire , which consisted of a small assortment of royal states.
2) The time was 1095 and Urban II (who had taken on the position of new Pope) organized the Crusade in an effort to bring liberation for Jerusalem and provide an escape from the Muslim forces. He also wanted to assist the Byzantine Empire. In regards to most of the lands he owned, Godfrey took out loans or put them up for sale to help out the bishop of Liege and the bishop of Verdun. It was his funds that allowed thousands of knights to gather to represent in the fight in the Holy Land.
3) The role that Godfrey played in the battles involving the Muslims was minor but was still significant. He would continue to play a part until the Crusaders made their way to Jerusalem in 1099.
4) When it comes to his death, the Arad chronicler named Ibn al Oalanisi exclaimed that an arrow, which led to his death, hit Godfrey. However, we find that the Christian chronicles do not tell the same story.
Another report was given by Albert the Aix and Ekkehard of Aura, which state that Godfrey became ill in Caesarea in June of 1100. Some believe that it was the emir of Caesarea that poisoned Godfrey, yet there seems no evidence or reports associated with this legend. Other accounts report that a poisoned apple led to Godfrey’s death, while many agree that it was a long illness that brought on his death.
5) Godfrey’s younger brother, Baldwin I of Jerusalem would later become the first titled king after he followed Godfrey as a ruler in 1100.
6) Godfrey’s character was best described as ‘pious and brave.’
7) In regards to the physical description of Godfrey, William of Tyre said that he was tall in stature (but ‘not extremely so’), but still taller than the average man. He had limbs that were solid and a sturdy chest. His features were characterized as pleasing to the eye, where he had a beard and locks that were medium blond.