Kings of Jerusalem

Kings of Jerusalem

This is a list of Kings of Jerusalem, from 1099 to 1291, as well as claimants to the title up to the present day.

Kings of Jerusalem (1099–1291)

The Kingdom of Jerusalem had its origins in the First Crusade, when Godfrey of Bouillon took the title "Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri" (Protector of the Holy Sepulcher) in 1099 and was crowned as ruler of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The following year, his brother Baldwin I was the first to use the title king and the first to be crowned king in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem itself.

The actual title of the early kings of Jerusalem was "Rex Latinitas Ierosolimitanus", or other variations meaning "king of the Latins of Jerusalem". They did not pretend to rule over the native Christian, Muslim, or Jewish populations.

The kingship of Jerusalem was partially elected and partially hereditary. During the height of the kingdom in the mid-12th century there was a royal family and a relatively clear line of succession. Nevertheless the king was elected, or at least recognized, by the Haute Cour. Here the king was considered a primus inter pares (first among equals), and in his absence his duties were performed by his seneschal.

The royal palace was located in the Citadel of the Tower of David. The Kingdom of Jerusalem introduced French feudal structures to the Levant. The king personally held several fiefs incorporated into the royal domain, that varied from king to king. He was also responsible for leading the kingdom into battle, although this duty could be passed to a constable.

While several contemporary European states were moving towards centralized monarchies, the king of Jerusalem was continually losing power to the strongest of his barons. This was partially due to the young age of many of the kings, and the frequency of regents from the ranks of the nobles.

After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187, the capital of the kingdom was moved to Acre, where it remained until 1291, although coronations took place in Tyre.

In this period the kingship was often simply a nominal position, held by a European ruler who never actually lived in Acre. When young Conrad III was king and living in Southern Germany, his father's second cousin, Hugh of Brienne, claimed the regency of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and, indirectly his place in the succession. The claim was made in 1264 as senior descendant and rightfull heir of Alice of Champagne, second daughter of Queen Isabella I, Hugh being the son of their eldest daughter. But was passed over by the Haute Cour in favor of his cousin, Hugh of Antioch, the future Hugh III of Cyprus and Hugh I of Jerusalem.

After Conrad III's execution by Charles I of Sicily in 1268, the kingship was held by the Lusignan family, who were simultaneously kings of Cyprus. However, Charles I of Sicily purchased the rights of one of the heirs of the kingdom in 1277.

In that year, he sent Roger of Sanseverino to the East as his bailiff. Roger captured Acre and obtained a forced homage from the barons. Roger was recalled in 1282 due to the Sicilian Vespers and left Odo Poilechien in his place to rule. His resources and authority was minimal, and he was ejected by Henry II of Cyprus when he arrived from Cyprus for his coronation as King of Jerusalem.

Acre was captured by the Mamluks in 1291, eliminating the crusader presence in the east.

Claimants Kings of Jerusalem (1291 until today)

Origins of the claims

Over the years, many European rulers claimed to be the rightful heirs to one of these claims. None of these claimants, however, has actually ruled over a part of the Kingdom:

* Count Hugh of Brienne claimed the regency of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and indirectly, his place in the succession in 1264 as senior heir of Alice of Jerusalem, second daughter of Queen Isabella I, and Hugh I of Cyprus. Hugh, being the son of their eldest daughter, was passed over by the Haute Cour in favor of his cousin Hugh of Antioch, the future Hugh III of Cyprus and Hugh I of Jerusalem. The Brienne claim to kingdom of Jerusalem continued, but the family had afterwards next to no part in affairs in Outremer.

* After the end of the kingdom, Henry II of Cyprus continued to use the title of king of Jerusalem. After his death the title was claimed by his direct heirs, the kings of Cyprus.

* The title was also continuously used by the Angevin kings of Naples, whose founder, Charles of Anjou, had bought a claim to the throne from Mary of Antioch. Thereafter, this claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem was treated as a tributary of the crown of Naples, which often changed hands by testament or conquest rather than direct inheritance. As Naples was a papal fief, the Popes often endorsed the title of King of Jerusalem as well as of Naples, and the history of these claims is that of the Neapolitan Kingdom.

* In 1806 Emperor Napoleon I of France conceded the title to his brother and the new king of Naples, Joseph Bonaparte, who died in 1844.

Potential claimants today

There are several potential claimants today on the basis of (disputed) inheritance of the title. None of these has, or claims, any power in the area of the former Kingdom.
* Juan Carlos I, current king of Spain
* Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, claimant to the royal throne of France (House of Bourbon legitimist line)
* Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples, claimant to the royal throne of Italy (House of Savoy)
* Amedeo, 5th Duke of Aosta, claimant to the royal throne of Italy (House of Savoy-Aosta)
* Otto von Habsburg, claimant to the imperial throne of Austria and the royal thrones of Hungary and Bohemia (House of Habsburg-Lorraine)
* Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria, claimant to the royal throne of Two Sicilies (House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies Calabria line)
* Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro, claimant to the royal throne of Two Sicilies (House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies Castro line)
* Charles-Antoine Lamoral, Prince de Ligne de La Trémoille

Lines of succession in several claims

Italics indicate individuals who did not themselves use the title of king of Jerusalem.

Cypriot claimants

House of Lusignan
* Henry II (1285) 1291–1324
* Hugh 1324–1359
* Peter I 1359–1369
* Peter II 1369–1382
* James I 1382–1398
* Janus 1398–1432
* John 1432–1458
* Charlotte I 1458–1485 (d. 1487) m. 1459 her cousin Louis of Savoy (d. 1482)

"In 1460, Charlotte was dispossessed of Cyprus by her illegitimate half-brother James. However, she maintained her claims until 1485, when she resigned them to the next legitimate heir, Charles I of Savoy."

House of Lusignan
* Lusignan illegitimate claimants :
** James II 1460–1473 (illegitimate, usurped Cyprus from his half-sister Charlotte)
** James III 1473–1474
** Catherine 1474–1489 (wife and widow of James II)
** Catherine surrendered her rights to the Republic of Venice in 1489.

House of Savoy
* Savoyard legitimate claimants :
** "Charles I" 1482–1490
** "Charles II" 1490–1496

"On the death of Charles, the Duchy of Savoy passed to his heir-male Philip, and the Dukes of Savoy continued to claim Jerusalem. However, there was never historically a bar on female succession to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, although it always ran through a semi-salic line. The birth order of Anna and Marie, daughters of Amadeus IX, Duke of Savoy, is uncertain, so the heirs of either might be the Savoyard heirs-general. Neither appear to have used the title king of Jerusalem or ever asserted a claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem."

House of Ligne or House of Urach-Württemberg
* Heirs-general of Anna of Savoy:
** "Charlotte of Naples" 1496–1506
** ...
** "Charles-Antoine Lamoral, prince de Ligne de La Trémoïlle" 2005–present

* Heirs-general of Marie of Savoy:
** ...
** "Patrick Desmond Carl-Alexander Guinness" (the son of Desmond Guinness and father of Jasmine Guinness).

House of Savoy
* Savoyard heirs-male :
** "Philip" 1496–1497
** "Philibert" 1497–1504
** "Charles III" 1504–1553
** "Emmanuel Philibert" 1553–1580
** "Charles Emmanuel I" 1580–1630
** "Victor Amadeus I" 1630–1637 (assumed the title of "King of Cyprus" only in 1632)
** "Charles Emmanuel II" 1637–1675
** Victor Amadeus II of Savoy 1675–1730 (assumed the title 1713, in conjunction with his brief reign as King of Sicily)
** Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia 1730–1773
** Victor Amadeus III 1773–1796
** Charles Emmanuel IV 1796–1819
** Victor Emmanuel I 1819–1821
** Charles Felix 1821–1831
** Charles Albert 1831–1849
** Victor Emmanuel II 1849–1878
** Humbert I 1878–1900
** Victor Emmanuel III 1900–1946
** Humbert II 1946–1983
** Victor Emmanuel 1983–present (claim disputed in 2006)
** Amedeo 2006–present (claim disputed)

Neapolitan claimants

House of Anjou

Mary of Antioch claimed the throne of Jerusalem from 1269 to 1277. She was the daughter of Prince Bohemond IV of Antioch and his second wife Melisende of Cyprus. Melisende was the youngest daughter of Isabella, Queen of Jerusalem and her fourth husband, Amalric II of Jerusalem.

Since Mary was, at the time of the death of Conrad III, the only living grandchild of queen Isabella, she claimed the throne on basis of proximity in blood to the kings of Jerusalem. Denied by the "Haute Cour", she went to Rome and sold her rights, with papal blessing and confirmation, to Charles of Anjou in 1277.

Thereafter, this claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem was treated also as tributary to the crown of Naples, which often changed hands by testament or conquest rather than direct inheritance.

House of Anjou
* Charles I of Sicily 1277–1285; acquired title with approval of the Pope in 1277
* Charles II of Naples 1285–1309
** "Charles I of Hungary", King of Hungary, son of his eldest, predeceased son
** "Louis I of Hungary", king of Hungary and Poland, made a claim to Jerusalem and Sicily
** "Mary I of Hungary", childless, her kingdoms were kept by her husband, the future Emperor Sigismund
** "Jadwiga of Poland" (d. 1399), sister, childless, left her rights to her husband king Ladislas Jagello of Lithuania and Poland; after her death, the heir-general was her distant cousin and her family's enemy's widow
** Margaret of Durazzo (d. 1412), Dowager Queen of Hungary, Sicily and Jerusalem
** Ladislas of Naples
** Joan II of Naples, after whose death, the heir-general of the line of Charles I of Sicily was:
** "Charles VII of France"
** "Louis XI of France"
** Charles VIII of France, conquered Naples 1495 and assumed the title
** "Anne of France", Duchess of Bourbon
** "Anne of Laval", ancestress of La Tremoille, her issue also heirs of rights of Frederick IV of Naples
* Robert of Naples 1309–1343, third but eldest surviving son, who succeeded in Naples superseding the rights of his eldest brother's heirs
* Joan I of Naples 1343–1382. Joan left her kingdom by testament to Louis I of Anjou, whom she had previously adopted as heir, but she was ousted and soon murdered by Charles of Durazzo, the heir male of her house.

House of Anjou
* Senior Angevin claimants :
** Charles III of Naples (the Durazzo prince) 1382–1386
** Ladislas of Naples 1386–1414
** Joan II of Naples 1414–1435 Joan left her kingdom by testament to René of Anjou, of the junior line. She had previously adopted (and subsequently repudiated the adoption) her kinsman Alfonso V of Aragon and Sicily, who launched a conquest to have Naples. However, her heir general in Jerusalem, Sicily, Hungary etc was her distant cousin Charles VII of France, see above.

House of Anjou
* Junior Angevin claimants :
** Louis I 1382–1384
** Louis II 1384–1417
** Louis III 1417–1434

House of Anjou
* René I 1434–1480

"Rene I united the claims of junior and senior lines. However, in 1441, control of the Kingdom of Naples was lost to Alfonso V of Aragon, who also claimed the kingdom of Jerusalem thereby."

"In addition, while René was succeeded in Bar by his grandson René of Vaudemont, René's nephew and heir male Charles IV of Anjou claimed the kingdoms of Sicily and Jerusalem, and he then testamented them to his cousin Louis XI of France."

"In 1494 Charles VIII of France also claimed the Kingdom of Naples and Jerusalem as the great-grandson of Louis II of Anjou and launched his conquest."

* Angevin-Lorraine claimants :House of Anjou:* Yolande 1480–1483, Titular Queen of Jerusalem, Sicily, Aragon etc

House of Lorraine:* René II 1480–1508, Titular King of Jerusalem, Sicily and Aragon etc. (did not adopt the title until 1493):* "Anthony" 1508–1544:* "Francis I" 1544–1545:* "Charles III" 1545–1608:* "Henry" 1608–1624:* "Nicoletta" 1624–1657, and her husband "Charles":* "Ferdinand I Philip" 1657–1659:* Charles Leopold" 1659–1690:* Leopold I Joseph 1679–1729, resumed the title in 1700:* Francis II Stephen 1729–1765

House of Habsburg-Lorraine:* Joseph 1765–1790:* Leopold II 1790–1792:* Francis III 1792–1835:* Ferdinand 1835–1875:* Francis Joseph 1875–1916:* Charles 1916–1922:* Otto 1922–present

House of Anjou
* French claimants
** "Charles IV" 1480–1481, heir male of René, Titular King of Jerusalem and Sicily
** "Louis" 1481–1483, first cousin, by testament
** Charles V 1483–1498 — In 1495, Charles VIII of France had conquered Naples and was crowned as king. He died 1498, leaving his sister Anne of Beaujeu as his heir-general, and his second cousin Louis XII of France as his heir male. After Anne of France, the heir-general was Anne of Laval, great-granddaughter of Louis XI's eldest surviving sister. See above (Cyprus claim)
** Louis V 1498–1515 took up the claim, although he was heir-male of Charles and lacked close descent from the main Neapolitan lines (he was a descendant of the eldest daughter of Charles II of Naples). He succeeded in conquering part of Naples 1500–1504. No other French king has adopted the title. [] .

* Aragonese claimants :
** Alfonso I 1442–1458 by conquest of Naples
** Ferdinand I 1458–1494, natural son, by testament
** Alfonso II 1494–1495
** Ferdinand II 1495–1496, who lost briefly to Charles VIII of France. His heiress general was his sister Isabella of Naples
** Frederick 1496–1501, uncle, during whose reign the Neapolitan lands were invaded by the alliance of Louis XII of France, who claimed the succession, and Ferdinand II of Aragon, who succeeded in driving out both Frederick and Louis by 1504. Frederick's heirs exercised the claim afterwards as puppets of France for several decades, when it was convenient for the French policies; his current heir is the Prince de Ligne de la Trémoïlle aforementioned.
** Ferdinand 1504–1516 (by conquest, and Papal enfeoffment) - the heir of original Aragonese claims of Constance Manfredi of Sicily and Peter III of Aragon
** Charles 1516–1554
** Philip I 1554–1598
** Philip II 1598–1621
** Philip III 1621–1665
** Charles 1665–1700
** Philip IV 1700–1734 (by testament), during whose reign the Kingdom of Naples was lost in 1707 to Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor and 1713 the island of Sicily (later that of Sardinia) to Victor Amadeus II of Savoy who also was given the title King of Jerusalem (see above the Savoyard succession).

* Habsburg claimants :
** Joseph 1707–1711
** Charles VI 1711–1740, who lost the Kingdom of Naples in 1734 to a Bourbon prince, the future Charles III of Spain, and renounced his claims, retaining his titles to Naples and Jerusalem during his lifetime.
** Charles of Bourbon 1734–1788 Charles was obliged by treaty to prevent the union of the crowns of Spain and the Two Sicilies, and so resigned the Two Sicilies to his son Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. However, the Kings of Spain continued to use the titles of the Two Sicilies and Jerusalem.

* Two Sicilies claimants : (Ferdinand's father and older brother took the Jerusalem title, but it was nominally attached to the crown of Naples since Charles I)
** Ferdinand 1759–1825
** Francis I 1825–1830
** Ferdinand 1830–1859
** Francis II 1859–1894
** Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta 1894–1934
** Prince Ferdinando Pius, Duke of Calabria 1934–1960
** Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro 1960–1966
** Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Castro 1966–2008
** Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro 2008–present

* Spanish claimants :
** Charles 1788–1819
** Ferdinand 1819–1833
** Isabella 1833–1904
** Alfonso 1904–1941
** Juan 1941–1977
** Juan Carlos 1977–present

Other historic claims

* Hugh of Brienne and his heirs represent the senior heirs-general to the Kingdom, although they never pressed the claim after Hugh's rejection by the "Haute Cour". His current heir-general is Charles-Antoine Lamoral, aforementioned, who calls himself the Prince de Ligne de la Trémoïlle.
* Frederick of Meissen, Landgrave of Thuringia, briefly used the title after the death of Conradin in 1268, as grandson of Frederick II, who had crowned himself King of Jerusalem in his own right. This claim was never recognized in Outremer or elsewhere.
* According to E.P. Karnovich (1886) [ Evgenii Petrovich Karnovich (1823-1885) Rodovye prozvaniya I tituly v Rossii (Family Names and Titles in Russia) St Peterburgh 1886 ] , there was a colonel named Prince de Lusignan in the Russian service, allowed to be called the titular King of Cyprus and Jerusalem by Tsar Nicholas I. He claimed to be descended from Christobul de Lusignan, who had served in the Greek army under the Byzantine empire and was allegedly descended from a member of the Cypriot House of Lusignan who'd moved to Egypt and on to St Petersburg in Russia. Tsar Nicholas I allowed Colonel Lusignan to be matriculated as a Russian noble, that is a person holding an office which ennobled him. [ Cecil R. Humphery-Smith, Princes of Lusignan page 5 The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies 2004.] The colonel was probably known as Louis Christian de Lusignan. [ In the issue No. 180 of the Peterburgskiy Listok (Petersburg List) Newspaper July 3-15, 1884, a list of deceased in St Petersburg between June 11 and June 18 was found. There was a record for Louis Christian de Lusignan, colonel (retired). In the same newspaper issue No. 172 June 25-July 7, 1884, the following article was published: "The deceased who was buried thereby on Smolensk graveyard on July 23, was a titled King of Cyprus and Jerusalem and Armenia, descendant of one of the protector of God's Casket, colonel of the Russian service, Louis de Lusignan."]


ee also

*Kingdom of Jerusalem
*Kings of Jerusalem family tree
*Vassals of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
*Officers of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
*Haute Cour of Jerusalem
*Assizes of Jerusalem

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