The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






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 in 1099 and was crowned in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The following year, his brother Baldwin I of Jerusalem was the first to use the title "king" and the first to be crowned in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem itself.

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. In the Haute Cour the king was considered primus inter pares, and in his absence his duties were performed by his seneschal.

The royal palace was centred on the Citadel, centred on 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 (these varied from king to king). He was also responsible for leading the kingdom into battle, although this duty could be passed to the 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. Even in this period the kingship was often simply a nominal position, held by a European ruler who never lived in Acre. For some of the last hundred years of the kingdom, the kingship was held by the Lusignan family, simultaneously kings of Cyprus.

King/Queen Reigned Regent
Godfrey of Bouillon (Protector of the Holy Sepulchre) 1099 - 1100
Baldwin I 1100 - 1118
Baldwin II 1118 - 1131
Melisende and Fulk 1131 - 1153 Fulk lost influence after 1136, and died 1143. Melisende countinued to reign by right of law
Baldwin III 1153 - 1162, was crowned as co-ruler and heir of Melisende 1143 Melisende (Regent and advisor, 1154-1161)
Amalric I 1162 - 1174
Baldwin IV 1174 - 1185 Raymond III of Tripoli (Regent, 1174-1177)
Baldwin V 1185 - 1186 Raymond III of Tripoli (Regent, 1185-1186)
Sibylla and Guy of Lusignan 1186 - 1187
Jerusalem lost in 1187 - remaining kings ruled over a narrow coastal strip
Isabella 1192 - 1205
With Conrad of Montferrat 1192
With Henry II of Champagne 1192 - 1197
With Amalric II 1198 - 1205)
Maria of Montferrat 1205 - 1212 John of Ibelin (Regent, 1205 - 1210)
John of Brienne 1210 - 1212
Yolande 1212 - 1228 John of Brienne (Regent 1212-1225)
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor 1225 - 1228
Conrad of Hohenstaufen 1228 - 1254 Frederick II (Regent, 1228 - 1243)
Queen Alice of Cyprus (Regent, 1243 - 1246)
King Henry I of Cyprus (Regent, 1246 - 1253)
Queen Plaisance of Cyprus (Regent, 1253 - 1254)
Conradin 1254 - 1268 Queen Plaisance of Cyprus (Regent, 1254 - 1261
Princess Isabella of Antioch (Regent, 1261 - 1264)
King Hugh III of Cyprus (Regent, 1264 - 1268)
Hugh I 1268 - 1284 (Opposed by Charles of Anjou)
Charles of Anjou 1277 - 1285 (Opposed by John II)
John II 1284 - 1285
Henry II 1285 - 1291
Acre captured in 1291; kingdom ends.

Claimants to the throne of Jerusalem

After the end of the kingdom, Henry II continued to use the title "King of Jerusalem." After his death the title was claimed by both his direct heirs, the Kings of Cyprus, and by the Angevin Kings of Naples, whose founder, Charles of Anjou, had bought the rights to the throne from a childless supposed heiress. The Angevin claim passed down through their heirs, the Dukes of Lorraine, into the modern day House of Habsburg, and was also claimed by the Aragonese Kings who conquered Naples itself in the 15th century.

Currently, the title of King of Jerusalem is claimed by King Juan Carlos I of Spain as the successor to the royal family of Naples. The House of Savoy, as heirs of the royal family of Cyprus, have also made claims on the title at times.

None of these, however, have actually claimed a physical kingdom.

Cypriot claimants

Neapolitan claimants

Austrian Habsburg claim

Spanish Bourbon claim

  • Carlo VIII 1788-1819; eldest son of Carlo VII of Naples, King of Spain 1788-1808
  • Fernando IV 1819-1833; King of Spain in 1808 & from 1813
  • Isabel 1833-1904; lost Spanish crown in 1868
  • Alfonso XIII 1904-1941; King of Spain 1886-1931
  • Juan II 1941-1977; heir to Spanish throne, renounce rights for his son in 1977
  • Juan Carlos 1977-present; King of Spain from 1975

Potential Maltese claim

  • Jean II 1432-1458
  • Charlotte 1458-1460 d. 1487
  • James II 1460-1473
  • James III 1473-1474
  • Eugene Matteo de Armenia, Baron of Baccari (1474-1523)
  • James Antonio d'Armenia, 2nd Baron di Baccari, Baron di Benuwarred (1523-1558),
  • Don Masi d'Armenia, 3rd Barone di Baccari (1558-89)
  • Donna Isabella d'Armenia, (r.1566-1621), 4th Baroness di Baccari, 3rd Baroness di Benuwarred (r.1589-1621)
  • Noble Isabella Inguanez, 7th Baronessa di Baccara (r. 1632-67)
  • Nobile Francesco Inguanez, (1639-1709), 8th Barone di Baccari (r. 1667-1709)
  • Conte Publio Inguanez, 9th Barone di Baccari, (r. 1709-42)
  • Contessa Maria Inguanez, De Jure "15th" Baroness di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana By Right of Descent, and 10th Baroness di Baccari (r. 1742-60)
  • Theresia Tanti, (1726-89), 11th Baroness di Baccari (r.1760-89)
  • John Vella, 12th Barone di Baccari, (1755-99) (r.1789-99)
  • Xavier Vella, 13th Barone di Baccari(r.1799-1867)
  • Teresa Vella Sant, (1823-1903), 14th de-Jure Baroness di Baccari (r.1867-1903)
  • Principe Francesco Saverio Said (died 1956), 15th Barone di Baccari. (r.1903-56)
  • Conte Giovanni Maria Said, 16th Barone (died at Sydney, Australia 2004) (r.1956-2004)
  • Francesco Saverio Said, 17th and Present Barone of Baccari (r.2004-present)

See also

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