ⓘ Fulk, King of Jerusalem. Fulk V, called le Jeune, was a French nobleman who was the Count of Anjou from 1109 to 1129. He was the Count of Maine 1110–1129. Fulk ..

Fulk, King of Jerusalem

ⓘ Fulk, King of Jerusalem

Fulk V, called "le Jeune", was a French nobleman who was the Count of Anjou from 1109 to 1129. He was the Count of Maine 1110–1129. Fulk was a crusader, Knight Templar and was the King of Jerusalem from 1131 to his death.


1. Early career

Fulk le Jeune, born in 1092, was the younger son of Fulk IV le Rechin and his fifth wife Bertrade de Montfort. She was the daughter of Simon de Montfort, Count de Montfort lAmaury. As an infant he was probably taken with his mother to be raised at the French court. He was at the French court in 1106 when the news arrived of his half-brother, Geoffrey IV, Count of Anjous death. King Philip I then made his step-son, Fulk V, the Count of Anjou. The French king then made Duke William of Aquitaine Fulks guardian as Fulk was not yet old enough to rule on his own. However the duke put Fulk in prison. Nothing the king or queen threatened could get Duke William to release the boy. After a year his father, Fulk le Rechin finally paid the duke a ransom of several towns on the border with Poitou. Fulk le Rechin died two years later on April 14, 1109. Fulk V "je June" succeeded his father as the count of Anjou.


2. Count of Anjou and Maine

In 1110 Fulk V le Jeune married Eremburge of Maine. When her father, Count Elias, died a few months later, Fulk V became the Count of Maine in right of his wife. But this brought him into immediate conflict with King Henry I of England who also claimed Maine. For a time Fulk was the first Angevin count to directly rule Maine. In 1113 Henry I arranged to meet with Fulk V at Alençon. There they arranged a peace agreement. To seal the agreement they made a marriage alliance. Fulks infant daughter, Matilda, was promised in marriage to Henrys nine year old son, William Adelin. Fulk V remained the Count of Maine but he swore fealty to King Henry I as his overlord. Without his Angevin ally Fulk, King Louis VI of France was forced to make peace with King Henry I. King Louis confirmed the lordship overlordship of Maine to Henry I. Henry then attacked the lands of Robert de Bellême; joined by Fulk V. Bellême was defeated and Henry I returned to England. Fulk V returned to Anjou to deal with a revolt in Angers.

In 1116 Louis IV raided into Normandy again. Louis had supported Henry Is nephew, William Clito as the Duke of Normandy. By 1117 King Louis IV of France, Count Baldwin VII of Flanders and Fulk V of Anjou were all supporting William Clito against Henry I of England. The next summer Henry I returned to Normandy and the war began. Fulk V defeated Henry I at La Motte-Gautier on the border of Maine. In October of 1118 Fulk V again defeated Henry I at Alençon. Finally, after a series of defeats Henry I made peace with Fulk V. They sealed their truce by allowing the marriage of Fulks daughter Matilda with Henrys son William Adelin. Fulk V gave Maine as a dowry for his daughter Matilda. In 1120 Fulk V then made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He spent a year at Jerusalem. According to Orderic Vitalis he joined the Knights Templar. When he returned to Anjou Fulk left 100 knights behind for a year to help defend the Kingdom. He continued to pay the Templars a substantial yearly donation for the rest of his life.

Fulk le Jeune returned to Anjou in early 1121. He learned that William Adelin, his new son-in-law William had drowned in the shipwreck of the White Ship. The treaty with Anjou then died with Henrys son. Fulks daughter Matilda was safe; she had not been on the White ship. Fulk demanded her return to Anjou. But Henry delayed her return and kept part of her dowry. By 1122 she was back in Anjou. Fulk broke off all relations with Henry and made another marriage alliance with Henrys nephew and enemy, William Clito. William was to marry Fulks daughter Sibyl. He again gave his new son-in-law the lordship of Maine as her dowry. As Henry dealt with his rebel Norman barons one by one, by 1124 Fulk V was William Clitos only supporter. Henry now did everything he could to get the pope to annul the marriage between William Clito and Sibyl. On 26 August 1124 Pope Calixtus II annulled the marriage of William Clito and Sibyl because they were too closely related.

In 1126 Fulk le Jeunes wife, Eremburge, Countess of Maine and Anjou died. In Germany,Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor died. His wife the Empress Matilda was Henry I of Englands only living legitimate child. Henry called her back to England. Henry made all his English and Norman barons swear that in case Henry had no sons they would make Matilda the Queen of England succeeding him. In 1127 Henry made peace again with Fulk le Jeune and offered a new marriage alliance. Fulks son, Geoffrey was to wed the Empress Matilda and Maine would be settled on the new couple. In June of 1128, Henry I came to Rouen and there knighted Geoffrey of Anjou. A week later the couple was married.

About this same time Fulk le Jeune had received representatives of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. king Baldwin II had no sons but he had four daughters. He offered the hand of his oldest daughter, Melisende, to Fulk le June along with the crown of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Fulk was well known in Jerusalem from his earlier visit and the money he sent the Knights Templar every year. In Jerusalem Melisende became officially the heiress of the kingdom. She would rule as Queen at her fathers death. After the wedding of his son Geoffrey, Fulk le Jeune and his children all met at the Fontevraud Abbey where his daughter Matilda became a nun. They said their farewells and Fulk le Jeune set off for Jerusalem. Geoffrey V, nicknamed "la Bel" was to rule Anjou in his fathers absence.

In the spring of 1129 Fulk le Jeune arrived in Jerusalem. He and Melisende were married. As a part of their marriage contract at the death of her father, King Baldwin II, Fulk and Melisende were to rule Jerusalem together. As a dowry Fulk and Melisende received the two most valuable ports in the kingdom, Tyre and Acre. Fulk brought a large number of knights and foot soldiers with him from Anjou.


3. King of Jerusalem

In 1131, on the death of Baldwin II of Jerusalem, Fulk was crowned king. Melisende was crowned Queen at the same time. But from the beginning of their rule Fulk attempted to ruled alone. He tried to keep Melisende from having an active part in ruling Jerusalem. Fulk began replacing governors and counsellors with his own followers from Anjou. Many had served several of the Kings of Jerusalem. Their loss of favor with the new king caused a great deal of resentment. Between 1133 and 1134 a revolt started among the nobility of Jerusalem led by Count Hugh II of Jaffa. Fulk called on Count Hugh to appear before him but Hugh refused. Fulk then took away Hughs fief of Jaffa. Hugh was angry and joined with their enemies the Fatimid Egyptians. But his followers left Hugh and came back to King Fulk. Hugh next submitted to King Fulk and was exiled for three years. The revolt was broken. During the revolt however, the Seljuks of Damascus were able to take back Banyas. But Fulk realized he could not exclude Melisende and from then on allowed her to share in ruling the kingdom.

In 1132 Pons, Count of Tripoli was defeated by Seljuks and was under siege at the castle of Montferrand Baarin. Fulk rushed to his aid and forced the enemy to retreat. In 1134 Fulk raided into Hauran in present day Syria and Jordan. But he was forced to retreat when Seljuks countered by attacking Jerusalem. In September the two sides agreed to a peace.

In 1136 Fulk began building castles around the fortress city of Ascalon. This was to prevent raids on Jerusalem by the Egyptian Fatimids. He also built a castle at Beth Gibelin and placed it in the care of the Knights Hospitaller. Also in 1136 the Grand Master leader of the Knights Templar, Hugues de Payens, died. Fulk used his influence with the Templars to get one of his own Angevins, Robert of Craon, elected Grand Master. In 1137 Fulk was besieged at Montferrand. The Patriarch of Jerusalem marched an army to relieve the fortress. But Fulk did not know his own army was coming to his rescue. The Seljuks knew of this and quickly offered Fulk favorable terms. King Fulk surrendered the castle in exchange for his own freedom.

In 1137 while the Christians and Muslims were engaged with each other a new force was entering the area. John, the Byzantine Emperor was moving against Antioch. He decided to take back the city and began attacking the walls. Too powerful for Fulk to deal with he decided to surrender Antioch to the Emperor. The Prince of Antioch, Raymond of Poitiers, had to surrender to the Emperor in person. Then, with the Byzantine flag above the city and Raymond still the Prince, the Emperor returned to Constantinople. Fulk, the King of Jerusalem, lost his control over Antioch.

On 10 November 1143 Fulk died in a hunting accident falling from his horse. After Fulks death Melisende took control of Jerusalem. She ruled as queen and as regent for their oldest son Baldwin III.


4. Family

In 1110, Fulk married Ermengarde of Maine † 1126, the daughter of Elias I of Maine. Together they had:

  • Matilda † 1154, married William Adelin. As his widow she became a nun and later abbess at Fontevraud Abbey.
  • Elias II † 1151, succeeded his father as the count of Maine.
  • Sibylla 1112–1165, married first William Clito. She married second Thierry, Count of Flanders.
  • Geoffrey V 1113–1151, succeeded his father as count of Anjou.

His second wife was Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem, the daughter of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Morphia of Melitene. Together they had:

  • Amalric I of Jerusalem, King of Jerusalem.
  • Baldwin III of Jerusalem, King of Jerusalem.
  • 1060 1067 Fulk IV le Rechin 1067 1096 1106 1109 Geoffrey IV Martel 1096 1106 Fulk V le June 1109 - 1143 Count of Anjou, Maine and King of Jerusalem
  • They had a son: Fulk V le June Count of Anjou and King of Jerusalem The text of the Fragmentium Historiae Andegavensis begins: I Fulk Angevin count
  • IV becomes Count of Barcelona. Alberich becomes Archdeacon of Reims. Fulk of Anjou and Melisende become King and Queen of Jerusalem Construction begins