Eustach IV (Boulogne)

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Eustach IV (around 1130 - August 10, 1153 ) was a Count of Boulogne and Crown Prince of England from the House of Blois . As the eldest son of King Stephen of England and Mathilda of Boulogne , he was the designated heir to the English throne and the Duchy of Normandy since 1135 .

In 1137, at the request of his father, Eustach had against King Ludwig VI. paid homage by France , which was a condition for the renewal of the peace treaty between King Henry I of England and the French king from 1120. The chronicler Heinrich von Huntingdon reported that Eustach had sworn the same oath as William Ætheling , as Duke of Normandy. This was confirmed by Matthew Paris , who wrote over a hundred years later . The official document traffic of the time suggests, however, that Eustach neither installed as a duke in Normandy nor paid homage as such to the French king. The only mention of him in his father's documents from 1140, he is named neither as duke nor as duke-designate, but only with the title of a count, which he wore as heir to the county of Boulogne from his mother. In February 1140 he was married to Konstanze, the sister of the French king.

Eustach was knighted by his father in 1147, from which one can conclude that he was between 16 and 18 years old at the time. Before that, Normandy had been conquered by her husband Gottfried Plantagenet von Anjou in the course of the war against "the Empress" Matilde (the Anarchy) . At the side of King Ludwig VII, Eustach took part in an unsuccessful campaign in Normandy in 1151, after which the French king recognized Gottfried's son, Heinrich , as the new duke. On April 6, 1152, King Stephen had a small number of barons pay homage to his son in London as the future king. The Archbishop of Canterbury , Theobald von Bec , however, together with other bishops refused to perform the coronation on the grounds that the Curia had denied Eustach's claims to inheritance. Eustach died suddenly the following year, on August 10, 1153, according to tradition, as a divine punishment during the sack of ecclesiastical land in Bury St. Edmunds . His death was received with great satisfaction because it had made possible a peaceful settlement between Stephan and young Heinrich, Matilde's son.

According to William of Newburgh , King Stephen was “grieved beyond measure by the death of his son whom he hoped to succeed him; he continued (his) war preparations less energetically and listened more patiently than usual to the voices of those who urged peace ”.

The Peterborough Chronicle attributes bad character to Eustach: “He was a bad person and did more bad than good wherever he went; he spoiled the land and imposed heavy taxes on it ”. He threatened the stubborn bishops and demanded payments from the church in the war against the Angevin party - which alone should be enough to bring him into disrepute in the chronicles.

Eustach was buried in Faversham Abbey . His widow married Count Raimund V of Toulouse for the second time .


Individual evidence

  1. See Hollister, p. 227.
  2. ^ Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum , ed. by Thomas Arnold in: Rolls Series 74 (1879), p. 260.
  3. Matthäus Paris, Chronica Majora , ed. by HR Luard in: Rolls Series 57 (1874), Vol. 2, p. 166.
  4. ^ Regesta Regnum Anglo-Normannorum , ed. by Ralph Henry Charles Davis (1968), Vol. 3, No. 921. See Hollister, p. 228.
  5. William of Newburgh , Historia rerum Anglicarum , ed. by Richard Howlett (1884), vol. 1, §XI, p. 44. Matthew Paris moved the wedding to the year 1139, Chronica Majora , ed. by HR Luard in: Rolls Series 57 (1874), Vol. 2, p. 170.
  6. ^ Gesta Stephani Regis, Regis Anglorum et Ducis Normannorum , ed. by RC Sewell (1846), Vol. 2, p. 130.
predecessor Office successor
Mathilde Count of Boulogne