About Eustache IV, count of Boulogne
Eustace IV, Count of Boulogne
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Count of Boulogne
Reign 25 December 1146 – 17 August 1153
Predecessor Matilda I
Successor William I
Spouse Constance of France
House House of Blois
Father Stephen of Blois, King of the English
Mother Matilda I, Countess of Boulogne
Born c. 1127–1135
Died 17 August 1153 (aged c. 17–26)
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Burial Faversham Abbey, Kent
Eustace IV (c. 1130 – 17 August 1153) was a Count of Boulogne and the son and heir of King Stephen of England. He became the Heir Apparent to his father's lands by the death of an elder brother before 1135, and inherited Boulogne through his mother, Matilda of Boulogne.
In 1137, he did homage for Normandy to Louis VII of France, whose sister, Constance, he subsequently married in 1140 (as a widow she remarried to Count Raymond V of Toulouse). Eustace was knighted in 1147, at which date he was probably from sixteen to eighteen years of age. In 1151 he joined Louis in an abortive raid upon Normandy, which had accepted the title of the Empress Matilda (another of many Matildas of the era), and was now defended by her husband, Geoffrey of Anjou.
At a council held in London on 6 April 1152, Stephen induced a small number of barons to pay homage to Eustace as their future king; but the primate, Theobald, and the other bishops declined to perform the coronation ceremony on the grounds that the Roman curia had declared against the claim of Eustace.
Eustace died suddenly the next year, in early August 1153 struck down (so it was said) by the wrath of God while plundering church lands near Bury St. Edmunds. The death of Eustace was hailed with general satisfaction as opening the possibility of a peaceful settlement between Stephen and his rival, the young Henry of Anjou. According to William of Newburgh, King Stephen was "grieved beyond measure by the death of the son who he hoped would succeed him; he pursued warlike preparations less vigorously, and listened more patiently than usual to the voices of those urging peace."
The Peterborough Chronicle, not content with voicing this sentiment, gives Eustace a bad character. "He was an evil man and did more harm than good wherever he went; he spoiled the lands and laid thereon heavy taxes." He had used threats against the recalcitrant bishops, and in the war against the Angevin party had demanded contributions from religious houses; these facts perhaps suffice to account for the verdict of the chronicler.
He was buried in Faversham Abbey, which was founded by his parents.
1. ^ a b Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 52
Eustace IV, Count of Boulogne
House of Blois
Born: ? c. 1130 Died: 17 August 1153
Empress Matilda Heir to the English Throne
as heir apparent
22 December 1135 - 17 August 1153 Succeeded by
Henry, Count of Anjou
Stephen Count of Mortain
1135–1141 Succeeded by
Matilda I Count of Boulogne
1151–1153 Succeeded by
* This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
EUSTACE IV, COMTE DE BOULOGNE
Eldest child of King Stephen de Blois of England and Queen Consort Matilda de Boulogne, and heir apparent to the throne of England, Eustace was knighted appr. age eighteen in 1147. Inasmuch as Eustace came of age during the struggle for the English throne between his father and his father's cousin, the Empress Matilda, Eustace was notable for his arrogance, as heir apparent to the English throne, and a vicious disposition.
In Ken Follet's "Pillars of the Earth", Eustace is portrayed as having been slain in battle by his rival, Henri (son of the Empress Matilda), the future King Henri II of England. In reality, Eustace was "struck down (so it was said) by the wrath of God while plundering church lands near Bury St. Edmunds". One truly wonders what being "struck down by the wrath of God" entailed!!.......Eustace was interred at Faversham Abbey in Kent, where later both King Stephen and Queen Consort Matilda were also interred. The current location of these royal relics is unknown, as Faversham Abbey was plundered during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII.
The short and inglorious life of Comte Eustace is summarized thusly in the Peterbourough Chronicle -- "He was an evil man and did more harm than good wherever he went, he spoiled the lands and laid thereon heavy taxes".
Source -- "Eustace IV, Comte de Boulogne" / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eustace_IV_Count_of_Boulogne
Eustache IV, count of Boulogne's Timeline
Blois, Loir-et-Cher, France
August 17, 1153
Bury Abbey, Bury-St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Faversham Abbey, Faversham, Kent, England