Godfrey of Bouillon

[Godfrey of Bouillon]
Also known as

  • Duke of Lower Lorraine
  • Defender of the Holy Sepulcher


Born to the French nobility. As a vassal of Henry IV, he opposed Pope Saint Gregory VII in the investiture controversy. In 1096 he joined the Crusade of Pope Blessed Urban II with 40,000 followers. Passing through Hungary, was obliged to do homage to Alexius I (Comnenus). Contrary to the legends, he played only a secondary part in the councils of the Crusaders. In 1098 he took Antioch, and on 15 July 1099, with his brother Eustace, was the first to enter Jerusalem. He accepted the sovereignty of Jerusalem after the other leaders had declined, but refused to bear the title of king. Having received investiture from the patriarch, he defeated the Saracens in Egypt, but died shortly after. His tomb in the church of the Holy Sepulcher was destroyed in 1808.