Theobald II, Count of Champagne

Theobald II, Count of Champagne

Theobald the Great (1090–1151) was Count of Blois and of Chartres as Theobald IV from 1102 and was Count of Champagne and of Brie as Theobald II from 1125.

He held Auxerre, Maligny, Ervy, Troyes, and Châteauvillain as fiefs from Eudes II, Duke of Burgundy. He was the son of Stephen II, Count of Blois and Adela of Normandy, and the elder brother of King Stephen of England. Although he was the second son, Theobald was appointed above his older brother William. Several historians have painted William as mentally deficient, but this has never been substantiated. That said, we know that his mother found him obstreperous and unfit for wide ranging comptal duties. Thus he was given lands at Sulley in the North and was married off to a lady in his mothers court. His temper tantrums caused him problems early on. He did assault the Bishop of Chartres when he was about 15 and caused his mother to think twice about elevating him.Theobald had no such problems.

Theobald accompanied his mother throughout their realm on hundreds of occasions and, after her retirment to Marcigney in 1125, he administered the family properties with great skill. Adela died in her beloved convent in 1136, the year after her son Stephen was crowned king of England. [LoPrete, Kimberly. Adela, Countess and Lord, Fourcourts Press, Dublin. 2007]

King Louis VII of France became involved in a war with Theobald by permitting Count Raoul I of Vermandois and seneschal of France, to repudiate his wife Eléonore of Blois, Theobald's sister, and to marry Petronilla of Aquitaine, sister of the queen of France. The war, which lasted two years (1142-1144), was marked by the occupation of Champagne by the royal army and the capture of Vitry, where many persons perished in the burning of the church. French teacher Pierre Abélard, who became famous for his love affair with and subsequent marriage to his student Héloïse, sought asylum in Champagne during Theobald II's reign. Abelard died at Cluny Abbey in Burgundy, a monastery supported by the Thebaudians for many centuries.

In 1123 he married Matilda of Carinthia, daughter of Engelbert, Duke of Carinthia.

Their children were:

* Henry I of Champagne
* Theobald V of Blois
* Adèle of Champagne, married King Louis VII of France
* Isabelle of Champagne, married 1. Roger of Apulia d. 1148 & 2. William Gouet IV d. 1170
* Marie of Champagne, married Eudes II, Duke of Burgundy, became Abbess of Fontevrault later in life.
* William White Hands, 1135-1202, Archbishop of Reims 1176-1202, Cardinal 1179
* Stephen I of Sancerre 1133-1191, Count of Sancerre and Crusader, died at the Siege of Acre
* Agnes of Champagne (d. 1207), Dame de Ligny married Renaut II of Bar (d. 1170).
* Margaret of Champagne nun at Fontevrault


*Europaeische Stammtafeln

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