Baldwin (1058 – 1118), a Norman cognised earlier as Baldwin of Boulogne and a head lay leader of the First Crusade, ruled as king of Jerusalem (1100 – 1118).

Baldwin conjoined the First Crusade with his brothers, Eustace and Godfrey of Bouillon. Baldwin shortly departed the primary army to constitute himself in Edessa (New Urfa, Turkey), a Byzantine town on the far side of the Euphrates River, at the invitation of the Armenian prince Thoros. Upon the latter’s death in 1098 Baldwin got head of the first crusading state in the East. His wife, Godvere of Tosni, died briefly before this successful adventure, and Baldwin soon attested his location by marrying an Armenian princess called Arda.

As Godfrey of Bouillon died in 1100, a group of military knights in Jerusalem enquired Baldwin to succeed him. This sequence was contradicted by the patriarch Daimbert, who willed to assert his ecclesiastic control of the city, and by the crusader Tancred, who was fishy of the use to which Baldwin might assign his new power. It is declarative of Baldwin’s durability that not only did he force Daimbert to crown him king (albeit in Bethlehem, not in Jerusalem), but he also kept Tancred at a distance till the latter departed the following year to accept the lordship of Antioch. In 1102 Baldwin deponed Daimbert, and his heirs were all royal appointments.

Baldwin then set about to make his military attitude more ensure. He had little efficient power until he was capable to hold the coastal towns, which were critical for communications and adds. He depended intemperately on the loyalty of the vassals of the big fiefs, such Tiberias, Haifa, and Caesarea, and to a lesser extent on mercenary flocks and ships from the Italian cities. Once controlled of the oaths of his knights, Baldwin embarked on a systematic decrease of the ports so that by 1113 he held all the significant ones in the locality of Jerusalem except Ascalon and Tyre. Although he still opposed Tancred, Baldwin wasn’t above conjoining him on leastwise 2 affairs, in 1109 and in 1112, when conservation of the kingdom made cooperation advisable.

Through 1113 Baldwin abandoned Queen Arda for (Adelaide of Salona), Countess of Sicily and mother of (Count Roger II). The historian is accommodated to see this as a political marriage which added a dowry and maybe an heir to the kingdom, since Roger II was called as successor. Baldwin had never been divorced of his previous wife, even so, and three years later he sanctioned the abrogation of his union with Adelaide at the price of the enmity of the Sicilian court. Baldwin died close Ascalon on a raiding military expedition in Egypt in April 1118. His heir in Jerusalem was his cousin, Baldwin II.

Baldwin I was an telling figure. By his personal authority, with bounded resources, and in the face of constant and powerful confrontation from Cairo, Damascus, and his own assorts, he accomplished and asserted the kingdom of Jerusalem for eighteen years.


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