Stephen, Count of Blois

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StepanBlois 1089.jpg
Seal of Stephen
Bornc. 1045
Died19 May 1102 (aged 56–57)
Ramla, Kingdom of Jerusalem
Noble familyHouse of Blois
Spouse(s)Adela of Normandy
IssueWilliam, Count of Sully
Odo of Blois
Theobald II, Count of Champagne
Stephen, King of England
Lucia-Mahaut, Countess of Chester
Philip of Blois, Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne
Agnes de Puiset
Alix of Joigni
Henry, Bishop of Winchester
Eleanor of Champagne
FatherTheobald III, Count of Blois
MotherGarsinde du Maine

Stephen Henry (in French, Étienne Henri, in Medieval French, Estienne Henri; c. 1045 – 19 May 1102), Count of Blois and Count of Chartres, was the son of Theobald III, count of Blois, and Gersent of Le Mans.[1]

In 1089, upon the death of his father, Stephen became the Count of Blois and Chartres, although Theobald had given him the administration of those holdings in 1074.

Stephen was one of the leaders of the First Crusade, leading one of the major armies of the crusade and often writing enthusiastic letters to his wife Adela of Normandy about the crusade's progress.[2] Present at the Siege of Nicaea, he asserts, in his letter, the surrender of the city to fear of siege towers.[3] Stephen returned home in 1098 during the lengthy Siege of Antioch, fleeing the battlefield, without having fulfilled his crusading vow to forge a way to Jerusalem.[4] He was pressured by Adela into making a second pilgrimage, and joined the subsequent Crusade of 1101 in the company of others who had also returned home prematurely.[5] In 1102, Stephen was killed at the Second Battle of Ramla at the age of fifty-seven.[6]


Stephen married Adela of Normandy,[7] a daughter of William the Conqueror, around 1080 in Chartres. Their children were:

  1. William, Count of Sully[7]
  2. Theobald II, Count of Blois[7]
  3. Odo, who died young
  4. Stephen, King of England[7]
  5. Lucia-Mahaut, married Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester. Both drowned on 25 November 1120 in the White Ship disaster.
  6. Agnes, married Hugh III of Le Puiset[8]
  7. Eleanor (died 1147) married Ralph I, Count of Vermandois; they were divorced in 1142.
  8. Alix (c. 1095 – 1145) married Renaud III of Joigni (d. 1134) and had issue
  9. Adelaide, married Milo II of Montlhéry, Viscount of Troyes (divorced 1115)
  10. Henry, Bishop of Winchester (c. 1096 – 1171)[7]
  11. Humbert, died young

A late 14th century source gives Stephen an illegitimate daughter Emma, wife of Herbert of Winchester and mother of William of York, archbishop of York,[9] but recent research suggests a different parentage for her.[10]


  1. ^ Evergates 1999, p. 11.
  2. ^ Munro 1902, p. 5-7.
  3. ^ Rogers 2002, p. 23.
  4. ^ Brundage 1960, p. 388.
  5. ^ Claster 2009, p. 106.
  6. ^ Tyerman 2006, p. 87.
  7. ^ a b c d e Evergates 2007, p. 248.
  8. ^ Evergates 2016, p. x.
  9. ^ Davis 1967, p. 172.
  10. ^ Burton "William of York (d. 1154)" "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography"


  • Brundage, James A. (1960). "An Errant Crusader: Stephen of Blois". Traditio. 16: 380–395. doi:10.1017/S0362152900006139.
  • Claster, Jill N. (2009). Sacred Violence: The European Crusades to the Middle East, 1095-1396. University of Toronto Press.
  • Davis, Ralph H. C. (1967). King Stephen, 1135-1154. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0582040007.
  • Evergates, Theodore, ed. (1999). Aristocratic Women in Medieval France. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Evergates, Theodore (2007). The Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100-1300. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Evergates, Theodore (2016). Henry the Liberal: Count of Champagne, 1127-1181. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Munro, D. Carleton (1902). Letters of the crusaders. Dept. of history of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Rogers, Randall (2002). Latin Siege Warfare in the Twelfth Century. Oxford University Press.
  • Tyerman, Christopher (2006). God's war: a new history of the Crusades. Harvard University Press.
Stephen, Count of Blois
Born: c. 1045 Died: 19 May 1102
Preceded by:
Theobald III
Count of Blois
Succeeded by:
William the Simple