Cecilia of Le Bourcq

Cecilia of Le Bourcq (d. after 1126), daughter of Hugh I, Count of Rethel, and Melisende of Crécy, the daughter of Guy I of Montlhéry. Cecilia’s brother was Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem.

According to Fulcher of Chartres, Baldwin arranged for Cecilia to be married to Roger of Salerno.[1] Roger and Cecilis married in 1113, soon after he became prince-regent of Antioch.[2] Together with the marriage of Baldwin’s daughter Alice of Antioch to Bohémond II, Prince of Antioch, the women of the Rethel dynasty were among the most powerful in the Holy Land.

She was granted lands in Cilicia some time before 1126, which may have facilitated the marriage of Cecilia’s sister Béatrice to Leo I, Prince of Armenia. According to Rüdt-Collenberg,[3] Cæcilia dominia Tarsi et soror regis Balduini II donated property to the church of St Marie, Josaphat by charter dated 1126, with the agreement of Bohémond II.

Cecilia held a lordship in Cilicia at the start of the reign of Bohémond II, known as the Lady of Tarsus (probably self-anointed in a charter). She was a major Antiochene landholder and is believed to have helped organize Antioch’s defenses in 1119, when, during the Battle of Ager Sanguinis, her husband Roger was killed. Cecilia was not considered as a possible regent nor did she play a role in picking Roger’s successor.[4]

Cecilia and Roger had no children. It is not known what her activities were after her husband's death. See also the Houses of Montlhéry and Le Puiset and Women in the Crusades.


Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The First Crusaders, 1095-1131, Cambridge University Press, London,1997

Asbridge, Thomas S., The Creation of the Principality of Antioch, 1098-1130, Boydell & Brewer Ltd., Suffock, 2000 (available on Google Books)

Hagenmeyer, Heinrich (editor), Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia Hierosolymitana (1095-1127), Heidelberg, 1913 (available online)

Rüdt-Collenberg, Hugo, The Rupenides, Hethumides and Lusignans: the structure of the Armeno-Cilician dynasties, Klincksieck, Paris, 1963

Edbury, Peter and Phillips, Jonathan, The Experience of Crusading, Volume 1, Cambridge University Press, London, 2003 (available on Google Books)

Röhricht, Gustav Reinhold, Regesta Regni Hierosolymitani, 1097–1291 (Innsbruck, 1893), with Additamentum (1904) (available online)


  1. Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The First Crusaders. pp. 171, 173.
  2. Asbridge, Thomas. The Creation of the Principality of Antioch, 1098-1130. p. 167.
  3. Rüdt-Collenberg, Hugo. The Rupenides, Hethumides and Lusignans: the structure of the Armeno-Cilician dynasties.
  4. Edbury and Phillips. The Experience of Crusading, Volume 1. p. 31.
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