Count of Boulogne

County of Boulogne coat of arms

The Count of Boulogne is a historical title in the kingdom of France. The city of Boulogne-sur-Mer became the center of the county of Boulogne during the ninth century. Little is known of the early counts, but the first held the title during the 11th century.

Eustace II of Boulogne accompanied William I of England (the Conqueror) during the Norman Conquest in 1066 and fought on his side at the Battle of Hastings. His son, Eustace III, was a major participant in the First Crusade with his younger brothers, Geoffrey and Baldwin (who later became king of Jerusalem). After Baldwin's death the throne was offered to Eustace, who was reluctant and declined; the throne was then offered to Geoffrey.

Count Renaud of Boulogne obtained the title by abducting and marrying Countess Ida in 1190, and later gained title to Dammartin and Aumale. An early friend of King Philippe II Augustus, he turned against the king by joining the forces of the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214 (where he was defeated, captured, imprisoned and committed suicide).

Boulogne came under nominal royal control in 1223, when it passed to Philippe Hurepel ("spiked hair", the son of Philippe II). Hurepel participated in the Albigensian Crusade in 1226 and later revolted in 1229 against Blanche of Castile. He was slain by Count Dietrich V of Cleaves in 1234, according to sources, after accidentally killing Count Florent IV of Holland in a tournament. The county reverted to the crown and was passed to Adelaide of Brabant, wife of William III of Auvergne.

Boulogne was attacked and besieged a number of times during the Hundred Years' War, repeatedly passing between the English and French. In 1477 Bertrand VI of La Tour gave the county to Louis XI, who incorporated the county into France. Boulogne remained part of France, except for a brief period of English rule under Henry VIII.

William I of Blois (c. 1137 – 11 October 1159) was Count of Boulogne (1153–1159) and Earl of Surrey jure uxoris (1153–1159). He was the third son of King Stephen of England and Countess Matilda I of Boulogne.

List of counts


House of Flanders

Black lion with red claws, rampant on gold background
Coat of arms after about 1200

House of Boulogne

Three red circles on gold background
Coat of arms after about 1200

House of Blois

Blue shield with silver and gold diagonal lines
Coat of arms after about 1200

House of Metz

Gold background, with three white eagles on red diagonal
House of Alsace coat of arms

House of Dammartin

Alternating gray-and-blue horizontal-bar shield on red background
Dammartin coat of arms

House of Auvergne

Red-and-green finger-shaped crest on gold background
Auvergne coat of arms

House of Burgundy

Alternating gold-and-blue diagonal shield on red background
Burgundy coat of arms

House of Auvergne

House of La Tour d'Auvergne

quartered shield of La Tour and Toulouse, with inescutcheon of Auvergne
La Tour d'Auvergne coat of arms

After the death of John V, the County of Boulogne was integrated into the royal domain.

See also


  1. 1 2 "NORTHERN FRANCE, NOBILITY". Retrieved 4 November 2007.
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