Philippa of Champagne

Philippa of Champagne
Lady of Ramerupt and de Vénisy
Born c. 1197
Holy Land
Died 20 December 1250 (aged about 53)
Spouse Erard de Brienne-Ramerupt
Issue Henri de Brienne
Erard de Brienne
Marie de Brienne
Marguerite de Brienne
Heloise de Brienne
Isabeau de Brienne
Jeanne de Brienne
Sibylle de Brienne
Alix de Brienne
Full name
Philippa de Champagne
Father Henry II, Count of Champagne
Mother Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem
Religion Roman Catholic

Philippa of Champagne, Lady of Ramerupt and of Venizy (c. 1197 – 20 December 1250) was the third daughter of Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem and Henry II, Count of Champagne. She was the wife of Erard de Brienne-Ramerupt who encouraged her in 1216 to claim the county of Champagne which belonged to her cousin Theobald IV, who was still a minor. This provoked the conflict with Theobald's mother, the Regent, Blanche of Navarre, which erupted into open warfare, and came to be known as the Champagne War of Succession. Blanche's son Theobald, who had the support of King Philip II of France, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and Eudes III of Burgundy, eventually emerged the victor. Philippa renounced her claim in April 1222, but Theobald was constrained to pay Erard and Philippa a large monetary settlement for his rights to the county.

Together, Erard and Philippa had seven daughters and two sons.


Philippa was born in about 1197 in the Holy Land, the youngest daughter of Henry II, Count of Champagne and Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem. Her paternal grandparents were Count Henry I of Champagne and Marie of France, Countess of Champagne, daughter of Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and her maternal grandparents were King Amalric I of Jerusalem and Maria Comnena. She had two older sisters, Marguerite of Champagne (died as a child) and Alice of Champagne, who was the wife of King Hugh I of Cyprus and by whom she had issue. Philippa had an older half-sister Maria of Montferrat from her mother's second marriage to Conrad of Montferrat. In the year of Philippa's birth her father was killed after falling from a first floor window in Acre. The county of Champagne passed to his brother Theobald III. Following his death, Philippa's mother married her fourth husband, King Amalric II of Jerusalem. The marriage produced three half-siblings for Philippa: Sybilla, Melisende, and Almaric. In 1205, her mother, stepfather, and infant half-brother all died, leaving Philippa an orphan at the age of eight. Her eldest half-sister, Maria of Montferrat succeeded as Queen of Jerusalem.

Marriage and issue

On 15 August 1214[1] Philippa married as his second wife, Erard I de Brienne, Lord of Ramerupt and de Vénisy, a powerful noble from Champagne, France. The couple married clandestinely in defiance of Pope Innocent III's prohibition of their marriage, due to the couple having been related within the prohibited degree of kinship. Pope Innocent was prompted by the machinations of her aunt Blanche of Navarre, who had also seized Erard's fiefs.[2] Shortly after their marriage, Erard encouraged Philippa to claim her father's county of Champagne which had succeeded to her cousin, Theobald IV who was still a minor. His mother Blanche of Navarre acted as his regent and she violently defended her son's rights which soon led to open warfare. (See main article: Champagne War of Succession). In early 1216, Erard and Philippa returned to France, where they took up a position at Nevers, but were besieged by the forces of Blanche of Navarre. Most of the Champagne barons rallied around Erard and Philippa, however, the French king, Philippe II, Emperor Frederick II, and the Duke of Burgundy intervened on behalf of Blanche and her son. Supporters of Blanche also convinced a papal legate that the divorce between Queen Isabella and her first husband, Humphrey IV of Toron had been invalid, thus making Philippa and her sister Alice illegitimate. However, the validity of the divorce was upheld, as there had been no impediment to Maria of Montferrat's accession to the throne in 1205. The war finally ended upon Theobald reaching his majority in 1222, and in April of that year, Philippa was persuaded to renounce her claim to Champagne on behalf of her cousin.[3] Theobald was however, obliged to pay Erard, Philippa and Alice a large monetary compensation. In addition to the generous financial settlement, Erard and Philippa were exempted from all payment of outstanding debts, and excommunication.[2] After this time, Philippa and Alice abandoned their claim on Champagne.

Together Erard and Philippa had nine children:[4]

Philippa died on 20 December 1250, a little more than six years after her husband. She was aged about fifty-three.



  1. Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Jerusalem
  2. 1 2 Karras, Kaye, and Matter, Law and the Illicit in Medieval Europe, pp. 145-46
  3. Evergates, Theodore (1993). Feudal society in medieval France: documents from the County of Champagne. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 78. ISBN 0-8122-1441-2.
  4. Cawley, Medieval Lands, Champagne, Nobility
  5. Philippa de Champagne
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