Amalric de Lusignan
|Amalric de Lusignan|
Amalric de Lusignan (b. 1145) is the present Constable of Jerusalem, and an elder brother of the former king, Guy de Lusignan.
The Lusignans are the Counts of La Marche in Aquitaine, and have long been known for the crusading nature of their scions. Amalric and Guy are the third and sixth sons of Hugh VIII of Lusignan, who himself saw battle in the Holy Land in the 1160s.
In March 1168 the brothers led a force which ambushed and killed Patrick, Earl of Salisbury on his return from a pilgrimage. Their overlord Richard, then the boy-Count of Poitou, later King of England, judged them guilty of murder and expelled them from Aquitaine. It was perhaps natural enough for them to wash up (eventually) upon the shores of the Holy Land: Amalric arrived in Jerusalem around 1174 and Guy slightly later.
After his highly advantageous marriage to Eschiva of Ibelin (daughter of Baldwin, niece of Balian) Amalric entered the service of widowed queen consort Agnes of Courtenay. It was rumoured they were lovers, but in all likelihood she and her son Baldwin IV were merely trying to separate Amalric from the influence of his wife's family.
Soon after the 22nd of April, 1179, Amalric was appointed Constable of Jerusalem, an office he would hold for many years to come.
In 1180 Eschiva bore him a daughter, Bourgogne.
In 1187 Amalric participated in the disastrous Battle of Hattin, and was captured along with his brother. He was eventually ransomed.
The year 1190 saw the birth of another daughter, Helvis (or Heloise). In the next year, upon the capture of Jaffa by Richard the Lionheart, Amalric was installed as its Count, finally attaining high rank as well as office.