Sibylla of Anjou
Sibylla of Anjou (c. 1112–1165) was a countess consort of Flanders. She was the daughter of Fulk V of Anjou and Ermengarde of Maine, and wife of William Clito and Thierry, Count of Flanders. She was the regent of Flanders in 1147-1149.
|Sibylla of Anjou|
|Countess consort of Flanders|
|Died||1165 (aged c. 53)|
Abbey of Sts. Mary and Martha, Bethany (now al-Eizariya, West Bank)
Abbey of St Lazarus
William Clito, Count of Flanders
(m. 1123; annulled 1124)
(m. 1139; died 1165)
|Issue||Philip, Count of Flanders|
Matthew, Count of Boulogne
Margaret I, Countess of Flanders
Gertrude, Countess of Savoy
Matilda, Abbess of Fontevrault
Peter, Bishop of Cambrai
|Father||Fulk of Jerusalem|
|Mother||Ermengarde of Maine|
In 1123 Sibylla married William Clito, son of the Norman Robert Curthose and future Count of Flanders. Sibylla brought the County of Maine to this marriage, which was annulled in 1124 on grounds of consanguinity. The annulment was made by Pope Honorius II upon request from Henry I of England, William's uncle; Fulk opposed it and did not consent until Honorius excommunicated him and placed an interdict over Anjou. Sibylla then accompanied her widower father to the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, where he married Melisende, the heiress of the kingdom, and became king himself in 1131. In 1139 she married Thierry, Count of Flanders, who had arrived on his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
She returned to Flanders with her new husband, and during his absence on the Second Crusade the pregnant Sibylla acted as regent of the county. Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut took the opportunity to attack Flanders, but Sibylla led a counter-attack and pillaged Hainaut. In response Baldwin ravaged Artois. The archbishop of Reims intervened and a truce was signed, but Thierry took vengeance on Baldwin when he returned in 1149.
In 1157 she travelled with Thierry on his third pilgrimage, but after arriving in Jerusalem she separated from her husband and refused to return home with him. She became a nun at the Convent of Sts. Mary and Martha in Bethany, where her step-aunt, Ioveta of Bethany, was abbess. Ioveta and Sibylla supported Queen Melisende and held some influence over the church, and supported the election of Amalric of Nesle as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem over a number of other candidates. Sibylla died in Bethany in 1165.
Sibylla had six children with Thierry:
- N. Huyghebaert, Une comtesse de Flandre à Béthanie, in "Les cahiers de Saint -André", 1964, n°2, 15p.
- Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades, vol. II: The Kingdom of Jerusalem. Cambridge University Press, 1952.
- William of Tyre, A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea. E. A. Babcock and A. C. Krey, trans. Columbia University Press, 1943.
| Countess consort of Flanders