Theobald III, Count of Champagne

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Theobald III of Champagne (French: Thibaut) (13 May 1179 – 24 May 1201) was Count of Champagne from 1197 to his death. He was the younger son of Henry I, Count of Champagne and Marie, a daughter of Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine.[1] He succeeded as Count of Champagne in 1197 upon the death of his older brother Henry II.[2]

Theobald III
Count of Champagne
Thibaut 1198.jpg
Seal of Theobald III
Born13 May 1179
Died24 May 1201(1201-05-24) (aged 22)
Noble familyBlois
(m. 1199)
FatherHenry I, Count of Champagne
MotherMarie of France

Charters were written by him and Philip II of France in September 1198 to dictate the rights of the Jews of the one vis-à-vis the other and to repay debts by Philip to the count of Champagne for the employment of his Jews. These laws were reinforced subsequently in charters that were signed between 1198 and 1231.

In 1198, Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Crusade. There was little enthusiasm for the crusade at first, but on 28 November 1199 various nobles of France gathered at Theobald's court for a tournament (in his castle at Ecry-sur-Aisne), including the preacher Fulk of Neuilly.[a][4] There, they "took the cross", and elected Theobald their leader, but he died in 1201 and was replaced by Boniface I, Marquess of Montferrat.[5]

Theobald married Blanche of Navarre[1] on 1 July 1199 at Chartres. They had two children:

As her dower, Blanche received Theobald's seven castles – Épernay, Vertus, Sézanne, Chantemerle, Pont-sur-Seine, Nogent-sur-Seine, and Méry-sur-Seine – and all the subsidiaries coming from these castles and castellaries at the Count's death. Following Theobald's death on 24 May 1201, she was to rule as regent for the following 21 years,[6] during which the succession was contested by Theobald's nieces, Alice and Philippa.[7]

Theobald was buried beside his father, Henry, at the Church of Saint Stephen at Troyes.



  1. ^ Edgar McNeal and Robert Wolff both state that Villehardouin's account of the tournament makes no mention of Fulk of Neuilly and that Fulk's inclusion was the work of nineteenth-century writers(ex.Michaud, M. Pettitot[3]).[4]


  1. ^ a b c Evergates 2007, p. 248.
  2. ^ Evergates 2007, p. 34.
  3. ^ McNeal 1953, p. 371-373.
  4. ^ a b McNeal & Wolff 1969, p. 158.
  5. ^ McNeal & Wolff 1969, p. 164.
  6. ^ Evergates 2007, p. 36-37.
  7. ^ Evergates 2007, p. 39.


  • Evergates, Theodore (2007). The Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100-1300. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • McNeal, Edgar H. (1953). "Fulk of Neuilly and the Tournament of Écry". Speculum. Vol. 28, No. 2 April. |volume= has extra text (help)
  • McNeal, Edgar H.; Wolff, Robert Lee (1969). "The Fourth Crusade". In Setton, Kenneth M.; Wolff, Robert Lee; Hazard, Harry W. (eds.). The Later Crusades, 1189-1311. Vol. Two. University of Wisconsin Press. |volume= has extra text (help)
Theobald III, Count of Champagne
Born: 13 May 1179 Died: 24 May 1201
Preceded by
Henry II
Count of Champagne
Succeeded by
Theobald IV