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Philip of Dreux


Philip of Dreux

Philip of Dreux
Bishop of Beauvais

Reign 1175–1217
Predecessor Bartholomew of Montcornet
Successor Milo of Nanteuil
Father Robert I
Mother Agnes de Baudemont, Countess of Braine
Born 1158
Died 4 November 1217 (aged 68–69)
Burial Beauvais Cathedral

Philip of Dreux (Philippe de Dreux) (1158–1217) was a French nobleman, Bishop of Beauvais, and figure of the Third Crusade.

He was an active soldier, an ally in the field of Philip Augustus, the French king and his cousin,[1] making him an opponent in campaigns in France and elsewhere of Richard I of England. He was in also in demand as a priest, to make and break marriages. He presided over that of Conrad of Montferrat at the siege of Acre, marrying him to Isabella I of Jerusalem, daughter of Amalric I, whose divorce he had approved.[2] He was also party to the divorce of Philip Augustus from Ingeborg of Denmark.[3]


He was son of Robert I of Dreux, and brother of Robert II of Dreux.

He first campaigned in Palestine in 1180, in an expedition headed by Henry II of Champagne and Peter of Courtenay. This attack on Saladin's holdings was ineffectual.[4]

Robert II and Philip of Dreux arrived with forces in Palestine in 1189.[5]

Richard Lionheart bore him a consistent enmity after the Crusade; Philip of Dreux had been one of those relaying the rumour that Richard was responsible for the killing of Conrad of Montferrat.[6][7][8] Subsequently Philip had gone to Germany, when Richard was imprisoned, to advocate against setting him free.[9] There, Philip encouraged Richard's captors to treat him poorly, earning the lifelong hatred of Richard, who considered him "a robber and an incendiary".[10]

He was captured by Angevin forces under the mercenary leader Mercadier in a Normandy campaign, in 1197.[11] Richard was still refusing to release him a year later,[12] and again early in 1199.[13] When Peter of Capua (who was trying to enlist Richard for the Fourth Crusade) insisted that Richard release Philip, Richard exploded and threatened to castrate Peter, so intense was his hatred of his prisoner Philip.[14] Pope Celestine III was unsympathetic to Philip, confined at Rouen and then, after an escape attempt, at Chinon. He was freed only after Richard’s death in 1199,[15] with John of England agreeing to exchange him for the captured bishop-elect of Cambrai in 1200.[16]

In 1210 he was in action against the Cathars in southern France, with Renaud de Mouçon, bishop of Chartres, in support of Simon de Montfort.[17][18]

He drew support from Philip Augustus in his conflict against Renaud de Dammartin, leading to Renaud's 1212 alliance with John.[19] Philip was later a combatant on the victorious French side in 1214 at the Battle of Bouvines.[20][21] He took a mace to William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, at an important moment in the battle, leading to the Earl’s capture.[22]



Further reading

  • Peter Boyle (2005), Blondel's Song
  • Jim Bradbury (1998), Philip Augustus
  • John Gillingham (2nd edition 1989), Richard the Lionheart
  • Steven Runciman (Penguin edition 1990), A History of the Crusades (three volumes)

External links

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