First Grand Master: Hugues de Payens

Crusader History

Hugues de Payens Hugues de Payens

Hugues de Payens was born in 1070, to Theobald of Blois, who had conspired against King Henry I of France, and was defeated in 1044.  Once a noble family, who lost its importance in France, because they chose the wrong side, and were forced to relinquish much of their lands and power, surrendering their titles and accepting a lower noble rank in Champagne.

In 1085, Hugues de Payens was dubbed a French Knight, and in 1096 joined the forces of Godfrey de Bouillon in the First Crusade to the Holy Land, as his vassal.  In 1099, Jerusalem had been captured, and Godfrey de Bouillon was made its first King.  In 1100, Baldwin of Boulogne became the new King of Jerusalem upon the death of Godfrey de Bouillon.

In 1101, Hugues returned home to France, and in 1104 accompanied the Count of Champagne on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem…

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