Alice of Courtenay

Alice of Courtenay, Countess of Angoulême (1160 – 12 February 1218) was a French noblewoman of the House of Courtenay. Her father was Peter I of Courtenay and her brother was Peter II of Courtenay, Latin Emperor of Constantinople. Alice married twice; by her second husband, Aymer Taillefer, Count of Angoulême, she was the mother of Isabella of Angoulême, who was Queen consort of England, as the wife of King John.

Alice of Courtenay
Countess of Angouleme
Countess of Joigny
Died12 February 1218 (aged 57–58)
Noble familyCapetian House of Courtenay
Spouse(s)Guillaume I, Count of Joigny
Aymer Taillefer, Count of Angouleme
Isabella of Angouleme, Queen of England
FatherPeter I of Courtenay
MotherElisabeth of Courtenay

She is also known as Alix de Courtenay.


Alice was born in 1160, the second eldest daughter and one of the ten children of Peter I of Courtenay and Elisabeth of Courtenay,[1] daughter of Renauld de Courtenay and Hawise du Donjon. Her family was one of the most illustrious in France; and her paternal grandparents were King Louis VI of France and Adélaide de Maurienne. Her eldest brother Peter became the Latin Emperor of Constantinople in 1216. In addition to Peter, she had three more brothers, Philippe de Courtenay, Robert, Seigneur of Champignelles, and William, Seigneur of Tanlay; and five sisters, Eustacie, Clemence, Isabelle, Constance, and another whose name is unknown.


Her first husband was Andrew, lord of La Ferté-Gaucher, Champagne, whom she married some time after 1169.[2]

Following his death in 1177, Alice was married for the second time to, Guillaume I, count of Joigny.[3] The marriage produced one surviving child, Peter, later count of Joigny, (d.1222). The couple were divorced c.1184. A charter dated 1180 records that Count Guillaume, with Alice's consent, donated property to Pontigny Abbey.

Alice married her third husband, Aymer Taillefer c.1186,[4] (the year he succeeded his brother, William V as Count of Angoulême). The marriage produced one surviving child:

  • Isabella of Angoulême (c.1188 – 31 May 1246), married firstly 24 August 1200 King John of England, by whom she had five children; in spring 1220, she married secondly, Hugh X of Lusignan, Count of La Marche,[4] by whom she had another nine children.

Alice's husband died on 16 June 1202. Their only child, Isabella succeeded him as suo jure Countess of Angoulême.

She herself died on 12 February 1218 at the age of about 58.[5]



  1. Vincent 1999, p. 175.
  2. Vincent 1999, p. 176.
  3. Vincent 1999, p. 176-177.
  4. Vincent 1999, p. 171.
  5. [see Molinier, Obituaires de la Province de Sens 1(1) (Recueil des Historiens de la France, Obituaires 1) (1902): xxxi–xxxii (“On peut affirmer maintenant qu’elle se nommait Alais ou Alix. Elle est mentionnée en trois des nécrologes que renferme le présent volume. Son décès est inscrit au 11 février dans l’obituaire de Saint-Victor, au 12 du même mois en celui de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Provins, et au 22 janvier, autrement dit au 11 des calendes de février dans l’obituaire de la léproserie sénonaise du Popelin. J’en conclus qu'elle mourut le 11 février, la date du 11 des calendes de février donnée par le nécrologe du Popelin résultant certainement d’une confusion avec le 11 février.”), 542 (Abbaye de Saint-Victor de Paris: “III id. febr. [11 February]. It. anniv. domne Adelaidis, comitisse Engolismensis [1218], de cujus beneficio habuimus Lta libras.”), 928 (Hôtel-Dieu de Provins: “pridie idus [12 February]. Ob. dilectissima nostra Alesis, comitissa Angolismensis [1218], que multa bona nobis contulit et in fine duos equos et centum libras, de quibus emimus quadraginta octo arpenta nemoris apud Orbetam.”), 972 (Léproserie du Popelin à Sens: “XI kal. [22 January]. Ob. comitissa d'Angoloiesme, que dedit nobis C solidos annuatim pro anniversario suo faciendo.”)


  • Vincent, Nicholas (1999). "Isabella of Angouleme:John's Jezebel". In Church, S. D. (ed.). King John: New Interpretations. The Boydell Press.
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