Stephen, Count of Blois

Stephen II Henry (in French, Étienne Henri, in Medieval French, Estienne Henri; c.1045 – 19 May 1102), Count of Blois and Count of Chartres, was the son of Theobald III, count of Blois, and Gersent of Le Mans.[1] He is numbered Stephen II after Stephen I, Count of Troyes.

Stephen II of Blois
Seal of Stephen II
DiedMay 19, 1102 (aged 5657)
Ramla, Kingdom of Jerusalem
Noble familyHouse of Blois
Spouse(s)Adela of Normandy
FatherTheobald III, Count of Blois
MotherGarsinde du Maine

In 1089, upon the death of his father, he became the Count of Blois and Chartres, although Theobald had given him the administration of those holdings in 1074. He was the father of Stephen of England.

Count Stephen was one of the leaders of the First Crusade, leading one of the major armies of the Princes and often writing enthusiastic letters to his wife Adela of Normandy about the crusade's progress. Stephen was the head of the army council at the Crusaders' siege of Nicaea in 1097.[2] He returned home in 1098 during the lengthy siege of Antioch, fleeing the battlefield, without having fulfilled his crusading vow to forge a way to Jerusalem.[3] He was pressured by Adela into making a second pilgrimage, and joined the minor crusade of 1101 in the company of others who had also returned home prematurely. In 1102, Stephen was killed at the Second Battle of Ramla at the age of fifty-seven.[4]


Stephen married Adela of Normandy,[5] a daughter of William the Conqueror around 1080 in Chartres. He fathered Adela's children:

  1. William, Count of Sully[5]
  2. Theobald II, Count of Blois[5]
  3. Odo, who died young
  4. Stephen, King of England[5]
  5. Lucia-Mahaut, married Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester. Both drowned on 25 November 1120 in the White Ship disaster.
  6. Agnes, married Hugh III of Le Puiset[6]
  7. Eleanor (d. 1147) married Raoul I of Vermandois (d. 1152) and had issue; they were divorced in 1142.
  8. Alix (c.1095 – 1145) married Renaud III of Joigni (d. 1134) and had issue
  9. Adelaide, married Milo II of Montlhéry, Viscount of Troyes (divorced 1115)
  10. Henry, Bishop of Winchester (c.1096-1171)[5]
  11. Humbert, died young

A late 14th century source gives him an illegitimate daughter Emma, wife of Herbert of Winchester and mother of William of York, archbishop of York,[7] but recent research suggests a different parentage for her.[8]



  1. Evergates 1999, p. 11.
  2. Cartier, Étienne (1846) Recherches sur les monnaies au type chartrain frappées à Chartres, Blois, Vendoîns, Chateaudum, Nogent-le-Rotrou (Ferche), St. Aignan, Celles, Romorantin, Brosse, etc. Rollin, Paris, page 7, OCLC 27374228, in French
  3. Brundage 1960, p. 388.
  4. Tyerman 2006, p. 87.
  5. Evergates 2007, p. 248.
  6. Evergates 2016, p. x.
  7. Davis, King Stephen, p. 172
  8. Burton "William of York (d. 1154)" "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography"


  • Brundage, James A. (1960). "An Errant Crusader: Stephen of Blois". Traditio. 16: 380–395. doi:10.1017/S0362152900006139.
  • Evergates, Theodore, ed. (1999). Aristocratic Women in Medieval France. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Evergates, Theodore (2007). The Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100-1300. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Evergates, Theodore (2016). Henry the Liberal: Count of Champagne, 1127-1181. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Tyerman, Christopher (2006). God's war: a new history of the Crusades. Harvard University Press.
Stephen, Count of Blois
Born: c.1045 Died: 19 May 1102
Preceded by:
Theobald III
Count of Blois
Succeeded by:
William the Simple

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