Pierre I DE COURTENAY, Emperor of Constantinople
- Born: After 1158, Courtenay, Galinois, France
- Married (1): 1184
- Married (2): 1 Jul 1193, Soissons, Aisne, Picardie, France
- Died: After Jun 1219, Epirus
Also called Pierre II, Seigneur de Courtenay
The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines names "comitem Petrum Autissiodorensem et Robertum de Cortenaio et quondam Guillemum" as sons of "Petro de Cortenaio regis Philippi patruo" & his wife. “Petrus regis frater et Curtiniacensis dominus” confirmed donations to Fontaine-Jean abbey, with the consent of “uxor mea Ysabel et primogenitus meus Petrus”, by charter dated 1170, witnessed by “Ex parte domini et pueri...”, indicating that Pierre [II] was still a child at the time. Bouchet says that “on peut dire avec quelque forte certitude [que Pierre] n´avoit pour lors tout au plus que douze ans, puisque d´ordinaire on ne se sert point du terme puer pour exprimer une jeunesse au delà de cet âge”.
He succeeded his father as Seigneur de Courtenay. A charter dated “die festivo de Ramis palmarum” [=10 Apr] 1183 records that “Petrus de Curtiniaco regis Galliæ Philippi patruus” when he was alive donated “villam...Heruauuilla” to Notre-Dame la Royalle de Rosoy, with the consent of “Elisabeth uxor eius et Petrus eorundem maior filius et alii...Robertus, Philippus, Willelmus”.
He succeeded as Comte de Nevers et d'Auxerre in 1184, by right of his first wife. He accompanied Philippe II King of France on the Third Crusade in 1190, returning to France in 1193. After his defeat by Hervé de Donzy, following their dispute over the château de Gien, Pierre de Courtenay was confirmed as Comte d'Auxerre et de Tonnerre for life in 1199 but was obliged to cede the county of Nevers, as well as his daughter's hand in marriage, to Hervé. Comte Pierre took part in the crusade against the Albigeois in 1210 and was present at the siege of Toulouse. He fought at the battle of Bouvines in 1214.
He succeeded as Marquis de Namur in 1213, by right of his second wife.
He was elected in 1216 to succeed his brother-in-law Henri de Flandres as PIERRE I Emperor of Constantinople. Leaving France, he travelled to Rome where he was crowned 9 Apr 1217 by Pope Honorius III at the Church of San Lorenzo fuori i Muri. He sent his wife and daughters directly to Constantinople, but the Venetians persuaded Emperor Pierre to help recapture Durazzo on his way. After succeeding in this enterprise, he was captured in the Albanian mountains by Theodoros Angelos Lord of Epirus, and disappeared presumably murdered although his fate did not become known until [early 1221]. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines records that "Namucensis comes Petrus" was captured by "duce Durachis Theodoro" in 1217. 1
Pierre married Ctsse Agnès DE NEVERS, daughter of Cte Guy I DE NEVERS and Mathilde DE BOURGOGNE, comtesse de Grignon, in 1184. (Agnès DE NEVERS was born between 1169 and 1170 and died on 2 Feb 1193.)
Pierre also married Yolande DE FLANDRE, daughter of Cte Baudouin (V) I DE HAINAUT and Margareta DE FLANDRE, on 1 Jul 1193 in Soissons, Aisne, Picardie, France. (Yolande DE FLANDRE was born in 1175 in Flandres, Belgium and died on 26 Aug 1219 in Constantinople, Byzantium.)
Marriage contract dated 24 Jun 1193.