Eustace II, Count of Boulogne

Eustace II, Count of Boulogne

Male 1015 - 1087  (72 years)

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  • Name Eustace II  
    Suffix Count of Boulogne 
    Born 1015  Boulogne, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Also Known As Eustace aux Gernons  [1
    Military 1066  [1
    Died 1087  [1, 2
    Person ID I48094  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 26 Apr 2019 

    Family Ida of Lorraine,   b. 1040, Bass Lorraine, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Apr 1113  (Age 73 years) 
    Married 1057  Boulogne-Sur-Mer,Pas-De-Calais,France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
     1. Eustace III, Count of Boulogne,   b. Bef 1058, Boulogne, Pas-De-Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jan 1125, Boulogne, Pas-De-Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years)
     2. Geoffrey of Bouillon,   b. ~1060, Boulogne, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jul 1100, Jerusalem, Israel, Holy Land Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 40 years)
    Last Modified 19 Aug 2020 
    Family ID F17723  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1015 - Boulogne, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1057 - Boulogne-Sur-Mer,Pas-De-Calais,France Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Eustace II (c. 1015 - c. 1087)
    Eustace II (c. 1015 - c. 1087)

    Detail from the Bayeux Tapestry, possible depiction of Eustace II, with moustaches, inscribed in margin above in Latin: E...TIUS, possibly Latinised form of his name and

    Ancient forefather of all the issue of Perry Green "Old Grandsir" Magness (1796-1884). Enumerated on this website are 10 generations and 1703 descendants...

  • Notes 
    • Eustace II, (c.? 1015 – c.?1087), also known as Eustace aux Gernons (with moustaches) [1][2][3] was Count of Boulogne from 1049–1087. He fought on the Norman side at the Battle of Hastings, and afterwards received large grants of land forming an honour in England. He is one of the few proven Companions of William the Conqueror. It has been suggested that Eustace was the patron of the Bayeux Tapestry.[4]


      He was the son of Eustace I of Boulogne.


      In 1048 Eustace joined his father-in-law's rebellion against the Emperor Henry III. The next year Eustace was excommunicated by Pope Leo IX for marrying within the prohibited degree of kinship. Eustace and Ida were both descended from Louis II of France, and just within the prohibited seventh degree. However, since today not all their ancestors are known, there may have existed a closer relationship.[5] The Pope's action was possibly at the behest of Henry III. The rebellion failed, and in 1049 Eustace and Godfrey submitted to Henry III.

      Eustace visited England in 1051, and was received with honour at the court of Edward the Confessor. Edward and Eustace were former brothers-in-law and remained political allies. On the other side of the political divide the dominant figure in England was Earl Godwin, who had recently married his son Tostig to the daughter of Eustace's rival the Count of Flanders. Furthermore, Godwin's son Sweyn Godwinson had been feuding with Eustace's stepson Ralph the Timid.

      A brawl in which Eustace and his servants became involved with the citizens of Dover led to a serious quarrel between the king and Godwin. The latter, to whose jurisdiction the men of Dover were subject, refused to punish them. His lack of respect to those in authority became the excuse for his being outlawed together with his family. They left England, but returned the next year in 1052 with a large army, aided by the Flemish.

      In 1052 William of Talou rebelled against his nephew Duke William of Normandy. Eustace may well have been involved in this rebellion, although there is no specific evidence, for after William of Talou's surrender he fled to the Boulonnais court.

      The following years saw still further advances by Eustace's rivals and enemies. Count Baldwin of Flanders consolidated his hold over territories he had annexed to the east. In 1060 he became tutor of his nephew King Philip I of France. In contrast Eustace's stepson Walter of Mantes failed in his attempt to claim the County of Maine. He was captured by the Normans and died soon afterwards in mysterious circumstances.

      Fights at Battle of Hastings

      Supposed depiction of Eustace at the Battle of Hastings. Detail from Bayeux Tapestry. Inscription above Duke William: HIC EST WILLELMUS DUX ("Here is Duke William") and above the figure to the right of him E...TIUS (apparently a Latinised form of "Eustace")
      These events evidently caused a shift in Eustace's political allegiances, for he then became an important participant in the Norman conquest of England in 1066. He fought at Hastings, although sources vary regarding the details of his conduct during the battle. The contemporary chronicler William of Poitiers wrote concerning him:

      With a harsh voice he (Duke William) called to Eustace of Boulogne, who with 50 knights was turning in flight and was about to give the signal for retreat. This man came up to the Duke and said in his ear that he ought to retire since he would court death if he went forward. But at the very moment when he uttered the words Eustace was struck between the shoulders with such force that blood gushed out from his mouth and nose and half dead he only made his escape with the aid of his followers.[6]

      The depiction in the Bayeux Tapestry shows a knight carrying a banner who rides up to Duke William and points excitedly with his finger towards the rear of the Norman advance. William turns his head and lifts up his visor to show his knights following him that he is still alive and determined to fight on. This conforms therefore with Eustace having somewhat lost his nerve and having urged the Duke to retreat whilst the Battle was at its height with the outcome still uncertain. Other sources suggest that Eustace was present with William at the Malfosse incident in the immediate aftermath of the battle, where a Saxon feigning death leapt up and attacked him, and was presumably cut down before he could reach William.

      Eustace received large land grants afterwards, which suggests he contributed in other ways as well, perhaps by providing ships.

      In the following year, probably because he was dissatisfied with his share of the spoil, he assisted the Kentishmen in an attempt to seize Dover Castle. The conspiracy failed, and Eustace was sentenced to forfeit his English fiefs. Subsequently he was reconciled to the Conqueror, who restored a portion of the confiscated lands.


      Eustace died circa 1087, and was succeeded by his son, Eustace III.

      Marriage and progeny

      Eustace married twice:

      Firstly to Goda, daughter of the English king ¥thelred the Unready, and sister of Edward the Confessor.[7] Goda died circa 1047.[3]
      Secondly in about 1049,[3] soon after Goda's death, he married Ida of Lorraine, daughter of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine. Eustace and Ida had three sons:
      Eustace III, Count of Boulogne
      Godfrey of Bouillon, King of Jerusalem
      Baldwin I of Jerusalem, King of Jerusalem

      By his second wife, Eustace may also have had a daughter, Ida, wife of Conon, Count of Montaigu.

      Eustace also had a son, Geoffrey fitz Eustace, who married Beatrice de Mandeville, daughter of Geoffrey de Mandeville. Geoffrey and Beatrice were parents of William de Boulogne and grandparents of William’s son Faramus de Boulogne.

      end [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S10697] "Eustace II, Count of Boulogne" biography, which was abstracted, downloaded and published Saturday, March 18th, 2017 by.

    2. [S12331] "Eustace III, Count of Boulogne", Biography,,_Count_of_Boulogne, revisited or.

    3. [S10699] "Ida of Lorraine" biography, which was abstracted, downloaded and published Saturday, March 18th, 2017 by David A. Henne.