Henry II of Cyprus

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Henry II, king of Cyprus and Jerusalem, was the second son of Hugh I, succeeding his brother John I to the thrones after John died, possibly by poison. The other claimant to the throne of Jerusalem, Charles of Anjou, had died, and Henry was able to recover the city of Acre from the Angevins, which was one of the few coastal cities remaining to the nominal kingdom of Jerusalem.

In the event, however, the kingdom lacked the resources to survive when the Mameluks renewed their attacks, and Tyre, Beirut, and the County of Tripoli fell, one by one.

Finally, in April 1291, Acre itself was beseiged, with Henry present. Seeing no chance of an effective resistance, he decamped, with his nobles, to Cyprus and at the end of May the city fell, and the kingdom of Jerusalem was extinguished in all but title.

Henry, back in Cyprus, made attempts to recover the mainland territory, seeking alliances, but unable to secure any realistic tactic to weaken the Mameluks' grip. His reign in Cyprus was, by comparison, prosperous and he reinforced his power there, until attacks of epilepsy led to the nobles' becoming dissatisfied. He was obliged to have his brother, Guy, the Constable of Cyprus, executed in 1303 for conspiring against him, but in 1306 another brother, Amalric (styled Prince of Tyre and Constable of Jerusalem) successfully displaced him, in concert with the Knights Templar. Amalric exiled Henry to Armenia, where the king, Oshin, was Amalric's brother-in-law), and assumed the titles of Governor and Regent of Cyprus.

On Amalric's murder, in 1310, Oshin released Henry, who returned to Cyprus and, with help from the Knights Hospitaller, resumed his throne, and imprisoned many of those who had supported Amalric against him. In 1313 he oversaw the dissolution of the Templars' Cypriot estates, as the Order fell under French and Papal enmity (the Templars' estates and other property were then transferred to the Hospitallers).

In 1317 Henry married Constance, daughter of Frederick III of Sicily, and Eleanor of Anjou, but their marriage did not produce any children, and on his death in 1324 Henry was succeeded by a nephew, Hugh, the son of Guy of Lusignan.