Stephen of Blois

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For the King of England called "Stephen of Blois", see King Stephen.

Stephen of Blois was the Count of Blois and Chartres, and a leader of the First Crusade. After two years of hardship in Asia Minor, he abandoned the Crusade during the siege on Antioch, returning home via Constantinople, where he erroneously informed Emperor Alexius I that the crusaders, who had become trapped in the city by a reinforcing Turkish army, had in fact been wiped out. This caused Alexius to abort a rescue attempt and isolated the Crusaders.

Upon returning to France he married Adela of Normandy, one of the daughters of William the Conqueror and fathered ten children, eight of which lived to adulthood. Among them was his son Stephen, who would go on to become King of England.

In 1101, under pressure from Adela for forswearing his vows at Antioch, he joined the Crusade of the Faint-Hearted, a minor follow-up to the First Crusade. He died at the Battle of Ramia in 1102 at the age of 57.