Eustace II aux Gernons ~ Comte de Boulogne et Lens

M, (circa 1020 - 1093)
Father-Biological*Eustace I ~ Comte de Boulogne b. c 1004, d. 1049
Mother-Biological*Matilda of Louvain
Family Lines
Roy Line

Boudreau Line
Last Edited=16 May 2023
Detail from the Bayeux Tapestry, possible depiction of Eustace II, with moustaches
     Eustace II aux Gernons ~ Comte de Boulogne et Lens was born circa 1020. He was the son of Eustace I ~ Comte de Boulogne and Matilda of Louvain. Aux Gernons translates to with moustache.1

Eustace II aux Gernons ~ Comte de Boulogne et Lens married Godgifu ~ Princess of England, daughter of Æthelred II the Unrede ~ King of England and Emma of Normandy, in 1036.2,3,4,5,6,1 Eustace II aux Gernons ~ Comte de Boulogne et Lens was As a consequence of his revolt against the Emperor, Pope Leo IX, a close ally of the emperor, excommunicated Eustace at the Council of Rheims in 1049. "Excommunicavit etiam Comites Angelrai et Eustacium propter incestum, et Hugonem de Braina, quia legitimam uxorem dimiserat, et aliam sibi in matrimonio sociaverat”. The reason given for the excommunication was incest. Pope Leo IX had been attempting to reform the papacy by condemning marriages within seven degrees of consanguinity. Although neither wife is mentioned by name both were related to Eustace within the prohibited degree.2,1 He joined Godfrey II, duke of Lotharingia, in an unsuccessful rebellion against Emperor Henry III in 1047.2,1 Eustace succeeded his father as the Comte de Boulogne. in 1049.2,1 He traveled to Eustace visited England in 1051, and was received with honor at the court of Edward the Confessor. Edward and Eustace were former brothers-in-law and remained political allies. in 1051.1 Eustace became, in 1054, the Comte de Lens.5

Eustace II aux Gernons ~ Comte de Boulogne et Lens married Ida of Lorraine, daughter of Geoffrey II the Bearded ~ Duc de Haut et Bas Lorraine, Comte de Verdun, in December 1057.2,3,5,7,1 He fought at the Battle of Hastings and is one of the few proven companions of William the Conqueror. 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." 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 while 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.5,7,1 After a prominent part in the battle of Hastings, Eustace supported an uprising by the townsfolk of Dover against William’s half-brother, Bishop Odo in 1067. The attack was unsuccessful; Eustace escaped but left his nephew, probably Geoffrey, behind in captivity. Eustace was exiled from England following the disaster in Dover, and his English estates were forfeited. But clearly he was more useful to William I as an ally than as an enemy, and the two were reconciled in the early 1070s. William I, who could have been holding the nepos to ensure Eustace’s compliance as a future ally, may have released him during this time. Eustace received a generous new allocation of estates.5,1

Eustace II aux Gernons ~ Comte de Boulogne et Lens married Doda.5 Eustace II aux Gernons ~ Comte de Boulogne et Lens died in 1093.5,6,1

See also.

Child of Eustace II aux Gernons ~ Comte de Boulogne et Lens and Ida of Lorraine


  1. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Online
  2. Anderson, Kim, Richard Joscelyne. "The Parentage of Geoffrey fitz Eustace (c.1045-1105)", Foundations: Journal of the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy volume 10 (2018).
  3. Panton, Kenneth J. Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy. Lanham, United Kingdom: Scarecrow Press, 2011.
  4. Searle, William George. Anglo-Saxon Bishops, Kings and Nobles. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1899.
  5. Stuart, Roderick W. Royalty for Commoners, The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, Son of Edward III, King of England, and Queen Philippa, Fourth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2002.
  6. Weir, Alison. Britain's Royal Families. London: Vintage Books, 1989.
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650, Fifth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982.