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Name:  William de Villehardouin
Brief biography:  Lord of the Frankish principality of Achaia 1245-78, a participant in the Seventh Crusade, ceding much of his lands to Nicaea in 1261 and the rest to Charles I of Anjou in 1267.
Nationality:  Frankish
Occupation:  Lord
Date of birth:  1211
Place of birth:  Kalamata
Period of rule:  1245-1278
Date of death:  1278-05-01
Place of death:  Kalamata

Son of the chronicler and Crusader Geoffrey de Villehardouin, William succeeded his brother Geoffrey II in the principality of Achaia which their father carved out after the Fourth Crusade. He faced threats from many direction and married three times, often to gain aid in meeting them. His first wife gave him a claim to territory in Laconia, which he took by force in 1249, and he participated in the Seventh Crusade with King Louis IX of France in that year. In 1255 his wife died and he was occupied in recovering the associated territory until 1258. In 1259 he married the daughter of the despot of Epirus, but this carried him into war against the Emperor of Nicæa, who captured him in 1259. William was a captive until 1262, during which time Guy de la Roche acted as his regent. To secure his release William had to sign away his Laconian lands to Nicæa in 1261, and thereafter based himself in Thebes. In 1267, because a war with Genoa, he placed himself in the loyalty of King Charles I of Naples, and ruled his territories as a vassal until his death in 1278.

3 Related Objects

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Denier tournois
William de Villehardouin; Corinth
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Denier tournois
William de Villehardouin; Glarentza
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Denier tournois
William de Villehardouin; Glarentza
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