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Hugh IV of Cyprus

Hugh IV
King of Cyprus
Reign31 March 1324 – 24 November 1358
PredecessorHenry II
SuccessorPeter I
Bornc. 1295
Died10 October 1359
SpouseMarie of Ibelin
Alix of Ibelin
Peter I of Cyprus
John, regent of Cyprus
James I of Cyprus
FatherGuy, Constable of Cyprus
MotherEschiva of Ibelin, Lady of Beirut
Basin with an inscription in Arabic that reads: "Made by the order of Hugh, favoured by God, the one at the vanguard of the elite troops of the Franks, Hugh of the Lusignans". Another inscription in French reads: "Très haut et puissant roi Hugues de Jherusalem et de Chipre que Dieu manteigne." ("Very high and powerful king Hugh of Jerusalem and Cyprus, may God maintain him"). 14th century, Egypt or Syria. Louvre Museum

Hugh IV (1293-1296 – 10 October 1359) was King of Cyprus from 31 March 1324 to his abdication, on 24 November 1358 and, nominally, King of Jerusalem, as Hugh II, until his death. The son of Guy, Constable of Cyprus (son of Hugh III of Cyprus), and Eschiva of Ibelin, Hugh succeeded his father as Constable of Cyprus in 1318, and later succeeded to the throne of Cyprus on the death of his uncle Henry II, since Henry II had no son. He was a member of the House of Poitiers-Lusignan.


Hugh appears to have been content to rule Cyprus, as he prevented his son, Peter I, from going to Western Europe to recruit support for a new crusade to recover their Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1344, he joined a league with Venice and the Knights Hospitaller which burnt a Turkish fleet in Smyrna and captured the city. In 1347 the allies defeated the Turks at Imbros by land and sea, but Hugh could see little benefit for his kingdom in these endeavors and withdrew from the league.

He was crowned as King of Cyprus at Saint Sophia Cathedral, Nicosia, on 15 April or 25 April 1324. In the same year, on 13 May, he was crowned at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Famagusta as King of Jerusalem. As a leader, King Hugh signed an agreement with Venice, which had to do with the activities of the Venician merchants who were settling in Cyprus. That caused problems with the Republic of Genoa who were rivals of the Venetians; however he negotiated with them and had agreement in 1329. The Genoese demanded that Hugh pay the debit of his uncle Henry II. He died in Nicosia.

During his reign, he was strict about issues relating to justice. When his two sons left without his permission for a trip in Europe, he arrested the man who helped them to leave the island, he imprisoned and tortured him, and he cut off a hand and a foot before he hanged him in April 1349. He managed to bring back his two sons and he imprisoned them.

Other sources show that he was well educated and had an interest in art, literature, and philosophy and had much knowledge of Latin literature. He owned a summer villa in Lapithos and organised philosophical meetings. The Italian writer Boccaccio, wrote Genealogia Deorum Gentilium at the request of Hugh IV.

Hugh resigned the crown to his son, Peter I (rather than his grandson Hugh) in 1358, and died on 10 October 1359 in Nicosia.


Hugh was married twice, both times to ladies of the House of Ibelin, whose fathers were both named "Guy of Ibelin", one being count of Jaffa and the other seneschal of Cyprus.

Hugh's first marriage was in 1307/1310 to Marie d'Ibelin (1294 – before 30 June 1318), daughter of Guy of Ibelin (1250–1304), count of Jaffa, and wife and cousin Marie d'Ibelin, lady of Askalon and Naumachia. They had:

  • Guy (c. 1316 or 1315–1316 – soon before 24 September 1343 and buried in Nicosia), constable of Cyprus (1336–1338) and titular prince of Galilee ca. 1320. He married by proxy at the Château de Bourbon on 29 November 1328 and in person at Santa Sophia, Nicosia on 15–30 January 1330 Marie of Bourbon (1315–1387 in Naples and buried there), princess of Achaia. Guy and Marie had:
    • Hugh (1335–1385/1386 in Cyprus), who succeeded his father as titular prince of Galilee in 1343, senator of Rome on 12 August 1360 and lord of Arnecha and Leondaki in January 1365. He married after Autumn 1365 Marie de Morphou (d. after 1383), dau.of Sir Jean de Morphou, Comte de Roucha, without issue.

His second marriage took place on 18 June 1318, to Alix of Ibelin (1304/1306 – after 6 August 1386 and buried at Saint Dominic's, Nicosia), daughter of Guy of Ibelin by his wife and cousin Isabelle d'Ibelin. Children with Alice were:

  • Eschiva (c. 1323 or 1322–1324 – of the plague, 1363 and buried in Nicosia), married after 5 March 1337/1339, separated since 22 April 1341, Ferdinand of Majorca (March/April, 1317 – ca. 1343/1347), Viscount of Aumelàs.
  • Peter I (1328–1369), succeeded him as king of Cyprus and Jerusalem.
  • John (c. 1329 or 1329/1330–1375), regent of Cyprus and titular prince of Antioch, murdered, married twice, firstly in 1343 to Constance, daughter of Frederick III of Sicily and Eleanor of Anjou, without issue, and secondly in 1350 to Alice of Ibelin (d. after 1373), by whom he had issue
  • James I (1334–1398), succeeded his nephew Peter II of Cyprus.

Three other children of Hugh whose filiation is uncertain:

  • Thomas (d. 15 November 1340), unmarried and without issue
  • Perrot (d. 29 June 1353), unmarried and without issue
  • Margaret, married in 1347/1349 Gautier de Dampierre(-sur-Salon) (d. after 1373), Seneschal of Cyprus.

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