• Prof. J. S. C. Riley-Smith (University of Cambridge)
  • Prof. Jonathan Phillips (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Dr Alan V. Murray (University of Leeds)
  • Dr Guy Perry (University of Leeds)
  • Dr Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent University)

Database Development

  • HRI Digital (Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield)

How to Use the Database

The Browse function offers a quick way of accessing lists of crusaders according to their forename, as well as by their country of origin, the crusade(s) they took part in, and the leader(s) of the contingent in which they served.

The Advanced Search function offers a greater range of structured search capabilities, which can be used in different combinations.

Each search produces a list of results. From here you can click on a name to go to full details of the individual crusader. References to primary and secondary sources used in compiling this data are given in abbreviated form at the end of each individual record. Full bibliographical details of all sources are given in the section Bibliography. Within the crusader record you can also click on the blue icon at the extreme right of each field to access the records of other crusaders who fulfil each of the search criteria.

Explanation of Search Categories and Information Fields

Forename of crusader: Forenames are given in their modern English form, e.g. William, not Guillelmus, Guillaume or Wilhelm. Where no modern English forms exist, names are given as found in the main sources.

Toponymic of crusader: Where information is available, each crusader has been assigned to a primary geographical location which most commonly relates to a toponymic surname or to the location of a principal landholding or office. Toponyms are given in their modern form (which may differ from the form found in the medieval surname) and are further located according to modern countries and administrative units.

(Contingent) Leader: Refers to the military commander of one of the separate contingents which made up a crusade, e.g. Peter the Hermit or Godfrey of Bouillon (First Crusade) or Conrad III of Germany (Second Crusade).

Country of origin: Relates to modern countries.

Region of origin: Relates to modern administrative units, e.g. region/département (F), Land/Kreis (D), region/province (B), county (GB) and equivalents in other countries.

Family: Gives details of relatives who are also known to have participated in crusades themselves, together with details of the relationship and the crusades involved.

Actions: Gives a brief indication of the individual’s main activities on crusade.

Role: This term is derived from the principal descriptor relating to the crusader’s social status, as found in the sources.

Consequences of participation: Provides information relating to death, captivity, return from crusade etc. Where information is uncertain, consequences are assigned to a category with a question mark.

Project History

The material on this website represents a pilot study for the creation of a searchable database of crusaders to the Holy Land from 1095 to 1291; it includes data on individuals who were involved in crusading in the period from the First (1096-1099) to the Second (1145-1149) Crusades. Its purpose is to enhance understanding of the motives and dynamics of the crusading movement by collating data on issues such as the identity and social status of crusaders and their relationships, family traditions and regional patterns of crusading, finance, mortality rates and gender issues.

The original material was put together in 2007-2008 from basic databases compiled by Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith (mainly for the First Crusade) and Professor Jonathan Phillips (mainly for the Second Crusade). This data was entered into an Access database constructed by Dr Nicholas Morton, while Professor Phillips also added further names from his own ongoing research. Subsequently, Dr Alan Murray and Dr Guy Perry (both of the University of Leeds), who had both independently worked on crusade participation in the twelfth century, offered their assistance to the project, and during 2014-2015 they checked and harmonised the complete database and added further biographical and geographical information and additional references. In 2015-2016 a more user-friendly interface was developed by the Digital Humanities Institute at the University of Sheffield. The database now comprises some 1100 records.

This database is intended as a pilot for a more detailed and sophisticated project, with an extended chronological range.

Corrections, suggestions and additional information may be sent to Dr Alan Murray: A.V.Murray@leeds.ac.uk