Post-classical history

Peter of Vieillebride (d. 1242)

Master of the Hospitallers (1239/1240-1242).

A native of Auvergne, Peter had joined the Hospitallers in Outremer by 1216. He served as commander of Acre (1237) and grand commander (1238-1239) and was elected master after the death of Bertrand of Comp (1239/1240).

When al-Sālih Ismāll of Damascus offered a truce to Thibaud of Champagne’s crusaders (1240), and the Templars emerged among the beneficiaries of this (Saphet was returned to them), Peter entered into separate negotiations with al-Sālih Ayyûb, sultan of Egypt (Ismāll’s rival). He obtained the surrender of Ascalon (mod. Tel Ashqelon, Israel) and the release of prominent Christian prisoners. In 1241 Peter reached an agreement with Bohemund V of Anti- och-Tripoli concerning disputed possessions in Maraclea and Chamela. He personally oversaw the fighting between the Hospitallers of Margat and the sultanate of Aleppo in 1242. When Balian of Ibelin laid siege to the Hospitallers’ headquarters because he was suspicious of their Ghibelline policies, Peter returned to Acre to negotiate.

He died on 17 September 1242 (there is an inscription in the Hospitaller compound in Acre) and was succeeded by William of Châteauneuf. Another Hospitaller named Peter of Vieillebride, possibly a relative, appeared in Acre in 1253 and later served as turcopolier of the order (1256-1259/1261).

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