- Isabella was removed from Humphrey de Toron’s tent against her will.
- She was not, however, taken by Conrad or raped by him.
- Rather she was turned over to neutral third parties, sequestered and protected by them.
- Meanwhile, a church court was convened to rule on the validity of her marriage to Humphrey.
- The case hinged on the important theological principle of consent. (Note: In the 12th Century, both parties to a marriage had to consent. To consent they had be legally of age. The legal age of consent for girls was 12.)
- Humphrey claimed that Isabella had consented to the marriage (which was technically irrelevant since an 11 year old was not considered legally competent to consent), but when challenged by a witness to the wedding he “said nothing” and backed down.
- Isabella, meanwhile, had “changed her mind” and consented to the divorce.
- The court ruled that Isabella's marriage to Humphrey had not been valid.
- On Nov. 25, with either the French Bishop of Beauvais or the Papal Legate himself presiding, Isabella married Conrad. Since a clerical court had just ruled that no marriage was valid without the consent of the bride, we can be confident that she consented to this marriage. In fact, as the Itinerarium so vituperously reports, “she was not ashamed to say…she went with the Marquis of her own accord.”
As for the church court, it was not “corrupted” by Conrad or anyone else. It was simply faced by the unalterable fact that Isabella had very publicly wed Humphrey before she reached the legal age of consent. In short, whether she had voiced consent or not, indeed whether she loved, adored and positively desired Humphrey or not, she was not legally capable of consenting.