However, by February 1200 Thibaut (Theobald) Count of Champagne and Count Baldwin of Flanders, along with his wife, Marie of Champagne, had taken the cross.
All booty would be split evenly between the Venetians and the crusaders. The Venetians suspended all overseas trade and put enormous resources into the project to construct one of the largest fleets assembled in the period, purchasing thousands of tons of provisions, and building and fitting out war vessels at an amazing rate.
He wrote to the Crusade leaders explicitly forbidding any attack on the Christian city.
The Pope's letter, when it did arrive, forced the crusaders to choose between obedience to the pope and fulfilling their obligations to the Venetians.
An uneasy truce was negotiated with unarmed Christians pilgrims permitted access to visit the Holy Sepulchre in the Holy city.
Essentially the Third Crusade had failed in its prime objective to retake Jerusalem and recover the True Cross, last seen tied upside down to a lance and heading for Damascus following the massacre of the Crusader army at the Horns of Hattin in July 1187.
Pope Innocent III had probably hoped that The Lionheart would make good on his vow to return to the Holy Land and join the Fourth Crusade but in March 1199 he was killed after being hit in the shoulder by a crossbow bolt during a siege at Châlus.