Counts of toulouse

The Count of Toulouse, Raymond IV governed Toulouse beginning with the Merovingian dynasty as one of the greatest cities of southern Gaul, dependent on one or other of the rival Kings of the Franks descended from Clovis I.[1] No succession of such royal appointees is known, though a few names survive to the present. With the Carolingians, the appointments (of both counts and duces, dukes) become more regular and better-known, though the office soon fell out of the orbit of the royal court and became hereditary.

The hereditary counts ruled the city of Toulouse and its surrounding county from the late 9th century until 1270. The counts and other family members were also at various times counts of Quercy, Rouergue, Albi, and Nîmes, and margraves of Septimania and Provence. Raymond IV founded the Crusader State of County of Tripoli, and his descendants were counts there.[2]

Counts of Toulouse (628–1271)

Under the Merovingian dynasty Toulouse seems to have remained the greatest city of southern Gaul. It is said to have been governed by dukes or counts, dependent on which of the rival Kings of the Franks descended from Clovis I. It figures prominently in the pages of Gregory of Tours and Sidonius Apollinaris. In about 628, Dagobert I erected the Kingdom of Aquitaine for his brother Charibert I, who chose Toulouse as his capital. For the next eighty years its history is obscure, until the days of Charles Martel, when it was besieged by Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani, Wāli of Al-Andalus, but delivered by Odo the Great in whom later writers discovered the ancestor of all the later counts of Toulouse. Modern criticism, however, has discredited this genealogy; and the real history of Toulouse recommences in 780 or 781, when Charlemagne appointed his son, Louis the Pious, King of Aquitaine, with Toulouse for his chief city.

During the minority of the young king his tutor Torson ruled at Toulouse with the title of duke or count. Being deposed at the Council of Worms, he was succeeded by William of Gellone, the traditional hero of southern France, who in 806 retired to his newly founded Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, where he died in 812. In the unhappy days of the King of Francia Louis the Pious and his children Toulouse suffered in common with the rest of western Europe. It was besieged by Charles the Bald in 844, and taken four years later by the Normans, who in 843 had sailed up the Garonne as far as its walls. About 852 Raymond I, count of Quercy, succeeded his brother Fredelo as Count of Rouergue and Toulouse; it is from this noble that all the later counts of Toulouse trace their descent. Raymond I's grandchildren divided their parents' estates; of these Raymond II became count of Toulouse, and Ermengol of Rouergue, count of Rouergue, while the hereditary titles of Septimania, Quercy and Albi were shared between them. Raymond II's grandson, William III, married Emma of Provence, and handed down part of that lordship to his younger son Bertrand I of Forcalquier.[3] William's elder son Pons left two children, of whom William IV succeeded his father in Toulouse, Albi and Quercy; while the younger, Raymond IV, made himself master of the vast possessions of the counts of Rouergue, married his cousin the heiress of Provence, and about 1085 began to rule the immense estates of his elder brother, who was still living.

From this time the counts of Toulouse were the greatest lords in southern France. Raymond IV, assumed the formal titles of Marquis of Provence, Duke of Narbonne and count of Toulouse. After that the count set sail with the First Crusade. When Jerusalem was conquested, he was sent to siege the city of Tripoli, Lebanon, today in the north of Lebanon. He perish before the city was conquested, but is considered the first Count of Tripoli. When the city surrendered in 1109, his son Bertrand took over the title, and his successors ruled the County of Tripoli, until 1187, the time when the Kingdom of Jerusalem was reconquested by Saladin.[4]

While Raymond was away in the Holy Land, Toulouse was seized by William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, who claimed the city in right of his wife Philippa, the daughter of William IV, but was unable to hold it long. Raymond's son and successor Bertrand followed his father's example and set out for the Holy Land in 1109, leaving his great estates at his death to his brother Alfonso Jordan. The rule of this prince was disturbed by the ambition of William IX and his granddaughter Eleanor of Aquitaine, who urged her husband Louis VII of France to support her claims to Toulouse by war. On her divorce from Louis and her marriage with Henry II of England, Eleanor's claims passed on to this monarch, who at last forced Raymond V to do him homage for Toulouse in 1173. Raymond V, the patron of the troubadours, died in 1194, and was succeeded by his son, Raymond VI gotten excommunicated and the County of Toulouse was placed under interdict by Pope Innocent III. Raymond was eager to appease the Pope, but when the Papal legate Pierre de Castelnau was murdered in 1208, Raymond was blamed and sterner measures were considered necessary. Languedoc was desolated by the Albigensian Crusade led by Simon de Montfort, who occupied Toulouse in 1215, but lost his life in besieging it in 1218. Count Raymond was defeated in 1213 and temporarily deprived of his fee.[4]

Raymond VII, the son of Raymond VI and Princess Joan of England, succeeded his father in 1222, and died in 1249, leaving an only daughter, Joan, married to Alphonse the son of Louis VIII of France and brother of Louis IX of France. On the death of Alfonso and Joan in 1271 the vast inheritance of the counts of Toulouse lapsed to the Crown lands of France.

Appointed counts

House of Rouergue

Counts not issued from the House of Rouergue aren't bolded.

It had long been thought that he was succeeded directly by William III. However, recent research suggests adding at least one and as many as three previously overlooked counts. That at least one of these was named Raymond has resulted in conflicting numbering systems, but most historians continue to use the traditional numbering for later Raymonds.
Exploiting the departure of Raymond for the First Crusade and troubles in the county, the powerful husband of Philippa reclaims Toulouse for her in 1098.
Exploiting the youth of Alfonso Jordan, William IX takes again the county

At that point Toulouse passed to the Crown of France, by the terms of the Treaty of Meaux, 1229.

House of Capet

The mention of the title is abandoned after his death in the royal titulary

House of Bourbon

In 1681, Toulouse was resurrected as a royal appanage by Louis XIV for his illegitimate son with Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan.


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