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Flag of Angoumois.svg
Ecu losange d'or et de gueules.svg
Angoumois in France (1789).svg
Country France
Time zone CET
Counts561—569, Marachaire
1496—1515, Francis of Angoulême

Angoumois (French pronunciation:  [ɑ̃ɡumwa] ), historically the County of Angoulême, was a county and province of France, originally inferior to the parent duchy of Aquitaine, similar to the Périgord to its east but lower and generally less forested, equally with occasional vineyards throughout. Its capital was Angoulême with its citadel and castle above the River Charente.


It almost corresponds to the Charente Department which also takes in the east of the coastal comté de Saintonge. [1]


This area was a county and province of France, originally inferior to the parent duchy of Aquitaine, similar to the Périgord to its east. Many of the historic churches and castles, or castle ruins in the county, survive. Today it is noted for sunflowers and Cognac, the archetypal brandy, one of its small towns being at its origin, as much as its historic mainstay crops of corn and wheat. In the High Middle Ages, an enlarged Aquitaine pledged loyalty to the Angevin kings of England. Their claims in France triggered the Hundred Years' War, in which the kingdom of France emerged victorious in the 1450s, with many incorporated areas coming to be ruled directly by the French kings.

Map of France in 1030 Map France 1030-fr.svg
Map of France in 1030
Map of France in 1154 France 1154-en.svg
Map of France in 1154

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Poitou-Charentes Region of France

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Treaty of Brétigny 1360 treaty between England and France

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Angoulême (L'Angoumois) in western France was part of the Carolingian Empire as the kingdom of Aquitaine. Under Charlemagne's successors, the local Count of Angoulême was independent and was not united with the French crown until 1308. By the terms of the Treaty of Brétigny (1360) the Angoumois, then ruled by the Counts of Angoulême, was ceded as English territory to Edward III. In 1371 it became a fief of the Duke of Berry, before passing to Louis I, Duke of Orleans, both of whom were cadets of the French royal family. From then on it was held by cadets of the Valois House of Orleans, until Francis, Count of Angoulême, became King of France in 1515. Angoumois was definitively incorporated into the French crown lands, as a duchy.

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WulgrinI was the Count of Angoulême, Périgueux, and possibly Saintonge from 866 to his death. His parents were Vulfard (Wulfard), Count of Flavigny, and Suzanne, who was a daughter of Bego I, Count of Paris. His brother Hilduin the Young was the abbot of Saint-Denis. Another brother was Adalard of Paris. Ademar of Chabannes is the chief source on his active reign in preserving and moulding Angoulême.

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William Taillefer, numbered William II or William IV, was the Count of Angoulême from 987. He was the son of Count Arnald II Manzer and grandson of Count William Taillefer I. He stood at the head of the family which controlled not only the Angoumois, but also the Agenais and part of Saintonge. By the time of his death he was "the leading magnate in [the west] of Aquitaine[, but his] eminence ... proved temporary and illusory," evaporating on his death in succession squabbles, revolts and the predations of his erstwhile allies. The principal sources for William's career are Ademar of Chabannes and the anonymous Historia pontificum et comitum Engolismensium.

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Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the largest administrative region in France, spanning the west and southwest of the mainland. The region was created by the territorial reform of French regions in 2014 through the merger of three regions: Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. It covers 84,036 km2 (32,446 sq mi) – or 18 of the country – and has 5,956,978 inhabitants. The new region was established on 1 January 2016, following the regional elections in December 2015.


  1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Angoumois"  , Encyclopædia Britannica , 2 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 42 cites Castaigne's 1845 Essai d'une bibliothèque historique de l'Angoumois(in French)

Further reading

Coordinates: 45°39′N0°10′E / 45.650°N 0.167°E / 45.650; 0.167