Count of Toulouse

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County of Toulouse
Crown of a Count of France (variant).svg
Arms of Languedoc.svg
Coat of arms of the Counts of Toulouse.
Creation date778 (fief)
1681 (courtesy title)
Peerage Peerage of France
First holder Chorso (fief)
Louis Alexandre de Bourbon (courtesy title)
Last holder Joan of Toulouse (fief)
Louis Alexandre de Bourbon (courtesy title)
Extinction date1 December 1737
Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse was a leader of the First Crusade Raymond IV of Toulouse.jpg
Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse was a leader of the First Crusade

The Count of Toulouse was the ruler of Toulouse during the 8th to 13th centuries. Originating as vassals of the Frankish kings, [1] 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 sometimes margraves (military defenders of the Holy Roman Empire) of Septimania and Provence. Count Raymond IV founded the Crusader state of Tripoli, and his descendants were also counts there. [2] They reached the zenith of their power during the 11th and 12th centuries, but after the Albigensian Crusade the county fell to the kingdom of France, nominally in 1229 and de facto in 1271.

County of Toulouse countship

The County of Toulouse was a territory in southern France consisting of the city of Toulouse and its environs, ruled by the Count of Toulouse from the late 9th century until the late 13th century.

Toulouse Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Toulouse is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km (143 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 km (420 mi) from Paris. It is the fourth-largest city in France, with 466,297 inhabitants as of January 2014. In France, Toulouse is called the "Pink City".


Quercy is a former province of France located in the country's southwest, bounded on the north by Limousin, on the west by Périgord and Agenais, on the south by Gascony and Languedoc, and on the east by Rouergue and Auvergne.


Later the title was revived for Louis Alexandre, Count of Toulouse, a bastard of Louis XIV (1678–1737).

Louis Alexandre, Count of Toulouse French admiral and noble

Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse (1681), duc de Penthièvre (1697), (1711),, a legitimated prince of the blood royal, was the son of Louis XIV and of his mistress Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan. At the age of five, he became grand admiral of France.


Carolingian era

During the youth of young Louis the Pious his tutor, Torson (sometimes Chorso or Choson), ruled at Toulouse as the first count. In 788, Count Torson was captured by the Basques under Adalric, who made him swear an oath of allegiance to the Duke of Gascony, Lupus II. Upon his release, Charlemagne, at the Council of Worms (790), replaced him with his Frankish cousin, William of Gellone. William in turn successfully subdued the Gascons.

Louis the Pious Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks and of Aquitaine

Louis the Pious, also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of the Franks and co-emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. He was also King of Aquitaine from 781. As the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed.

Adalric was probably a Basque lord in the late eighth century in Gascony. He has been called a possible Duke of Gascony by some scholars.

William of Gellone Count of Toulouse and saint

William of Gellone, the medieval William of Orange, was the second Duke of Toulouse from 790 until 811. In 804, he founded the abbey of Gellone. He was canonized a saint in 1066 by Pope Alexander II.

In the ninth century, 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 had sailed up the Garonne. About 852, Raymond I, count of Quercy, succeeded his brother Fredelo as Count of Rouergue and Toulouse. It is from Raymond that all the later counts of Toulouse document their descent. His grandchildren divided their parents' estates; of these Raymond II became count of Toulouse, and Ermengol, count of Rouergue; while the hereditary titles of Septimania, Quercy and Albi were shared between them.

Charles the Bald Holy Roman Emperor and King of West Francia

Charles the Bald was the king of West Francia (843–877), king of Italy (875–877) and emperor of the Carolingian Empire (875–877). After a series of civil wars during the reign of his father, Louis the Pious, Charles succeeded, by the Treaty of Verdun (843), in acquiring the western third of the Carolingian Empire. He was a grandson of Charlemagne and the youngest son of Louis the Pious by his second wife, Judith.

Normans European ethnic group emerging in the 10th and 11th century in France

The Normans were an ethnic group that arose in Normandy, a northern region of France, from contact between Viking settlers and indigenous Franks, Gallo-Romans. The settlements followed a series of raids on the French coast from Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, and they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries.

Garonne river in southwest France and northern Spain

The Garonne is a river in southwest France and northern Spain, with a length of 602 kilometres (374 mi). It flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Bordeaux.

Raymond II's grandson, William III (known as the first William Taillefer), married Emma of Provence, and handed down part of that lordship to his younger son Bertrand I of Forcalquier. [3]

William III Taillefer was the Count of Toulouse, Albi, and Quercy from 972 or 978 to his death. He was the first of the Toulousain branch of his family to bear the title marchio, which he inherited (c.975) from Raymond II of Rouergue.

Emma was Sovereign Count and Margrave of Provence from 1037 until 1062.

Bertrand I of Forcalquier was Count of Forcalquier from 1129 to 1144. He was the second son of William III and Gersende of Albon.

William's elder son, Pons, left two children, one of whom, William IV succeeded his father in Toulouse, Albi and Quercy; while the younger, Raymond IV, ruled the vast possessions of the counts of Rouergue.

Pons (II) William was the Count of Toulouse from 1037. He was the eldest son and successor of William III Taillefer and Emma of Provence. He thus inherited the title marchio Provincæ. He is known to have owned many allods and he relied on Roman, Salic, and Gothic law.

William IV of Toulouse was Count of Toulouse, Margrave of Provence, and Duke of Narbonne from 1061 to 1094. He succeeded his father Pons of Toulouse upon his death in 1061. His mother was Almodis de la Marche, but she was kidnapped by and subsequently married to Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona when William was a boy. He was married to Emma of Mortain, who gave him one daughter, Philippa.

Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse Occitan noble

Raymond IV, sometimes called Raymond of Saint-Gilles or Raymond I of Tripoli, was a powerful noble in southern France and one of the leaders of the First Crusade (1096–99). He was the Count of Toulouse, Duke of Narbonne and Margrave of Provence from 1094, and he spent the last five years of his life establishing the County of Tripoli in the Near East.

High Middle Ages

Coat of arms of the counts of Toulouse in the 13th century Blason Languedoc.svg
Coat of arms of the counts of Toulouse in the 13th century

From this time on, the counts of Toulouse were powerful lords in southern France. Raymond IV, assumed the formal titles of Marquis of Provence, Duke of Narbonne and Count of Toulouse. Afterward, the count set sail with the First Crusade. After the conquest of Jerusalem, he set siege to the City of Tripoli in the Levant. Raymond died before the city was taken in 1109, but is considered the first Count of Tripoli. His son, Bertrand, then took the title. He and his successors ruled the Crusader state until 1187 (when the Kingdom of Jerusalem was overrun by Saladin). [5]

While Raymond was away in the Holy Land, rule of Toulouse was seized by William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, who claimed the city by right of his wife, Philippa, the daughter of William IV; William was unable to hold it long. Raymond's son and successor, Bertrand, had followed him to the Holy Land in 1109. Therefore, at Raymond's death the family's great estates and Toulouse went to Bertrand's brother, Alfonso Jordan. His rule, however, 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. Upon her divorce from Louis and her subsequent marriage to Henry II of England, Eleanor pressed her claims through Henry, who at last, in 1173, forced Raymond V to do him homage for Toulouse.

Raymond V, a patron of the troubadours, died in 1194, and was succeeded by his son, Raymond VI. Following the 1208 assassination of the Papal legate, Pierre de Castelnau, Raymond was excommunicated and the County of Toulouse was placed under interdict by Pope Innocent III. Raymond was eager to appease the Pope, and was pardoned. However, following a second excommunication, Raymond's holdings in the Languedoc were desolated by the Albigensian Crusade, led by Simon de Montfort. Raymond's forces were defeated in 1213, depriving him of his fees, [5] and he was exiled to England. Montfort finally occupied Toulouse in 1215.

Raymond VII succeeded his father in 1222. He left an only daughter, Joan, who married Alphonse, the son of Louis VIII of France and brother of Louis IX of France. At the deaths of Alfonse and Joan in 1271, the vast holdings of the counts of Toulouse lapsed to the Crown.

Political map of the Languedoc under rule of the House of Toulouse on the eve of the Albigensian Crusade Languedoc Map 1209.png
Political map of the Languedoc under rule of the House of Toulouse on the eve of the Albigensian Crusade
The French region in 1154 France 1154-en.svg
The French region in 1154

Within the kingdom of France

In 1271,Toulouse passed to the Crown of France, by the Treaty of Meaux, 1229. From 1271–1285, Philip III of France, King of France and nephew of Alphonse bore the title of count of Toulouse, but the mention of the title is abandoned after his death.

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

List of counts of Toulouse

Carolingian era

House of Rouergue


House of Rouergue (restored)

Guillemides (Auvergne)

House of Rouergue (restored)

(Note: It had long been thought that Raymond III Pons was succeeded directly by William III. However, recent research suggests there were at least one, and as many as three, previously overlooked counts; and that at least one of these three was named Raymond. This has resulted in conflicting numbering systems regarding the later Raymonds, although most historians continue to use the established, traditional numbering for them. They are Raymond (IV) (c.950-961), Hugh (c.961-972) and Raymond (V) (c.972-978))

See also


  1. L. Ariste and L. Brand, Histoire populaire de Toulouse depuis les origines jusqu'à ce jour (Toulouse, 1898).
  2. "The Counts of Toulouse (Coms de Toloza)". Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  3. Note:About 975 there had been a partition of the estates which the second William Taillefer and his cousin, Raymond II of Auvergne, held in common. Albi and Quercy, went to William; Gothia, to Raymond.
  4. The first known Cross of Toulouse is shown on Count Raimond VI's seal, dated from 1211. Then widely used all over Languedoc, the Cross of Toulouse appeared on the municipal arms of Toulouse and the provincial arms of Languedoc in the 14th century. Pierre Saliès (Archistra, December 1994) claims that the Cross of Toulouse is a modification of the Latin Cross, attributed to Count Raimond VI. In 1099, Raimond VI took part to the reconquest of Jerusalem with the Crusaders. As a Crusaders' chief, Raimond would have adapted a cross slightly different from the Latin Cross bore by the low-rank Crusaders. According to this theory, the edges of the arms of the cross were cut into two pieces and curved. To be fixed on a shield, such a cross required twelve rivets. The design would have progressively evolved towards the Cross of Toulouse. (Ivan Sache, 24 April 2003,
  5. 1 2 "Flanders, Brittany, Burgundy, Anjou, Normandy, Blois, Champagne, Toulouse, etc". Retrieved 2012-10-17.
  6. "Family Tree". Retrieved 3 September 2014.[ self-published source ][ better source needed ]

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Toulouse". Encyclopædia Britannica . 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 99–101.


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House of Toulouse noble house

The House of Toulouse, sometimes called House of Saint-Gilles, is the name of the dynasty that ruled the County of Toulouse.