The County of Poitou (Latin comitatus Pictavensis) was a historical region of France, consisting of the three sub-regions of Vendée, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. Its name is derived from the ancient Gaul tribe of Pictones. The county was bounded on the north by the Duchy of Brittany, the counties of Anjou and Touraine, on the east by the County of La Marche and on the south by the County of Angoulême. The seat of the county was at Poitiers.
County of Poitou
comitatus Pictavensis (Latin)
|Count of Poitou|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Merged with the French Crown
|Today part of||France|
Poitou was ruled by the count of Poitou, a continuous line of which can be traced back to an appointment of Charlemagne in 778. From the 950s on, the counts were also dukes of Aquitaine. After the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine with Louis VII of France in 1138, the Seneschal of Poitou was responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the county. From 1154, through Eleanor's second marriage, Poitou passed to the kings of England.
Poitou was conquered by King Philip II of France in 1205 after he declared it a confiscated fief of the crown. Henry III of England failed to retake it in the Saintonge War. One of the main battlegrounds of Hundred Years' War between the French and English in the 14th and 15th centuries, Poitou was finally absorbed into the Kingdom of France in 1416.
Eleanor of Aquitaine was Queen of France from 1137 to 1152 as the wife of King Louis VII, Queen of England from 1154 to 1189 as the wife of King Henry II, and Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right from 1137 until her death in 1204. As the heir of the House of Poitiers, rulers in southwestern France, she was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. She was patron of literary figures such as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-Maure, and Bernart de Ventadorn. She led armies several times in her life and was a leader of the Second Crusade.
Richard I was King of England from 1189 until his death in 1199. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, and Count of Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and was overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and seemed unlikely to become king, but all his brothers except the youngest, John, predeceased their father. Richard is known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. The troubadour Bertran de Born also called him Richard Oc-e-Non, possibly from a reputation for terseness.
Louis VII, called the Younger or the Young, was King of the Franks from 1137 to 1180. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI and married Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe. The marriage temporarily extended the Capetian lands to the Pyrenees, but was annulled in 1152 after no male heir was produced.
Poitiers is a city on the Clain river in west-central France. It is a commune and the capital of the Vienne department and the historical centre of Poitou. In 2017 it had a population of 88,291. Its agglomeration has 130,853 inhabitants in 2016 and is the center of an urban area of 261,795 inhabitants.
Guyenne or Guienne was an old French province which corresponded roughly to the Roman province of Aquitania Secunda and the archdiocese of Bordeaux.
Blanche of Castile was Queen consort of France by marriage to Louis VIII. She acted as regent twice during the reign of her son, Louis IX: during his minority from 1226 until 1234, and during his absence from 1248 until 1252. She was born in Palencia, Spain, 1188, the third daughter of Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, and Eleanor of England.
Among the people who have borne the title of Count of Poitiers are:
The Duke of Aquitaine was the ruler of the ancient region of Aquitaine under the supremacy of Frankish, English, and later French kings.
Poitou-Charentes is a former administrative region on the southwest coast of France. It is part of the new region Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It comprises four departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. Historical provinces are Angoumois, Aunis, Saintonge and Poitou.
William IV, called Fierebras or Fierebrace, was the Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou from 963 to his retirement in 990.
William IX, called the Troubadour, was the Duke of Aquitaine and Gascony and Count of Poitou between 1086 and his death. He was also one of the leaders of the Crusade of 1101. Though his political and military achievements have a certain historical importance, he is best known as the earliest troubadour—a vernacular lyric poet in the Occitan language—whose work survives.
The Duchy of Aquitaine was a historical fiefdom in western, central and southern areas of present-day France to the south of the Loire River, although its extent, as well as its name, fluctuated greatly over the centuries, at times comprising much of what is now southwestern France (Gascony) and central France.
The Angevin Empire describes the possessions of the Angevin kings of England who held lands in England and France during the 12th and 13th centuries. Its rulers were Henry II, Richard I (r. 1189–1199), and John (r. 1199–1216). The Angevin Empire is an early example of a composite state.
The Ramnulfids, or the House of Poitiers, were a French dynasty ruling the County of Poitou and Duchy of Aquitaine in the 9th through 12th centuries. Their power base shifted from Toulouse to Poitou. In the early 10th century, they contested the dominance of northern Aquitaine and the ducal title to the whole with the House of Auvergne. In 1032, they inherited the Duchy of Gascony, thus uniting it with Aquitaine. By the end of the 11th century, they were the dominant power in the southwestern third of France. The founder of the family was Ramnulf I, who became count in 835.
William des Roches was a French knight and crusader who acted as Seneschal of Anjou, of Maine and of Touraine. After serving the Angevin kings of England, in 1202 he changed his loyalty to King Philip II of France and became a leading member of his government.
Geoffrey VI was Count of Nantes from 1156 to 1158. He was also known as Geoffrey of Anjou and Geoffrey FitzEmpress. He was the son of Geoffrey Plantagenet and Empress Matilda. His brothers were Henry II of England and William FitzEmpress.
Mirebeau is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France.
The crown lands, crown estate, royal domain or domaine royal of France were the lands, fiefs and rights directly possessed by the kings of France. While the term eventually came to refer to a territorial unit, the royal domain originally referred to the network of "castles, villages and estates, forests, towns, religious houses and bishoprics, and the rights of justice, tolls and taxes" effectively held by the king or under his domination. In terms of territory, before the reign of Henry IV, the domaine royal did not encompass the entirety of the territory of the kingdom of France and for much of the Middle Ages significant portions of the kingdom were the direct possessions of other feudal lords.
Agnes of Burgundy was Duchess of Aquitaine by marriage to Duke William V and Countess of Anjou by marriage to Count Geoffrey II. She served as regent of the Duchy of Aquitaine during the minority of her son from 1039 until 1044. She was a daughter of Otto-William, Count of Burgundy and Ermentrude de Roucy and a member of the House of Ivrea.
The Battle of Mirebeau was a battle in 1202 between the House of Lusignan-Breton alliance and the Kingdom of England. King John of England successfully smashed the Lusignan army by surprise.