|Ramon Berenguer IV|
Ramon Berenguer IV as depicted on his seal
|Count of Provence|
|Count of Forcalquier|
|Reign||1217 or 1220–1245|
|Died||19 August 1245 (aged 47)|
|Spouse||Beatrice of Savoy|
|Issue|| Margaret, Queen of France |
Eleanor, Queen of England
Sanchia, Queen of Germany
Beatrice, Queen of Sicily
|Father||Alfonso II, Count of Provence|
|Mother||Garsenda, Countess of Forcalquier|
Ramon Berenguer IV (French : Raimond-Bérenger; 1198 – 19 August 1245) was a member of the House of Barcelona who ruled as count of Provence and Forcalquier. He was the first count of Provence to live in the county in more than one hundred years.
Ramon Berenguer was the son of Alfonso II, Count of Provence, and Garsenda, Countess of Forcalquier.After his father's death (1209), Ramon's mother sent him to the Templar castle of Monzón in Aragon. He was accompanied by his cousin King James I of Aragon whose life was also under threat. He left Monzon around 1217 to claim his inheritance, which included the county of Forcalquier--inherited from his mother.
On 5 June 1219, Ramon Berenguer married Beatrice of Savoy, daughter of Thomas, Count of Savoy. She was a shrewd and politically astute woman, whose beauty was likened by Matthew Paris to that of a second Niobe. The wedding also provided the 21-year-old Ramon with a powerful father-in-law to aid him in establishing his authority and protecting his interests.They had four daughters who reached adulthood, all of whom were well educated and married kings.
Ramon Berenguer and his wife were known for their support of troubadors, always having some around the court. He was known for his generosity, though his income did not always keep up. He wrote laws prohibiting nobles from performing menial work, such as farming or heavy labor.
Ramon Berenguer had many border disputes with his neighbors, the counts of Toulouse. In 1226, Ramon began to reassert his right to rule in Marseille. The citizens there initially sought the help of Ramon's father-in-law Thomas, Count of Savoy in his role as imperial vicar. However, they later sought the help of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse.
In 1228, Ramon Berenguer supported his father-in-law in a double-sided conflict against Turin and Guigues VI of Viennois. This small war was one of many rounds intended to more firmly establish control over trade from Italy into France, and Provence included several key routes.
While the Albigensian Crusade worked in his favor against Toulouse, Ramon Berenguer was concerned that its resolution in the Treaty of Paris left him in a precarious position. Raymond turned his troops from fighting France to attempting to claim lands from Provence.When Blanche of Castile sent her knight to both Toulouse and Provence in 1233, Ramon Berenguer entertained him lavishly, and the knight left well impressed by both the count and his eldest daughter, Margaret. Soon after, Blanche negotiated the marriage between Margaret and her son, Louis, with a dowry of ten thousand silver marks. Ramon Berenguer had to get contributions from allies for a portion, and had to pledge several of his castles to cover the rest. Ramon Berenguer and Beatrice travelled with their daughter to Lyon in 1234 to sign the marriage treaty, and then Margaret was escorted to her wedding in Sens by her uncles William and Thomas of Savoy.
Shortly after, William began negotiating on Ramon Berenguer's behalf with Henry III of England to marry his daughter Eleanor. Henry sent his own knight to Provence early in 1235, and again Ramon Berenguer and his family entertained him lavishly. Henry wrote to William on June 22 that he was very interested, and sent a delegation to negotiate the marriage in October. Henry was seeking a dowry of up to twenty thousand silver marks to help offset the dowry he had just paid for his sister, Isabella. However, he had drafted seven different versions of the marriage contract, with different amounts for the dowry, the lowest being zero. Ramon Berenguer shrewdly negotiated for that option, offering as consolation a promise to leave her ten thousand marks in his last will.
In 1238, Ramon Berenguer joined his brother-in-law Amadeus IV at the court of Emperor Frederick II in Turin. Frederick was gathering forces to assert more control in Italy. Raymond VII of Toulouse was also summoned, and all expected to work together in the war.
In January 1244, Pope Innocent IV decreed that no one but the pope could excommunicate Ramon Berenguer.In 1245, Ramon Berenguer sent representatives to the First Council of Lyon, to discuss crusades and the excommunication of Frederick.
Ramon Berenguer died in August 1245 in Aix-en-Provence, leaving the county to his youngest daughter, Beatrice.
Ramon Berenguer IV died in Aix-en-Provence. At least two planhs (Occitan funeral laments) of uncertain authorship (one possibly by Aimeric de Peguilhan and one falsely attributed to Rigaut de Berbezilh) were written in his honour.
Giovanni Villani in his Nuova Cronica said:
Count Raymond was a lord of gentle lineage, and kin to them of the house of Aragon, and to the family of the count of Toulouse, By inheritance Provence, this side of the Rhone, was his; a wise and courteous lord was he, and of noble state and virtuous, and in his time did honourable deeds, and to his court came all gentle persons of Provence and of France and of Catalonia, by reason of his courtesy and noble estate, and he made many Provençal coblas and canzoni of great worth.
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence
Cadet branch of the BellonidsBorn: 1198 Died: 19 August 1245
| Count of Provence |
1 December 1209 – 19 August 1245
| Count of Forcalquier |
1217 or 1220 – 19 August 1245
Thomas Ι was Count of Savoy from 1189 to 1233. He is sometimes numbered "Thomas I" to distinguish him from his son of the same name, who governed Savoy but was not count.
Thomas II was the Lord of Piedmont from 1233 to his death, Count of Flanders jure uxoris from 1237 to 1244, and regent of the County of Savoy from 1253 to his death, while his nephew Boniface was fighting abroad. He was the son of Thomas I of Savoy and Margaret of Geneva.
Peter II, called the Little Charlemagne, held the Honour of Richmond, Yorkshire from April 1240 until his death and was Count of Savoy from 1263 until his death. He built the Savoy Palace in London.
Philip I was the Count of Savoy from 1268 to 1285. Before this, he was the Bishop of Valence (1241–1267), Dean of Vienne, Isère (1241–1267) and Archbishop of Lyon (1245–1267).
Eleanor of Provence was Queen consort of England, as the spouse of King Henry III of England, from 1236 until his death in 1272. She served as regent of England during the absence of her spouse in 1253.
Margaret of Provence was Queen of France by marriage to King Louis IX.
Raymond VII was Count of Toulouse, Duke of Narbonne and Marquis of Provence from 1222 until his death.
Alfonso II was the second son of Alfonso II of Aragon and Sancha of Castile. His father transferred the County of Provence from his uncle Sancho to him in 1185. Alfonso II was born in Barcelona.
Almodis de la Marche was a French noble. She was famed for her marriage career, in particularly for her third marriage to Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona, with whom she committed double bigamy in 1053, for which the Pope had them excommunicated.
Guigues VII (1225–1269), of the House of Burgundy, was the dauphin of Vienne and count of Albon, Grenoble, Oisans, Briançon, Embrun, and Gap from 1237 to his death. He was the son of Andrew Guigues VI and Beatrice of Montferrat. When his father died, his mother helped guide the leadership of the new Dauphin.
Sanchia of Provence was the third daughter of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence and Beatrice of Savoy. Sanchia was described as "of incomparable beauty".
Beatrice of Savoy was the daughter of Thomas I of Savoy and Margaret of Geneva. She was Countess consort of Provence by her marriage to Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence.
Douce II was Countess of Provence and Viscountess of Gévaudan and Carlat for a few months in 1166, as well as Countess of Melgueil for some time in 1172. She was a member of the House of Barcelona, a dynasty of Catalan origin that acquired the County of Provence through the marriage of Douce I to Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona.
Beatrice of Provence, was ruling Countess of Provence and Forcalquier from 1245 until her death, as well as Countess of Anjou and Maine, Queen of Sicily and Naples by marriage to Charles I of Naples.
Saint-Maime is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in southeastern France. It is located in the Luberon national park and is home to the 12th century chapel Chapelle Sainte-Agathe.
Garsenda was the Countess of Provence as the wife of Alfonso II from 1193 and the Countess of Forcalquier in her own right from 1209. She brought Forcalquier to the House of Barcelona and united it to Provence. She was also a patron of Occitan literature, especially the troubadours, and herself wrote some lyric poetry and is counted among the trobairitz as Garsenda de Proensa or Proença. She was, in the words of her most recent editors, "one of the most powerful women in Occitan history".
Margaret of Geneva (1180?–1252), countess of Savoy, was the daughter of William I, Count of Geneva, and Beatrice de Faucigny (1160–1196).
Gaston VII de Montcada, called Froissard, was the twentieth Viscount of Béarn from 1229. He was the son and heir of Guillermo II de Montcada and Garsenda, daughter of Alfonso II of Provence and Garsenda of Forcalquier. He was succeeded by Roger Bernard III of Foix
Beatrice of Savoy was a daughter of Amadeus IV, Count of Savoy and his first wife Marguerite of Burgundy. She was a member of the House of Savoy by birth and by her first marriage she was Marchioness consort of Saluzzo.