Post-classical history

Raymond VII of Toulouse (1197-1249)

Count of Toulouse (1222-1249).

Raymond was the son of Count Raymond VI of Toulouse and Joan, daughter of King Henry II of England. Present at the battle of Muret in 1213 at which his father suffered a major defeat by the forces of the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229), he went with his father to England and then to Rome for the Fourth Lateran Council (1215).

Over the next few years he campaigned ceaselessly, effectively functioning as ruler of the county of Toulouse, to which he formally succeeded on his father’s death (1222). In 1223 he besieged Amalric of Montfort in Carcassonne and negotiated his withdrawal from the region. However, the French king Louis VIII intervened in the Languedoc, and in 1225 Raymond was faced with the king’s overwhelming military superiority, which was maintained after Louis’s untimely demise by the regency of Queen Blanche of Castile. Raymond accepted the terms of the Treaty of Meaux (12 April 1229); he continued to rule as count of Toulouse but recognized the overlordship of Louis IX. He lost control of his lands to the east of the Rhône and saw his only legitimate heir, Jeanne, married to Alphonse, the young king’s brother.

As a result of the king’s authority, Raymond was forced to accept the activities of the Inquisition throughout his lands from 1233 onward. An abortive rebellion in 1242 led to the Treaty of Lorris (1243), which confirmed his loss of power. Raymond’s last years were filled with plans to get a male heir: he put away Jeanne’s mother and sought to marry Sanchia of Provence, a project that failed, as did his plan to marry Beatrice of Provence. He died on 27 September 1249 near Rodez and was buried at Fontevrault with his mother.

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