Counts of Toulouse

Counts of Toulouse

The first Counts of Toulouse were the administrators of the city and its environs under the Merovingians. No succession of such royal appointees is known, though a few names survive to the present. With the Carolingians, the appointments of both counts and dukes become more regular and better-known, though the office soon fell out of the orbit of the royal court and became hereditary.

The hereditary Counts of Toulouse 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 Margraves of Gothia and Provence. Also, Raymond IV founded the Crusader state of Tripoli, and his descendants were counts there.

As a successor state for the Visigothic Kingdom, Tolouse, along with Aquitania and Languedoc), inherited the Visigothic Law and Roman Law which had combined to allow women more rights than their contemporaries would enjoy until the 20th century. Particularly with the Liber Judiciorum as codified 642/643 and expanded on in the Code of Recceswinth in 653, women could inherit land and title and manage it independently from their husbands or male relations, dispose of their property in legal wills if they had no heirs, and women could represent themselves and bear witness in court by age 14 and arrange for their own marriages by age 20.[1] As a consequence, male-preference primogeniture was the practiced succession law for the nobility.

Arms of the Counts of Toulouse


Royal appointments

House of Rouergue

Senior branch

It had long been thought that he was succeeded directly by William III. However, recent research suggests adding at least one and probably three previously overlooked counts. That two were named Raymond has resulted in conflicting numbering systems, but most historians continue to use the traditional numbering for later Raymonds.

Junior branch

Political map of Languedoc on the eve of the Albigensian Crusade, under the rule of the House of Toulouse
  • 1105–1112 Bertrand Toulouse was mortgaged to Bertrand, a cousin of Phillipa. Thereafter the county was vested to Bertrand's heirs
  • 1112–1148 Alfonso Jordan
  • 1148–1194 Raymond V
  • 1194–1222 Raymond VI
  • 1222–1249 Raymond VII
  • 1249–1271 Joan
    • married Alfonso of Poitou

At that point Toulouse passed to the Crown of France, by the terms of the Treaty of Meaux, 1229.

House of Bourbon

In 1681, Toulouse was resurrected as a royal appanage by Louis XIV.

He was an illegitimate son of Louis and his longest serving mistress Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan.

MacCarthy Reagh of Toulouse

In 1776, Justin MacCarthy Reagh (1744-1811), of Spring House, Bansha, of the princely House of Carbery of the Irish Eóganachta dynasty, was made Count de MacCarthy Reagh of Toulouse by Louis XVI. He was succeeded in the title by his son, Robert Joseph MacCarthy Reagh (1770-1827), Aide de Camp to the Prince de Conti. His son in turn, Justin-Marie-Laurent-Robert (1811-1861) succeeded as the 3rd Count de MacCarthy of Toulouse. The 4th and final Count de MacCarthy was Nicolas-Francois-Joseph (1833-1906), first cousin of the 3rd Count. The male line then became extinct on the death without issue of Count Nicolas-François-Joseph.

Further reading

  • Genty, Roger. Les Comtes de Toulouse: Histoire et Traditions. Editions de Poliphile, 1987.
  • Brémond, Alphonse, Nobiliaire toulousain. Bonnal et Gibrac. 1863.

See also


  1. ^ Klapisch-Zuber, Christine; A History of Women: Book II Silences of the Middle Ages, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England. 1992, 2000 (5th printing). Chapter 6, "Women in he Fifth to the Tenth Century" by Suzanne Fonay Wemple, pg 74. According to Wemple, Visigothic women of Spain and the Aquitaine could inherit land and title and manage it independently of their husbands, and despose of it as they saw fit if they had no heirs, and represent themselves in court, appear as witnesses (by the age of 14), and arrange their own marriages by the age of twenty

External links

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