County of Foix

The County of Foix (French: Comté de Foix, pronounced [fwa]; Occitan: Comtat de Fois) was an independent medieval fief in southern France, and later a province of France, whose territory corresponded roughly the eastern part of the modern département of Ariège (the western part of Ariège being Couserans).[1]

During the Middle Ages, the county of Foix was ruled by the counts of Foix, whose castle overlooks the town of Foix. In 1290 the counts of Foix acquired the viscountcy Béarn, which became the center of their domain, and from that time on the counts of Foix rarely resided in the county of Foix, preferring the richer and more verdant Béarn.

The county of Foix was an independent fief of the kingdom of France and consisted of an agglomeration of small holdings ruled by lords, who, though subordinate to the counts of Foix, had some voice in the government of the county.

The provincial-states of the county, which can be traced back to the 14th century, consisted of three orders and possessed considerable power and energy. In the 17th and 18th centuries Foix formed one of the thirty-three gouvernements, or military areas, of France and kept its provincial-states until the French Revolution. In 1790 it was joined with Couserans to form the département of Ariège.

The county of Foix, as it existed just before the French Revolution, had a land area of 2,466 km² (952 sq. miles).

At the 1999 census there were 76,809 inhabitants living on the territory of the former province of the county of Foix, which means a density of only 32 inh. per km² (84 inh. per sq. miles). The largest urban areas are Pamiers, with 17,715 inhabitants in 1999, and Foix, with 10,378 inhabitants in 1999.

Flag of Foix
Coat of arms of Foix
Coat of arms
County of Foix
Time zoneCET


Comte de Foix
County of Foix in 1328 (Béarn is outside of the map).

House of Foix

Blason du comté de Foix

The Counts of Foix flourished from the 11th to the 15th century. They were at first feudatories of the counts of Toulouse and the counts of Barcelona, but after the latter's defeat in the Cathar Crusade they succeeded in establishing their direct vassalage to the king of France.

During the 13th and 14th centuries the counts of Foix figured among the most powerful of the French feudal nobles. Living on the borders of France, having constant interaction with the kingdom of Navarre, and in frequent communication with England through Gascony and Aquitaine, they were in a position favorable to an assertion of independence, and acted more like the equals than the dependents of the kings of France.

The title of count of Foix was first assumed by Roger of Foix (died ca. 1064), son of Bernard Roger of Couserans, who was a younger son of Roger I de Cominges, Count of Carcassonne, de Couserans et de Razés, when he inherited the town of Foix and the adjoining lands, which had hitherto formed part of the county of Carcassonne.

His grandson, Roger II, took part in the First Crusade in 1095 and was afterwards excommunicated by Pope Paschal II for seizing ecclesiastical property. Subsequently, he appeased the anger of the church through rich donations, and when he died in 1125 he was succeeded by his son, Roger III, and his son, Roger Bernard I.

Roger-Bernard's only son, Raymond Roger, accompanied the French king, Philip Augustus, to Palestine in 1190 and distinguished himself at the capture of Acre. He was afterwards engaged in the Albigensian Crusade defending the Cathars, and, on being accused of heresy, his lands were given to Simon IV de Montfort. Raymond Roger came to terms with the Church and recovered his estates before his death in 1223. He was a patron of the Provençal poets and a poet himself.

He was succeeded by his son, Roger Bernard II the Great, who assisted Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse, and the Albigenses in their resistance to the French kings, Louis VIII and Louis IX, was excommunicated on two occasions, and died in 1241.

His son, Roger IV, died in 1265 and was succeeded by his son, Roger Bernard III who, more famous as a poet than as a warrior, was taken prisoner both by Philip III of France and by Peter III of Aragon. He married Marguerite, daughter and heiress of Gaston VII, Viscount of Béarn, and he inherited Béarn and Nébouzan from his father-in-law in 1290, which led to the outbreak of a long feud between the Houses of Foix and Armagnac.

From 1278 the counts of Foix, and their legal successors, have also been Co-princes of Andorra.

House of Foix-Béarn

Castle of Foix towering above the town, with the Pyrenees behind.
Blason de Foix-Béarn

The quarrel was continued under Roger Bernard's son and successor, Gaston I, who became count in 1302, inheriting both Foix and Béarn. Becoming embroiled with the French king, Philip IV, in consequence of the struggle with the count of Armagnac, Gaston was imprisoned in Paris. He quickly regained his freedom and accompanied King Louis X on an expedition into Flanders in 1315, and died on his return to France in the same year.

His eldest son, Gaston II, made peace with the house of Armagnac and took part in various wars both in France and Spain, dying at Seville in 1343, when he was succeeded by his young son, Gaston III.

Gaston III (1331–1391), called Phoebus, the Latin version of Apollo, on account of his beauty, was the most famous member of the House of Foix-Béarn. Like his father he assisted France in her struggle against England, being entrusted with the defence of the frontiers of Gascony.

When the French king, John II, favored the count of Armagnac, Gaston left his service and went to fight against the pagans of Prussia. Returning to France around 1357, he delivered some noble ladies from the attacks of the adherents of the Jacquerie at Meaux, and was soon at war with the count of Armagnac.

Gaston Phoebus
Gaston Phoebus, from an early 15th-century copy of his Livre de chasse, made in Paris and kept at the National Library of France.

During this struggle he also attacked the count of Poitiers, the royal representative in Languedoc, but owing to the intervention of Pope Innocent VI he made peace with the count in 1360. Gaston, however, continued to fight against the count of Armagnac, who, in 1362, was defeated and compelled to pay a ransom. This war lasted until 1377.

Early in 1380, the count was appointed governor of Languedoc, but when Charles VI succeeded Charles V as king later in the same year, this appointment was cancelled. Refusing, however, to heed the royal command, and supported by the communes of Languedoc, Gaston fought for about two years against John, duke of Berry, who had been chosen as his successor.

When he was bested in the combat, he abandoned the struggle and retired to his estates, remaining neutral and independent. He then resided in Orthez, the capital of Béarn. In 1348 Gaston married Agnes, daughter of Philip, Count of Evreux (d. 1343), by his wife Jeanne II, queen of Navarre. By Agnes, whom he divorced in 1373, he had an only son, Gaston, who is said to have been incited by his uncle, Charles II of Navarre, to poison his father, and who met his death in 1381. It is probable that he was killed by his father; this is the account presented by Froissart.

Gaston was very fond of hunting, but was not without a taste for art and literature. Several beautiful manuscripts are in existence which were executed by his orders, and he himself wrote a treatise on hunting, the Livre de chasse,[1] known in English as The Hunting Book. Froissart, who gives a graphic description of his court and his manner of life at Orthez in Béarn, speaks enthusiastically of Gaston, saying: "I never saw one like him of personage, nor of so fair form, nor so well made, and again, in everything he was so perfect that he cannot be praised too much".

Left without legitimate sons, Gaston de Foix was easily persuaded to bequeath his lands to King Charles VI, who thus obtained Foix and Béarn when the count died at Orthez in 1391. Almost immediately after Gaston's death Charles granted the county of Foix to Matthew, Viscount of Castelbon, a descendant of Count Gaston I of Foix. When Matthew died without issue in 1398, his lands were seized by Archambault, Count of Grailly and Captal de Buch, the husband of Matthew's sister Isabella (d. 1426), who was confirmed as legitimate count of Foix in 1401.

House of Foix-Grailly

Armoiries Navarre Foix

Archambault's eldest son, John (ca. 1382–1436), who succeeded to his father's lands and titles in 1412, had married Jeanne in 1402, daughter of Charles III, king of Navarre. Having served the king of France in Guyenne and the king of Aragon in Sardinia, John became the royal representative in Languedoc, when the old quarrel between Foix and Armagnac broke out again. During the struggle between the Burgundian party and the Armagnacs, he intrigued with both, and consequently was distrusted by the Dauphin, afterwards King Charles VII. Deserting the French cause, he then allied himself with Henry V of England. When Charles VII became king in 1423, he returned to his former allegiance and became the king's representative in Languedoc and Guyenne. He then assisted in suppressing the marauding bands which were devastating France, fought for Aragon against Castile, and aided his brother, the cardinal of Foix, to crush an insurgency in Aragon.

Peter, cardinal of Foix (1386–1464), was the fifth son of Archambault of Grailly, and was made archbishop of Arles in 1450. He took a prominent part in the struggle between the rival popes, and founded and endowed the Collège de Foix at Toulouse. The next count was John's son, Gaston IV of Foix, who married Leonora (died 1479), a daughter of John, king of Aragon and Navarre. In 1447 he bought the viscounty of Narbonne, and having assisted King Charles VII in Guyenne, he was made a peer of France in 1458. In 1455 his father-in-law designated him as his successor in Navarre, and Louis XI of France gave him the counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne, and made him his representative in Languedoc and Guyenne; but these marks of favor did not prevent him from joining a league against Louis in 1471.

His eldest son, Gaston, the husband of Madeleine, a daughter of Charles VII of France, died in 1470, and when Gaston IV died two years later, his lands descended to his grandson, Francis Phoebus (died 1483). Francis Phoebus became king of Navarre in 1479 and was succeeded by his sister Catherine (died 1517), the wife of Jean d'Albret (d. 1516).

A younger son of Count Gaston IV was John (died 1500), who received the viscounty of Narbonne from his father and married Marie, a sister of the French king Louis XII. He was on good terms both with Louis XI and Louis XII, and on the death of his nephew Francis Phoebus in 1483, claimed the kingdom of Navarre against Jean d'Albret and his wife, Catherine de Foix. The ensuing struggle lasted until 1497 when John renounced his claim. He left a son, Gaston de Foix (1489–1512), a distinguished French general, and a daughter, Germaine de Foix, who became the second wife of Ferdinand II of Aragon.

In 1507, Gaston exchanged his viscounty of Narbonne with King Louis XII of France for the duchy of Nemours, and as duke of Nemours he took command of the French troops in Italy. After delivering Bologna and taking Brescia, Gaston encountered the troops of the Holy League at Ravenna in April 1512 and routed the enemy, but was killed during the pursuit.

There were also younger branches of the house of Foix-Grailly: the viscounts of Lautrec (descended from Pierre de Foix, younger son of Jean III); the Counts of Candale and Benauges (descended from Gaston de Foix, a younger son of Archemboult and his son John de Foix, 1st Earl of Kendal); the Counts of Gurson and Fleix and Viscounts of Meille (Jean de Foix, Comte de Meille, Gurson et Fleix, was a younger son of Jean de Foix, Earl of Kendal), and the Counts of Caraman, or Carmain, descended from Isabeau de Foix, Dame de Navailles (only child of Archambaud de Foix-Grailly, Baron de Navailles) and her husband Jean, Vicomte de Carmain, whose descendants adopted the name and arms of Foix.[2]

Houses of Albret and the House of Bourbon

Armoiries Navarre-Albret
Coat of arms of France and Navarre (1589-1789)

When Catherine, wife of Jean d'Albret, succeeded her brother Francis Phoebus, the House of Foix-Grailly was merged into that of Albret, and later into that of Bourbon with Henry III of Navarre, son of Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne d'Albret.

Henry III of Navarre became King Henry IV of France in 1589. In 1607, he united to the French crown his personal fiefs that were under French sovereignty (i.e. County of Foix, Bigorre, Quatre-Vallées, and Nébouzan, but not Béarn and Lower Navarre, which were sovereign countries outside of the kingdom of France), and so the county of Foix became part of the royal domain.

See also


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Foix" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 595–596.
  1. ^ "Foix | feudal county, France". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
Ademar de Rocaficha

Ademar de Rocaficha (circa 1200 ?) was a troubadour, probably from Roquefixade in the County of Foix. He wrote at least two cansos, "Ges per freg ni per calor" and "Si amors fos conoissens", and one sirventes, "No.m lau de midons ni d'amor". The latter is a polemic against love (amor) and against man's preference for riches (rics) over true worth (valor).


Bigorre (Gascon: Bigòrra) is a region in southwest France, historically an independent county and later a French province, located in the upper watershed of the Adour, on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees, part of the larger region known as Gascony. Today Bigorre comprises the centre and west of the département of Hautes-Pyrénées, with two small exclaves in the neighbouring Pyrénées Atlantiques. Its inhabitants are called Bigourdans.

Before the French Revolution, the province of Bigorre had a land area of 2,574 km² (994 sq. miles). Its capital was Tarbes. At the 1999 French census, there lived 177,575 inhabitants on the territory of the former province of Bigorre, which means a density of 69 inh. per km² (179 inh. per sq. mile). The largest urban areas in Bigorre are Tarbes, with 77,414 inhabitants in 1999, Lourdes, with 15,554 inhabitants in 1999, and Bagnères-de-Bigorre, with 11,396 inhabitants in 1999.

At the time of the Roman conquest, the area of Bigorre was inhabited by the Bigorri or Bigerri, who gave their name to the region. The Bigorri were probably speakers of Aquitanian, a language possibly related to Basque.

Bigorre was conquered by the Roman general Julius Caesar in 56 BC and incorporated into the province of Gallia Aquitania. In the fourth century, Aquitania was divided in three, for administration; the region that became Bigorre was part of the southernmost section, Aquitania tertia or Novempopulana.

Like the rest of Aquitaine, Bigorre was subsumed within the Visigothic kingdom during the fifth century. After the Battle of Vouillé (507), where the Franks defeated the Visigoths and forced them out of Aquitaine, Bigorre became part of the Frankish kingdom, usually held by the same king who controlled Toulouse. Under the Merovingian kings, Bigorre was a civitas (Latin Begorra), the chief settlement of which was Cieutat. It was part of the morganegyba of Galsuintha from her husband, Chilperic I. On Galsuintha's murder it passed to her sister Brunhilda as part of the arbitration imposed by Guntram of Burgundy. By the Treaty of Andelot (587) Guntram acquired possession of it and it remained with Burgundy until the reunion of various Frankish kingdoms in 613.

The history of Bigorre in the seventh and eighth centuries is obscure. It was apparently part of the Basque Duchy of Gascony which was often at odds with the Frankish Duchy of Aquitaine. The County of Bigorre was formed by the Dukes of Gascony in the ninth century and inherited by scions of the ducal house in the tenth. It remained semi-independent of ducal authority throughout the next two centuries, and was briefly attached to the Viscounty of Béarn (1080–1097). Thereafter the Counts of Bigorre, notable participants in the Reconquista, the Crusades, and the war against the Cathars, strongly asserted their independence, though on a few occasions they prudently acknowledged the suzerainty of another; as of Alfonso II of Aragon in 1187.

Confiscated in 1292 by King Philip IV of France who intervened in a quarrel over the succession of Bigorre, the area was surrendered to Edward III of England by virtue of the Treaty of Brétigny (1360), which marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War. Recaptured by the French and their allies the counts of Foix between 1370 and 1406, Bigorre was granted by King Charles VII of France to Count Jean I of Foix in 1426. Thus, Bigorre was incorporated into the estates of the House of Foix-Grailly, which included the county of Foix, Béarn, and Nébouzan.

Later, the estates of the House of Foix-Béarn passed through heiresses to the House of Albret, then eventually to the House of Bourbon with Henry III of Navarre, son of Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne d'Albret. Henry III of Navarre became King Henry IV of France in 1589. In 1607, he united to the French crown those of his personal fiefs that were under French sovereignty (i.e. County of Foix, Bigorre, Quatre-Vallées, and Nébouzan, but not Béarn and Lower Navarre, which were sovereign countries outside of the kingdom of France), and so Bigorre became part of the royal domain.

Before the French Revolution, Bigorre was made part of the gouvernement (military area) of Guienne-Gascony, whereas for general matters it depended from the généralité of Auch like the rest of Gascony (although for a certain period of time it depended from the généralité of Pau, like Béarn, Nébouzan, County of Foix, and the Basque provinces). For judicial matters, Bigorre depended from the Parlement of Toulouse.

Unlike so many other French provinces, Bigorre kept its provincial parliament, its estates, until the Revolution. The provincial estates of Bigorre decided the level of taxation in Bigorre, and how much tax money was given to the king of France. In 1789 Bigorre sent four representatives to the Estates-General in Versailles. The representatives of Bigorre lobbied quite successfully because in 1790 it was decided that Bigorre would become a French département (instead of being subordinated to the neighboring province of Béarn, also turned into a département, as had been initially planned). However, it was felt that Bigorre was not large enough to meet the criteria of a département, so it was decided that the province of Quatre-Vallées and a fragment of the province of Nébouzan, both to the east of Bigorre, as well as several areas of Gascony to the north of Bigorre, would be joined with Bigorre to create the new département of Hautes-Pyrénées. Quatre-Vallées and Nébouzan protested vehemently against the decision, saying they wished to join with the province of Comminges with which they had historical and economic ties, but it was to no avail. Tarbes, the capital of Bigorre, was made the capital of the new département.

Geographically, Bigorre consists of two distinct areas: the plains to the north around Tarbes rising into the foothills and the high mountain slopes to the south, rising to the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, with the mineral spa of Bagnères-de-Bigorre at its foot. Although Tarbes is the capital of Hautes-Pyrénées, the nearby town of Lourdes has eclipsed it in fame since the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary

in 1858, becoming the largest modern pilgrimage center of Western Europe: 12 million people visit the religious shrines annually.

Château de Miglos

Château de Miglos, also known as Château d'Arquizat, is a ruined castle in the commune of Miglos in Ariège, Occitanie, France. The castle overlooks the Vicdessos Valley and was a defensive structure for the County of Foix in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is a listed national historic monument of France.

Count of Foix

The Count of Foix ruled the independent County of Foix, in what is now southern France, during the Middle Ages. The House of Foix eventually extended its power across the Pyrenees mountain range, moving their court to Pau in Béarn. The last count unified with King Henry IV of France in 1607.


Couserans (French pronunciation: ​[kuzəʁɑ̃]; Gascon: Coserans [kuzeˈɾas]) is a small former province of France located in the Pyrenees mountains. Today Couserans makes up the western half of the Ariège département, around the towns of Saint-Girons and Saint-Lizier. A small part of Couserans is also in the extreme south of Haute-Garonne, just across the border from Ariège.

Couserans has a land area of 1,162 km² (449 sq. miles). At the 1999 census there were 21,260 inhabitants on the territory of the former province of Couserans, which means a density of only 18 inhabitants per km² (47 inhabitants per sq. mile), one of the lowest densities in western Europe. The only urban area is Saint-Girons (which includes Saint-Lizier), with 9,484 inhabitants in 1999 (44.6% of the whole population of Couserans).

Flag of Andorra

The national flag of the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Bandera d'Andorra) was adopted in 1866. The flag is a vertical tricolour of blue, yellow, and red with the coat of arms of Andorra in the center. Although the three vertical bars may at first appear to be of equal width, the centre yellow bar is slightly wider than the other two so that the ratio of bar widths is 8:9:8. The overall flag ratio is 7:10.

The design is related to the flags of France, Spain, Catalonia and Foix, the lands historically linked with the small country. A flag of three bars is similar to that of the French Tricolour, while the pattern of a wider middle stripe can be noted on the Spanish flag. The blue and red of the Andorran flag are also found on the French flag, with red and yellow also being the colours of the Catalan flag (as the old royal symbol of the Crown of Aragon) and the arms of the old County of Foix (currently part of France). From 1806 to 1866, Andorra's flag was a vertical bi-colour of yellow and red. The motto in the coat of arms in the middle stripe Virtus Unita Fortior means "Virtue United is Stronger".

The design is similar to the flags of Romania, Moldova, and Chad. All of these are vertical tricolours of blue, yellow, and red, but unlike that of Andorra, their flags have all stripes of equal width.


Foix (French pronunciation: ​[fwa]; Occitan: Fois [ˈfujs, ˈfujʃ]; Catalan: Foix [ˈfoʃ]) is a commune, the former capital of the County of Foix. Today it is the Préfecture of the Ariège department in southwestern France in the Occitanie region. It is the second least populous administrative centre of a department in all of France, the least-populous being Privas. Foix lies south of Toulouse, close to the border with Spain and Andorra. At the 2009 census, the city had a population of 9,861 people. It is only the second city of the department after Pamiers which is one of the two sub-prefectures. Foix is twinned with the English cathedral city of Ripon.

Gaston I, Count of Foix

Gaston I of Foix or Gaston VIII of Foix-Béarn (1287 – Maubuisson, 13 December 1315) was the 9th Count of Foix, the 22nd Viscount of Béarn and Co-Prince of Andorra.

He was a son of Roger-Bernard III, Count of Foix and Margaret of Montcada, the eldest daughter and heiress of Gaston VII of Béarn. He succeeded his father in 1302 as Count Gaston I of Foix and Viscount Gaston VIII of Béarn, first under the regency of his mother.

He was probably present at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, and fought again for the King of France against the Flemish at the Battle of Mons-en-Pévèle in 1304.

When the cities of his County of Foix rebelled against the Royal tax collectors, because they raised the taxes to finance the expensive war against Flanders, Gaston supported his cities. For this, the County was confiscated for a while by the Senechal of Carcassonne.

In 1308, he started a war against the Count of Armagnac, against the orders of the King, who had forbidden intra-French warfare. Gaston was taken prisoner and locked up in the Châtelet. He was only released after paying a ransom of 36,000 pond. He also had armed conflicts with his uncle James II of Majorca and even with his own mother, who firmly ruled Foix during his many absences.

In 1310, he inherited the Viscounty of Marsan from his aunt Constance of Moncada.

When another uncle, Ermengol X, Count of Urgell, died without a male heir, Gaston claimed the County of Urgell, but was no match against King Alfonso IV of Aragon, who incorporated Urgell into the Crown of Aragon.

On his return from yet an other war against Flanders, Gaston fell ill and died in the Maubuisson Abbey, near Pontoise.

His body was transferred to the Boulbonne Abbey, where it was buried alongside his ancestors. Some records state he was buried in the now-demolished church of the Couvent des Jacobins in Paris.

Gaston IV, Count of Foix

Gaston IV (27 November 1422 – 25 or 28 July 1472) was the sovereign Viscount of Béarn and the Count of Foix and Bigorre in France from 1436 to 1472. He also held the viscounties of Marsan, Castelbon, Nébouzan, Villemeur and Lautrec and was, by virtue of the county of Foix, co-prince of Andorra. From 1447 he was also Viscount of Narbonne. Through his marriage to Eleonor, heiress of the Kingdom of Navarre, he also held the title of Prince of Navarre.

He was a son of John I, Count of Foix and Jeanne d'Albret. His maternal grandparents were Charles d'Albret, Constable of France and co-commander of the French army, killed at the Battle of Agincourt, and his wife Marie de Sully.

Gaston married the Navarrese Infanta, Eleonor, in 1436. Her parents were John II of Aragon and Blanche I of Navarre. At the time, Leonor appeared to have few prospects: her father was a younger son and brother of kings of Aragon, and Leonor had a brother, Charles of Viana, and an older sister, Blanca, standing between herself and the throne of Navarre. However, family dissent and death eliminated both Charles and Blanca; Leonor's father usurped the Navarrese crown, to which he added in 1458 the throne of Aragon (his older brother having died without legitimate children) and, following the deaths of Charles and Blanca, promised the succession to Navarre to Leonor and her husband in return for their loyalty to him, which was given.

They had ten children:

Gaston de Foix (1443-1470), (sometimes called “Gaston V of Foix”), Viscount of Castelbon, Prince of Viana (1462-1470), lieutenant general of Navarre (1469).

Jean de Foix (1446-1500), Viscount of Narbonne (1468-1500), Count d'Étampes (1478-1500). He claimed the throne of Navarre upon the death of his nephew François Phébus. He married in 1476 Marie of Orleans (1457-1493), sister of the future King of France Louis XII.

Marguerite de Foix (1449-1486), married at Clisson on 27 June 1471 Francis II, Duke of Brittany. They were parents of Anne of Brittany, twice queen of France as consort to both Charles VIII and Louis XII.

Pierre de Foix (7 February 1449 to 10 August 1490), (sometimes called “Pierre II of Foix”), called Pierre the Young, cardinal (1576), viceroy of Navarre (1479-1484)

Marie de Foix (c.1452-1467), married Guglielmo VIII, Marquis of Montferrat, son of Giangiacomo of Montferrat and his wife Jeanne de Savoie

Jeanne de Foix (c.1454-c.1476), married in August 1469 in Lectoure, to Jean V of Armagnac (1420-1473).

Catherine de Foix (c.1460-before 1494), married in 1469 Gaston de Foix, Count of Candale (c.1440-1500), (sometimes called “Gaston II of Foix”).

Isabel de Foix (after 1462).

Leonor de Foix (after 1466 - died young).

Jacques de Foix, Infante de Navarra (1469-in France 1500), Count de Montfort. Married in 1485 and divorced in 1494 Ana de Peralta, daughter of Pedro de Peralta, 1st Count de Santisteban y Lerín and his second wife Isabelle de Grailly. Married secondly in 1495 Catherine de Beaumont, daughter of Louis de Beaumont, 2nd Count de Lerín and his wife Leonor de Aragón. Jacques and his second wife had one child: Jean de Foix, abbot of Saint-Volusien-de-Foix. Jacques also had two illegitimate children by unknown mistresses: Frederic de Foix (-1537), Seigneur d'Almenèches, and Jacques de Foix (-7 Apr 1535), Bishop of Oloron and Lescar.

Gaston of Foix, Duke of Nemours

Gaston de Foix, duc de Nemours (10 December 1489 – 11 April 1512), also known as The Thunderbolt of Italy, was a French military commander noted mostly for his brilliant six-month campaign from 1511 to 1512 during the War of the League of Cambrai.

Born in Mazères, County of Foix, he was the second child but only son of John of Foix, Viscount of Narbonne and Marie d'Orléans. His older sister was Germaine of Foix, Queen consort of Aragon as the second wife of Ferdinand II.

His paternal grandparents were Gaston IV of Foix-Grailly and Queen regnant Eleanor of Navarre. His maternal grandparents were Charles, Duke of Orléans and Marie of Cleves. His only maternal uncle was Louis XII of France.

Montaillou (book)

Montaillou (French: Montaillou, village occitan de 1294 à 1324) is a book by the French historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, first published in 1975. It was first translated into English in 1978 by Barbara Bray, and has been subtitled The Promised Land of Error and Cathars and Catholics in a French Village.

Montaillou was Ladurie's "most important and popular work".

Ladurie used the inquisitorial records of Jacques Fournier to reconstruct the lives of the inhabitants of Montaillou in the Ariège (at the time, the county of Foix). The work was part of the historical anthropology of the Annales school.


Nébouzan (French pronunciation: ​[nebuzɑ̃]; Gascon: Nebosan [nebuˈza]) was a small province of France located in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, in the southwest of France. It was not a contiguous province, but it was made up of several detached territories, approximately half of them around the town of Saint-Gaudens in the south of the present-day département of Haute-Garonne, and the other half around the town of Lannemezan in the east of the present-day département of Hautes-Pyrénées. The capital of Nébouzan was Saint-Gaudens.

Nébouzan had a land area of 465 km2 (180 sq mi). At the 1999 French census there were 29,218 inhabitants on the territory of the former province of Nébouzan, which means a density of 63 inh. per km² (163 inh. per sq. mile). There are only two urban areas in Nébouzan: Saint-Gaudens, with 11,503 inhabitants in 1999, and Lannemezan, with 6,137 inhabitants in 1999.

Historically, Nébouzan was a part of Comminges. Sometime in the 13th century, the area of Saint-Plancard, 16 km. (10 miles) northwest of Saint-Gaudens, became the viscounty of Nébouzan, and its viscounts were vassals of the counts of Comminges. In 1258, the viscount of Béarn, Gaston VII, acquired Saint-Gaudens and Nébouzan. Apparently, he had some claims over it through his wife, daughter of the last countess of Bigorre, herself a daughter of Count Bernard IV of Comminges. From 1267 on, Saint-Gaudens became the capital of Nébouzan. Then, in 1290, when Gaston VII of Béarn died without a male heir, it was his son-in-law Count Roger-Bernard III of Foix (see: List of counts of Foix) who inherited Béarn, and so Nébouzan became one of the fiefs of the House of Foix-Béarn.

In the second part of the 14th century, the famous count Gaston III Fébus of Foix, who was trying to join his domains of Béarn and Foix together, managed to acquire Lannemezan (30 km./19 miles west of Saint-Gaudens), and then the fortified castle of Mauvezin, a key position near Lannemezan. These areas were incorporated into Nébouzan. Eventually, the House of Foix-Béarn also managed to acquire Bigorre, and there remained only Comminges and Couserans, united to the French crown in the 1450s, which prevented them from creating a continuous territory from Foix to Béarn.

Later, the estates of the House of Foix-Béarn passed through heiresses to the House of Albret, then eventually to the House of Bourbon with Henry III of Navarre, son of Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne d'Albret. Henry III of Navarre became King Henry IV of France in 1589. In 1607, he united to the French crown those of his personal fiefs that were under French sovereignty (i.e. County of Foix, Bigorre, Quatre-Vallées, and Nébouzan, but not Béarn and Lower Navarre, which were sovereign countries outside of the kingdom of France), and so Nébouzan became part of the royal domain.

Before the French Revolution, Nébouzan was made part of the gouvernement (military area) of Guienne-Gascony, whereas for general matters it depended from the généralité of Auch like the rest of Gascony (although for a certain period of time it depended from the généralité of Pau, like Béarn, Bigorre, County of Foix, and the Basque provinces). For judicial matters, Nébouzan depended from the Parlement of Toulouse.

Unlike so many other French provinces, Nébouzan, despite its small size, kept its provincial states until the Revolution. The provincial states of Nébouzan, which met in Saint-Gaudens, decided what was the level of taxation in Nébouzan, and how much tax money was given to the king of France. In 1789, when it was time to elect representatives to the Estates-General in Versailles, Nébouzan was forced to join with the province of Comminges, which surrounded almost entirely the several detached areas making up Nébouzan, and together they elected eight representatives to Versailles. Nébouzan sent a letter of protest to Versailles: "The province of Nébouzan would regard as a disgrace the refusal of her deputation"; but it was to no avail.

In 1790, when French départements were created, the eastern part of Nébouzan around Saint-Gaudens and Saint-Plancard was joined with Comminges, a part of Languedoc, and a part of Gascony to form the Haute-Garonne département, while the western part of Nébouzan around Lannemezan and Mauvezin was joined with Quatre-Vallées, Bigorre, and small parts of Gascony to form the Hautes-Pyrénées département.

Today, Nébouzan is probably the most forgotten of the old provinces of France. Most other provinces, although no longer on the administrative map, still exist as cultural or economic areas, with people frequently referring to them. Nébouzan, however, is largely ignored today. People living on the territory of the former province of Nébouzan think of their area as "Comminges", and indeed Saint-Gaudens is nowadays considered to be the capital of Comminges (with the city of Saint-Gaudens officially claiming to be the "Capital of Comminges"). It is maybe further west, in Hautes-Pyrénées, around Lannemezan, that Nébouzan is most remembered, because people there feel quite distinct from Bigorre (with which the Hautes-Pyrénées département is too often confused), and so they like to mention that their area was once Nébouzan, not Bigorre.


Occitanie (French: [ɔksitani] (listen); Occitan: Occitània [utsiˈtanjɔ]; Catalan: Occitània [uksiˈtaniə]) or Occitania is an administrative region of France that was created on January 1, 2016 from the former French regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées. France's Conseil d'État approved Occitanie as the new name of the region on September 28, 2016, coming into effect on September 30, 2016.The modern administrative region is named after the cultural and historical region of Occitania, which covers a larger area. The region as it is today covers a territory similar to that ruled by the Counts of Toulouse in the 12th and 13th centuries. The banner of arms of the Counts of Toulouse, known colloquially as the Occitan cross, is used by the modern region and is also a popular cultural symbol.

The new region covers an area of more than 72,724 km2 (28,079 sq mi), and has a population of 5,626,858. It borders Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Andorra (Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Ordino) and Spain (Aragon and Catalonia)

Parlement of Toulouse

The Parlement of Toulouse was one of the parlements of the Kingdom of France. It was modelled on the Parlement of Paris. It was first created in 1420, but definitely established by edicts in 1437 and 1443 by Charles VII as an appellate court of justice on civil, criminal and ecclesiastic affairs for the Languedoc region, including Quercy, the County of Foix and Armagnac. It was the first parlement in the south of France, and it gained in prestige both by its distance from Paris and from the differences between southern France's legal system (based on Roman law) and northern France's.

After the Parlement of Paris, the Parlement of Toulouse had the largest jurisdiction in France. Its purview extended from the Rhône to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Pyrénées to the Massif Central, but the creation of the Parlement of Bordeaux in 1462 removed from its jurisdiction Guyenne, Gascony, Landes, Agenais, Béarn and Périgord.

On 4 June 1444, the new parlement of Toulouse moved into a chamber of Toulouse's château narbonnais; its official opening occurred on 11 November of that year.

The Parlement was charged with operating Toulouse's inquisition, burning at least eighteen Protestants alive in the mid-16th century. It was a center of Catholic resistance to the Reformation in the run-up to the 1562 Toulouse Riots and, following its victory on that occasion, completely dominated the town's capitouls.

In 1590, during the French Wars of Religion, Henry IV created the rival parlement of Carcassonne, attended by parliamentarians faithful to the king.

The most famous trial of the parlement of Toulouse was the Calas affair. On 9 March 1762, Jean Calas was condemned to death by the parlement.

With the French Revolution, the parlement of Toulouse, as too the municipal Capitouls of Toulouse, was suppressed.

Paréage of Andorra 1278

The first Paréage of Andorra (Catalan: Tractat de pareatge) was a feudal charter signed in Lleida on 8 September 1278. It codified a lay and ecclesiastical agreement between the Count of Foix, Roger-Bernard III, and the Bishop of Urgell, Pere d'Urtx, establishing their joint sovereignty over the territory of Andorra. The paréage established the system of condominium in Andorra, placing it under suzerainty of both lords. This system was later ratified in 1993 by the signing of the Constitution of Andorra.A second paréage was signed on 6 November 1288, which supplemented and addressed a number of clauses in the first paréage. Together, these two paréages comprised the first basic law of Andorra, and were the nation's most important constitutional documents until the ratification of the Constitution in 1993.Following a series of marriages, the titles of the Count of Foix, including his co-lordship over Andorra, passed to the French monarch when Henry IV of Béarn, Count of Foix and Navarre, became King of France. Henry IV was therefore the first French king to also be Co-Prince of Andorra, a title which would eventually pass to today's president. With the Constitution in 1993, the system of government was then modified to provide for a parliamentary democracy, in which the rulers remained as ceremonial heads of state.There is only one copy of each of the paréages in existence. The copy of the first paréage is kept at the Arxiu Històric Nacional in Andorra. Its original, which was kept at the Archives of the Château de Foix, in Ariège, is thought to have been destroyed during a fire in the 20th century. The second paréage is held at the Arxiu Diocesà i Capitular d'Urgell, in La Seu d'Urgell, Spain. The original was kept in the town of Tournai, and was destroyed with the rest of the archives when the town was bombed in 1940 during World War II.The paréages remained in force unadjusted for seven centuries. In 1978, to mark the 7th centenary of the signing of the paréage, the French postal service issued a stamp showing the preamble of the Acte of 1278.

Roger IV, Count of Foix

Roger IV (died 24 February 1265), son and successor of Roger-Bernard II the Great, was the seventh count of Foix from 1241 to his death. His reign began with the south again at war with the north in France and, though he was reluctant to join his father's old ally, Raymond VII of Toulouse, in revolt and he did not aid the king of England, Henry III, in his Saintonge War.

Roger IV was a vassal of both the count of Toulouse (for his county of Foix) and the king of France (for his Carcassonne lands), then Louis IX. His loyalty to the king, however, took precedence and war broke out with Raymond VII (October 1242). Although Raymond was forced to submit to the king on 30 November, the war with Roger continued until January 1243, when the king ended it. The count of Foix was now solely a vassal of the king and Raymond spent the rest of his life (until 1249) trying to retrieve Roger's homage, to no avail.

Like his father, Roger IV had troubles with the church and the bishop of Urgel in particular and, in 1257, he successfully released the viscounty of Castelbon from the bishop's jurisdiction. In February 1245, he gave many freedoms to his subjects and he signed paréages with the abbots of Mas-d'Azil (1246), Boulbonne (1253), and Combelongue (1255). In 1251, he built the church at Boulbonne, transferred his ancestors' remains there, and defended it against the exactions of numerous enemies. He persecuted Catharism, the heresy of his mother, Ermesinda of Castlebon, in order not to be at odds with the Inquisition. He died on 24 February 1265 and was interred in Boulbonne next to his father.

Sicard de Lordat

Sicard de Lordat was a 14th-century architect from the County of Foix, now in modern-day France, who worked for Gaston Fébus (Gaston III of Foix-Béarn). He is noted particularly for working with brick, a material that was cheap and allowed speedier construction.

Treaty of Corbeil (1258)

The Treaty of Corbeil was an agreement signed on 11 May 1258, in Corbeil (today Corbeil-Essonnes, in the region of Île-de-France) between Louis IX of France and James I of Aragon.The French king, as the heir of Charlemagne, renounced feudal overlordship over the counties the March of Hispania part of the March of Gothia that remained within the geographical area that later became known as Catalonia.

James I renounced claims to Fenouillet-du-Razès and Peyrepertuse, with the castle of Puilaurens, the castle of Fenouillet, the Castellfisel, the castle of Peyrepertuse and the castle of Quéribus; moreover he renounced his feudal overlordship over Toulouse, Saint Gilles, Quercy, Narbonne, Albi, Carcassonne (part of the County of Toulouse since 1213), Razès, Béziers, Lauragais, Termes and Ménerbes (enfeoffed in 1179 to Roger III of Béziers); to Agde and Nîmes (their viscount was recognized as the feudatory of the Counts of Barcelona from 1112), and Rouergue, Millau and Gévaudan (derived from the inheritance of Douce of Provence). Under his lordship remained the viscounty of Carlat and the lordship of Montpeller with the barony of Aumelas.

The renunciation of the feudal rights of the King of Aragon over the County of Foix, initially included in the treaty, was rejected by the king of Aragon on ratifying the document on 16 July 1258, on the grounds that it was not under the overlordship of the king of France.

According to this treaty the daughter of James I, Isabella, would marry Philip, heir of Louis IX.

On 17 July, the Aragonese king renounced his hereditary rights to the County of Provence (then an imperial fief) in favor of Margaret, daughter of his uncle Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence (died in 1245) and wife of the French king.

The direct consequence of the treaty was to definitively separate the House of Barcelona from the politics of today's southern France and so, causing the strong cultural and economic ties of the region that became Catalonia with Languedoc to fade progressively. A secondary effect is that it allowed the transfer of Provence to the Capetian House of Anjou, and after extinction of that house, its incorporation into France.

Viscounts of Narbonne

The Viscount of Narbonne was the secular ruler of Narbonne in the Middle Ages. Narbonne had been the capital of the Visigoth province of Septimania, until the 8th century, after which it became the Carolingian Viscounty of Narbonne. Narbonne was nominally subject to the Carolingian Counts of Toulouse but was usually governed autonomously. The city was a major port on the Mediterranean Sea. In the 12th century, Ermengarde of Narbonne (reigned 1134 to 1192) presided over one of the cultural centers where the spirit of courtly love was developed. In the 15th century Narbonne passed to the County of Foix and in 1507 to the royal domain of France.

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