Duchy of Bar

The County of Bar was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire encompassing the pays de Barrois and centred on the city of Bar-le-Duc. It was held by the House of Montbéliard from the 11th century. Part of the county, the so-called Barrois mouvant, became a fief of the Kingdom of France in 1301 and was elevated to the Duchy of Bar in 1354. The Barrois non-mouvant remained a part of the Empire. From 1480, it was united to the imperial Duchy of Lorraine.

Both imperial Bar and Lorraine were ceded to France in 1735, which then ceded Bar to the deposed king of Poland, Stanislaus Leszczynski. According to the Treaty of Vienna (1738), the duchy would pass to the French crown upon Stanislaus' death, which occurred in 1766.

County (Duchy) of Bar

Grafschaft (Herzogtum) Bar (de)
Comté (Duché) de Bar (fr)
Barensis Comitatus (Ducatus) (la)
Map of France in 1477, showing the duchy of Bar in "Valois-Anjou" colours
Map of France in 1477, showing the duchy of Bar in "Valois-Anjou" colours
The Duchy of bar in the 17th century, as against the modern administrative divisions of France
The Duchy of bar in the 17th century, as against the modern administrative divisions of France
StatusVassal of Holy Roman Empire
GovernmentFeudal monarchy
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Established
• Divided from the Duchy of Lorraine
• Divided between France and the Empire
• Raised to a duchy
• United with the Duchy of Lorraine
• Passed by treaty to the French crown
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Upper Lorraine Upper Lorraine
Crown lands of France

County (1033–1354)

The county of Bar originated in the frontier fortress of Bar (from Latin barra, barrier) that Duke Frederick I of Upper Lorraine built on the bank of the river Ornain around 960.[1] The fortress was originally directed at the counts of Champagne, who had made incursions into Frederick's allodial lands. Frederick also confiscated some lands from the nearby Abbey of Saint-Mihiel and settled his knights on it.[1] The original Barrois was thus a mixture of the duke's allodial lands and confiscated church lands enfeoffed to knights. On the death of Duke Frederick III in 1033, these lands passed to his sister, Sophia (died 1093), who was the first person to associate the comital title with Bar, styling herself "Countess of Bar".[1]

Sophia's descendants, of the House of Montbéliard, expanded Bar "by usurpation, conquest, purchase, and marriage" into a de facto autonomous state perched between France and Germany.[1] Its population was francophone and culturally French, and the counts were involved in French politics. Count Reginald II (died 1170) married Agnes, a sister of the queen of France, Adele. His son, Henry I, died on the Third Crusade in 1190.[1] From 1214 to 1291 Bar was ruled by Henry II and Theobald II, who secured the western frontier with Champagne by granting fiefs to French nobles and buying their homage.[1]

In 1297 King Philip IV of France invaded the Barrois because Count Henry III had given aid to his father-in-law, Edward I of England, when the latter intervened against France in the Franco-Flemish War.[1] In the Treaty of Bruges of 1301 Henry was forced to recognise all of his county west of the river Meuse as a fief of France.[1][2] This was the origin of the Barrois mouvant: a territory that was turned into a fief was said to have "moved" and entered the mouvance of its suzerain. It was subject to the Parliament of Paris. The Treaty of Bruges did not represent any expansion of French territory. The territory to the west of the Meuse was French since the Treaty of Verdun of 843, but in 1301 it became a direct fief of the crown, including its allodial parts.[3]

Bar-le-Duc-Château des ducs de Bar-Façade (1)
The former ducal palace at Bar-le-Duc is today a museum, the Musée Barrois.[4]

Medieval duchy (1354–1508)

In 1354 the Count of Bar took the ducal title and was thereafter recognised as a Peer of France.[1] Père Anselme (died 1694) believed that Count Robert had been created a duke by King John II of France in preparation for the count's marriage to John's daughter, Mary.[2] The rulers of Bar were not created dukes by imperial appointment. The only title Count Robert received by imperial grant in 1354 was that of Margrave of Pont-à-Mousson.[5] This margraviate was frequently bestowed by the Dukes of Bar on their heirs apparent. In that same year the emperor raised the County of Luxembourg into a duchy and Bar fell between two duchies, Luxembourg and Upper Lorraine.[6] The ducal title was eventually accepted by the emperors, however, and the imperial tax register of 1532 records the "Duchy on the Meuse" (Herzogtum von der Maß) as a voting member of the Reichstag.[2]

In 1430 the last duke of the male line of the ruling house, Louis, died.[6] Bar passed to his great-nephew, René I, who was married to Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine. In 1431 the couple inherited Lorraine. On René's death in 1480, Bar passed to his daughter Yolanda and her son, René II, who was already Duke of Lorraine. In 1482 he conquered the prévôté of Virton, a part of the Duchy of Luxembourg, and annexed it to Bar. In 1484 Peter II, Duke of Bourbon, regent for King Charles VIII of France, formally installed him in the Duchy of Bar.[7] In his final testament published in 1506, René decreed that the two duchies of Bar and Lorraine should never be separated. The two duchies remained joined in personal union permanently.[4]

Modern duchy (1508–1766)

On 2 October 1735 the preliminary Treaty of Vienna between France and the Empire ending the War of the Polish Succession granted Bar and Lorraine to the deposed king of Poland, Stanislaus Leszczynski. It was agreed that he should receive Bar immediately, but for Lorraine he had to wait until the death of Grand Duke Gian Gastone of Tuscany (which took place on 9 July 1737), so that the deposed duke of Lorraine could inherit Tuscany. In January 1736, Stanislaus formally renounced his claim to the Polish throne (although he was allowed to retain the royal title). In August, France and the Empire finalized their agreement concerning the exchange of territories. The emperor renounced his suzerainty over Bar and Lorraine.[8]

On 30 September 1736, Stanislaus signed a convention, known as the Declaration of Meudon, whereby the French king would appoint the governor of Lorraine. On 8 February 1737, Stanislaus took possession of Bar and on 21 March of Lorraine.[9] On 18 November 1738, the final Treaty of Vienna was signed. Stanislaus turned over the incomes from Bar and Lorraine to the French crown in exchange for a generous pension, which he used to fund construction projects in the duchies.[10] On his death on 23 February 1766 the duchies passed to the royal domain of France as per the treaty.

List of rulers

All the dates are regnal dates. All rulers before Sophia ruled Bar, but did not use the title "Count of Bar".

Counts of Bar

House of Ardennes
  • Frederick I (959–978), Duke of Upper Lorraine
  • Theodoric I (978–1027), Duke of Upper Lorraine
  • Frederick III (1027–1033), Duke of Upper Lorraine
  • Sophia (1033–1093)
    • with Count Louis of Montbéliard (1038–1071)
House of Montbéliard

Dukes of Bar

House of Montbéliard
House of Anjou

Margraves of Pont-à-Mousson

  • Robert (1354–1411), Duke of Bar
  • Edward III (1411–1415), Duke of Bar
  • Louis (I) (1415–1419), Duke of Bar
  • René I (1419–1441, 1443–1444), Duke of Bar
  • Louis (II) (1441–1443)
  • John (1444–1470), Duke of Lorraine
  • Nicholas (r. 1470–1473), Duke of Lorraine
  • vacant (1473–1480)
  • René II (r. 1480–1508), Duke of Lorraine and Bar
From the death of René II, the list is identical with that of Lorraine.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Evergates 1995, p. 96.
  2. ^ a b c Spangler 2009, p. 56.
  3. ^ Moeglin 2006, pp. 231–32.
  4. ^ a b Monter 2007, pp. 15–16.
  5. ^ Arnold 1991, p. 100.
  6. ^ a b Arnold 1991, p. 263.
  7. ^ Monter 2007, pp. 23–24.
  8. ^ Rudolf Vierhaus, Germany in the Age of Absolutism (Cambridge University Press), p. 133.
  9. ^ Charles T. Lipp, Noble Strategies in an Early Modern Small State: The Mahuet of Lorraine (University of Rochester Press), pp. 135–36.
  10. ^ Whaley 2012, p. 165 and n. 8.


  • Arnold, Benjamin (1991). Princes and Territories in Medieval Germany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Collin, Hubert (1971). "Le comté de Bar au début du XIVe siècle". Bulletin philologique et historique du Comité des Travaux Historiques et Scientifiques: 81–93.
  • Evergates, Theodore (1995). "Bar-le-Duc". In Kibler, William W.; Zinn, Grover A.; Henneman Jr, John Bell; Earp, Lawrence (eds.). Medieval France. London: Taylor & Francis. p. 96.
  • Grosdidier de Matons, Marcel (1922). Le comté de Bar des origines au traité de Bruges (vers 950–1031). Paris: Picard.
  • Moeglin, Jean-Marie (2006). "Historiographie médiévale et moderne dans le Saint Empire romain germanique". École pratique des hautes études: Section des sciences historiques et philologiques. 20: 230–34.
  • Monter, E. William (2007). A Bewitched Duchy: Lorraine and Its Dukes, 1477–1736. Paris: Librairie Droz.
  • Parisse, Michel (1982). Noblesse et chevalerie en Lorraine médiévale. Nancy: University of Nancy.
  • Poull, Georges (1977). La maison ducale de Bar: les premiers comtes de Bar (1033–1239). Rupt-sur-Moselle: Poull.
  • Spangler, Jonathan (2009). The Society of Princes: The Lorraine-Guise and the Conservation of Power and Wealth in Seventeenth-Century France. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
  • Thomas, Heinz (1973). Zwischen Regnum und Imperium: Die Fiirstentiimer. Bar und. Lothringen zur Zeit Kaiser Karls IV. Bonner historische Forschungen, 40. Bonn.
  • Whaley, Joachim (2012). Germany and the Holy Roman Empire: Volume II: The Peace of Westphalia to the Dissolution of the Reich, 1648–1806. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

External links

Abbey of Saint-Pierremont

The Ancient Abbey of Canons Regular of St. Augustine of Saint-Pierremont (i.e., St. Peter's mountain) (French: Abbaye de Saint-Pierremont, German: Abtei Petersberg) is a former Augustinian abbey in the commune of Avril in what is now the Meurthe-et-Moselle département of France (formerly part of the Duchy of Bar in the Upper Lorraine region of the Holy Roman Empire), founded in the late eleventh century and dedicated to Saint Peter. Little is left of the medieval abbey buildings. Some buildings of the eighteenth century survive (enriched with older fragments, such as the arms of the abbot Jean Marius (1575-1597) and of the Duchy of Bar), notably the dovecote of the abbey, which was built in 1747 in the Baroque style and remodeled in 1774 with Rococo elements; it is registered in the Base Mérimée of notable French architectural monuments.

Antoine Augustin Calmet

Antoine Augustin Calmet, O.S.B. (26 February 1672 – 25 October 1757), a French Benedictine monk, was born at Ménil-la-Horgne, then in the Duchy of Bar, part of the Holy Roman Empire (now the French department of Meuse, located in the region of Lorraine).

Calmet was a pious monk as well as a learned man, and one of the most distinguished members of the Congregation of St. Vanne. In recognition of these qualities he was elected prior of Lay-Saint-Christophe in 1715, Abbot of St-Léopold at Nancy in 1718, and of Senones Abbey in 1729. He was twice entrusted with the office of Abbot General of the congregation. Pope Benedict XIII wished to confer episcopal dignity upon him, but his humility could not be brought to accept the honor.

Calmet was greatly admired by the philosopher Voltaire, who visited the abbey on several occasions.Calmet died at Senones Abbey, in the Vosges, near Saint-Dié, on 25 October 1757.

Arrondissement of Bar-le-Duc

The arrondissement of Bar-le-Duc is an arrondissement of France in the Meuse department in the Grand Est region. It has 110 communes.

Arrondissement of Briey

The arrondissement of Briey is an arrondissement of France in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in the Grand Est region. It has 128 communes.

Arrondissement of Forbach-Boulay-Moselle

The arrondissement of Forbach-Boulay-Moselle is an arrondissement of France in the Moselle department in the Grand Est region. It was created at the 2015 arrondissements reform by the merger of the former arrondissements of Forbach and Boulay-Moselle. It has 169 communes.

Arrondissement of Metz

The arrondissement of Metz is an arrondissement of France in the Moselle department in the Grand Est region. It was created at the 2015 arrondissements reform by the merger of the former arrondissements of Metz-Campagne and Metz-Ville. It has 139 communes.

Arrondissement of Sarreguemines

The arrondissement of Sarreguemines is an arrondissement of France in the Moselle department in the Grand Est region. It has 83 communes.

Arrondissement of Thionville

The arrondissement of Thionville is an arrondissement of France in the Moselle department in the Grand Est region. It was created at the 2015 arrondissements reform by the merger of the former arrondissements of Thionville-Est and Thionville-Ouest. It has 104 communes.

Arrondissement of Toul

The arrondissement of Toul is an arrondissement of France in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in the Grand Est region. It has 111 communes.


Barrois is a pays (a French territorial division roughly equivalent to a county) in eastern France. In the Middle Ages it was part of the Duchy of Bar, then bordering the Duchy of Lorraine. Today Barrois is a pays of the present-day region of Lorraine.

Bishopric of Verdun

The Bishopric of Verdun was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. It was located at the western edge of the Empire and was bordered by France, the Duchy of Luxembourg, and the Duchy of Bar.

CdZ-Gebiet Lothringen

The CdZ-Gebiet Lothringen (CdZ=Chef der Zivilverwaltung) (English: Territory of the Chief of Civil Administration of Lorraine) was an administrative division of the Gau Westmark from 1940 to 1945.

Edward III, Duke of Bar

Edward III of Bar (late June 1377 - 25 October 1415) was made Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson by his father Robert I, Duke of Bar in 1399 (his mother was Mary of France, daughter of John II of France) and held it until his death. He then became heir to the Duchy of Bar following the death of his elder brothers Henry and Philippe at or soon after the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396.

In 1405, Charles VI of France charged him with defending the Boulonnais, then threatened by the English. At the end of 1406 he participated in the Guyenne campaign under the orders of Louis of Orleans, but dysentery decimated the French forces. After Louis's assassination in 1407, Edward joined John the Fearless and rallied the Burgundians. Succeeding his father on 12 April 1411, Edward was killed at the battle of Agincourt and succeeded by his brother (he never married, though he left several illegitimate children).

Frederick II, Count of Vaudémont

Frederick (Ferry) II of Lorraine-Vaudémont (c. 1428 – 31 August 1470), was Count of Vaudémont and Lord of Joinville from 1458 to 1470. He was son of Antoine of Lorraine, Count of Vaudémont and Lord of Joinville and Marie of Harcourt, Countess of Harcourt and Aumale, as well as Baroness of Elbeuf. He is sometimes numbered Frederick V by continuity with the Dukes of Lorraine.

In 1445, he married his cousin Yolande of Anjou (1428–1483), daughter of René I of Anjou, (King of Naples, Duke of Anjou, of Bar and of Lorraine, Count of Provence), and of Isabelle, Duchess of Lorraine. This marriage put an end to the litigation which existed between the fathers of the bride and groom, in connection with the succession of the Duchy of Lorraine. They had six children:

Peter, d.1451

René II of Lorraine (1451–1508), Duke of Lorraine

Nicholas, Lord of Joinville and Bauffremont, died about 1476

Joan (1458–1/25/1480), married Charles IV, Duke of Anjou in 1474

Yolande, married William II, Landgrave of Hesse in 1497

Margaret (1463–1521), married René of Alençon in 1488In 1453 his father-in-law honoured him with the command of the troops that he sent to the Dauphin Louis to help him to fight the Duke of Savoy.

In 1456 René entrusted the government of the Duchy of Bar to Frederick, and in 1459 granted him the honorary title of Lieutenant-General of Sicily.


Longwy (French pronunciation: ​[lɔ̃wi]; German: Langich, Luxembourgish: Longkech) is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in northeastern France.

The inhabitants are known as Longoviciens.

Nicolas Psaume

Nicolas Psaume (1518, in Chaumont-sur-Aire – 10 August 1575, in Verdun) was a count-bishop of Verdun and prince of the Holy Roman Empire. The Bishopric of Verdun was then a French-speaking State of the Holy Roman Empire. Nicolas Psaume was originary from the Duchy of Bar.

Order of Hubert

The 'Order of the Greyhound' was founded in 1416 in the Duchy of Bar. One also called this chivalric order, the "Order of the Faithfulness"

The order is called "Order of Hubert" since 1423. This knighthood order was founded as a knightly company for mutual love, loyalty and defense and had as insignia a greyhound with the motto "Tout en" on the collar.

The order was settled, at its establishment, for a period of five years, but flourished, favored by the kings of France until the French Revolution.

In Frankfurt Louis XVIII, France's king in exile, reorganized the Order of Hubert and it was now called "Hunting Order of St. Hubert", until July 29, 1830 when it was abolished with all other former French orders.

Ackermann mentions this knighthood order as a historical order of France.

Robert of Bar, Count of Marle and Soissons

Robert of Bar (1390 – 25 October 1415) was Lord of Marle between 1397 and 1413, Count of Marle between 1413 and 1415 and Count of Soissons between 1412 and 1415.

He was the only child of Henry of Bar and Marie I de Coucy, Countess of Soissons. His great-grandfather was Edward III.

Because his father was the eldest son of Robert I of Bar, Robert claimed the Duchy of Bar. He only renounced his claims after a large financial compensation and the levation of Marle to a County. In 1412 he also became Count of Soissons.

Robert was one of the many French casualties at the Battle of Agincourt.Robert married in 1409 Jeanne de Béthune, Viscountess of Meaux (d. 1450), daughter of Robert VIII de Béthune, Viscount of Meaux. They had one child, a daughter:

Jeanne de Bar, Countess of Marle and Soissons, Dame d'Oisy, Viscountess of Meaux suo jure (1415 – 14 May 1462), married Louis de Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol, of Brienne, de Ligny, and Conversano by whom she had seven children.

Vosges (department)

Vosges (French pronunciation: [voʒ] (listen)) is an eastern department of France named after the Vosges mountain range. It consists of 17 cantons and 507 communes, of which 234 are rural, including the commune of Domrémy-la-Pucelle, where Joan of Arc was born.

 Lorraine topics

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