County of Bigorre

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The County of Bigorre was a small feudatory of the Duchy of Gascony in the ninth through 15th centuries. Its capital was Tarbes.

Coat of arms of the county of Bigorre

The county was constituted out of the dowry of Faquilène, an Aquitainian princess, for her husband Donatus Lupus I, the son of Lupus III of Gascony. The original Bigorre was considerable in size, but successive generations, following on Gascon traditions, gave out portions as appanages to younger sons. The county lost Lavedan, Aster, Aure, and Montaner in the first two generations.

The original Gascon dynasty, probably descended from Lupus II of Gascony, died out in Bigorre in the 11th century, the county passing to the House of Foix and then that of Béarn. In the 12th century, it went to the house of Marsan and then of Comminges and in the thirteenth to that of Montfort. It was briefly in the hands of the Armagnacs and passed between English and French suzerainty during the Hundred Years' War before finally being recovered by the French. In the 15th century, it fell to the House of Foix again and thence to the crown in an exchange of properties.

List of counts of BigorreEdit

House of GasconyEdit

Until 1251, probably all counts of Bigorre descended from the Ducal House of Gascony.

Ruler Dates Gascon line Notes
Donatus Lupus I 840-? Bigorre line Donat descended agnatically from Lupo III Centule of Gascony.
Lupus I ?-910 Bigorre line Son of the predecessor.
Donatus Lupus II 910-930 Bigorre line Son of the predecessor.
Raymond I Donatus 930-? Bigorre line Son of the predecessor.
Arnold ?-980 Bigorre line Son of the predecessor.
García Lupus 980-1030 Bigorre line Son of the predecessor.
Gersenda 1030-1038 Bigorre line Daughter of the predecessor, married Bernard, who descended agnatically from Aznar Sánchez of Gascony.
Bernard I Roger 1030-1034 Foix line
Bernard II 1038-1077 Foix line Son of the predecessors.
Raymond II 1077-1080 Foix line Son of the predecessor.
Beatrice I 1080-1095 Foix line Sister of the predecessor, married Centule, who descended agnatically from Lupo III Centule of Gascony.
Centule I the Young 1080-1090 Béarn line
Bernard III 1095-1113 Béarn line Son of the predecessors.
Centule II 1113-1130 Béarn line Son of the predecessor.
Beatrice II 1130-1156 Béarn line Daughter of the predecessor, married Peter, who descended agnatically from Sancho IV Garcés of Gascony.
Peter I Marsan line
Centule III 1156-1178 Marsan line Son of the predecessors.
Stephanie-Beatrice III 1178-1194 Marsan line Daughter of the predecessor, married Bernard, who descended agnatically from Aznar Sánchez of Gascony. They were separated in 1192
Bernard IV of Comminges 1180-1192 Comminges line
Petronilla 1194-1251 Comminges line Daughter of the predecessors, in her long countship she married various nobles:

House of MontfortEdit

  • 1251 – 1256 Alice with her second husband
    • 1251-1256 Raoul of Courtenay

House of ChabanaisEdit

After this point the succession became disputed and whether the county owes allegiance to England or France was also fought over. In 1360, the Treaty of Brétigny made it decisively French. In 1407, it belonged to Bernard VII of Armagnac, who sold it that year to John I, Count of Foix. From then on it is a subsidiary title of the counts of Foix.