Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse
Family and marriages
Raymond was born at the Château de Beaucaire in Beaucaire, Province of Languedoc, the son of Raymond VI of Toulouse and Joan of England. Through his mother, he was a grandson of Henry II of England and a nephew of kings Richard I and John of England.
Raymond VII married firstly, in March 1211, Sancha of Aragon, the daughter of King Alfonso II of Aragon. They had one daughter, Joan, and were divorced in 1241. He was engaged to Sanchia of Provence, but she married Richard of Cornwall instead. In 1243 Raymond married Margaret of Lusignan, the daughter of Hugh X of Lusignan and Isabella of Angoulême. They had no children and the Council of Lyons in 1245 granted Raymond a divorce. He then tried to get support of Blanche, Queen mother of France to marry Beatrice of Provence, who had just become Countess of Provence, but Beatrice married Blanche's son Charles instead.
During the Albigensian Crusade in May 1216, he set out from Marseille and besieged Beaucaire, which he captured on 24 August. He fought to reconquer the county of Toulouse from Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester and later Simon's son Amaury VI of Montfort.
He succeeded his father in 1222. At the moment of his accession, he and the new count of Foix, Roger Bernard II the Great, besieged Carcassonne. On 14 September 1224, the Albigensian Crusaders surrendered and the war came to an end, each southern lord making peace with the church. However, in 1225, the council of Bourges excommunicated him and launched a crusade against him, the king of France, Louis VIII, called the Lion, wanting to renew the conflict in order to enforce his royal rights in Languedoc. Roger-Bernard tried to keep the peace, but the king rejected his embassy and the counts of Foix and Toulouse took up arms again. The war was largely a discontinuous series of skirmishes and, in January 1229, Raymond, defeated, was forced to sign the Treaty of Paris (also known as the "Treaty of Meaux"), by which he ceded the former viscounty of Trencavel to the king and his daughter Joan was forced to marry Alphonse, brother of the new king, Louis the Lion's successor, Louis IX.
|Ancestors of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse|
- A History of the Crusades, Vol. II, ed. Robert Lee Wolff and Harry W. Hazard, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1975.
- Macé, Laurent. "Raymond VII of Toulouse: The Son of Queen Joanne, 'Young Count' and Light of the World." The World of Eleanor of Aquitaine: Literature and Society in Southern France between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, edd. Marcus Bull and Catherine Léglu. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005. ISBN 1-84383-114-7.
- Damian J. Smith, Crusade, Heresy and Inquisition in the Lands of the Crown of Aragon:(c.1167-1276), Brill, 2010.
- Björn K. U. Weiler and Ifor Rowlands, England and Europe in the Reign of Henry III (1216-1272), Ashgate, 2002.
|Count of Toulouse
| Succeeded by|
Joan and Alfonso II