Alphonse of Poitiers
Alphonse of Poitiers , born the November 11th 1220 with Poissy and dead the August 21st 1271, prince of royal blood French, was the brother of the king Louis IX of France known as Saint Louis . He was count apanagist of Poitiers, Saintonge and Auvergne of 1241 with 1271, of Toulouse of 1249 with 1271.
A first project of marriage with the girl of Hugues X of Lusignan (1227) is cancelled with the signature of the treated of Paris in 1229, which promises Jeanne to him, girl of Raymond VII (IX) of Saint-Gilles, count de Toulouse. The marriage contract expects that Raymond VII preserves the Usufruit county of Toulouse, whose property is transmitted to his/her Jeanne daughter, which inherits all its other possessions.
Its youth is known little about, it appears primarily in the lives of Louis saint like one of his companions.
The prince apanagist
Alphonse of Poitiers east makes knight in 1241, and receives his prerogative with Saumur, spring 1241, at the time of a gigantic festival to which the chronic ur Joinville assists, known as the Similar Non .
As of the end of the year, it must face the revolt of its powerful vassal poitevin Hugues X of Lusignan which has the support of the king Henri III of England, and of the father-in-law of Alphonse Raymond VII of Saint-Gilles. With the assistance of his brother, Louis IX, Alphonse subject part of entreated, take the castles and cities of revolted and overcome the opposing army with the Bataille of Taillebourg, the July 21st 1242.
As of returned peace, it confiscates certain strongholds of its vassal revolted, and follows closely the administration of its fields. However, the accounts of Poitou are returned simultaneously to Alphonse of Poitiers and to the king until 1248, placing in fact the count of Poitiers under supervision. It increases its incomes as much as the habit lets to him make, thus claiming transfer tax forts which it perceives in a supercilious way before reforming them in 1269.
It weakens the big families of the county of Poitiers, and returns justice comtale and royal impossible to circumvent, putting an end to the private wars, and increases control on its vassal, their castles being from now on “rendables” (the soldiers of the count could occupy them in the event of large or small danger). In 1247, it receives in Poitiers Alphonse III of Portugal which goes from the court of France to the Portugal to be crowned there. Lastly, of 1244 to 1247, it prepares the first crusade of Louis saint, who leaves in 1248, and joined it in Egypt in 1249.
It arrives in Egypt whereas the crusaders already took Damiette. It leads the reinforcements: knights of its fields of which Hugues de Lusignan, count d' Angoulême, Pierre Mauclerc and knights of Brittany.
Its arrival makes it possible to the crusaders to take again the offensive, and the victory with Mansourah, battles where it is distinguished, expensive as men and not followed effects. In the retirement which follows, it is made prisoner with his Charles brothers of Anjou and holy Louis. It is him which is selected like hostage by the Arabs with the release of Louis saint while waiting for the payment of the ransom, those judging that it had more price with the eyes of king de France. The crusade joined Acre, then it leaves the Holy Land with largest of cross on August 10th, distributing to those which remain its jewels.
Raymond VII of Toulouse having died in 1249 shortly after his departure, it inherits the county of Toulouse, the Agenais and the Rouergue, and part of the Albigensian and Quercy, heritage that his/her mother and her right-hand man, the chaplain of Saint-Hilaire, ensured him in her absence. On its return, he is richest prince de France.
The regent of France
While arriving to France, it takes possession of its Toulouse heritage. It breaks the will of Raymon VII, which had bequeathed all its movable fortune to various monasteries, without succeeding in recovering all the jewels, then turns over in Ile-de-France, from where it will manage its fields until the end of its life. After being itself raised of a Ophthalmia (winter 1251-52), it must assist Blanche of Castille, declining, in the regency of the kingdom. Died of this one (November 26th, 1252), it succeeds to him the regency of the kingdom. Its qualities of administrator are spread there.
At the return of Louis IX, it however preserves a strong influence in the royal government. He lives primarily in Ile-de-France, and several times, of the kings, queens, popes, address themselves to him to obtain something of king de France.
Management of its southernmost field
The administrative system
From 1250 with his death, Alphonse manages itself his strongholds, starting from various residences in the south-east of Paris. He communicates by chevaucheurs with the seneshals of his field (seven on the whole). This one includes/understands the county of Poitiers, the Saintonge, the Auvergne (without Clermont but with Riom and Brioude), the Comté of Toulouse, the Quercy in the south of the Lot, the Rouergue, the Agenais; he is suzerain of the Marche, Comminges and the Armagnac; he has moreover the title of marquis de Provence, some strongholds around Orange, and Co-suzerainty on Avignon. Lastly, he is suzerain of the count de Foix, but this one does not recognize it.
Its seneshals are those of Poitou-Saintonge (only one, then for Poitou and for Saintonge after 1255), the constable of Auvergne, the seneshal of Toulouse (responsible for the Albigensian), of Quercy-Resident of Agen, Rouergue, Comtat Venaissin. They are assisted by provost S, Baillif S ( bayles into Toulouse). Four times per annum, the seneshals directly give the accounts and the receipts of their seneschalsy to him. They are indebted one year after their exit of load. These seneschalsies are subdivided in prévôtés: ten provosts more closely manage the particular field of the count in Poitou, ten provosts and two baillifs in Saintonge. Moreover, temporary investigators (knights or more often preaching friars, franciscains or Dominican) control the work of the civils servant of the count and receive the complaints in their opposition. This effective system enables him to extend the influence of its justice, at the expense of justices seigneuriales and the capacity of the bishops, and especially to increase its incomes.
He concedes in Riom the charter known as alphonsine in July 1270, which is at the base of the civil law of Auvergne under the Ancien Mode.
To increase his incomes, Alphonse stimulates the trade: it makes to build Markets with Niort and La Rochelle (even if the seconds, badly located, report to him less than those of Niort), continues and amplifies the policy of creation of country house S of Raymond VII of Toulouse (54 in 20 years). It also benefits from the repression of Cathares by the Inquisition: the goods of the heretics are sold with his profit. It presses the Jews: taxes for exemption of Round slice; under threat of expulsion, they bring to him funds for the crusade of 1248; and forced imposition which pays to him as much as that on the Christians for that of 1270.
It makes build a castle with Saint-Maixent, a hotel in Paris (the hotel of Poitiers, completed in 1268, future hotel of Alençon, which passed to Enguerrand de Marigny and the queen Margot, demolished at the XVIIe century for the enlarging of Louvre).
The last crusade
Alphonse of Poitiers answers the call to the crusade launched by Louis saint in 1267. He constitutes a new war treasure with the Tour of the Temple, creates reserves of weapons, etc the crusade leaves in spring 1270, and unloads with Goulette on July 15th and takes Carthage quickly. Badgered by the light cavalry with Buckwheats, water lack, the crusaders are quickly touched by an epidemic of dysentery, which reaches the king. This one dies on August 25th.
After negotiations with the emir of Tunis, all the crusade re-embarks at the beginning of November. Alphonse of Poitiers remains a few months in Sicily, accommodated by his brother Charles of Anjou, king de Sicile. He leaves Messine in June 1271, but exhausted by the disease, he stops on a journey and dies, either with Corneto in Toscane, or in Saint-Pierre-D' Arena close to Genoa, on August 21st, follow-up three days later of his wife, leaving according to Rutebeuf the image of a model of knighthood.
With its death, not having wire, its fields are joined together with the royal Domaine French. The part of Auvergne which it had was consequently called “Ground royal of Auvergne” and later set up in Duché of Auvergne, not to confuse with the county of Auvergne, nor with the county become dauphine of Auvergne.
Armorial bearingsIts armorial bearings is a combination of the blazon of his/her two parents: started from sown azure of flowers of gold lily which of France, and mouths is sown of gold castle, which is of Castille
Robert Ducluzeau. Alphonse of Poitiers - preferred Brother of Saint Louis . The Crib: Epic editions, 2006. 239 p. ISBN 2-84561-281-8
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