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History of Aquitaine

Duchy of Aquitaine

Starting from the 6th century, Aquitaine was either a kingdom or a duchy, but in those times of general turmoil, this education was not accounted for by the state. In 962, King Lothair recognized William III count of Poitiers as Duke of Aquitaine. In 1058, the Duchy of Gascony was annexed to Aquitaine. In 1152, Eleanor of Aquitaine married the count Heinrich of Anjou, who in 1154 became king of England Henry II and Aquitaine came under the authority of the English kings. In 1453 the duchy was annexed to France.

William X the Saint (1127-1137)

Guillaume X (1099-1137) is the son of Guillaume IX the Troubadour, Duke of Aquitaine and Gascony and his second wife, Philippa of Toulouse.
Chronicles note Guillaume’s excellent education - a rarity at a time when even just a literate person was not easy to find. In the church schism of 1130, Guillaume supported the antipope of Anaclete II and, after the defeat of his protégé, was forced to choose, as a repentance, pilgrimage to either Rome or Santiago de Compostela. Choosing Spain, he went there in 1137, but died on the way, or after drinking "bad water", or poisoned by stale food.
His successor, the famous Eleanor of Aquitaine, remained under the tutelage of King Louis VI. Subsequently, she became the wife of successively the King of France, Louis VII and King of England Henry II, as well as the mother of Richard the Lion Heart and John of the Landless. The claims of the English kings to Aquitaine were based precisely on the fact that Eleanor was the legal duchess, and her children were the dukes of Aquitaine. The French kings, naturally, did not agree with this, which was the cause of the Hundred Years War.


Edward, the Black Prince (1362-1375)

Edward (1330-1376) - the eldest son of the English King Edward III and Philipa Hannau.
In 1337, Edward III, at the instigation of the French refugee Robert d'Artois, began a war with France, which later became known as the Hundred Years.
In 1346, the sixteen-year-old heir to the throne participated in the campaign of Edward III in Normandy, where he was knighted and from that time he constantly fought. According to the canonical version, the nickname was given to him for the black color of the armor, although the inhabitants of the areas of France that he was devastating could certainly offer a different interpretation of the word "Black." In the battle of Crecy (1346), Edward commanded the right flank of the English army. In the battle of Poitiers (1356), which ended with another defeat of the French army and the capture of King John II, he was already at the head of an independent army.
In 1362, on the occasion of the marriage of his son, Edward III transferred to him all his possessions in southern France and the title of duke of Aquitaine. In 1363 Edward settled in Gascony (in Bordeaux). This did not bring them much popularity. The locals were not against English domination, when the British themselves were far beyond the sea, but the constant presence of the ruler in the capital did not cause much excitement, especially from Edward appointed mostly Englishmen to the main posts in the administration.
In 1367 Edward, loyal to the knightly spirit (as well as for the promised money and territories) led the army to help the overthrown king of Castile Pedro the Cruel. The army of Enrique Trastamara and the French mercenaries under the command of du Guesclin were defeated, but in an unusual climate, the army noticeably thinned and the prince himself had health problems (it is believed that the disease was amoebic dysentery, from which Edward never recovered). To replenish the treasury, devastated by the costs of the Spanish campaign (he did not wait for the promised money), Edward greatly increased taxes, which caused the legitimate indignation of the Aquitans. The Aquitaine earl d'Armagnac appealed for help to the French king Charles V, who declared the British possessions in France illegal. In 1369 the war resumed. Edward struggled to keep Aquitaine in the grip of rebellion. In 1371 the prince, already seriously ill, returned to England, leaving Gascony to his younger brother John Gaunt.
In 1376 Edward died, never becoming king of England.



Charles II Duke of Berry (1469-1472)

The younger brother of the king Louis XI. Actively participated in the wars of feudal lords against the king. Aquitaine received, as a replacement for Champagne attached to the royal domain, after the victory of Louis. He died at the age of 25, leaving no heirs.