The Penance of the Count of Toulouse,
Raimond VI. Drawing by J. M. Moreau.
Engraving by Delvaux, 1782.
The Count of Toulouse, Raimond VI
asking to be reconciled with the Church.
He is receiving absolution from
the papal legate.
Coll. Toulouse Musée Paul-Dupuy. Cl. V. Rousset.  
Simon de Montfort. Etching
by C. Jaquande. Engraving by
Langlois. XIXth Century.

The Trencavels and the Crusade against
the Albigensians 1209-1229

Coll. Toulouse Musée Paul-Dupuy. Cl. V. Rousset.
 or twenty long years the war against the heretics was to test and severely punish the South of France. Following the assassination of the papal legate, Pierre de Castelnau, on January 14 1208, Innocent III launched the Albigensian Crusade. In 1209, nobles from the North, led by Simon de Montfort, rose against the Count of Toulouse, Raimond VI, and his vassals, among whom was the powerful Viscount Trencavel, in order to free the country from what they called the "cathar heresy ". After the submission of Raimond VI, the crusaders took the town of Béziers in July 1209 forcing Raimond Roger Trencavel to withdraw to his Carcassonne fortress. Following a two week siege the viscount surrendered and, by papal decree, had to give up all his possessions to Simon de Montfort. As the result of the Count of Toulouse's reversals and following the battle of Muret in 1213, Simon extended his authority to the County of Toulouse. After his death, his son, Amaury, lacking the military power to take command over these hostile lands, ceded his rights to the king of France, in 1224. Raimond VII took advantage of the situation to capture the city and return it to Raimond Trencavel II. Louis VIII reacted by launching a military expedition and the city surrendered without a fight in July 1226. The viscounty was definitively annexed to the crown of France which established a seneschalsy. The crusade was ended on April 12, 1229 by the treaty of Meaux-Paris in which Raimond VII agreed to the marriage of his only daughter, Jeanne, to the king's brother, Alphonse de Poitiers, who would thus inherit all his possessions.

Coll. Toulouse Musée Paul-Dupuy. Cl. V. Rousset.
Amaury VI, Count of Montfort.
Colour lithograph, XIXth Century.


 The Viscounts of Trencavel
 XIth-XIIth centuries
 The Trencavels and
 the Crusade against the
 Albigensians : 1209-1229
 From the Siege of 1240
 to the Creation of
 the Royal Bastide
  Surrender of Carcassonne.
Engraving, detail,
XVIIIth Century.
  Coll. Toulouse Musée Paul-Dupuy. Cl. V. Rousset.