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Raymond VII

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Count of Toulouse, son of Raymond VI, b. at Beaucaire, 1197; d. at Milhaud, 1249; had espoused a sister of the King of Aragon, and had assisted his father in the reconquest of his estates. In January, 1224, Amaury de Montfort, reduced to the sovereignty of Narbonne, concluded a treaty with him, but ceded his rights in the south to Louis VIII of France. In vain Raymond VII offered his obeisance to the assembly of Bourges in 1226; a new Crusade was decided upon. Louis VIII seized Avignon and occupied Languedoc without resistance, but on his return to the north he died 8 Nov., 1226, at Montpensier. Raymond VII, profiting by the feebleness of Blanche of Castile, took several places from Imbert de Beaujeu, seneschal of the King of France. This success was of short duration; in 1228 new bands of crusaders began to plunder the country of Toulouse, and soon Raymond lost nearly all his strongholds. He then asked peace from Blanche of Castile. After the conference of Meaux, Raymond returned to Paris, and on 12 April, 1229, in the Church of Notre Dame, did public penance and was released from his excommunication. He pledged himself to demolish the walls of Toulouse, and to give his daughter Jeanne in marriage to Alphonse of Potiers, brother of King Louis IX. Returning to Toulouse, Raymond VII kept his promises and accepted the establishment of the Inquisition. In 1234 he went to Rome, and received from the pope the restitution of the Marquessate of Provence. In spite of his zeal in suppressing heresy, he was several times accused of favouring the massacre of the inquisitors. He allied himself with the Emperor Frederick II against the pope, then with the King of England, Henry III, against Louis IX. The victory of the latter at Taillebourg caused him to renew his oath of fealty. In 1247, as he was starting for Palestine with St. Louis, he died, leaving his estates to his daughter Jeanne.

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