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Raymond VI of Toulouse
Raymond VI of Toulouse (October 27, 1156 - August 2, 1222) was count of Toulouse from 1194 to 1222. Son of Raymond V and Constance, sister of king Louis VII of France, he succeeded his father in 1194. He immediately reestablished peace with the Kingdom of Aragon and Trencavel.
He was married no less than six times. His first wife, Ermesinde, Countess of Melgueil, died in 1176 without issue. His second wife was Beatrix de Carcassone, whom he divorced in 1189. Raymond and Beatrix had one daughter:
- Constance of Toulouse, married King Sancho VII of Navarre
Raymond then married for a third time to Bourgogne, daughter of King Amalric II of Jerusalem, but he divorced her in 1194. In October 1197 at Rouen, he married Joan Plantagenet, but she fled from him in 1199 and died in childbirth. Their only surviving child was:
- Raymond VII of Toulouse (1197-1249)
In Toulouse, he maintained the communal freedoms, extended exemptions from taxation, and extended his protection to the communal territory. A poet and a man of culture, he hated war but did not lack energy, as shown by his dispute with the papal legate Pierre de Castelnau. Pierre's assassination on January 15, 1208 led to Raymond's excommunication. The excommunication was lifted after Raymond humbled himself before the Pope.
After the capture and massacre of Béziers, the siege and capture of Carcassonne, and the death of Raymond-Roger of Trencavel, he moved his camp, was again excommunited by the Council of Montpellier in 1211, and tried to organize resistance against the Albigensian Crusade. More of a diplomat than a soldier, he was unable to stop of the advance of Simon de Montfort, who conquered Toulouse. Raymond was exiled to England.
In May of 1216, his son Raymond VII of Toulouse besieged Beaucaire and captured it on August 24. On September 12, 1217, he recaptured Toulouse, which Simon de Montfort immediately besieged again. Simon was killed there but his son Amaury VI of Montfort took his place. The failure of the crusade of Louis VIII permitted Raymond to recover most of his county.
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