County of Bigorre

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Coat of arms of the county of Bigorre

The County of Bigorre was a small feudatory of the Duchy of Aquitaine in the ninth through 15th centuries. Its capital was Tarbes.

The county was constituted out of the dowry of a Faquilène, an Aquitainian princess, for her husband Donatus Lupus I, the son of Lupus III of Gascony. The original Bigorre was considerable in size, but successive generations, following on Gascon traditions, gave out portions as appanages to younger sons. The county lost Lavedan, Aster, Aure, and Montaner in the first two generations.

The original Gascon dynasty, probably descended from Lupus II of Gascony, died out in Bigorre in the 11th century, the county passing to the House of Foix and then that of Béarn. In the 12th century, it went to the house of Marsan and then of Comminges and in the thirteenth to that of Montfort [disambiguation needed]. It was briefly in the hands of the Armagnacs and passed between English and French suzerainty during the Hundred Years' War before finally being recovered by the French. In the 15th century, it fell to the House of Foix again and thence to the crown in an exchange of properties.

List of counts of Bigorre[edit]

House of Bigorre[edit]

House of Foix[edit]

After this point the succession become disputed and whether the county owes allegiance to England or France is also fought over. In 1360, the Treaty of Brétigny made it decisively French. In 1407, it belonged to Bernard VII of Armagnac, who sold it that year to John I, Count of Foix. From then on it is a subsidiary title of the counts of Foix.