County of Fézensac

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The County of Fézensac was an 8th-century creation on the north-eastern fringes of the Duchy of Vasconia following Charlemagne's policy of feudalisation and Frankish colonisation. The move was aimed at offsetting and undermining the authority of the duke of Vasconia Lupo II after the setback suffered by the Franks at the Battle of Roncevaux in 778 and failure to restrain the Basques. That advance clearly displeased the Basques, with these policies sparking a stir on the banks of the Garonne (Count of Toulouse Chorson defeated by Odalric "Wasco").

The county was appointed to a count called Burgund, who judging by his name was not a Basque. Burgund died in about 801 and was replaced by a certain Liutard, who was alien to the territory. The new appointment and his fresh military arrangements were met with the hostility of important local officials, who staged a rebellion, burning alive supporters of the new count. Ultimately, the rebellion was quelled and the instigators punished.

However, in 864 we hear of Arnold, Sancho Sanchez's nephew and a native from the area, holding the title of count of Fezensac.

Later in 926, after the death of García II, the Fézensac was given as an appanage to García's second-eldest son William. It included the cities of Vic and Auch, its capital, as well as the territory of Armagnac.

From the house of Fézensac descend the Barons de Montesquiou. The comital name of Fézensac was renewed by Louis XVI in 1777 to be carried by the head of the Montesquiou family.

Counts[edit]