Joan, Countess of Toulouse
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Joan (1220–1271), was Countess of Toulouse from 1249 through 1271. Her father was Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse. She married Alfonso, Count of Poitou in 1237 as the Treaty of Paris (1229) had stipulated she marry a brother to King Louis. On her father's death she became the countess.
In 1229, in the Treaty of Paris, it was stipulated that she was to be married to a brother of King Louis. Joan was thereafter brought up at the French royal court. She was thereby not a part of the Occitanian culture, felt no sympathy for the Albigensians and did nothing to prevent the hunt of them issued by the Inquisition. The date of the marriage is not confirmed: both 1234 and 1241 have been suggested, but the former are considered more likely. The couple had no issue. Joan accompanied her spouse on both the seventh crusade in 1249 and the eighth crusade in 1270. In 1249, her father died, and she succeeded him as ruler of Toulouse with her spouse as co-regent. Her mother-in-law installed a governor for them until their return to France. The couple took control over their lands in October 1250, and made their official entrance as Countess and Count of Toulouse in May 1251. After this, they confirmed the governor in his authority and left again. They seldom visited their lands.
Joan (who died five days after Alphonse) had attempted to dispose of some of her inherited lands in her will. Joan was the only surviving child and heiress of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse, Duke of Narbonne, and Marquis of Provence, so under Provençal and French law, the lands should have gone to her nearest male relative. But, her will was invalidated by Parliament in 1274. One specific bequest in Alphonse's will, giving his wife's lands in the Comtat Venaissin to the Holy See, was allowed, and it became a Papal territory, a status that it retained until 1791.
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