Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence
|Ramon Berenguer IV|
|Count of Provence|
|Count of Forcalquier|
|Reign||1217 or 1220–1245|
|Spouse||Beatrice of Savoy|
|Issue||Marguerite, Queen of France
Eleanor, Queen of England
Sanchia, Queen of the Romans (Germany)
Beatrice, Queen of Sicily
|House||House of Barcelona|
|Father||Alfonso II of Provence|
|Mother||Garsenda de Sabran|
|Died||19 August 1245
He was the first Count of Provence to live in the county in more than one hundred years.
After his father's death (1209), Ramon was imprisoned in the castle of Monzón, in Aragon until he was able to escape in 1219 and claim his inheritance. He was a powerful and energetic ruler who added Forcalquier to his domain.
He and his wife were known for their support of troubadors, always having some around the court. He was known for his generosity, though his income did not always keep up. He wrote laws prohibiting nobles from performing menial work, such as farming or heavy labor.
Ramon had many border disputes with his neighbors, the Counts of Toulouse. While the Albigensian Crusade worked in his favor, Ramon was concerned that its resolution in the Treaty of Paris left him in a precarious position. When Blanche of Castile sent her knight to both Toulouse and Provence in 1233, Ramon entertained him lavishly, and the knight left well impressed by both the count and his eldest daughter, Margaret. Soon after, Blanche negotiated the marriage between Margaret and her son, Louis, with a dowry of ten thousand silver marks. Ramon had to get contributions from allies for a portion, and had to pledge several of his castles to cover the rest. Ramon and Beatrice travelled with their daughter to Lyon in 1234 to sign the marriage treaty, and then Margaret was escorted to her wedding in Sens by her uncles from Savoy, William and Thomas
Marriage and Children
On 5 June 1219, Ramon married Beatrice of Savoy, daughter of Thomas I of Savoy. She was a shrewd and politically astute woman, whose beauty was likened by Matthew Paris to that of a second Niobe. Their children included four daughters, all of whom married kings.
- stillborn son (1220)
- Margaret of Provence (1221–1295), wife of Louis IX of France
- Eleanor of Provence (1223–1291), wife of Henry III of England
- stillborn son (1225)
- Sanchia of Provence (1228–1261), wife of Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall
- Beatrice of Provence (1231–1267), wife of Charles I of Sicily
His daughters were all educated and literate.
Death and Legacy
Ramon Berenguer IV died in Aix-en-Provence. At least two planhs (Occitan funeral laments) of uncertain authorship (one possibly by Aimeric de Peguilhan and one falsely attributed to Rigaut de Berbezilh) were written in his honour.
Count Raymond was a lord of gentle lineage, and kin to them of the house of Aragon, and to the family of the count of Toulouse, By inheritance Provence, this side of the Rhone, was his; a wise and courteous lord was he, and of noble state and virtuous, and in his time did honourable deeds, and to his court came all gentle persons of Provence and of France and of Catalonia, by reason of his courtesy and noble estate, and he made many Provençal coblas and canzoni of great worth.
- Goldstone 2007, p. 4.
- Goldstone 2007, p. 2-6.
- Goldstone 2007, p. 20-28.
- Goldstone 2007, p. 6.
- Giovanni Villani, Rose E. Selfe, ed. (1906), "§90—Incident relating to the good Count Raymond of Provence.", Villani's Chronicle, Being Selections from the First Nine Books of the Croniche Fiorentine of Giovanni Villani (London: Archibald Constable & Co.), 196. The Provençal coblas and cansos referred to do not survive and Ramon Berenguer is not listed among the troubadours, though he was their patron.
- Cawley, Charles, Medieval Lands Project on Raymond Berenger de Provence, the fourth Count of Provence, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012,[better source needed]
- Goldstone, Nancy (2007). Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters who ruled Europe. New York: Viking Penguin. ISBN 9780670038435.
- Howell, Margaret (2001). Eleanor of Provence: Queenship in Thirteenth-Century England.
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence
Cadet branch of the BellonidsBorn: 1198 Died: 19 August 1245
|Count of Provence
1 December 1209 – 19 August 1245
|Count of Forcalquier
1217 or 1220 – 19 August 1245