Aimar V of Limoges

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Aimar V Boson His name is also given as Adhemar, Ademar, Adhemir, Aymar, Aymer, or Ademir. (c. 1135) – c. 1199) was a Viscount of Limoges, a nobleman in the Loire valley in the Duchy of Aquitaine.

Born in Limoges around 1135, when his family named him Boson, he adopted the traditional name for the previous viscounts Aimar a derivation from Adhémar. For reasons unknown, he became known as Aymar, Aimar or Aymard in addition to those mentioned above. A number of writers (e.g. John Gillingham on Richard I, and Tom Asbridge "The Perfect Knight") use "Aymeri". Aimar was orphaned at a young age in 1148, and raised by his relatives among the southern French aristocracy. Due to the strategic importance of both Limoges and the nearby dependent town of Aixe, he was protected as a ward of King Henry II. He ruled from 1148 to approximately 1184, when outlawed and exiled to France, and was succeeded by his son Guy.[citation needed]

Aimar is most famously known for being a fulcrum of insurrection against his liege, Richard the Lionheart, who was a noble frenchman from Anjou and rightful Duke of Aquitaine after his mother Eleanor. Aimar, like many of the fractious Aquitanian nobles, participated in sporadic rebellions against ducal authority throughout his adult life, often co-operating with Duke Richard's brothers, the Count of Angoulême and the house of Lusignan, though he was generally brought to heel.

It was while suppressing one of the frequent revolts in Aquitaine that Richard's older brother Henry The Young King died, while being supported by his brother Geoffrey of Brittany, Aimar of Limoges and the Lusignan brothers. Much later, King Richard was to meet his end fighting against Aimar's successor his son Guy, when buried treasure on Limoges land was in dispute and claimed by Richard (J. Gillingham "Richard I"). The Duke was besieging the Château de Chalus-Chabrol, a small and scantily garrisoned castle in Limousin, France under the control of Aimar, when he was shot by a crossbow, possibly fired by a certain Pierre Basile. Richard was hit in the shoulder and died days later on April 6, 1199.[1]

Aimar's disinclination to obey the Plantagenet King Henry II and the duke, was encouraged by Bertran de Born, a baron and troubadour of the Saint Martial School. A lament for the Viscomte by another troubadour, Giraut de Bornelh, suggests that Aimar died unexpectedly. Roger of Hoveden claims that he was killed by Philip of Cognac, King Richard's bastard son, who thus succeeded in punishing Aimar's long career of contumacy and his role in Richard's death. This story is held as tradition,[citation needed][2] and though there is little hard evidence behind it (no other chroniclers mention such a significant event), it was adapted by William Shakespeare in his history play King John, where Philip, the "Bastard of Falconbridge", kills a composite of Richard's enemies described as "Lymoges, Duke of Austria".

Aimar married Sarah de Dunstanville, daughter of Reginald de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall, at Bordeaux in 1159. He had been promised the Duchy of Cornwall as an inducement and advancement by King Henry II, who very typically postponed the grant of title indefinitely, which naturally erked the viscount considerably. Aimar and Sarah had a son Guy, and 3 daughters: Marie de Limoges, who married Eble V of Ventadorn, the viscount of Ventadour, Aigline, and Humberge who married a Lusignan. It is very probable that Aimar was outlawed for his insurrection against Henry II and was exiled under a law passed in 1183. It is reported that he subsequently was found among Stipendiary Knights supporting the Count of Toulouse in 1184 when attempting to reclaim part of Quercy from the Plantagenets.

On screen, Aimar was portrayed by actor Robert McBain in the BBC TV drama series The Devil's Crown (1978), which dramatised the reigns of Richard I and his father and brother.