William X, Duke of Aquitaine

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William X
Died9 April 1137(1137-04-09) (aged 37–38)
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Noble familyPoitiers
Spouse(s)Aenor de Châtellerault
IssueEleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine
Petronilla, Countess of Vermandois
William Aigret
FatherWilliam IX, Duke of Aquitaine
MotherPhilippa of Toulouse

William X (Occitan: Guillém X; 1099 – 9 April 1137), called the Saint, was Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, and Count of Poitou (as William VIII) from 1126 to 1137.

Early life[edit]

William was the son of William IX by his second wife, Philippa of Toulouse.[1] He was born in Toulouse during the brief period when his parents ruled the capital. His birth is recorded in the Chronicle of Saint-Maixent for the year 1099: Willelmo comiti natus est filius, equivoce Guillelmus vocatus ('a son was born to Count William, named William like himself'). Later that same year, much to Philippa's ire, Duke William IX mortgaged Toulouse to Philippa's cousin, Bertrand of Toulouse, and then left on crusade.

Coin of William X 0,890g.

William and his mother, Philippa, were left in Poitiers. When his father, William IX returned from his unsuccessful crusade, he took up with Dangerose, the wife of a vassal, and set aside his rightful wife, Philippa. This caused strain between father and son until 1121 when William X married Aenor de Châtellerault, a daughter of his father's mistress Dangerose by her first husband, Aimery.[2] William succeeded to the duchy of Aquitaine in 1126.[3]

Marriage & Issue[edit]

William and Aenor had:


William administered his Aquitaine duchy as both a lover of the arts and a warrior. He became involved in conflicts with Normandy, which he raided in 1136 in alliance with Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, who claimed it in his wife's name and for France.

Even inside his borders, William faced an alliance of the Lusignans and the Parthenays against him, an issue resolved with total destruction of the enemies. In international politics, William X initially supported antipope Anacletus II in the papal schism of 1130, opposite to Pope Innocent II, against the will of his own bishops. In 1134, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux convinced William to drop his support for Anacletus and join Innocent.

In 1137, William joined the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, but died during the trip.[5] On his deathbed, he expressed his wish to see king Louis VI of France as protector of his fifteen-year-old daughter Eleanor, and to find her a suitable husband. Louis VI naturally accepted this guardianship and married the heiress of Aquitaine to his own son, Louis VII.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martindale 2001, p. 146.
  2. ^ a b Brown 2002, p. 5.
  3. ^ Vones-Liebenstein 2016, p. 153.
  4. ^ Beech 1995, p. 57.
  5. ^ Reilly 1995, p. 187.


  • Beech, George T. (1995). "Aquitaine". In Kibler, William W.; Zinn, Grover A. (eds.). Medieval France: An Encyclopedia. Garland Publishing, Inc. pp. 55–57.
  • Brown, Elizabeth A.R. (2002). "Eleanor of Aquitaine Reconsidered: The Woman and Her Seasons". In Wheeler, B.; Parsons, John C. (eds.). Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1–54.
  • Martindale, Jane (2001). "'An unfinished business': Angevin Politics and the Siege of Toulouse, 1153". In Gillingham, John (ed.). Anglo-Norman Studies XXIII: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2000. The Boydell Press. pp. 115–154.
  • Reilly, Bernard F. (1995). The Contest of Christian and Muslim Spain, 1031-1157. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Vones-Liebenstein, Ursula (2016). "From Aquitaine to Provence: The struggle for influence during the schism of 1130". In Doran, John; Smith, Damian J. (eds.). Pope Innocent II (1130–43): The World vs the City. Routledge. pp. 152–171.

French nobility
Preceded by Duke of Aquitaine
Count of Poitiers

Succeeded by