Counts of Perche

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Counts & Countesses of Perche
Noble & Royal Houses
Blason ville fr Chambellay (Maine-et-Loire).svg
CountryKingdom of France
Founded1126
FounderRoutrou III
Final rulerMarguerite de Navarre, Countess of Perche
Current headExtinct
Dissolution1549

The County of Perche was a medieval county lying between the Duchy of Normandy and the Maine province. The title of Count of Perche was created in 1126 and was held by an independent line of counts until 1226. One of these, Geoffroy V, would have been a leader of the Fourth Crusade had he not died before the assembled forces could depart. The county then became a possession of the crown, which removed part of it to create the county of Alençon. After 1325, both counties were generally held by a member or members of a cadet branch of the House of Valois. Upon the death without children of the last Duke of Alençon in 1525, it returned to the crown, and was granted only sporadically thereafter.


Lords of Mortagne-au-Perche, lords of Nogent-le-Rotrou and viscounts of Châteaudun

The lords of Perche were originally titled lords of Mortagne-au-Perche, until Routrou III adopted the style of count of Perche in 1126, thus uniting the Lordship of Mortagne-au-Perche, the Viscountcy of Châteaudun, and the Lordship of Nogent-le-Rotrou in the Countship of Perche and Montagne.

Lords of Mortagne-au-Perche

House of Rorgonid

  • Hervé I, 941- 955
  • Hervé II, 974–980, son of the previous

Here after, the title is merged with the viscount of Châteaudun and the lord of Nogent-le-Rotrou.

Lords of Nogent-le-Rotrou

House of Nogent-le-Rotrou

  • Rotrou I, 960–996
  • Fulcois, son of the previous and husband of Melisende, Viscountess of Châteaudun

Here after, the title is merged with the Viscount of Châteaudun and the Lord of Mortagne-au-Perche

Viscounts of Châteaudun

House of Châteaudun

  • ...

Lords and counts of Perche and Mortagne

House of Châteaudun

  • Fulcuich, c. 1000
  • Geoffroy I, d. bef. 1041 (Viscount of Châteaudun, Lord of Nogent-le-Rotrou and of Mortagne-au Perche)
  • Hugh I, d. c. 1077–1080 (Viscount of Châteaudun, Lord of Nogent-le-Rotrou and of Mortagne-au Perche)
  • Rotrou II, d. c. 1077–1080 (Viscount of Châteaudun, Lord of Nogent-le-Rotrou and of Mortagne-au Perche)

Here after, the title is separated in Count of Perche and Count of Mortagne.

Counts of Perche

House of Châteaudun

  • Geoffroy II, d. 1100, a Companion of William the Conqueror
  • Rotrou III the Great, d. 1144 (also Count of Mortagne 1126–1144) (married Hawise d'Evreux, daughter of Walter of Salisbury)
  • Rotrou IV, killed at Siege of Acre (1191), 1191 (married Matilda (died 1184) daughter of Theobald II, Count of Champagne)
  • Geoffroy III, d. 1202 (married Matilda of Saxony (1172-1209/10))
  • Thomas, killed at the Battle of Lincoln in 1217
  • William, d. 1226 (Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne)

Here after the county returned to the Crown lands of France. The title of Count of Perche was given a new by the king to members of the House of Maine and the House of Châteaudun.

House of Valois

  • 1325–1346 : Charles II of Alençon
  • 1346–1377 : Robert of Alençon
  • 1377–1404 : Peter II of Alençon
  • 1404–1415 : John I of Alençon
  • 1415–1474 : John II of Alençon

The county was confiscated by the crown between 1474 and 1478, but was then returned to the family.

  • 1478–1492 : René of Alençon
  • 1492–1525 : Charles IV of Alençon, son of, married Marguerite de Navarre
  • 1525–1549 : Marguerite de Navarre, widow of

After the death of Margareth de Navarre the fief went to the royal domain. Here after the title of Duke of Perche was personally granted by the king from time to time.

Dukes of Perche

House of Valois

  • François, Duke of Anjou, Duke of Perche (1566–1584)

House of Bourbon

  • Louis XVIII, Duke of Perche (1771–1814)

English title

  • Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury was created Earl of Perche in 1419 as part of Henry V of England's policy of creating Norman titles for his noblemen.[1]
  • Thomas Beaufort was created Count of Perche in December 1427, but the title was contested with John II of Alençon.
  • Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, 6th Earl of Stafford was created Count of Perche in 1431 by Henry VI of England as titular king of France.

References

  1. Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th Ed. Vol XXIV. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910. pg 78.