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BERENGUER Ramon I, The Crooked, Count of Barcelona
BERENGUER Ramon I, The Crooked, Count of Barcelona, Girona, and Ausona from 1015 to his death.
Also called the Hunchback (in Spanish, Berenguer Ramón I el Corvado or el Curvo; and in Catalan, Berenguer Ramon I el Corbat).
Born in 1005; the son of Raymond Borrel, count of Barcelona, Girona, and Ausona and his wife Ermesinde of Carcassonne.
He accepted the suzerainty of Sancho the Great of Navarre.
In 1021, he married (1) Sancha Sánchez, daughter of Sancho I Garcés, count of Castile, with whom he had two sons. In 1027, he married secondly (2) Guisla of Lluca, with whom he had a son, William in 1028 and, it has been speculated, a daughter who married Henry of Burgundy and was thus an ancestor of the kings of Portugal.
Berengar Raymond as a historical figure is enigmatic, shrouded in incomprehensible contradictions and ambiguities. First, he was a man of peace, and throughout his reign peace ruled. He pacified his neighbours as well, bringing to heel the count of Urgel, Ermengol II. He reestablished amicable relations with Hugh I, count of Ampurias and maintained them with William I of Besalú and Wilfred II of Cerdagne. He was a son of the church who maintained relations with the papacy and pilgrimaged to Rome in 1032. On many occasions he travelled to Zaragoza and Navarre to discuss with Sancho III the Great, king of Navarre their mutual stance against the counts of Toulouse. His confidantes and councillors were the Abbot Oliva, the judge Ponç Bofill, Gombau de Besora, and the bishops Pedro of Gerona y Deudado of Barcelona. In 1025, he decreed that the proprietors of entails (men holding land in fee tail) were free from taxation.
On the other hand, the government of Berengar Raymond I marks the beginning of the decline of the comital power in Catalonia. Upon the death of his father (1018), Berengar Raymond was a minor and his mother Ermesinde (Ermesenda) was regent until 1023. But even when he attained his majority, his mother would not relinquish the powers of regency and reigned with him. According to some chroniclers, Berengar's character left some things to be desired. He is described as weak and indecisive. Moreover, his policy of peace with the Moors was a bone of contention with the noblesse, who saw war with Islam as a way of obtaining glory, wealth, and possibly even salvation. This lead some nobles to act outside the count's wishes. Ermesinde, contra her son, was energetic and decisive, intent on imposing the authority of Barcelona on the baronage. But, as a woman, her exercising control of the military was greatly impeded and organising a raid or other expedition to satisfy the itches of the aristocracy was next to nothing.
The obliteration of comital authority became very evident shortly before his death in 1035. Her partitioned his patrimony amongst his sons: Raymond Berengar received Gerona and Barcelona as far as Llobregat; Sancho the frontierland from the Llobregat to the Moorish lands, which constituted the county of Penedés with its capital in Olérdola; and William Ausona.
He died on May 26, 1035 and was buried in Santa María de Ripoll. He was succeeded in Barcelona and Gerona by his son by his first wife, Raymond Berengar; in the new county by Sancho, son of his first wife also; and in Ausona by William, son of his second wife.
Daughter of Sancho I Garcés, count of Castile, with whom he had two sons.
CHILDREN of BERENGUER Ramon I, The Crooked, Count of Barcelona and Sancha Sánchez:
- RAMON Berenguer I. (1023).
- Sancho. (son).
Guisla of Lluca
CHILDREN of BERENGUER Ramon I, The Crooked, Count of Barcelona, and Guisla of Lluca
- William. Born in 1028.
- (daughter). It has been speculated that they had a daughter who married Henry of Burgundy and was thus an ancestor of the kings of Portugal.
- [S1]. Berenguer Ramon I, Count of Barcelona. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berenguer_Ramon_I,_Count_of_Barcelona.
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