County of Savoy


County of Savoy
County of Savoy
Grafschaft Savoyen (de)
Comté de Savoie (fr)
Contea di Savouè (frp)
Contà 'd Savòja (pms)
Contea di Savoia (it)
State of the Holy Roman Empire

1003–1416

Coat of arms

Savoy lands about 1200
Capital Chambéry (from 1295)
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Created by Rudolph III,
    King of Burgundy
1003
 - County established
    at Maurienne
1032
 - Inherited March of Turin 1046
 - Acquired County of Nice 1388
 - Acquired County of
    Geneva
1401
 - Raised to duchy 1416
For the later history of Savoy see Duchy of Savoy.

The Counts of Savoy (Italian: Savoia, French: Savoie) emerged, along with the free communes of Switzerland, from the collapse of the Burgundian Kingdom of Arles in the 11th century.

Humbert I the White-Handed from the noble House of Savoy had received the comital title from the last King of Arles, Rudolph III of Burgundy in 1003. He backed the inheritance claims of Emperor Henry II and in turn gained lands in the Aosta Valley. Upon King Rudolph's death in 1032, Humbert immediately accepted the rule of Henry's successor, Emperor Conrad II. In turn for his support in the conflict with Count Odo II of Blois he received the northern Maurienne part of the County of Vienne, then a fief of the Vienne archbishops, as well as territories in the Chablais region and in the Tarentaise Valley, a fief of the Tarentaise archbishops at Moûtiers.

Chambéry Castle

While the Arelat remained a titular kingdom of the Holy Roman Empire, Humbert's descendants maintained their independence as counts. His younger son Otto in 1046 married Adelaide of Susa, daughter of Margrave Ulric Manfred II of Turin, and thereby acquired the adjacent Piedmontese lands of the Turin march (Susa).

The counts further enlarged their territory when in 1218 they inherited the Vaud lands north of the Lake Geneva from the extinct House of Zähringen. Count Thomas I in 1220 occupied the towns of Pinerolo and Chambéry (Kamrach), which afterwards became the Savoy capital. His younger son Peter II in 1240 was invited to England by King Henry III, who had married Peter's niece Eleanor of Provence. He was appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Earl of Richmond and had the Savoy Palace erected at London.

In 1313 Count Amadeus V the Great officially gained the status of Imperial immediacy from the hands of Emperor Henry VII of Luxembourg. The superordinated Kingdom of Arles effectively ceased to exist, after the Dauphiné had passed to the French crown prince Charles V of Valois in 1349 and the "Green Count" Amadeus VI of Savoy was appointed Imperial vicar of Arelat by Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg in 1365.

The "Red Count" Amadeus VII gained access to the Mediterranean Sea by the acquisition of the County of Nice in 1388, his son Amadeus VIII the Peaceful purchased the County of Geneva in 1401. The extended Savoy lands were finally raised to a duchy in 1416 by the German king Sigismund of Luxembourg (see Duchy of Savoy 1416-1718).

Counts of Savoy

  • Humbert I the White-Handed : 1003–1047/48
  • Amadeus I of the Tail, son : 1030/48–1051/56
  • Otto I, brother : 1051/56–1060
  • Peter I, son : 1060–78
  • Amadeus II, brother : 1078–80
  • Otto II, son : 1080–1082/91
  • Humbert II the Fat, brother : 1082/91–1103
  • Amadeus III, son : 1103–48
  • Humbert III the Blessed, son : 1148–89
  • Thomas, son : 1189–1233
  • Amadeus IV, son : 1233–53
  • Boniface, son : 1253–63
  • Peter II the Little Charlemagne, uncle : 1263–68
  • Philip I, brother : 1268–85
  • Amedeus V the Great, nephew : 1285–1323
  • Edward the Liberal, son : 1323–29
  • Aymon the Peaceful, brother : 1329–43
  • Amadeus VI the Green Count, son : 1343–83
  • Amadeus VII the Red Count, son : 1383–91
  • Amadeus VIII the Peaceful, son : 1391–1416
In 1416 Amadeus VIII was raised to the status of Duke of Savoy.

See also


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