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The Cathar Martyrs

Chronology

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Chronology of the Massacres

1206 Papal legate Pierre de Castlenau sent to Toulouse and instructed Raymond IV to fight again the Cathars.  He refused to wage war on his own population.

1207 Raymond IV was excommunicated and Pierre of Castlenau assassinated leaving Toulouse.  The Pope Innocent III called a crusade and offered indulgences and Cathar property as a reward.

1209 The Crusader army arrived at Lyon led by Simon de Montfort.  Raymond IV sought the Pope's forgiveness.

        July 21 the crusaders laid siege to Beziers . A counter attack by the defenders proved to be a disaster and the town was over run.  The whole populace was massacred, perhaps 20 000 people, including those sheltering in Churches, and the town razed.  When the Papal legate Arnaud-Armaury was asked how the soldiers were to differentiate between Cathars and Catholics and replied

"Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." - Kill them all. God will know His own.

    1 August the crusaders arrived at Carcassonne .  The town had excellent defences, but relied on the river for it's water supply, when this was isolated from them disease spread and they were forced to surrender.  No massacre occurred, but the population was forced to leave with nothing.

1210 Bram captured and 100 captives forced to leave having been blinded and with their lips and noses cut off.

    Minerve besieged and captured, around 140 Cathars burned at the stake.

1211 Thermes captured after running out of water despite some daring attempts to harass the besiegers.

    Lastours surrendered with a fight.

    Lavaur captured, the knights hanged and around 300 Cathars burned at the stake.

    Casses captured, about 50 Cathars burned at the stake.

    Montferrand surrenders to the crusaders

    Toulouse besieged, but Simon de Montfort withdrew his army.

    A counter attack by Raymond IV of Toulouse against de Montfort's forces at Castlenaudary was defeated.

1212 Various raids made against Toulouse.

1213 Toulouse reinforced by Pedro of Aragon.  Pedro besieged de Montfort's army at Muret but was killed and de Montfort secured a significant victory.

1214 Raymond IV sought safety in England.

    Phillipe II of France defeated both his German and English enemies.

    De Montfort moved to secure the Dordogne capturing Domme and some minor castles.

1215 Toulouse taken and given to de Montfort.  Castlenaud was captured by Cathars, but recaptured by the crusaders.

1216 Toulouse revolted, but was suppressed.

1217 Toulouse captured in de Montfort absence by forces from Aragon.

1218 Simon de Montfort besieged Toulouse, during the siege he was killed by a stone fired from a trebuchet (a type of stone throwing machine).

1219 Marmande captured and around 5000 people massacred, siege of Toulouse started and abandoned.

1220 Castlenaudary recaptured, Simon de Montfort's son Guy killed.

1221 Montreal recaptured.  Pro-Cathar leaders gained greater control over the crusaders.

1223 Louis VIII takes the throne of France.

1224 Carcassonne retaken and Amaury de Montfort retreated with the remains of his father Simon.

1225 Raymond VII of Toulouse excommunicated

1226 Louis VIII led a new crusade into Languedoc, several towns and castles surrendered to him. Avignon and Carcassonne surrendered. Louis VIII died.

1227 Labacede besieged, captured and the populace massacred.

1228 Guy, brother to Simon de Montfort killed besieging Vareilles.

1229 Raymond VII surrenders, agrees to destroy Toulouse's defences and join anti Cathar crusade.  Inquisition established in Toulouse

1233-5 The Inquisition tortured and burnt suspected Cathars, rebellions against the brutality in Carcassonne, Narbonne , Cordes, Albi and Toulouse.

1240 Revolt led by Raymond-Roger IV de Trencavel, but forced to withdraw to Aragon.  Peyrepertuse surrendered.

1242 Rebellion led by Raymond VII of Toulouse.

1243 Raymond VII surrendered to the French King Louis IX.  Raymond excommunicated.  Montsegur a major Cathar stronghold besieged.

1244 After about 9 months of siege, Montsegur surrendered.  Around 220 Cathars burned at the stake.

1255 Queribus , the last remaining fortress in Cathar hands captured.

1321 The last recorded Cathar parfait in Languedoc, William Belebaste, was burnt at the stake outside of Villerouge-Termenez  in 1321 after being taken by the Holy Inquisition.

 

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