Almodis de la Marche

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Almodis de la Marche was born about 1020 to Bernard I, Count of Marche and Amélie. If you think your family tree is convulated and everyone hates one another, hold on to your hats, it’s about to get tricky. About 1038 Almodis married Hugh V of Lusignan and had three children before anyone noticed that they were too closely related and BANG divorced due to consanguinity. So what does a still young woman of nobility do, well she marries again with the help of Hugh, this time to Count Pons of Toulouse with whom she had four children. Things are going pretty well between the husband and ex and they even name one of their sons for Hugh, I mean really isn’t that how sane people like their divorces, nice and friendly. So 1053 rolls around and Almodis is kidnapped (possibly with her permission) by Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona. He steals her from Narbonne with the help of the emir of Tortosa (which is in Syria). He married her right off and the next year she delivered twin boys. This was a problem since her husband was still alive and all so Pope Victor II excommunicated the pair until 1056. They went on to have two other children as well. Yep, for those counting 11 kids. The extremely blended family still got along well enough and she had traveled to Toulouse for her daughter’s wedding and her husbands and sons often fought alongside one another to support various claims. Not counting the three sons that went off to join the Crusades. Now if that isn’t enough, Ramon was married before Almodis, to her neice. His first wife was Isabela Trencavel, the daughter of Almodis’ sister Rangearde de la Marche and their son Peter was to be his heir. Step-mom/aunt through a big ole’ kink in that plan, so he killed her in October of 1071. Not a good move because he had to flee the country and was disinherited leaving her sons as split heirs bringing about the very thing he feared.

Once the excommunication was over Ramon finally gave her her wedding present, all of his Grandmother Ermesinde’s villages, towns, cities and castles this may have been to toss it into Grandma’s face since she’s the one who pushed for the excommunication. She was a very powerful woman in her day and bonus points, LITERATE and she helped develop the Catalan legal system

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almodis_de_la_Marche

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/spousal-donation-of-ramon-berenguer-i-the-old-to-almodis-de-news-photo/152196692#spousal-donation-of-ramon-berenguer-i-the-old-to-almodis-de-la-marche-picture-id152196692

http://www.mujeresenlahistoria.com/2011/02/condesa-por-amor-almodis-de-la-marca.html

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