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One year after the Treaty of Verdun a Girard de Vienne was appointed count and regent and guardian of Charles of Provence in 844. He was promoted to the title of marquis and exercised without expressly bearing the title the functions of duke of the ephemeral Duchy of Lyon.

From 870, after the defeat of Girard after the siege of Vienna, Boson received the County from King Charles the Bald. The county of Vienna became the center of power of the bosonid kingdom of Burgundy and Provence.

After the death of Boson in 887, several isolated references to the title of Count in Vienna appear at different times in the sources (Guigues to 913, and Sigbod Teutbert after 926) but it is not possible to identify precisely the mode of transmission of the title.

Hugues d'Arles marquess of Provence, regent of Louis the Blind, bore the title of count before being elected king of Italy in 926, the year when the king of France, Raoul of Burgundy, gave the county to Charles Constantine, the ousted heir to the throne of Burgundy and the son of the infirm sovereign. In the troubled context of the succession of his father, Charles eventually paid homage to the new sovereign of Burgundy Conrad the Pacific (937-993).

On the death of Charles Constantine in 962, the title of count was apparently briefly borne by his son but remained vacant until the turn of the eleventh century, a probable consequence of the assertion of royal power and that of the Archbishop of Vienne who made the city into an episcopal principality.

The decay of royal authority in Burgundy under ottonian infuence at the end of the 10th century was favourable for the rise of the county of Albon of the Guigonides (who soon took the title of Dauphin of Vienne), and the county of Maurienne (future Savoye) of Humbert I Whitehands (1000-’48). 

In this new affirmation of the countal power a feud between the Counts of Albon, the archbishop of Vienna and the Counts of Mâcon developed on the issue of rights in the city of Vienna, which remained under the suzerainty of the archbishop and the counts Mâcon.

In 1239 the last countess of Mâcon and Vienne sold her posessions to the king of France. A few years later however a Hugues d’Antigny, having inherited some of the possessions of the House of Macon, took the title of Count of Vienne. He and his descendants from then on were merely titulary Counts of Vienne.

The House of Vienne became extinct in the 18th century.




Etienne I de Bourgogne


comte de Bourgogne, de Mâcon et de Vienne, second fils de Guillaume I, marié à Béatrice de Lorraine

Guillaume I (III) Count of Vienne and Macon


comte de Mâcon, d'Auxonne et de Vienne, second fils d'Étienne Ier, marié à Poncette de Traves (Cton Scey-sur-Saône-et-Saint-Albin, Dpt Haute-Saône)


Géraud I de Mâcon & Vienne

*1142 † 1184


comte de Mâcon et de Vienne, fils du précédent, marié à Maurette de Salins.

Guillaume II (IV) de Mâcon & Vienne


count of Mâcon, Auxonne and Vienne, fils aîné du précédent, marié à Poncia de Beaujeu, puis à Scholastique, fille d'Henri Ier de Champagne .

Géraud II de Mâcon 


comte de Mâcon et de Vienne, oldest son of preceding and Scolastique de Champagne, married Jeanne de Bourgogne and later Alix Guigonne, dau. of Guigues III de Forez

Alix de Mâcon ,

¥ Jean de Dreux 


† 1239

comtesse de Mâcon et de Vienne, dau of preceding

Sold Macon to St Louis IX in 1239 for £ 10,000 and an annual rent of £ 1,000


Henri de Vienne

¥ Elizabeth de Bourgogne


Second son of Guillaume II and brother of Géraud II

Macon and Vienne were divided between both brothers


Guillaume II de Vienne


Third son of Guillaume II

inherited Vienne after the death of his brother Henry

His possessions were inhereited by his nephews, the sons of his sister Alix de Vienne Hugues and Henry of Antigny


Alix de Vienne

¥ Guillaume d’Antigny



dau of Guillaume II de Macon & Vienne and sister of Géraud II, Henri and Guillaume II


Hugues d’Antigny, Count of Vienne, Lord of  Pagny

Count of Vienne




After having partitioned the heritatge of his uncle William (Guillaume) with his brother Henry, he took the name an title of Count of  Vienne.


In 1268 he engaged himself to go with St Louis on his (8th) crusade for which he received £ 2,000 from King Thibaut of Navarra (1253-’70). He stood surety for this sum in case he did not keep his promise to join the King on his voyage. [1]


In the parochial church of St Antony in Ambazac (Haute-Vienne) a remarkable dalmatic is preserved and exposed, strewn with medallions Gules, eagles Or.  These are the heraldic emblems the Counts of Vienne. A notice in french near the case in which the dalmatic is shown reads (in translation):


The Dalmatic said to be of St Stephen de Muret

(M.H. 20.06.1891)

Mentioned in the inventories of Grandmont Abbey near Limoges in 1575 and 1666, the origin of this liturgical dress is without any doubt. Together with a reliquiary it was given to Ambazac parish (Haute-Vienne) during the Revolution in 1793. According to the testimony of abbot Nadaud in 1738 it was still in use by the new deacons singing their first services in the abbey. These quite exceptional circumstances explain the many mendings discovered during its recent restorations.

A legend of uncertain origin pretends that the dress was given to saint Stephen of Muret in 1121 by queen-empress Mathilde, spouse of Emperor Henry V of Germany and later of Geoffrey Plantagenet. This story was believed until in 1960 it was established by a remakable study of Dorothy Shepherd, that the cloth of which the dalmatic is made can not be older than from the 13th century. Made in Spain in the second half of the 13th century (probably near Burgos) it is likely that it has been acquired on the Iberian peninsula by a pilgrim to Santiago de Compostella and was given to Grandmont Abbey to honour its founder St. Stephen. Without any doubt the intervention of queen Mathilde at the construction of the abbey is the cause that all objects from this abbey are attributed to this ruler. But, as she died in 1164,  she could not have been the donor of a dress more than a century younger.

Abandoned by thieves, the dalmatic underwent a first restoration in 1965 by Margarita Classen-Smith (†) at the occasion of an exposition of the Treasures of the French Churches. Exposed since 1976 in a humid environment, causing microbiologic damage, it had to be restored again by scientific methods which also permitted to confirm the hypotheses of Dorothy Shepherd  refining our knowledge about weaving techniques at the end of the 13th century. An object of veneration this piece is more thoroughly known today, its makers better understood and its symbolic and historic value reconfirmed.”


Dalmatic said to be of St Stephen of Muret

Purple Silk embroidered with golden eagles within medallions. 139´154cm

Spain, 2nd half of 13th century. Restored by Martine Plantec, 1995-’97.

Parochial church Ambazac, Haute-Vienne


Medallions on the Dalmatic of St. Stephen of Muret


The medallions are: Gules, an eagle Or, on its breast a crescent of the field.



We know that the 8th crusade of St Louis ended in a disaster and his death in 1270. We do also know that Hugues de Vienne was still alive in 1270 but died between that year and 1277. So, probably Hugues survived that campaign. The appearance of the dalmatic about that time may mean that Thibaut of Navarre had appointed Hugues as his marshal or seneschal for Navarre, operating for Louis IX, as the golden eagle on red was a mark of distinction of such an office. Also the golden eagle on red was the coat of arms of the preceding king of Navarre, King Sancho VII the Strong (1194-1234), in which case his heraldic badge was revived for the occasion. The crescent on the breast of the eagle of the dalmatic may be understood as a mark of difference.

The origin of Hugues from the House of Antigny further explains the donation of the dalmatic to Grandmont Abbey which was situated on a distance of only about 75 km. from Antigny. We may suppose that the dalmatic was donated only shortly before 1575 (as it does not appear in earlier inventories)  to the abbey, when it was not only hopelessly outmoded but also quite worn-out.


Philip of Antigny, Count of Vienne (son)




Son of Hugues de Vienne and his wife Alix. Eldest of five brothers by name of Philippe, Guillaume, Hugues, Girard and Jean.


Soon after the death of Hugues a coat of arms of the golden eagle appears in rolls of arms:


1273 Arms: Le counte de Vian, gules un egle espany d'or. 

Walfords Roll   C68, (Cl130, Cd46).[2]

1288ca Arms: Rood, een gouden adelaar zonder poten

Wijnbergen. n° 1128: nn. = Philippe d'Antigny [3]


Somewhat later the eagle is on the seals of the brothers Philip, Hughes, Gerald and John.

All these seals of Lords of Vienne are pending from a selling agreement of 1285 [4]


Hugues of Vienne (son)

Lord of Pymont 1265-1315

Guy (son)

Lord of Ruffey ?

Philip of Vienne (son)


Jacques de Vienne (son)

Lord of Ruffey *1360


Arms: Gules, an eagle Or.

Crest: a moors’ head chapé and dressed ermine plumed Sable

Gelre fol 48 v° , n° 387 H. Jacob van Viane.[5]


Jean de Vienne

*1341 -†1396

Admiral of France 1373


1. Arms: [Gules] an eagle Or. Legend: Vianen

1360 Armorial Bellenville Fol. 11. n° 3.1. [6]


2. Arms: Gules, an eagle Or charged with a scallop Sable.

Crest: A crown Or and an eagle’s head between a pair of wings Gules

Gelre fol 47   346: Die ammirael.

3. Arms: Gules an eagle Or.

Crest: A helmet lambrequined Or, the eagles’ head between a voll banneret Gules and with a crown Or.

Bergshammer n° 1817: Die amerael.[7]


Louis Lord of Ruffey (son)



Hugues de Vienne, Lord of Pagny



1 Arms: Gules an eagle Or.

Gelre fol. 50 v°   445: Die here van pangy

Bergshammer n° 1623: de paengy


2 Arms: Gules an eagle Or armed and beaked Azure.

Crest: A moors’ bust proper chapé and dressed vair, plumed Sable.

Bergshammer. 1622 Legend: Van Viane


Guillaume de Vienne, Lord of St. George

ca. 1360-ca. 1435

Knight of the Golden Fleece n° 2, 1430


Guillaume IV de Vienne, called The Wise (vers 1360 † 1434), lord of Saint-Georges, of Sainte-Croix, of Seurre and of Montpont, councillor and chamberlain of the king of France and of the duke of Burgundy, tutor of the dauphin of France, first knight of  the Order of the Fleece, was one of the most distinguished nobles of the courts of France and Burgundy.


Mannequin dressed in the coat of arms of Vienne

in the Armorial equestre de la Toison d’Or

BnF, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Ms. 4790 Rés. f., gallica.bnf.fr


Anthoine de VIENNE (1538-1590) dit de BEAUFREMONT, seigneur de l'Istenois, marquis d'Arc en Barrois, conseiller d'Etat et capitaine de 50 hommes d'armes des ordonnances.



From: Recueil de tous les chevaliers de l'ordre du Saint Esprit, par le sr de VALLES, 1631, ms.fr. 2769, Bibliothèque Nationale de France (gallica.bnf.fr)


For the Vienne family and its many branches which probably bore the eagle-arms see:





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© Hubert de Vries 2015-09-02



[1] Histoire Generale et Particuliere de Bourgogne. Tome II.  Dijon MDCCXLI. P. 376.

[2] Brault, Gerard J.: Eight Thirteenth-Century Rolls of Arms in French and Anglo-Norman Blazon. The Pennsylvania State University Press. University Park and London, 1973.

[3] Adam-Even, Paul & Léon Jéquier:Un Armorial français du XIIIe siècle, l'armorial Wijnbergen. In: Archives Heraldiques Suisses. 1951 pp. 49-62, pp. 101-110, 1952 pp. 28-36, 64-68, 103-111, 1953 pp. 55-77.

[4] Histoire Generale et Particuliere de Bourgogne. Tome II.  Dijon MDCCXLI. p. 380

[5] Adam-Even, P.A.: Armorial Universel du Heraut Gelre, 1370-1395. In: Archives Heraldi­ques Suisses. 1961 pp. 48-85; 1962 pp. 68-73; 1963 pp. 63-79; 1964 pp. 75-80; 1965 pp. 70-82; 1967 pp. 72-83; 1968 pp. 70-83.                                                                                                                 

[6] Jequier, L.: L'Armorial Bellenville. Paris, 1983.

[7] Raneke, Jan: Bergshammar Vapenboken - En Medeltidsheraldisk Studie. Lund, 1975.


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