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The arms of  Foix were no different than the three red pales on the golden field. According to legend, the pales come from the (apocryphal) coat of arms of Wilfred the Hairy (874-898), who would have drawn stripes on his golden shield with three fingers dipped in his own blood.

More likely, however, is that the arms are a version of the coat of arms of the Counts of Barcelona and Provence with which the Counts of Foix would be related.

The arms first appears on the seal of Roger Bernard II from 1229 [1]

Even before the Viscount Béarn came into the possession of the House Foix in 1290, Roger Bernard II of Foix quartered in 1281, on the occasion of his marriage with the daughter of Gaston VII the Great of Béarn, the piles of Foix with the red cows of Béarn. [2]

In the 14th century a crest was added to the arms. It consists of a cow's head from the coat of arms of Béarn and a pair of stiff wings with the pales of Foix. In this form it appears in the armorial of the Heraut Gelre. [3] On an heraldic stone  of Jean de Grailly, Count of Foix († 1436) the arms were supplemented with a supporter. It is a green dragon, the helmet with crest on the head. [4] This dragon was also borne by other members of the House of Grailly in particular by Peter of Foix who was a bishop in Arles, on his tomb in Avignon.

This achievement was also used by later  counts of Foix.

Through the marriage of Gaston IV (1436-1472) with Eleonore, the heiresss of Navarre, Foix came to Navarre and later also to France of which it later became a province. The arms with the pales were also used for this province.


Rulers of Foix


Bernard de Foix

1012 - 1034


Roger I de Foix

1034 - 1067


Roger II de Foix

1067 - 1124


Roger III de Foix

1124 - 1148


Roger-Bernard Ier de Foix

1148 - 1188


Raimond-Roger de Foix

1188 - 1223


Roger-Bernard II de Foix

1223 - 1241


Roger IV de Foix

1241 - 1265


Roger-Bernard II de Foix

1265 - 1302


Gaston Ier de Foix-Béarn

1302 - 1315


Gaston II de Foix-Béarn

1315 - 1343


Gaston III Febus de Foix-Béarn

1343 - 1391


Mathieu de Foix-Castelbon

1391 - 1398


Isabelle de Foix-Castelbon et Archambaud de Grailly

1398 - 1412


Jean Ier de Foix-Grailly-Béarn

1412 - 1436


Gaston IV de Foix-Grailly-Béarn

1436 - 1472


François Febus de Foix-Grailly-Béarn

1472 - 1483


Catherine de Navarre-Foix-Grailly-Béarn et Jean II d'Albret

1483 - 1516


Henri II de Navarre-Albret

1516 - 1555


Jeanne III de Navarre-Albret et Antoine

1555 - 1572


Henri III de Navarre-Bourbon-Vendôme

1572 - 1607


Louis I (XIII)

1610 - 1643


Louis II (XIV)

  1643 - 1715


Louis III (XV)

1715 - 1774


Louis IV (XVI)

1774 - 1792




Roger III de Foix

1124 - 1148

Roger-Bernard I de Foix

1148 - 1188


Photo H.d.V. 2013

Capital from Foix Castle, 12th cent.

(Musée de Foix)


The castle, dating from the 7th century came into the possession of Roger III in 1134.


Photo H.d.V. 2013

Capital of Foix Abbey, after 1130


On these two capitals are three different shields from the time of Roger III or Roger Bernard I. The first a quarterly of a blank and a hatched and the second a quarterly of  a hatching slanted to the left and a hatching slanted to the right.

The third (from the Abbey) shows a ÆÍ (á) cross which is the (ancient) badge of office of an archbishop or abbot.


Raimond-Roger de Foix

1188 - 1223

Equestrian seal and counterseal


The arms of the knight blank with the legend: SIGILLVM : RAMONDI žž ROGERII

On the counterseal a picture of Foix castle and the legend: I ž COMITIS FVXENSž


Afbeeldingsresultaat voor chateau de foix

Foix castle now


Roger Bernard II


Equestrian Seal


Arms: [Or] three pales [Gules].

Legend: bernardi comitis fuxensis. D.: IX. 1229 (Douët d'Arcq n°  662.)

Seal and counterseal


On the counterseal is a picture of Foix castle


Roger IV




Arms: Paly

Legend: X s. R...........fvxie et vicecomitis ???. D.: 1241. (Paris, Arch. Nat's D 664)


Seal of Roger IV


Arms: Paly. Behind the horse the arms of Castelbon



Arms of Castelbon

painted on a beam from the end of the 13th century.

After: Gascón Chopo, R. Lobo i Sastre Càtars al pirineu català,


Roger Bernard III



Equestrian seal and counterseal of Roger Bernard III, 1281


Arms: ¼ of Foix & Bearn. Above the croup of his horse: Castelbon

Legend: (on the counter seal): S rogerii b. Comitis fuxi.

Date: 18. 06.1281. (Douët d'Arcq n°  666.)


(Not in early armorials)


Gaston I de Foix-Béarn

1302 - 1315

Seal of Gaston I

Arms: ¼ of Foix and Bearn


Gaston II de Foix-Béarn

1315 – 1343


Seal of Gaston II

Arms: ¼ of Foix and Bearn


Gaston Fébus


1343 - 1391


die ge va Foos

Gelre, fol 121v°. n° 1706


Arms: ¼: 1&4: Or, three pales Gules (Foix); 2&3: Or two cows Gules, belled Or. (Bearn). `

Crest:  A cow’s head Gules, belled Azure between two  wings (vols banneret) paly Or and Gules.

Arms: ¼ of Foix and Bearn.

Crest: Foix-Bearn



Achievement of Gaston Febus, 1380

Montanėr Castle

Arms: ¼ of Foix and Bearn

Crest: A man issuant

Supporters: The count and the countess of Foix vested of the coats of arms of Foix

Legend: febus mefe


Gaston Fébus

from an early 15th-century copy of his

Livre de chasse, Paris, BnF, Ms. fr. 616, fol. 51v. (detail) [5]


His dress strewn with golden dragons which later became the supporter of the arms.


* These ‘dragons’ have no wings and a bird-like tail. It is not known how such fabulous beasts were called. The later dragons became wings and were of a more common shape.


Mathieu de Foix-Castelbon

1391 – 1398


Isabelle de Foix-Castelbon et Archambaud de Grailly

1398 – 1412


Arms: Tierced per pale 1&2: ¼ of Foix and Bearn; 3. Grailly (Or, a cross Sable charged with five shells of the first).

Crest: Bearn-Foix



The arms and crest of Grailly

Cappetan, Armorial Bellenville fol 71v°, 10

(Jean III de Grailly, captan de Buch †1376)


Arms: Or, a cross Sable charged with five shells of the first

Crest: On a helmet lambrequined, a moor’s head with pointed ears Sable


Jean de Foix Grailly

*1382- †1436



This heraldic stone above the entrance of Mauvezin Castle

was put there by Jean I de Foix Grailly in 1426.


Another heraldic stone in Foix


The dragon supporter of the arms of  Cardinal Peter of Foix, (1386-1464)

On his tomb in the Celestine chapel in Avignon [6]


Gaston IV de Foix-Grailly-Béarn




1436 – 1472

¥ 1455 Eleonore of Navarre *1420-  †1479


m de foys

Bergs­hammer, fol. 150r°    2244


 Arms: ¼: 1&4: Paly of six pieces Or and Gules; 2&3: Or, two cows Gules.

Arms: 1|2: 1. Navarre; 2. ¼ of Foix and Bearn.

Crest: A cow belled a peacock’s tail .

Lambrequines: Gules and Or. (Conrad Grüneberg; Siebmacher 1857 p. 15, Taf.32)



Arms: ¼ of Navarre, Foix, Bearn and Evreux (Azure, three fleurs de lys Or and a bend compony Gules and Azure). In nombril point Bigorre (Or, two lions passant Gules).

Legend:  le gre de fois




François Phoebus

 Count of Foix 1472-1483


Knight vested in the coat of arms of Francis Phebus [7]

In a manuscript in the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid.


Senfuit lordre et le train que ung prince ou chef de guerre doit tenir qui veult.


The arms of Francis Phebus as on his coat of arms


Arms: Tierced per pale: 1&2: ¼ of Navarre, Foix, Bearn and Evreux, in nombril point Bigorre; 3, Quartely per saltire of 1 Castile, 2&4 Aragon, 3. Leon; for Viana.



Jean II d’Albret




The arms of Catharina and John [8]


The arms are identical to the arms of Francis Phebus:

Arms: Tierced per pale: 1&2: ¼ of Navarre, Foix, Bearn and Evreux, in nombril point Bigorre. 3. For Viana: quarterly per saltie of 1. Castile, 2&4: Aragon; 3. Leon.


The arms of John.

The arms are:


Arms: Tierced per pale: 1. ½: Navarre and Bearn; 2. 1/3: Albret, Bigorre, Evreux; 3. ½. Foix and Viana.

Crown: Of three leaves and two trefoils



Henri II de Navarre-Albret





The arms on the left are:

Arms: 1|3: 1. 1/3 Navarre; Bearn; Armagnac; 2. 1/3: Albret; Bigorre; Evreux; ½: 1.Foix 2. Quartely per saltire of 1 Castile, 2&4 Aragon, 3. Leon


The dry-seal on the right shows arms identical to the arms of Francis Phebus:

Arms: 1|3: 1&2: ¼ of Navarre, Foix, Bearn and Evreux in nombtl point Bigorre; 3. for Viana : Quartely per saltire of 1 Castile, 2&4 Aragon, 3. Leon. [9]


Jeanne III d’Albret

Antoine de Vendôme




Great royal seal of Jeanne d’ Albret


In the margin (clockwise):

Bearn, Evreux, Bigorre, Albret, NN., Viana, Armagnac, France, Foix, Navarre.

Seal of Jeanne d’ Albret and Antoine de Vendôme [10]


In the margin (clockwise)

Bourbon, Vendôme, Bearn, Albret, Bigorre [....] Armagnac, Evreux, Foix, Navarre.


Henri III de Navarre-Bourbon-Vendôme (Henri IV de France)



Foix county 1607-1790 [11]


Louis I (XIII)


Louis II (XIV)



Governors (also in charge of relations with Andorra)

1646 - 1672? Armand Jean du Peyré, comte de Trois (*1598 - †1672)

1687 - 1699? Gaston Jean Baptiste de Lévis, marquis de Mirepoix  (*1660 - †1699)

1699 - 25 - 04. Vacant 

25-04 -1701 – 1702 Camille de La Beaumr d'Hostun, duc d'Hostun (*1652 - †1728) 


Louis III (XV)



Governors (also in charge of relations with Andorra)

1704 – 10-07 1737  Henri-Joseph de Ségur  (*1661 - †1737)

1737 – 18-06-1751 Henri-François, comte de Ségur  (*1689 -  †1751) 


Louis IV (XVI)



Governor (also in charge of relations with Andorra)

1751 – 01-01-1791 Philippe-Henri, comte de Ségur (*1724 - †1801)  


Historical arms of Foix County

by Robert Louis (1902-’65) 1955 ca


Département Ariège



The territory of the former County of Foix corresponds roughly the eastern part of the modern département of Ariège (the western part of Ariège being Couserans).


Arms of the Départment Ariège,

On a map of the déprtement, 1850


Arms of Foix with a mural crown and garland of palm leaves and olive branch.


Arms of Ariège.


The arms of the Département Ariège consists of the arms of the County of Foix charged with an escutcheon of the arms of Couserans: Azure, a bell Argent.

They were created by Robert Louis, 1950 ca.


Logo of the Département Ariège since January 2017




Foix is in the area of the Gendarmerie Midi-Pyrenees.

Gendarmerie Midi-Pyrenees


Arms: Argent, a lion rampant Gules

Exterior ornaments of the French Gendarmerie


* The lion Gules is from the arms of Simon de Montfort and his brother who were stoned to death in 1218 as put on record by Matthew Paris in his Historia Anglorum. B.L. Ms. Roy. 14.C.VII fol 105v.: Deaths of Simon de Montfort and his Brother, 1218. Inner right margin: two small inverted shields (argent, a lion rampant queue fourchée gules) with two small circles above each representing the stones which killed them. [12]


Historia Anglorum. B.L. Ms. Roy. 14.C.VII fol 105v (detail)




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 © Hubert de Vries 2018-10-24



[1]  Douët d’Arcq 662. Roger Bernard II.: A.: D’or, trois pals de gueueles. L.: BERNARDI COMITIS FUXENSIS. D.: sept. 1229.

[2]  Douët d’Arq 666. Roger Bernard III.: A.: ¼ de Foix et de Béarn. L.: S. ROGERII B. COMITIS FUXI. D.: 18 juillet 1281.

[3]  Armorial de Gelre. Brussel K.B. Ms. 15652-56, fol. 122 v°.

[4]  Hefner, O.T.: Die Wappen der ausserdeutschen Souveräne u. Staaten. Nürnberg, 1870 p. 14, Taf. 29. Citing:.

[5] https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b52505055c/f106.item

[6] From: Palliot, Pierre: La vraye et parfaite science des armoiries, ou indice armorial; augm. (etc.). Paris, Frederic Leonard 1664. P. 656.

[7] Photo Estella.com.es. No specifications given.

[8] https://acronavarre.hypotheses.org/536

[9] https://acronavarre.hypotheses.org/492 The identity of the arms of Francis Febus, Catherine and John is unexplained.

[10] Fait partie d'une notice historique illustrée de 32 dessins légendés. Ouvrage imprimé par A. Aréas à Pau. Pièce jointe : feuille ms signalant (liste) les huit eaux-fortes hors texte manquantes. Ancely, René (1876 - 1966). Possesseur

[11] After: Carte de France dressée pour l’usage du Roy en Avril 1721.

[12] Lewis, Suzanne: The Art of Matthew Paris in the Chronica Majora. Univ. of California Press. Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1987. p. 461

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