List Of Marquisates In France
The following page contains an incomplete list (A-K) of marquisates (French marquisat) that currently, or once did, exist within France or within its conquered provinces. They were created by the kings of France and Spain, the dukes of Savoie and Lorraine, the popes in Comtat Venaissin, and other sovereign lords in the current day Republic of France.
From the late Middle Ages until the French revolution, marquisates were mainly raised by Letters patent (in French lettres patentes). In a few cases, other official acts, such as brevet royal, were used to create marquisates. These marquisates were given to members of princely houses or to distinguished nobles as rewards.
Currently, there does not exist a complete list of marquisates (or other marquess titles, which are not covered in this list), in part, because their creations were numerous, especially during the reigns of Louis XIV and XV. Proven courtesy titles are not included in this list since they are not raised fiefs, but some uncertain marquisates are included, and some probable courtesy titles connected to fiefs are commented on. If nothing else is mentioned, then the titles below are raised by Letters patent, and thus, true marquisates.
The title holder of a marquisate before the French revolution was addressed as "Marquis of X", or "Marquis de X" in French. The title stayed with the fief, but strictly speaking, a buyer of a marquisate needed a confirmation of the marquisate to be able to use the title - otherwise, he or she could formally only be styled "Lord or Dame of the Marquisate X", in French, "Seigneur ou Dame de Marquisat de X". The policy on this matter was, however, fairly relaxed, and the number of confirmations were rather few, which did not hinder the usage of the title Marquis. In most cases, before the French revolution, once a fief was raised, the feudal rank of Marquisate remained even if the fief passed to new owners through marriage, inheritance, or purchase.
With the French revolution, feudalism was abolished and the titles became disconnected from the land they previously belonged to. Therefore, after the French revolution, it was no longer possible to purchase a former marquisate and thereby obtain the title Marquis, or any other noble title for that matter. Only a few marquisates in France were specifically transferable through marriage (opposite to the normal custom in Italy and Spain). This meant the titles usually became extinct after an average of three generations, when the last direct, male descendant of the title holder at the time of the French revolution died. An adoption of another male person by the last, legal, male title holder could, in some respects, be treated as a legal transfer of the title itself, but never a transfer of nobility if the adopted male was not a noble.
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