Raymond of Toulouse

Eldest and toughest leader of the First Crusade

Raymond of Toulouse
Image of Raymond of Toulouse in the stained-glass window of the north transept of Saint-Sernin basilica, Toulouse, France. Public Domain; courtesy of Wikimedia

Raymond of Toulouse was also known as:

Raymond of Saint-Gilles, Raimond de Saint-Gilles, Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, Raymond I of Tripoli, marquis of Provence; also spelled Raymund

Raymond of Toulouse was known for:

Being the first nobleman to take the cross and lead an army in the First Crusade. Raymond was an important leader of the Crusades armies, and participated in the capture of Antioch and Jerusalem.


Military Leader

Places of Residence and Influence:

The Latin East

Important Dates:

Born: c. 1041
Antioch captured: June 3, 1098
Jerusalem captured: July 15, 1099
Died: Feb. 28, 1105

About Raymond of Toulouse:

Raymond was born in Toulouse, France, in 1041 or 1042. Upon taking the countship, he began to reassemble his ancestral lands, which had been lost to other families. After 30 years he built up a significant power base in southern France, where he controlled 13 counties. This made him more powerful than the king.

A devout Christian, Raymond was a staunch supporter of the papal reform that Pope Gregory VII had initiated and that Urban II continued. He is believed to have fought in the Reconquista in Spain, and may have gone on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When Pope Urban made his call for Crusade in 1095, Raymond was the first leader to take up the cross. Already past 50 and considered elderly, the count left the lands he'd so carefully consolidated in the hands of his son and committed to go on a perilous journey to the Holy Land along with his wife.

In the Holy Land, Raymond proved to be one of the most effective leaders of the First Crusade. He helped capture Antioch, then led the troops onward to Jerusalem, where he participated in a successful siege yet refused to become king of the vanquished city. Later, Raymond captured Tripoli and built near the city the castle of Mons Peregrinus (Mont-Pèlerin). He died there in February, 1105.

Raymond was missing an eye; how he lost it remains a matter of conjecture.

More Raymond of Toulouse Resources:

Portrait of Raymond of Toulouse

Raymond of Toulouse in Print

The link below will take you to an online bookstore, where you can find more information about the book to help you get it from your local library. This is provided as a convenience to you; neither Melissa Snell nor About is responsible for any purchases you make through these links. 

Raymond IV Count of Toulouse
by John Hugh Hill and Laurita Lyttleton Hill

Raymond of Toulouse on the Web

Raymond IV, of Saint-Gilles
Brief bio at the Catholic Encyclopedia

The First Crusade
Medieval France
Chronological Index

Geographical Index

Index by Profession, Achievement, or Role in Society

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Snell, Melissa. "Raymond of Toulouse." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/raymond-of-toulouse-1789389. Snell, Melissa. (2021, February 16). Raymond of Toulouse. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/raymond-of-toulouse-1789389 Snell, Melissa. "Raymond of Toulouse." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/raymond-of-toulouse-1789389 (accessed March 27, 2023).