1. An Archbishopric;
  2. A généralité during the Ancien Régime in southwestern France.  

Auch (Photo credit: La Collection Grands Sites de Midi-Pyrénées)

The city of Auch, which stands on the River Gers, was formerly the capital of the County of Armagnac, and since 1790 of the Department of the Gers.

1.  The Archbishop’s province was the old Roman province of Novempopulana or Aquitania Tertia, north of the western Pyrenees.   After Eauze, the original see for the metropolitan of the province, had been sacked by the Vikings c.845, the dioceses of Eauze and Auch were united and the metropolitan moved to Auch.   He was using the title of Archbishop by 879.

The province originally extended south of the Pyrenees to include the dioceses of Pamplona and Osca, which lay in lands that formed Frankish marches in the early 9th century.  They soon became independent of France, but were only transferred to the province of Zaragoza in 1091.

The province was abolished in 1790, when Auch was reduced to being the Bishopric for the Department of the Gers and was placed in the province of Toulouse.   Archbishopric and province were restored in 1822.

2.  The généralité of Auch was created in 1716, and combined the Gascon districts taken from the généralités of Bordeaux and Montauban with the former généralité of Pau (which was also the intendancy of Béarn & Navarre).   Béarn and Navarre were lost in 1767, recovered in 1774, but finally separated from the généralité of Auch in 1784.

In 1790 the territory of the généralité was divided up, forming all the department of the Gers, much of Landes and parts of Haute-Garonne and Lot-et-Garonne.

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