Clermont ~ Auvergne

CLERMONT, Auvergne.

Edict of union between the towns of Clermont a...

Edict of union between the towns of Clermont and Montferrand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seat of the Bishop in the Auvergne in south central France, whose diocese has belonged to the province of Bourges, except during 1790-1802, when it was part of the province of Lyon.

The Bishop was lord of part of the town and used the title of Count.   The Counts of Auvergne had a residence at nearby Montferrand. In the mid-12th century Count William VIII the Old usurped the County from his nephew, William VII the Young.   Eventually the senior line of William VII held a small part of the County, including Montferrand, and called themselves Dauphins of Auvergne (William VII’s wife came from the family of the Dauphins of Vienne) and Counts of Clermont. In 1199 the King of France dispossessed them of Montferrand.

Some years later the Count of Auvergne (of the usurping line) and his brother, the Bishop, quarrelled, and so in 1213 the King again intervened, dispossessed the Count, and gave some of his lands to the Bishop, whose ecclesiastical territory, the County of Clermont, survived until 1557.   In that year Catherine de Medici, Queen Consort of France and heiress of the last La Tour Count of Auvergne, managed by legal manipulation to get control of the Bishop’s County.

Clermont became the capital of the Auvergne. It united with Montferrand in 1633 to form Clermont-Ferrand, which is now capital of the Department of Puy-de-Dôme.   The territory of the department forms the present diocese of Clermont.

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