Recruitment and Fundraising for St Louis’s Crusade 1248–54

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Map Code: Ax00195

In 1245, Pope Innocent IV convened a great ecclesiastical council at Lyons, at which Louis IX of France announced he would lead a crusade. The pope lent his support and authorized a levy on clerical revenues to help with finance. Louis proved adept at finding additional revenues. After the Albigensian Crusade, the County of Toulouse was annexed by France, and a continuing Inquisition of the Cathar heresy produced a steady flow of confiscated properties. He had also confiscated all the property of Jews engaged in usury; two-thirds of any Christian debts to Jews became payable instead to the Crown. Accordingly, the Crusade set sail with sound financing and, unusually, a tight-knit leadership; Louis IX was accompanied by his brothers Robert of Artois, and Charles of Anjou. Unfortunately, the campaign itself was a disaster, with the army put to the sword and the king and his nobles imprisoned for ransom.

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