ROUERGUE (Ruthenensis pagus), one of the old provinces of France, was originally inhabited by the Rutheni. It was bounded on the N. by Auvergne, on the S. and S.W. by Languedoc, on the E. by Gevaudan and the Cevennes and on the W. by Quercy. It included (1) the county of Rodez, (2) Haute and Basse Marche; and it was divided between the dioceses of Rodez and Vabres (province d'Alby after this province had been separated from that of Bourges in 1678). Administratively it formed first a senechaussee, dependent on Languedoc (capital Villefranche, in the Basse Marche), and later it was attached to the military governments of Guienne and Gascony. It was then part of the departments of AveXron and of Tarnet-Garonne. The county of Rodez, after having been in the possession of the houses of Toulouse and Carlat, fell in the 14th century into that of Armagnac. Jean II. of Armagnac having served Charles V. faithfully during his wars with England, received from him, in 1374, what were called the four "chdtellenies" with the "Commun de la paix," a tax which had been established there to organize resistance against foreigners. Jean V. of Armagnac was deprived of the county for crime and treason against Louis XI., in 1469, but afterwards it was given back to Charles of Armagnac, who died without legitimate issue in 1496. Its possession was then disputed between King Francis I. and the duke of Alengon, who at last compromised (1519); the king ceded the county to his sister Marguerite d'Angouleme, who took it as dowry first to the duke of Alengon, and then to her second husband Henri d'Albret, king of Navarre. The county afterwards passed to Jeanne d'Albret, then to Henri IV., and was joined to the crown lands in 1590.
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