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Sunyer of Barcelona and Richilda of Rouergue

Born about 870 AD; son of Wilfred the Hairy.

An old historiography confuses Sunyer with Sunifred I Count of Cerdanya (928-66). The correct succession to the Catalan counties was clarified by Prosper de Bofarull, Los Condes de Barcelona Vindicados, y Cronología y Genealogía de los Reyes de España considerados como Soberianos Independientes de su Marca. Tomo I: abraza los siete primeros, desde el año 874 al 1035. Barcelona 1836, reprinted 1990. (S1).

Sunyer was count of Barcelona, Girona and Ausona from 911 to 947. He was the younger brother of the previous Count of Barcelona, Wilfred II Borrel. He worked jointly with his brother in the government of the Counties held by their father after his death in 897. He did not reign independently until his brother's death in 911. (S2).

On the death of his uncle, Count Radulf I of Besalú, in 913 or 920, a conflict emerged between Sunyer and his brother Count Miró II of Cerdanya over the succession of the County of Besalú. In exchange for the total renunciation of all claims on the County of Barcelona, Sunyer gave up his claim on Besalú. (S2).

Sunyer was apparently married by 917, and later appears with wife Richilda, speculated to have been a daughter of the Count of Rouergue based on the introduction of novel names into the family. They had four sons and a daughter. (S2).

Sunyer made important efforts with domestic politics, protected the church and strengthened its institutions by giving it more land and income. He also continued to encourage the repopulation of the county of Ausona. (S2).

He abandoned the defensive stance adopted by his predecessors and took up the fight actively against the Moorish states to the south. Battles were fought at Lleida and Tarragona. At the same time he managed to retain diplomatic relations with Córdoba, which had increasingly lost control of its northern provinces. In 912, Muhammad al-Tawil, the Wali of Huesca and Lleida, attacked and destroyed the Barcelonian army under Sunyer in the Tàrrega valley. However Sunyer's counterattack in 914 successfully pushed them back and resulted in the death of al-Tawil. He subsequently repopulated the county of Penedès, which had been the scene of many conflicts between the Frankish and Muslim empires, as far as Olèrdola (929). (S2).

From 936 to 937 he led an expedition against the Muslims. As a result of this successful campaign many of the enemy forces were killed, including the Qadi of Valencia. The Moors temporarily abandoned Tarragona (which became a no-man's land), while Tortosa was forced to pay a tribute to the Count. This gain was short-lived however, as Abd ar-Rahman III sent envoys and a fleet to Barcelona in 940, forcing Sunyer into a subservient alliance and to abandon a marriage pact he had reached with king García Sánchez I of Pamplona, who was to marry (or had already married) Sunyer's daughter. (S2).

In 947 Sunyer retired to monastic life and ceded the government of his realms to his sons: Borrell II and Miró I. He died in the Monastery of La Grassa (in Conflent) in 950 AD. (S2).

Richilda of Rouergue.
Speculated to have been a daughter of the Count of Rouergue based on the introduction of novel names into the family. (S2).

CHILDREN of Sunyer and Richilda:


Sunyer and Richilda
Borrell II (?-993) and Letgarda of Rouergue (?-c986).  
Ramon Borrell, Count of Barcelona (?-1018) and Ermesinde de Carcassonne
Berenguer Ramon I, Count of Barcelona (1005-1035) and Sancha Sanchez
Ramon Brrnguer I, Count of Barcelona (1023-1076) md Almodis  de La Marche, countess of Limoges.
Ramon Berenguer II, Count of Barcelona (c1053-1082) and Maud of Apulia
Ramon Berenguer III (1082-)  Md Douce I, Countess of Provence, (c1090-c1127) 
  |                                                                                                                                                     |
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona (c1114-1162),                                        Berenguela, 
    md Petronilla of Aragon.                                                                                       Md Alfonso VII, King of Spain
                                                                                                                                             (see separately)
Alfonso II, King of Aragon. (1157-1196).  md Sancha of Castile.  
Alfonso II, Count of Provence. (1174-1209)  Md Gersenda II of Sabran. 
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence.  (1198-1245). Md Beatrice of Savoy
Eleanor of Provence (c1223-1298) and Henry III, King of England (1207-1272)
    |                                                                                                         |                                   
Edward I, King of England  (1239-1307)     Edmund, Crouchback (1244-1296)  
and Eleanor of Castile                                                and Blanche de Artois   
                                                                                     (see separately)         

    |                                                             |                                                                                  |
Edward II, King of England     Joan of Acre                                                       Elizabeth Plantagenet
  and Isabella of France             and Gilbert de Clare                                         and Humphrey de Bohun
                                                       (see separately)                                                 (see separately)

Edward III, King of England, and Philippa of Hainaut                      
Lionel Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, and Elizabeth de Burgh    
Philippa Plantagenet and Edmund de Mortimer               
Roger de Mortimer and Eleanor de Holand                       
Anne de Mortimer and Richard Plantagenet                     
Richard, Duke of York, and Cecilly Neville                        
Edward IV, King Of England and Elizabeth Lucy             
Elizabeth Plantagenet and Thomas de Lumley          
Sybel Lumley and William Hilton                               
William Hilton and Margaret Metcalfe                    
(Capt) Mark Roger Hilton                                         
Rebecca Hilton and Thomas Roberts                     
Anna Roberts and James Philbrick                          
Joseph Philbrick and Tryphena Marston             
Ester Philbrick and Amos Rand                          
Ann Rand and Thomas Shannon                    
Sarah Shannon and Jeremiah Leavitt         
Jeremiah Leavitt and Sarah Sturtevant   
Sarah Pricscilla Leavitt and Jacob Vernon Hamblin
Ella Ann Hamblin and Warren Moroni Tenney
Clive Vernon Tenney and Minnie Williams
Mildred Ella Tenney and Glenn Russell Handy
Deborah Lee Handy and Rodney Allen Morris