Guillaume de Nogaret

Guillaume de Nogaret was born around 1260 in St Felix de Caraman (near Toulouse). From a family of jurists, he was undoubtedly trained at the faculty of Bologna, before entering the service of the Kings of Aragon, the new owners of Montpellier. In 1285, he founded the chair of Roman law at Montpellier's Faculty of Law. A great jurist who served the kingdom, he was the first Keeper of the Seals under Philippe IV le Bel. Guillaume de Nogaret died in Paris in 1313.

Guillaume de Nogaret and Languedoc.

In 1283, he entered the king's service and became Magistrate of the Beaucaire-Nîmes seneschaussée. His knowledge of Roman law, Latin and the langue d'oc made him a formidable magistrate. He brilliantly managed delicate affairs, notably the purchase of the barony of Lunel for Philip IV the Fair in 1295, and the extension of the Lunel canal to the town in 1299, which allowed salt from Languedoc to be unloaded, thus offering a monopoly of the market to the king, who had just created the Aigues-Mortes saltworks.

A modern king and father of the nation-state, Philip IV the Fair did not want the Pope to interfere in the kingdom's civil and secular affairs. He advocated the separation of power between church and nation. Boniface VIII wants to excommunicate him for this.

Guillaume de Nogaret was sent to the Pope, accompanied by some 2,000 men, to try to influence the papal decision. The meeting led to the death of the 82-year-old pope a few days later. Guillaume de Nogaret was accused without proof of having slapped him. He was excommunicated instead of the king, who was grateful to him for this action. The latter ennobled him and endowed him with numerous properties in Languedoc. Guillaume de Nogaret was a high-ranking official who used his power to develop his fiefdom.

He also organized the arrest of the Knights Templar in 1307 on the orders of the king, for which he invented and tested for the first time, the principle of the sealed letter.

Guillaume de Nogaret owned numerous castles in or near the Vidourle Camargue region. From simple strongholds to stately homes, some still belong to Nogaret's descendants: Calvisson, Aujargues, Marsillargues, Beauvoisin, Pondres, Vestric et Candiac, Mauguio, Manduel ....