16th Comte de Savoie
Other names: the Pacific
Other Titles and Honours
Principe di Piemonte, 1329-43†
Duc de Chablais, 1329-43†
Duca d'Aosta, 1329-43†
Marchese di Susa, 1329-43†
Comte de Maurienne, 1329-43†
Conte d'Asti, 1329-43†
Seigneur de Bresse, 1329-43†
Signore d'Ivrea, 1329-43†
Signore di Vercelli
Aymon was first intended for the church, and he took the minor orders, but afterwards, he gave up the clerical profession, and was made a baron, and fought in the wars of his father against the Dauphin of Vienne and the counts of the Genevois. When his elder brother, Edward, Count of Savoy, died in 1329 without male issue, Aymon's right to the succession was contested by John, Duke of Brittany, who had married Edward's only daughter, but as a male heir, Aymon was eventually chosen. He was at first little inclined to accept the proffered dignity, which, in the existing circumstances of the country, harassed by enemies and weakened by a signal defeat suffered by Vienne in 1325, was a charge more onerous than profitable, but, being urged by the deputies, he at last repaired to Chambéry, where he was proclaimed count.
Savoy continued at war with Vienne, but eventually made peace through the mediation of Philippe de Valois, King of France. Aymon afterwards sent an auxiliary force to join the troops of King Philip, who was at war with Edward III of England, and in 1340 he joined the French camp, where he was instrumental in bringing about a truce between the French and the English. He also sent troops to the assistance of Azzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, who was attacked by a powerful band of condottieri, who were defeated by the timely arrival of support from Savoy.
Aymon had few possessions on the Italian side of the Alps as his father had given Piedmont and Vaud away in fief to other family members, and therefore the direct dominion of the count of Savoy was restricted to Savoy proper, with the exception of Faucigny, and the Genevois, which were under their respective lords, to the valleys of Susa and Aosta, on the Italian side of the Alps, and to the countries of Bresse and Bugey on the French side of the Ehune and of the Jura mountains.
Aymon was the first count of Savoy who created the office of chancellor, in imitation of that of France, with the task of enforcing the execution of the laws, and to have a censorial authority over all other judges and magistrates in the dominions of Savoy. In 1329, he also established a supreme council of justice at Chambéry, to
hear appeals from the local courts. By an edict of 1336, he made all the judges of his dominions liable to be summoned before the public assizes by any private individual who had any complaint or charge against them.
In 1339, Pope Benedict XII issued a bull in favour of Count Aymon in which he established the rule that whenever a count of Savoy happened to be present at
the coronation of a pope, he should take rank immediately after the kings. After his death, he obtained in history the denomination of 'the Pacific' because he strove to keep his country at peace, and to heal the wounds inflicted by former wars. His marriage to Iolanda Palaeologus of Montferrat brought to the house of Savoy their claim to the marquisate Montferrat which, some two centuries later, they eventually succeeded in annexing to its dominions.
Place of birth: Bourg-en-Bresse
Place of death: Château de Montmélian
Place of burial: Abbey of Hautecombe, Savoy
1. Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The Biographical Dictionary, vol. 2.1. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1843.
2. S. Guichenon. Histoire généalogique de la royale maison de Savoie, vol. 1. Turin: chez Jean-Michel Briolo, 1778.
3. The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, vol. XX. London: Charles Knight and Co., 1841.
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