doubt following the example of those in Italy, began to form municipal administrations and consulates, independent of the viscounts, who in theory represented the authority of the count in the towns. This movement was occasionally interrupted by home disturbances, such as struggles against the civil and ecclesiastical authorities; nevertheless Marseilles, Arles, Tarascon, Avignon (whose consulate laws date from the 12th century), Brignoles and Grasse were self-governing and elected their magistrates, sometimes negotiating with the count, as a power with a power, and concluding political or commercial treaties without consulting him. The city of Nice, which was joined to Provence in 1176, had retained its freedom. This state of affairs was in direct opposition to the authoritative government of Charles of Anjou, who tried to bring back the most independent of these towns under his sway. In 1251 he seized Arles and Avignon and placed them under a viguier (vicar) nominated by himself. In 1257 Marseilles was also subdued, and ministers nominated by the court performed their duties side by side with the municipal officials.
The successors of Charles of Anjou also showed great interest in maintaining their rights over the kingdom of Naples, and only occasionally do they appear in the history of Provence. Charles II. (1285–1309), after failing in several attacks on the house of Aragon in southern Italy, lived in the country during the latter years of his reign as duke, and tried to reform some of the abuses which had grown up in the administration of justice and finance. Robert of Calabria (1309–1343), his son and successor, was forced to sustain a long siege in Genoa, whither he had been called by the Ghibelline party: a siege which cost a large number of lives to the Provençal navy. Robert was succeeded by his granddaughter Joanna, widow of Andrew of Hungary, who sold her rights over the city of Avignon to Pope Clement VI. in 1348, in order to raise funds to enable her to continue the struggle against the house of Aragon in her Neapolitan states. The political situation of the country was not much changed by Charles IV.'s residence in Provence, nor by the empty ceremony of his coronation as king of Arles (1365). Charles IV. gave up his rights, or his claims, to Louis, duke of Anjou, brother of Charles V., but the expedition which this prince made to take possession of Provence only resulted in the seizure of Tarascon, and failed before Arles (1368). Joanna had nominated as her heir Charles of Anjou-Gravina, duke of Duras, who had married her niece Margaret, but to provide herself with a protector from Louis of Hungary, who accused her of murdering her first husband Andrew and wished to dispute her right to the kingdom of Naples, she married again and became the wife of Otto of Brunswick. Charles of Duras, discontented with this marriage, took part against her, and she in her turn disinherited him and named Louis of Anjou as her eventual successor (1380). The duke of Anjou took possession of Provence, whilst Charles of Duras made the queen prisoner at Naples and gave orders for her to be put to death (1382). Louis of Anjou also made an expedition to Naples, but did not arrive till after her death, and he died in 1584. His son Louis II. (1384–1417) banished the Viscount of Turenne from Provence, because he had taken advantage of his sovereign's absence to ravage the country. He did not live in Provence till the last years of his life; in 1415 he established a parlement. The following year the country was devastated by a terrible plague. The wars carried on by his successor Louis III. (1417–34) against the kings of Aragon, his rivals at Naples, were the cause of the complete ruin of Marseilles by the Aragonese fleet. The town, however, regained its former state comparatively quickly. Although Louis III. had centred almost all his attention on the expeditions in Italy, he managed to secure the lands belonging to the house of Baux on the death of the last of the family, the Baroness Alix (1426). René, duke of Lorraine (q.v.), Louis's brother and successor, after an unsuccessful attack on Naples (1460–1461), went to live on his property in France, and after 1471 was principally in Provence, where he built the castle of Tarascon and interested himself in art, literature, and pastoral amusements. He left his territories (Anjou, Lorraine, Provence) to his nephew Charles, count of Maine, by his will in 1474. Louis XI., king of France, protested at first in the name of the rights of the Crown, and even seized René's duchies. In consequence, however, of an interview between René and the king at Lyons, the former obtained a withdrawal of the seizure and ended his days peacefully in Provence (1480). The rights of his successor, Charles, were disputed by René II., duke of Lorraine, but, with the support of Louis XI., his attack on Provence was defeated. On the other hand, Louis had corrupted some of Charles's advisers, especially Palamède de Forbin, with the result that, at Charles's death in 1482, he left Provence to the king of France in his will. René of Lorraine protested in vain; Louis claimed the possession of the disputed territory, but Provence was not definitely annexed to France till 1486, under Charles VIII., and even then it preserved a certain individuality. In laws relating to this country the sovereigns added to their title of king of France “ and count of Provence and of Forcalquier,” and Provence always preserved a separate administrative organization.
In the 16th century Provence took part in a war between France and the imperialists. The constable de Bourbon, who had received the investiture of Provence from the emperor Charles V., crossed the Var in 1524 with an army, but was defeated at Marseilles. The expedition under Charles V. and the duke of Savoy in 1536 had no more definite result than the coronation of the emperor at Aix as king of Arles. About the same time the first signs of the Reformation became evident in Provence, at first in the country of the ancient Vaudois at Cabrières and at Mérindol in the county of Venaissin. A sentence passed in 1540 by the parlement of Provence against these heretics was carried out with great severity in 1545 by the president d'Oppède and the baron de la Garde, who burned the villages and massacred the inhabitants. Protestantism did not take a great hold on»Provence, but drew a fair number of followers from the ranks of the lesser nobles, who, with Paul de Mauvans at their head, began the struggle against the Catholics under the comte de Carces, Charles IX.'s journey in Provence in 1567, followed by the establishment in the parlement at Aix of a court (chambre) in which Catholics and Protestants had an equal number of seats, led to a momentary cessation of hostilities. These were resumed between the Carcistes (Roman Catholics) and Razats (Protestants), and again interrupted by the peace of 1576, which gave some guarantees to the Protestants, with La Seyne as a place of security, and also by the plague of 1579, which affected the whole country. The league, on the other hand, made rapid progress in Provence under the direction of the comte de Sault and Hubert de la Garde, seigneur of Vins, and the governors of Épernon and La Valette vainly tried to pacify the country. La Valette and the political party or Bigarrats were linally more or less reconciled to the Protestants, and, at the time of the death of Henry III., the struggle was no more than a question of district politics. Weakened by the division between the comtesse de Sault and the young comte de Carces, the league applied to the duke of Savoy, who was besieging Marseilles. Carces and the other heads of the league submitted one after the other to the new governor Lesdiguières, who was succeeded by the duke of Guise in 1595, and in 1596 the religious wars in Provence were definitely ended by the capitulation of Marseilles.
During the reign of Henry IV. the country was comparatively peaceful; but under Richelieu the restriction of local freedom and the creation of new offices led to the insurrection of the Cascaveous (small bells, a name derived from their rallying sign), which Condé came to suppress in 1630–1631. At the time of the Fronde additional taxes were levied by the parlement at Aix, and the struggle began between the Canivets (Mazarins) and the Sabreurs (prince's party), who captured the governor, the comte d'Alais, for a short time. The duke of Mercoeur calmed the country down. Louis XIV.'s tour in Provence (1660) was marked by an insurrection at Marseilles, which brought about the abolition of the last remaining municipal liberties of the town. Provence was severely tried by the