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Conseil des Barons Council of Barons
9th May 1114
17th August 1759
Parliament of France
Chair of the Council
Henri, Baron of Crécy (First); Louis-François, Duke of Angoulême (Last)
None; ennoblement by the Sovereign or inheritance of a French peerage
Château de Beynes (1114 - 1374); Château de Compiègne (1374 - 1759)
The Council of Barons (Fr: Conseil des Barons) was an advisory body to the King of France, and the country's de facto parliament from its inception in 1104 to the de Férêchard's Revolt of 1759.
The Council was first instituted by King Eudes II, who relied heavily on the guidance and advice of influential courtiers during the first period of his reign, having ascended the throne amidst the aftermath of deep turmoil. As early as 1081, Eudes took counsel from a loose and informal group of barons and members of his family, but didn't summon a bona fide parliament until 1114.
Throughout the years, the Council often sought to curb the rights of the monarchy, but most activities were marked with a desire to promote the rights of the aristocracy and the clergy, from which members of the Council were taken. The lower and middle classes felt increasingly alienated by the policies of the Council – especially those in more southerly regions of the country, as well as cultural minorities – which often only improved the more populated areas of Northern France, especially those surrounding Paris. By the time of the 1759 Revolt, the Council was, according to French political historian Jean-Baptiste Saint-Gobain, "entrenched further in avarice, and the desire for the exclusive advancement of itself and its members, than any body before or since."