So, the Comte was responsible for the county he ruled. Normally, a county would be made up of several baronies and viscounties which is why both a Baron and a Vicomte ranked lower than a Comte.
However, despite being lower in the social hierarchy the Comtes enjoyed many of the privileges of the Ducs. For example a Comte was allowed to ride both on horseback and in carriage into a courtyard of a palace occupied by the King and could keep his sword unbuckled during Parlements. When addressing a Comte you would have to say: "Your Grace" or "Monseigneur de ..".
These are examples of some areas that were a county and therefore run by a Comte:
Comte de Toulouse (a memorable one is Louis XIV's illegitimate son by Madame de Montespan) as well as the Comte de Valois.
|A count's crown|