History of the Vendée, Lower Poitou, in France XII


History of the Vendée
Lower Poitou in France



Of XIIe century, the orders beggars start. In 1213, holy Domenica melts the Dominican ones who, since 1232, are established in Fontenay (1). This foundation, intervening following the atrocious war of the Albigensians, where Savary de Mauléon, lord of Fontenay, took share, under the orders of the famous Simon de Montfort, one can in inférer that the purpose of it was probably to extirpate some heresy whose Fontenay and its neighbourhoods were reached.

Cordeliers plant their tents there about 1378, i.e. at once after the taking possession of Fontenay by the duke of Berry.

Mathurins or Trinitaires, founded in 1198, by saint Jean de Matha, with an aim of repurchasing the captive Christians in Moslem country, is established, since 1205, with Beauvoir-on-Sea, and remains there without interruption until the Revolution.

The military religious orders throw also their reserved on Low-Poitou, where they will have soon rich person manors and vast properties, and it est_ not one of the least subjects of study than offers the Middle Ages, during which the spirit of faith and the warlike heat if were developed, that that of the institutions in which these two feelings were linked, i.e. religious and military orders.

The Knights of Saint-Lazare (2) fix themselves, dice XIIe century, in Fontenay, to the place says the Chaplaincy of Saint-Thomas. This establishment was used originally as house of refuge, where the pilgrims and the travellers were lodged who went from Fontenay to Angers. A leper-house was attached there later, as it results from a donation made at the house by Alphonse, count de Poitiers. At the time of the wars of religion, Saint-Thomas is designated like Commanderie, and a street of Fontenay perpetuates the name of it.

The order of Hospital of Midsummer's Day, founded in Jerusalem, in 1099, by a gentleman of Provence, Gerard Tom, in 1e goal to collect, look after and defend the pilgrims who went to Palestine, after having taken the name of Rhodos and of Malta (3), disappeared from the history in 1798, at the moment when Bonaparte went. to conquer Egypt.

(Charier-Fillon Stereotype)

The order of Templiers (4), founded in Jerusalem in 1118 (5) per Hugues of Payens, was removed in 1312 (6) per Clément V, who pronounced at the same time the meeting of their territorial possessions, with those of Hospital of Midsummer's Day.

The houses or commanderies of Hospital in the Vendée, were located in the places hereafter.


  1. Billy. - This commandery, located close Corbaon, in the commune of Castle-Guibert, was composed of the castle and smallholding of Billy and some duties, taxable quotas and revenues: the whole leased 2.100 books in 1782.
  2. Bourgneuf, close Olonne. - This commandery was composed of the home and the mill of Bourgneuf, parish of the Vault-Achard, and some duties, taxable quota and revenues with lle-in Olonne; the whole leased 300 pounds in 1640.
  3. Féolette. - This commandery was composed of the home and smallholding of Féolette close to Saint-Etienne de Brillouet, of the bordery of Badellerie, even parish, of the smallholdings of Portault in Nalliers, and Vendronnière in Saint-Vincent-Extremely-of-Lay. It had moreover the communal oven and the two windmills. of Nalliers; a house with Holy-Hermine, and duties, taxable quotas and revenues important with Saint-Etienne-of-Brillouet and parishes close: the whole leased 1.200 books in 1577, and 2.700 in 1728. The oldest title relating to Féolette and preserved at the files of Vienna east of 1215.
  4. the Ditches-The halons. - Located in the parish of the Boissière-of-Moors, included/understood the home and the smallholding of the Ditch-Trawl-nets, Des. duties, taxable quota and revenues with Nieuil and parishes close; and the appendix of Baugerie, to which the bordery of the Bridge-Sharecropper was attached in Saint-Vincent-on-Jard. The whole leased 2.700 books in 1781.
  5. Live Them (1). - This commandery was composed of the home and smallholding of Habites, parish of the same name, today part of the commune of Apremont, and of some duties, taxable quota and revenues in Habites and parishes close. The cure and the parish church depended on it. From XVIe century it was always plain in Coudrie.
  6. Launay. - This commandery was composed of the home, the smallholding and the two mills of Launay, parish of Holy-Cecile, the smallholdings of Roussière, parish of Holy-Flo-rence, and Serit, parish of the Herbaria, the communal oven of Fuiteau, parish of Chantonnay, the high justice of the village of the Chestnut grove, parish of, Saint-Philhert-of-Bridge-Charrault, and of some duties, taxable quota and revenues in the various places above; the whole leased with Holy-Cross-of-Montaigu 600 pounds into .1603, 950 in 1712 and 1.200 in 1748.
    The oldest title preserved in Poitiers, is an act from approximately 11200 by which Aimery, lord of Mortagne, gave certain things to the Hospital ones, in exchange of others that Antérius his/her father had formerly given them.
  7. Holy-Cross-of-Montaigu. - This commandery, according to a visit of 1561, was not composed any more since of a house and vault in ruins, and of some duties and revenues. For a rather long time already it was joined together with that of Launay.
  8. Puyravault. - This commandery was composed of the home and the marsh of the Commander (huts of Puyraveau, of Martinière, large and small Colomberie, Renardière and Fondreau), in the parish of Puyravault, of a total capacity of 2.000 ground newspapers as well arable as pasturages; hut of Verdinière. parish of Chaillé, a capacity of 230 newspapers and some taxable quotas and revenues of little importance; the whole estimated 2.305 frank of incomes at the end of the XVIIe century. The cure and the parish church depended on it.
    The files of Vienna have three bundles and six folio registers of titles relating to Puyravault. Oldest is a sentence of the seneschalsy of Poitou, of June 30, 1442, in a lawsuit between the commander and the chapter of the Poitiers Church-Cathédralede, which had a septérées patch of land of 20, in the marsh of Champagné.
  9. Champgillon. - This commandery was composed of the castle (2), smallholding, communal oven and Clerc's Office of Champgillon; smallholdings of the hospital of Thiré, Lined as Saint-Valérien, the Touch-Maurice and Manfray, parish of Réorthe, Brissonnerie, parish of the Vinous one; thatches, parish of Saint-Hermant; hospital of Saint-Juire; mills of the Horns and Tamarin, parish of Champgillon; fountain of Thiré; of Poislefeu, close Réorthe; mill of Potays and communal oven of the Chestnut grove as Saint-Philbert; grounds and drink disseminated with Holy-Hermine, Bessay, Saint-Pierre, Moutiers, the Vinous one and Saint-Juire, and of duties, taxable quotas and revenues important with Champgillon and close parishes.
  10. Coudrie. - This commandery was composed of the home and sanctuary of Coudrie, and of the mill of the Brush, parish of Coudrie, today part of the commune of Challans; smallholding of Lespinassière, parish of Garnache; bordery of Villattes, parish of Challans; mill of the Buttock, parish of Froidfond; meadows of Giraye and Guerbaudières, parish of Beauvoir-on-Sea and some duties, taxable quota, revenues, in the close parishes, like with Machecoul and other places of Loire-Lower. The whole with Bourgneuf, Live them and Landeblanche, which were plain for him since the medium of XVIe century, was leased 3.000 books in 1600.
  11. Landeblanche. - This commandery was composed of the home, smallholding, and of the two mills of Landeblanche, parish of Belleville, and some duties, taxable quota and revenues with Rock-on-Yon and in the vicinity. After the suppression about the Temple, it was joined together with that of Habites.
  12. Holy-Gem. - This commandery was composed of the home and smallholding of Holy-Gem, parish of Simpleton, those of Moutiers, parish of Coulon, and Mervent, parish of Holy-Christine, plus some duties, taxable quota and revenues with Benet and surroundings. They were little of value: most curious was a revenue of 100 eels and 30 grounds for cooking, due each year, Palm Sunday, by the owner of the mill of Salbeuf, parish of Sciecq (Two-Sevres). After the suppression about the Temple, Holy-Gem was joined together at the hospital of Ash, parish of Saint-Pompain (Two-Sevres), who was of a less income. Both unit were leased 1.900 books in 1645.
    The files of Vienna have in particular on SainteGemme, a splendid volume of 55 layers, in parchment, heading: "The paper of the revenues and incomes of the maysson of Opital-to Holy-Gem, detraiz of plussours papers encians; and made fayre brother Guillaume Farny, with the commandour of dictates maysson in the year millet CCC ten. " The last but one article "the pasquer" of Holy-Gem, in which is described the right of user and pasture commun runs on two banks of Sèvre, since Benet (the Vendée), until Eschiré (Two-Sevres), is with him only a part as curious as interesting (3).


Among the cross ones of Low-Poitou whose names survive, it is still necessary to mention Pierre Mesnard, who belonged to 1a militia of the Temple. Pierre of Monti, large-Master about Jerusalem, in 1568. - All Saints' day de Cornulier, commander of the same order in Poitiers. Knights of Malta, Henri and Amable de Suyrot (1528-1598). - Charles-Auguste Grelier de Concize, commander of about Midsummer's Day of Jerusalem. Knights Faithful, Armand-Célestin Grelier of Fougeroux; Gaspard, Bonaventure, and Achilles-Louis de Béjarry. - Pages of the large-Master of the order. Marie-Henri-Louis de Mouillebert, lord of Puysec, close Fontenay, and Armand-Charles de Béjarry. - Bailly of the Cliff, whose family is attached to the holy wars, by her alliances with of Anfreville and of Thiboutat (1).


Independently of the families bas-poitevines, of which several members were or founders or benefactors of, abbeys or priories of which we spoke, one can quote at the beginning of IXe century, the Achard family. A Mathieu was, into 813, lord of Mothe-Achard. Achard Etienne, figure like witness in a desistance made in 1081, by one named Geoffroy, several rights which it claimed to have in Saint-Maixent (DF). Perhaps this is the same one which signs like witness in 1097, the act damné acquisition made by the abbey of Talmont, of some heritages located, in Sableau. His/her Pierre son was present at the foundation of the abbey of Trizay.

Towards 935, in the charter of foundation of the church Saint-Pierre-of-Mauléon, Raoul figure, wire of Arnould de Mauléon, Viscount of Herbauges, married to Humberge, girl of Raoul, lord of Mortagne. This Raoul had married Hilarie, sweat of Renaud, lord of Mallièvre. His/her son Ebles II, Maria with Alia, girl of Hugues of theInsane one. All the donations of said and of grounds which refer to the church of Saint-Pierre, were signed by Ebles 11, the lords of Mallièvre, Talmont, Châteaumur, Puy-of-Insane, Mortagne, etc, all strongholds of the vicinity whose lords qualified knights and who attest for the posterity, that already the very whole region was under the mode of firmly established feudality (1).

A Guillaume de Thouars, known as Taillefer, melted towards 970, a castle with Pouzauges, and increased his field, by marrying Mathilde, girl of Renaud, lord of Mortagne. One of its Renaud sons, became soon lord of Flocelière.

About the same time, seems lord of Tiffauges, Aimery, second wire of Eudes de Thouars, married with the girl of Guillaume It Taillefer, count d' Angoulême.

It is towards the second quarter of XIe century, that names of the principal poitevines families appear, those of Lusignan, Parthenay, Morthemar, Vivone, as of - Tremouille, etc

It is in a document of 1047 that one sees, believe us, to appear for the first time, the famous name of Trémouille. This year, indeed, Pierre of Trémouille is mentioned like witness, in a charter of stamping of Collibert granted by Geoffroy Martel, and his Agnès wife, with their return of Pouille, where they had accompanied the emperor Henri III (2).

The family of Chub, whose many descendants live not only the Vendée, denied Anjou and, Brittany, is known since 1040 (3). On this date, Chub Guillaume knight lord of Chabotière and strongholds Chub, was pilot, with Henri Ier, king de France, Guillaume, duke of Guyenne, and the largest lords of Poitou and Anjou, of the foundation of the abbey of the Trinity of Vendôme, by Geoffroy Martel, count d' Anjou, and Agnes of Burgundy, his wife.

About 1055, Chub (Willelmus), Ainor his wife and Geoffroy his brother, sell some grounds and saltworks, and give several said and taxable quota to the abbey of Maillezais (4).

A Sebran Chub, lord de Vouvent and Mervent, support in the presence of Louis VII, known as the Young person, king de France, duke of Aquitaine and count de Poitou, against Godin or G-audin, abbot of Maillezais, that in the capacity as successor of its brother, it had right of avouery, keeps and jurisdiction of this abbey and member while depending, held by him with liege homage of the count de Poitou, "what it offered to prove by the duel `or the proof ebullient water". But by judgement of the king and his assembled barons, it was débouté of its request in March 1151. It died little of month after, the 16 of the calends of August. It had married Agnès, lady of Rocheservière and the Strike, girl of Emmery and Agnes of Faye (5).

The existence of the family of Mesnard is noted in Talmondais since 1050, by a charter preserved at the files of the Vendée, and published by the scientist Paul Marchegay.

In 1068 it is mentioned the Chasteigner family, which at that time had the ground of this name. Later, it will possèdera Réaumur, Meilleraye, and will be distinguished during the Crusades.

In 1212, a Jean Chasteigner, lord of Réaumur, were regarded as the fourth knight banneret of Poitou.

One can still quote in lexical item century, a lord de Pouzauges, a lord de Parthenay, and Savary, Viscount of Fontenay, who into 1066 accompanied Guillaume the Bastard one, in the conquest of England. Quatre-mille pilgrims poitevins of elite, under the command of the Viscount of Thouars, Aimery IV (6), take share with the bloody battle of Hastings (October 14, 1064), where sixty-seven - thousand English were to bite dust.

Same Aimery which, since 1047, had confirmed the possession of the priory of Bellenoue to the abbey of Saint-Michel-in-the Herm, accompanied, in 1054, the counts of Anjou and Poitou, which went to the help of king Henri Ier, against Guillaume Ier, duke of Normandy. It belonged to the forwarding of Spain, undertaken by GUI Geoffroy, count de Poitou, and was distinguished there. But the most remarkable fact of the life of Aimery was, as already said it to us, the big part that it took with the conquest of Normandy

Gauthier and Gosselin, lords of Garnache. - David, lord of Flocelière which, on October 24, 1091, gave on its behalf and that of his/her brother and his Geoffroy son, the church of Flocelière to the monastery of the Holy Trinity de Mauléon (today Châtillon-on-Sèvre), on which it depended until 1789. The fact of this donation had been painted, at one very moved back time, on a wall of the church, where it was discovered cry 1864; unfortunately, these remainders of murals were not preserved.

Aspremont Guillaume appears, in 1095, like one of the signatories of the donation of rights and various, heritages, made to the priory of the Chaize-the-Viscount, by Herbert, Viscount of Thouars. - Aspremont subscribed in 1109, the charter of erection of the abbey of Wood-Grollard (7).

An act dated from the Easter 1096, and relating to a restitution of goods, concentrate with, castle of Benon, signed Guillaume, count de Poitiers, Mathilde or Mahault, countess, his wife, etc, act confirmed by the papal legate, cinquantetrois archbishops, bishops, abbots, etc, still gives interesting information on some seigneuriales families of Low-Poitou.

One sees appearing in the body of the Larius act, lord de Mortagne, Geoffroy and Umbert, called Amaubert, Guillaume Achards lord of Mothe, Bernard, lord de Mervent, Mesnard Meschin, and Hugues Chabot.

Three years after, on December 7, 1099, in a deed of gift made to the priory of the Cbaize-the-Viscount, by Hubert, Viscount of Thouars and several of its barons, we raise the names which belong to our country: Maurice de Montaigu, Jean de Bressuire, Raoul de Mauléon, Geoffroy de Tiffauges, Guillaume de Châteaumur, Maurice de Pouzauges, GuillaumeBertrand of Essarts, Etienne de Bournezeau, Bernard of Rock-on-Yon, Sprocket-wheel of Aspremont, Pierre of Gar- nache and the lord of Kemikers (Commequiers) (8).

About 1110, appears Anstronius, lord of Mortagne, whose son, Pierre, were lord of Thirteen-Winds. At the same date, Guillaume Guy of the Herbaria confirms various gifts with the abbey of Grainetière.

In 1131, appear like witnesses of the will of Guillaume X, duke of Aquitaine (9); Truille, lord of Pouzauges, Guillaume (Talmont, Geoffroy of Puy-of-Insane, Guillaume, brother of this last and chamberlain of France, Guillaume de Pouzauges, his brother, Richard, baron, Regnault de Mortagne, Regnault of Flocelière, and finally Guillaume of the Herbaria, Master of hotel of the duke of Angouleme (10).

In April MO, Beaumont Richard is one of the signatories of a charter passed with Antioche, and for which Raymond, prince of this city, and Constancy, his wife, confirm with the profit of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, of the rights which it had downtown this of Antioche (11).

In this same year 1140, Bodin Aimery, wire of one, riders of Mareuil, make, jointly with Sebrant Chabot, lord of Vouvent, and Thibault Chasteigner, lord of Châtaigneraye, a donation with the abbey of Absie (BeauchetFilleau, page 372).

In 1145, a lord of Holy-Hermine attends the equipment of the abbey of Trizay.


At the time when humanity, after the dreadful nightmare of the year thousand, seems ready to lie down in a sepulchre, suddenly it is awaked by the noise of the Crusades.

It is by the causes of this war, that we will not study here, that one could see that the human heart had not died yet, and that it did not miss it, to reconquer the plenitude of the life, to incarnate itself in a new body, (starts to him to invite the commune, which tomorrow will be called the fatherland, and which as the man himself will be enfantéo in the pain and blood…

Then, all the quarrels, all the wars ceased as by enchantment. The enemies gave each other the hand to walk towards theHoly one. The serf followed the lord there; the woman, the husband, the child, the old man. The word of Solomon was checked: "The grasshoppers do not have kings, and they from go away together by bands. "

The hatred of the Moslem name was not new in Europe, and Poitou especially remembered, with anger, the devastations that y had caused the invasions sarrasines.

In the nobility poitevine, batailleuse and adventurous by temperament, the movement which had gained the Christian world was accentuated quickly, and of many families of our country entered the feeling general which precipitated Europe towards Asia, to conquer ruins and a tomb there. 


Hardly the spring of 1096 it had appeared, that a crowd of Poitevins were under the control of the most famous barons, ready to leave for the first crusade, which was the response the most effective data by the people to the calls of Sovereign pontiffs, and with the secret requests enthusiasm and the faith.

In this valiant phalange, the Four-Barbs were represented by the Bernard who had conquered in Spain, at ten years from there, the glorious nickname which its descendants still carry, and with him the Robert which was to found, on his return, the hospital of Montmorillon; Guy of Trémouille; - Maulévrier, have established already for a half-century in the small town of this name, located with the limit of Poitou and Anjou; - Pérusse of the Bus, which consequently had grounds and alliances in our country; Guy de Lusignan, who was to gird the crown of Jerusalem (1); - lords of Châteaubriant, whose branch of the Rocks-Baritaud provided a governor in Fontenay, in 1570; - Hugues Bontou, lord of Baugisière as a Saint-Michel-the-Cloucq, and Hugues de Garnaches, of the famous house of Rouault, dead one and the other courageously, known as Besly, on May 17, 1102, at the disastrous day of Oar; - Jaillard of Maronnière, whose name is found on all the battle fields, from the first Crusade to Castelfilardo; - Arbert Clérembault, lord of Sallertaine, which gives its grounds to the priory of this place, before leaving for theHoly one; - Aimery de Bouil, one of the most powerful lords of Talmondais.

Four years later, Guy of Trémouille, the Geoffroy of the Herbaria, and other lords poitevins, arranged under the standard of Herbert de Thouars, joined Guillaume IX (2), count de Poitiers and duke of Aquitaine, crossed Germany, finding everywhere a reception sympathetic nerve "and sowing their road, by Hungary and to the shores of the Black Sea, their songs and their prayers (3). "

After serious conflicts with the due one of Bulgaria, receipts and cherished during five weeks at the court of the emperor Alexis Comnène, betrayed then by this last, they arrived under the walls of Nicée, where were going to begin for eux' the most serious dangers caused by the equivocal intrigues of this same Comnène, which had painted in so energetic terms excesses of the Moslem domination.

Furious, the Aquitanian ones and the Gascons reconsider their steps and besiege Constantinople. About to cross the last enclosure, one intervenes. arrangement. Triumphing Guillaume, hastens to cross the Bosphorus and again will put the seat in front of Antioche, where perished a great number of Poitevins.

The count of Poitou saved his life with grand' sorrow his luggage and its money was the prey of Seldjoucides; only one rider remained to him. Fleeing with its following through the mountains and by lost ways, it arrived not far from Tarsus, downtown small which Bernard .gouvernait the Foreigner.

After adventures without a number, after having visited Beirut, gained Antioche, taken share with the head office of Jaffa, due turned over it to France, where it unloaded without accident towards the end of December, 1102 (4)

Soon after (June 15, 1106), the pope Pascal II arrived to Poitiers and a council chaired it.

In the table of the miseries endured by the Christians of the East, the knighthood poitevine rose again very whole, and under the control of prince de Tarente, Boëmond, it left with Angevins and Manceaux.

"In 1107, cinq-mille horses and quarante-mille men embarked in Bari, on the gulf of Venice, leaving in Europe the admirable spectacle of what can, in the same man, the intrepidity of his warlike valiancy, and the energy of its chocolate éclairs convictions (5).


The reverses wiped by the Cross ones in Palestine, had not decreased the faith of those which hoped to find the safety and the forgiveness of their faults, on this ground where the man had been conquered with the life of the faith. The solemn invitation of Urbain II: "Soldiers of out of iron, be the soldiers of God! " always resounded with the ears of noble the poitevins (1), and since 1134, i.e. twelve years. before Louis VII (2) and Eléonore did not leave for Palestine, Raymond, wire of Guillaume IX, became prince d' Antioche, where it unloaded (3) with a many continuation, in whom one counted Hugues of the island of Bouin, - Gauthier de Sourdeval, - a Guillaume of Poitiers, relative of the ducal family and much of others. Young person and beautiful, it married, the day of his arrival, Constance, girl of Boémond II, but its bravery having imprudently made him deliver battle to Noradin, sultan of Alep, it was killed on June 29, 1149 (4).


However Saladin, Sudan of Egypt and Syria, had invaded Palestine, had dispossessed Guy de Lusignan, king de Jérusalem, and makes a horrible massacre of the Christians. The cries of the victims resounded until the bottom of] '' Europe: a new crusade was solved. Richard Lion Heart, king d' Angleterre and count of Poitou, by his Eléonore mother of Aquitaine, gathered his vassal and forwarded himself to this ground illustrated per so many triumphs, afflicted per such an amount of reverse.

Several lords poitevins still joined the brilliance monarch, and among them it is advisable particularly to quote Pierre de Walsh, of which a descendant had at the time of the Revolution, the ground of Chassenon, close Saint-Hilaire-desLoges; - Jean of Béraudière, of a family become baspoitevine by the marriage of Marguerite of Béraudière, rams of Breuil-Barret, with Rene Mesnard of Toucheprès of Pommeraye; - Thibaud-Chub, which guarantees a loan of two hundred money marcs, made by Jean de Clairvaux with merchants génois; - Eustace of Holy-Hermine, who attended the seat of Acre and whose descendants still exist; - Renaud of Vergier of Rochejacquelein; - Guillaurne of Four-Barbs (1).

Let us add that the knights poitevins from which we come to give the names showed guaranteeing several loans contracted towards the Jews, for the continuation of the war.


Forwardings into Ground-Holy still occupied all the spirits. Foulques, priest of Neuillv, man full with eloquence and enthusiasm, had mission of the pope of urging the nobility to be crossed again; but, this time; one did not find any more in Poitou same enthusiasm.

Among the outstanding men of-Low-Poitou, one can quote Brice or Hard of the Rock-Saint-Andre, whose descendants appear many among the knights of Saint-Jean-of-Jerusalem; Robert of Trémouille, which was maintained in Palestine. After, in 1201, having announced itself to the catch of Constantinople, it accepted successively four strongholds in which the city was, ruined of Chalatriza, of which it made rebuild the walls (1).


Little time after its campaigns in Low-Poitou, campaigns about which we-speak in another chapter, holy Louis was attacked a cruel disease which plunged it in a lethargy similar to death. Returned with itself, it made the wish devote what remained to him forces to go to deliver the Christians the Holy Land.

On August 15, 1248, it left for this ground Egypt where so many knights were to pour their blood.

Among the lords poitevins, one lives to line up under the royal banner: Sebrand-chub, lord of Vouvent (1), which was to be distinguished with the catch from Damiette, where death, on June 4 .1249, Hugues .XI of Lusignan and Thibaud of Trémouille found, with its three sons killed with the battle de' Massoure; - Gouffier Etienne (2); - Savart de Mauléon, which contributed itself strongly to the catch of this city, which was to be used as ransom to the king. Savary had arrived of the first with a crowd of galères carrying a considerable number combatants - Raoul de Mauléon, who engaged his fields of Aunis and Talmondais to the lord de Thouars, and assigned with the monks of Charroux a alms of one hundred pennies of revenue on its ground of Saint-Michel-in-the Herm; Hugues of Four-Barbs, who, in October 1249, gives in front of Damiette, receipt of a sum of 400 pounds tournaments for him: and its knights, in Charles, - count d' Anjou (3); - The lord de Braine, of the family of Dreux-Mauclerc, lord of Garnache, where he died in 1250, at the time when the pope Clément IV assigned it in front of the bishop of Angers to answer of certain misdeeds. Alphonse, count de Poitiers, also went to join his brother with several of his vassal, and were characterized by a bravery with any test, on these beaches of Asia and Africa which had already devoured so many Christians. Under the walls of Damiette, it was used as guarantee with three knights poitevins: Guillaume d' Apremont, Théodebald de Chatesgner (4) and Aymeric of Holy-Hermine (5).


Louis saint, having ensured the happiness of his people, conceived the project of a new crusade against the inaccurate ones. He left followed by Philippe, his son, and of a crowd of knights, among whom Low-Poitou counted Guillaume Buor, lord of the Moors and Noultes, Tabarière or Chantonnay, which had the honor to be convened with this crusade "by special licence in gold letters" signed with the hand of the saint king.


The great movement of the Crusades by shaking the torpor of the feudal world, exerted a happy influence on industry and, the trade. Saris speech (the effort which it required for the armament of the knights and their continuation, it revealed with the merchants of new roads, the industrialists of new processes, the farmers of new plants (1). One reported the East the use of the flax, silk, windmills, the plum tree of Damas. The cotton fabrics became less rare, the luxury goods industries improved. The great tapestries, the cushions, the carpets of Damas, the ices of Venice, brightened and cleansed the dark apartments of the lords of the manor of Talmond, Mortagne, Tiffauges, the Herbaria, Puy-of Insane, Flocelière, Pouzauges, Mareuil, Apreniont, Garnache. Gold and precious stones were spread out over brilliances costumes of silk to the conspicuous colors.

Industries of the flax, hemp, wool and leather developed in Parthenay, Fontenay-the-Count, Mortagne, Niort, Bressuire. These various products, worked on the spot with a rare care, were used for clothings of the various classes (it it company (2). The linen itself became of a more common use to leave XIIIe century especially, when one believed to realize that leprosy and other cutaneous diseases, come from the East, up to that point had for first remedy the care of an uncommon cleanliness of body in this form (3).

Then started again, â to take shape among women of our country, country-women of the farms and the villages, town of the boroughs and, of the cities, these released paces, these alert movements, these so picturesque hairstyles adopted especially in Low-Poitou, which one still finds with the Herbaria, in the marsh of Luçon, Maillezais and in the surroundings of Fontenay and Niort.

Talmont (4) and Fontenay (5) had important fairs supported by the vicinity of. the sea, the existance of the old roads and also by the river navigation which, for a long time already, existed on Sèvre, the Vendée and part of Lay, as establish it the signs of toll of With a grid., Velluire, Mareuil, etc.


Particular dwellings. - The dwellings of the people became more comfortable, and covered a special aspect which did not point out of anything that the Gallo-Roman dwelling copied more or less servilely up to that point. First of all the days, are not taken any more on an interior court, denied well on the public highway; moreover, when the court exists, it is employed more only with domestic uses. One penetrates directly of 'the street in the principal room, which is usually elevated. When the dwelling has a certain importance, this room, in which one receives and which one eats, is doubled of one second part which is used as kitchen: the rooms to be slept are above.

The first stage is very often out of wood: its fenestration occupies more half of the width of the frontage, and the whole is covered by a projecting roof; one sees only very seldom at that time pinion on street. The wood side of the first stage is made of large parts, carried in corbelling on strong beams which rest on the head wall and that of face. This wood side is roughcast of mortar between wood: drawings with the point are plotted on the coating. The lower part of the projection of the roof and the wood side are painted colors sharp (yellow and black, white and brown or red, red and black). A great change in the interior distribution takes place at that time; if one finds, in the Gallo-Roman houses and mérovingiennes, the separation of the dwelling of the women, it is not the same any more in the houses of XIe century, where the joint life is clearly indicated. The large room of the ground floor is used as shop when the owner is commercial, in this case, the room is on the first floor; it is there that sleep the father, the mother and the children in low-age; the apprentices or servants sleep in the attics. Usually the kitchen is separated from the principal home by a small court; one arrives there by a covered gallery; an alley with right staircase flanks the room of the ground floor and gives access directly to the first, a gallery makes communicate the part of the first stage with the stage audessus of the kitchen. Sometimes, if the houses are double, i.e. the same roof covers two with them, each one of these agglomerations is separated from following by means of a lane which, often, led to a garden.

In the houses of the Middle Ages, all is laid out to meet the needs for the inhabitants the large parts, the large bays; little ornamentation, but the walls and the solid boards; the staircase is not hidden, and if that is necessary, the frontage is sheltered. If these old dwellings do not appear comfortable any more to us it is necessary to acknowledge that it is because we do not live today any more like at that time, and that we have other needs; but such as they are, they answer perfectly the program which was given the family, i.e. the close relations and the servants meeting in the same part, around the Master (1).

Fontenay still has in the streets of the Fountain, Saint Nicolas's Day and of the Cabins, the Dwellings of XIVe and XVe century which approach much by their principal style and their provision, of the type. , general whom we have just described. They attest a very developed local government, a great interior prosperity, and practices of wellbeing and even of luxury which disappeared since the wars of religion from XVIe century.


Navigation. The ports of Talmont, Sand-in Olonne, Saint-Gilles, of the Pivot-on-Sea, already used for forwardings of Norman in England and for those of Palestine, on the request express of Philippe-Auguste (1), transfer their trade to take a great extension. Ship-owners delivered themselves on a vast scale to the coastal traffic. As of the E century, it was done by Sèvre and the ports of the coast, in particular by that of Talmont, an important trade of corn. The cereals were sold until England (2). Bozon of Davière, as us a charter learns it from 1070, establishes on the ships for Great Britain, a tax of 12 sums of money, whose monks of Holy-Cross-of-Talmont were only exempted.

Spanish fishermen had settled with Sands with Xe century, and the navy was there, at the end of XIe century, rather important so that the import duty on the ships formed the principal income of the church of the island of Olonne.

Saint-Gilles, which is perhaps the oldest port of the littoral poitevin (some authors think that it could be well Portus Secor de Ptolémée), also had a great importance. All this supposes already Vendean sailors a great experiment of the art of navigation, sophisticated in 1183, by the publication of the Large Lorry driver of sea, of Pierre Garcie Ferrande, one of the sailors of Saint-Gilles, Spanish or Portuguese extraction.


For a long time, the port of Sands was only authorized to export the grains intended for the French provinces. (Boissonnade, already quoted.)

Fish, ostreiculture and mussel beds. - Fishing also developed, and it is with a jealous care that the monks especially maintained the fisheries which belonged to them (1). The culture of the oyster beds, preserved since the Romans, was strong prosperous in Bodelinière and in the fish ponds of Sion and Brétignolles, now indicated under the name of locks.

The moulières of Life were re-elected, and the lords of Poitou made a point of making be reproduced on their table the appétissant mollusc which came from it. The lords d' Apremont, of Ryé and Commequiers sought the mussels of Bodelinière, but unfortunately this industry, established without rules, became soon an obstacle for the navigation of the Life, because on September 3, 1615, Marie of Luxembourg, rams of Ryé, prescribed with its officers to make destroy the moulières established in the bed of the Vendée and who obstructed navigation.

The Irish sailor Valton, pushed by the storm on the coasts of Low-Poitou, about 1235, fixed its, residence in the handle of the Pivot, and created on this point the industry of the mussel beds, which did nothing but develop since on the of-Low-Poitou coasts and of Aunis.


In 1217, Pierre de Volvire, lord of Chaillé-the-Marsh, allowed the abbots of Saint-Micbel-in-the Herm, Absie, Saint-Maixent, Maillezais and of Nieul-on-the Autise, to make dig a channel to drain the swamps of Langon and Vouillé. This channel was still named and names Canal of the Five-Abbots. It occurs close to the old island of Vouillé, and after a course of approximately eleven kilometers, emerges in the lower part of Sèvre.

The channels known as Etier de Chaillé, Etier of, Moreilles and Achenault of the Trench, were dug at that time to pour in the lower part of Sèvre, and in the gulf of the Pivot, part of water which covered this marsh.

In 1270, a large channel was dug by the care of the abbots of Saint-Michel-in-the Herm and Saint-Léonard-of-Thatches, and the large prior of Templiers- of Aquitaine; to be used as discharge with water of their marshes, located in the vicinity of Marans.

The channel of Luçon, which belonged before 1799, to the bishop and the chapter - of Luçon, who maintained it and y charged fees, is; probably older (1)

The channel of the King, who communicated of the Vendée to the channel of Luçon, was dug in 1283, with the expenses of the parishes of Auzay, Petosse, Hermenault, Pouillé, Saint-Valérien, Saint-Laurent-of-the-Room, Poiré, Langon, Mouzeuil, Nalliers and Holy-Gem-the-Plain.

In consequence of the creation of, these channels, the immense ones extended from ground hitherto covered by water covered rich person harvests, and where pushed only the watery plants, the fields covered abundant harvests: a superb vegetation replaced the rouchères everywhere.

If the peasants assisted breadths monks strongly, if serfdom weighed heavily on them, and if a great number died of misery and exhaustion in the medium, of these pestilential hearths, it is necessary to know to recognize that them, monks of then were also with the sorrow, and, that the Trappist following the example of, they bravely handled the shovel and the pickaxe; that they were all in all during several, centuries the directors of these - immense., work of which they made, to a certain extent, to profit workers.


Rights of user and course of the marshes. One can affirm, believe us, that the right of user and course of the marshes, which still exists in considerable communes of the Vendée, goes up at that time, and that some lambaux of these immense spaces was distributed to these serfs of the glèbe, which then, under the holy one and fertilizes influence of Saint-Louis, could buy not an only little freedom, but also a few arpents of this sprinkled ground their tears and their sweats.

Vine growing. The vine was cultivated on several points of the Vendée and the vineyards of the surroundings of Niort (1), of Mareuil, of Saint-Denis-of-Payré, of Miltière de Talmont, Sigournais, Sérigné, produced with the place and place of will hypocras, these famous wines which put the joy in the middle of the poor peasant and the rich person lord, who did not scorn nevertheless as of this time, Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Champagne.

Let us add that many of our wines was exported by the Flemish vessels in the countries North and by Templiers until Orient (2).


The monastic schools were about the only ones which existed in this moment, and it is at the bottom of the cloisters, asylums of the Latin literature, which it is necessary to go to seek the men of some literary value that Poitou produced during XIe, XIIe and XIIIe centuries. Because, let us not forget it, the first literary men poitevins in national language were or of the lords or people who lived at their court. The middle-class men of the cities followed when, with freedom, the instruction their came. The people, under the thatched cottage, told legends or composed of the songs in vulgar language, but did not write them.

One can quote among the writers of this time Pierre de Maillezais, friend of the letters and, of the old literature, large admiror of Cicéron, which founded in Maillezais a selected library. It composed the chronicles of - its monastery, made the voyage of the Holy Land with Guillaume IX, and died in the first years of XIIe century.

Raoul Ardent was born about 1040 in the surroundings from Bressuire. It was a wonder of scholarship and eloquence which almost embraced in entirety the cycle of human knowledge. He was a preacher of Guillaume IX, whom he followed in the East in 1101, with Pierre de Maillezais. We do not know if it had much empire on the duke of Aquitaine and count de Poitiers, always is he that this last troubadour, as merry as it was warlike frightening, took under his protection the authors who cultivated the erotic kind, the licence, the popular songs.

One must in Raoul Ardent or Radulphe a vast collection of homélies.

Pierre Béranger, died towards the end of XIIe century, was a disciple of Abeilard, of which it embraced with heat the ideas.

Pierre of Poitiers, disciple of Pierre Lombard, - invented the historical trees which, since, gave rise to the family trees. He died at the beginning of XIIIe century.

Savary de Mauléon, lord of Fontenay, pleasant and remarkable poet political, who took the party of Philippe-Auguste against Jean-without-Ground. He liked with passion the tournaments and the festivals, throwing in all these assemblies the glare of his poetic imagination. All the contemporary chroniclers agree to surround the memory of this lord of words of admiration; one acknowledges that of all his beautiful actions, one could easily fill an enormous book; the other calls it the "chief of any courtesy, the Master of the brave men. "

Savary de Mauléon contrasted singularly with the majority of the lords of the manor of its time, of which some (we like to believe that it was the small number), stated to know to sign, awaited their quality of gentleman.


The French language was done, at the end of XIIIe century, with scraps of various dialects, and our ancestors had as much merit to form the language than would have we to stop it on the slope of the decline. As at that time, one moved little, it took place in each part of France a particular work on the idiom. The temperament of each people, the conformation of his vocal bodies, the diversity of the ethnographic origins, influenced this development. It resulted for each province its speech from it, and Low-Poitou did not escape this law.

Fontenelle de Vaudoré, in a document having milked with a sale made in 1273 by inhabitants of Luçon to the monks of Saint-Michel-in-the Herm, preserved us the following note, which does not miss interest, of as much better than it shows us the language and the style of the time with Luçon and in its surroundings: "Sale faicle by private individuals with brother Pierre, humble abbot by the grace of God of Feel-Micheu-in-the Erx and the convent of this same abbey of Herberjement, that they had with the castle of Luçon, with some heritages. The sale, sealed with the seal monseigneur Macé of Saint-Coming, knight seneshals NR. S. the king of France to Poitou and of to the siau of Renaut de Marconnay (1).

More than one expression bas-poitevine of this document preserved still nowadays this taste of soil which laughs would not repudiate considerable Vendean.


The mass of the people was purified too; adventurers, vagrants, the factious ones, all those which, by misery or taste; like themselves, only in the middle of the disorder and of the disorders, sprang with joy in the news, career which was open for them. Heinous passions softened, manners lost a little their roughness, saris to lose their honesty. In Low-Poitou like elsewhere, a general emulation animated all the spirits and the Occident seemed to escape chaos when the cross ones brought back knowledge which they had acquired in Asia on the legislation, industry and arts, and this poetry that one y breathe-with the air.


In Low-Poitou especially, the feudalism, whose base was "the faith given and the faith repue. ", can be defined the mode of the contract. The Roman despotism had levelled, crushed, degraded all the classes feudality returns to the man his lost dignity. The Roman empire had exaggerated the right of the State; perhaps feudality exaggerates it - right of the individual, but it is by the regenerated individual that will be able to remake a new company. The citizens of the old Greek republics and the old Roman republic were never as free as the members of the feudal company. Undoubtedly this freedom existed only for the noble ones; but the new principles contributed later to raise the condition of the people. Many the feudal ideas on the rights of controlled with respect to controlling, passed in our modern constitutions (1).

Of XIIe in XIVe century, the feudal principle supports the popular classes more and more. The lords give up requiring authority much of services: they prefer to ensure them by contracts freely accepted by the peasants. Just as the lord conceded strongholds with the noble ones in exchange of the military service, it could concede grounds with: the unpleasant ones in exchange of industrial services. Sometimes, with the help of the pleasure of a certain ground, men committed themselves being used it as wire father, as wet coopers, carpenters, blacksmiths, herdsmen, shepherds, fishmongers, etc, etc, and even guides on dangerous ways. He constituted himself thus by the free contract of the strongholds of craftsman.


The name of a borough or a village is almost always borrowed from some geographical, topographic or historical characteristic, like Fontaines, Fontenay, it Rock-on-Yon, etc, with metal layers: the Tool bag; with some height: Apremont, Puymaufrais, Mounts; with wood, depressions: the Chestnut grove, the Valley; in the vicinity of some saint building: the Hermitage, Moutiers; in the vicinity of some castle: Châteliers; with the fact that the village was originally populated colonists of the Roman time. Marmande, Spain, Romagna, Mortagne, Tiffauges, etc Or this name were that of the saint of the parish or the close monastery Saint-Paul, Saint-Andrew, Saint-Vincent, Saint-MichelMont-Mercury, Saint-Michel-in-the Herm. Or this name pointed out that of some former owner, like Antigny.

The villages most recently founded were called Villeneuve or the New City; the free or recently freed villages were called frank Ville, etc.


As of the beginning of XIIIe century, one sees in Low-Poitou the powerful barons creating, with the example of the kings, the centers or the new villages under the name of new cities or frank cities, where they attract the serfs of their neighbors by the guarantee of a better treatment, by the exact limitation of the revenues of the drudgeries, of the taxes, of the rights of justice.

Suger had created this way the colony of Vaucresson. Louis VII had founded Villeneuve-the-King, near-in Auxerre; Villeneuve, close to Compiegne; Villeneuve, close to Elampes, the count of Champagne had created, in 1175, the new city of the Bridge-on-Seine. - Quantity of other Villeneuve and Villefranche, dispersed on the chart of France, testify today to wide to this movement. The other lords, not to see deserting their serfs, had had to grant the same advantages to them, and many in the Vendée these centers are which, for it majority, indicate one era of emancipation and which one meets in the communes of Velluire, Saint-Juire-Champgillon, Foussais, Benet, Chaillé-les-Ormeaux, the Chaize-the-Viscount, Damping-ron-the-Captive, Bournezeau, the Tool bag, Beaufou, Brouzils, Chauché, Saint-Andre-Goule-in Oie, the Saint-Sulpice-the-Verdon, the Island of Olonne, Castle-in Olonne, Our-Lady-of-Laugh, MotheAchard, Grand' Landes, Saint-Christophe-of-Ligneron, the Bernard, Saint-Etienne-of-Wood, etc.


Moreover, for certain grounds, the obligations of the peasant with regard to the lord do not result from his quality of unpleasant or serf, but of a contract. who is not other than a "lease" as those which are of use still today and which are defined by our civil code.

Thus, beside the servile obligations, there are free contracts. The first have, sometimes the ground in perpetual and hereditary concession, with the help of the payment of a fixed revenue, which we call "emphythéose" and which was called then "fiefferme", sometimes "of beautiful at time" varying one year at fifteen years. The price of the hiring is a silver revenue or in kind, but often also the owner gives his ground with the proviso of having such or such part of harvest, thus joining the chances of the ploughman.

Sometimes it reserves half of harvest, and then that is called "lease at smallholding E, sometimes it reserves only one sheaf out of six or ten or eleven, and then is called of it" lease with champart, warping, the sheaf.

We, give, hereafter, according to the scientist Mr. Paul Marchegay (1): 1° a note, having milked with the mode of tenant farming of a peasant of the canton of Mothe-Achard about the year 1100; 2° mode of transmission of a rural property about 1120, in the canton of Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits; 3° a lease with half in the commune of Castle-in Olonne in 1219; 4° a lease of vine with complant in Saint-Benoît of Angles into .1265.


The small note, translated below in Cartulaire de Talmont by the scientist Mr. Marchegay, and who notes the legacy of thirty-two boisselées of ground and a district of vine made to the abbey of Holy-Cross by one, woman with the article of death, is more important than it does not appear with the first aspect. Indeed, it reports the proportion in which a colonist attached to the glèbe perceived the fruits of the ground in question. On hundred sheaves, it to him is allotted by it sixty two, denied as the payment of the whole fell on to him, that is to say fifty-two, against forty eights with the lord. If one takes account of the right absolute and hereditary that it had with the culture of this ground, while conforming to the habit of the country, one can-disconvenir only his position, in certain connections, too dependent, was not unfavorable under that which one can call of the tenant farming of the ground.

About to die, Aldearde, woman of Guibert, provost of Guillaume Achard (1), give to God and to Holy-Cross-Talmont, for the rest of its ground heart, two sextérées of Lonjumeau. The peasant who cultivates this ground must there take two shares and us it third and a sheaf, a last dividing himself per half. It also gave a quartier' vines to Mazonnière (2). in the presence of Guibert his/her husband and of Achard his son.


In the southernmost part of the canton of Moutiers, with the place named Martinière, the abbey of Holy-Cross-of-Talmont had a small field which, about the year 1120, was increased in consequence of the murder of the son of the one of the principal inhabitants of Curzon. Three notes, or rather articles, of Cartulaire of the abbey, bring back the donation made by the father of late with rather curious circumstances on the way in which the transmission of the property took place then. One reports in the first an important fact: the existence in the borough of Curzon of a district pertaining to the count de Poitou, called Burgus Consularis, and whose middle-class men or inhabitants undoubtedly had privileges. It is probably in the enclosure of this Burgus that the fortress was located of which, three centuries later, Charles VII wanted to ensure defense and the conservation against the attacks of the English while ordering, on February 18, 1132, by letter-licences gone back to Chinon, that the guard and harbour office of this place, like that of Talmont, "was delivered with its amé escuier and usher of weapons Adenet de Trochelles".

Here translation of the Latin text which is in Cartulaire de Talmont (1) with folios 113 and 115, but we could not decipher the name of the assassin of the young man for the heart of which the monks of Holy-Cross were to celebrate masses:

Burcard de Curzon, for the heart of his/her Aimeri son, who had been killed by given to the church of Holy-Cross and us his monks, three sesterées of ground located to the Elm-Chevrier (Ulmus Caprius), and contiguous with the grounds that us. let us have. This donation was made initially in Curzon, in the borough of the count, and the nomination was accepted from it by our monk, Yvon, to which, while embracing it, Burcard gave a branch of vine shoot, the whole in the presence of Giraud, Saint-Benoît cheese priest, Payera Geoffroi, Raoul Grenier, Bernard Brunet, and Joscelin, our servant.

"Then Burcard and its Simon son went in Jonchère, and there, in the church, while depositing on the furnace bridge a candle blessed, they confirmed not only the aforesaid donation, but all to us that we had in their stronghold. Many people were pilot, between other Benoit of Bodocière, Giraud Ductran, Constant Old woman-Saddle, Etienne Li Bogres, and aforesaid Joscelin. And us, in consideration of these advantages, gave a horse to Simon, as well for his service as to testify towards the future generation of what has been just made.

Soudon de Curzon, wire of Albert-the-Male, also confirmed the aforesaid donations and all those which could be done to us in the future in his stronghold; this is why we gave him twenty-five pennies and five with its provost Barbotin, wire of Abbon. Witnesses: Payen Chub and Pierre the Lamb, butcher (2) ".


The scarcity of the old beams is regrettable, because the majority contain information on the state of the agriculture at the time to which they were written. It is for this reason that it is important 'to collect those which time with saved and that we translate in Cartulaire of Midsummer's Day d' Orbestier (Files of the Vendée), that of the field of Pironnière, commune of Castle-in Olonne, in 1219.

Without seeking for the moment the yelling abuses to which place the feudalism gave, it is necessary to be appropriate with Mr. of Boutetière that today one would find few financial backers and too many takers of smallholdings in the conditions imposed by Audebert, abbot of Orbestier, in Arbert Bordun.

"Know all present and to come that Audebert, abbot of Midsummer's Day d' Orbestier, the assent and to want of all the chapter of the aforesaid the church, gave and conceded with Arbert Bordun and Bonnette, his wife, and with their children and heirs, with perpetuity, the field of Pironnière, with its memberships, as smallholding, by paying however the dîme sheaves in the surface, like that of the cattle. Aforesaid Arbert and Bonnette, its wife, and their heirs, will take in the surface a sextier (1) of wheat for the tools out of iron with them necessary; all the harvest of the grains will be then divided into two shares, so that the abbot and they his take to them one and Arbert Bordun and his heirs the other. The seed will be also provided to the latter on the commun run, and they will have freely and without any load all the ground enclosed by a ditch touching the house. For the house that they will build in this place, for the carts or the plough with them necessary, they will have right to take with their expenses wood in the forest of the convent, and each year, at the time of harvest, they will take also a cart-load of hay in the pre one of Etienne, with the help of the execution of all that above the abbot and they his will keep and defend of any attack against their men, aforesaid Arbert and his heirs. And to ensure and perpetuate the memory of that, we provided the present charter (read seal with Midsummer's Day d' Orbestier. Are pilot of this gift: Michel, key prior the abbey; G., prior of Wood-of-Luc Hélye, sacrist; Guillaume Papins; Guillaume Durans; P Caphéas and several others. It was done the year of the Lord 1219" (2).


The documents which follow are extracted from Cartulaire of Midsummer's Day d' Orbestier, with the Files of the Vendée. The quantity of yielded ground is not unfortunately specified, but the indication of twelve sums of money of receipt makes it possible to advance with the greatest probability that they were twelve newspapers of vine.

All those which these present will see, the abbot and the convent of Midsummer's Day d' Orbestier, hello as a Our-Lord. Will know that we gave and conceded with Jeanne and Marie de Saint-Benoist of Angles, sisters, pupils of Pierre Master of Buvée and to their heirs and successors, our ground located in parish of Saint-Benoist of Angles, which confronts on the one hand with pre of the prior of Saint-Benoist of Angles, of another by where one goes from Saint-Benoist of Angles to Saint-Cyr military school, of another with the ground of Geoffroy Benoist or servant, of another finally with the ground in Vigneaux. We give them this ground to be planted in vine, with load by the known as sisters, their heirs or successors, to pay each year, with us or our agent, Saint-Benoist of Angles or surroundings, at the time of the grape harvest, fourteen sums of vintage, as complant, and twelve sums of money of receipt, and to be able to bequeath or alienate the aforementioned vine at any religious house or secular church, nor it to burden with any legate, pension or load. Namely that we will not perceive anything the sums of grape harvest and the aforesaid last before the year of the Incarnation 1273. In testimony of what we gave to said sweats, with their known as heirs and successors, present letters provided with our seal. Fact has it of the Lord 1265 "(1).

In short, one can say generally that the serfdom binds to the ground that which cultivates it with perpetuity for him and its family, but it makes of it at the same time a hereditary farmer who cannot be dispossessed, and who, actually, is a true owner. One finds admittedly in the old charters, of the sales of serfs until the middle of the XVIIIe century, but Misters Guérard and Léopold Delisle, proved in an undeniable way that it did not act then, as in antiquity, of the sale of the man himself, his time, of its faculties, but only of the services and the royalties to which it was obliged, since the men of free condition themselves are often included/understood in similar sales, in the sense that the services and the royalties which they owed, passed to another person (2). Poitou provides some to us in this respect many evidence. Danced Cartulaire of the lords de Rais and the abbey of Boisgrol-Land published by fire Mr. Marchegay, on ten charters of XIIe and XIIIe centuries, which mention similar sales, there is eight of them where it acts free men owners, which keep their freedom and their property, but which must of the services, real objects of the sale. We could not better do, of the remainder, to repeat, with Mr. Guérard, whose opinion has a so great weight

"Slavery became a mitigated constraint; the mitigated constraint converted little by little under the first and the second race, in the serfdom of the means. The serfdom, which were not any more the deprivation, but only one restriction of, freedom, disappeared in its turn in the course from the Middle Ages. But already the men of servile condition exert actually the property of the ground, and the royalties which they paid with their lords were rather a tax that a revenue (3). "


Though the right to return justice to their vassal was those to which more the barons of the Middle Ages held, they, at one very moved back time, were exempted to exert it themselves.

The officers on whom they discharged from this care, were called, according to the regions, envisage, baillifs and seneshals. Sometimes their functions were hereditary, but they were more frequently personal and revocable. The seneshal of Mothe-Achard was in this last case, because, in the middle of XIIIe century, as it results from an act by which it engages, under the guarantee of all its goods, pieces of furniture and buildings, to return good justice, as well with regard to the seigniory as towards the lord himself (1).

Jurisdiction. - "The rights of jurisdiction being almost the same ones in each seigniory, it seems 'essential to us to give on justice before 1789, some developments, without which it would be difficult to so find the aspect of a time far from us by manners, although it goes back only to yesterday.

It is, we must acknowledge it, the the least beautiful side of the old French company. Us want not to say that we are to perfection, us believe on the contrary, that it is one of the points who emphasize best the human imperfection, imbecillitas humana; but finally, there is an undeniable progress by a better organization of the springs. Formerly, the complication of the jurisdictions and the multitude of the legal officers, alive of the lawsuits which they had to perpetuate, far from ensuring the best and prompter administration of justice, seemed rather instituted to facilitate with the baffle the means of denaturing the right good and of ruining the litigants. The authorities lasted often more than the life of people. A lawsuit brought in the beginning of the XVIIIe century, by the prior of Réaumur to the inhabitants of the parish, about some said, lasted forty years and was finished only by one transaction between the parts.

In the principle, the count of Poitou, sitting in Poitiers, was the chief town of the justice of the province. The spring was divided into sixty-seven vigueries, vicariś, establish successively, and where justice went by the assisted viguiers assessors chosen among the notable ones. Little by little this powerful organization weakens, the parcelling out of the sovereignty, which implies the feudal idea, takes place in justice as in all the remainder. The lords of the second rank replace those of the first for the fact of justice. Each lord becomes retributive and will do without the approval of the suzerain for the appointment or the revocation of the judges charged to return justice on his behalf. It was the signal of the fall of the viguiers who fell in XIe century. From this moment la.justice segneuriale starts.

High justice included/understood all: it had plenitude of jurisdiction until death. The gibet, the forks patibulaires, the yoke, the sure prison were its signs, its loads, its privileges. That explains the existence in the castles of prisons where one wants to always see exclusively an arbitrary means of oppression on the vassal ones.

The average justice was full competent with civil, restricted with the criminal. It considered the act criminal only until the overflowing of blood, until the fine of 60 grounds.

Low justice had a very great limitation. Its jurisdiction extended only to 60 grounds with civil, and 7 grounds with the criminal.

These justices was not only one honor for the lords, it was an often heavy load. They were to provide on their own incomes with the expenses which they caused (2).

Three hundred high justices or approximately ressortissaient with the seneschalsy présidiale of Poitiers (3), either nument, or by call. On this number, there were well of them sixty without exercise, forty without officers, and at least fifty who were not judged, or, which is worse, were it extremely badly (4). As for the averages and low justices, they were innumerable (5). Which was the value of these officers, without authority, guarantee for resistance to the wills of the lord who could change them according to his good pleasure? The call to all the degrees. Our current tendencies are with the restriction of the call; then it was the only guarantee counters judges who were not Masters of their sentences; it was also a means for the royalty of expressing its power on its large vassal. But of corner well of difficulties and times this guarantee was surrounded! That one thinks of the embarrassments of the poor litigant, so far from Poitiers, if far from the Parliament, in a country deprived of all means of communication, by not very sure ways, when it-had to carry its call and to follow its lawsuit to the chief town of the province! (6). "


Often disputed between the king of France and the king of England, Low-Poitou enjoys early granted charters which ensured him of the guarantees against oppression.

In this country where dominates a very strong authority, that of king d' Angleterre, duke of Aquitaine, one should not expect to meet sovereign cities, as in midday and north. Here the militia are ordered, the taxes are perceived, justice in last spring is returned by officers of the king.

As of XIIIe century, the freed boroughs or villages have a rudiment of municipal organization. Their inhabitants, with the permission of the lord, hold of the assemblies, Sunday in front of their church, to deliberate on the businesses on the community. These assemblies differ from the town councils from today, in what they include/understand all the heads of household. The villages have at their head, in addition to the agent of the lord, the chiefs appointed by them usually, with the assent of the lord. Usually they are syndics, sometimes there is only one chief who bears the name of provost or "mayor", as that which one finds since 1236 with the Chestnut grove, today simple village of the commune of Saint-Philbert-of-Bridge-Charrault.

Under the presidency of the provost, Fontenay also had, as of XIIIe century, a kind of municipal organization, and the lords of the strongholds included/understood in the fortifée enclosure, were obliged to give up with the council of the conciliation boards the care to provide itself for safety with the city. It was to remove with feudality the capacity of. he to harm (1).

Mothe-Achard also had at the same time a similar organization.


The exercise of what one formerly called Justice seigneuriale, consisted in the knowledge of certain causes, by particular judges, in audiences known as: Sat Seigniory.

These causes were the dations of supervision and trusteeship, the actions on real things located in the jurisdiction, the actions between the people whose fine did not exceed sixty pennies for the average justice, seven pennies six sums of money for the low one. In general, nothing less interesting than the registers of these bases which have escaped with the action of time, sleeping in the dust of the files, or completing to disappear under the tooth from the rats in the obscure funds from some attics.

One would be wrong to however generalize the contempt which these witnesses of another age inspire, has because one always finds there with glaner these infiniments small of the history, who collected, coordinated "and explained, are the history itself; not admittedly" that of the wars, the battles and other plagues of humanity, "but that of the institutions, manners and the uses, in a" word, the life even of our fathers. "

Mr. of Boutetière, whose letters regret the loss, in discovered a new proof in the papers of the Large-Priory of Aquitaine, about Malta, preserved at. files of the department of Vienna. Inter alia information, one finds there thirteen official reports of the appointment of the annual Mayor, to which the inhabitants contributed. We believe pleasant being in our readers, in their presenting the summary of this scientist work.

The Chestnut grove, today simple hamlet of: commune of Saint-Philbert-of-Bridge-Charrault, belonged to Midsummer's Day de Launay, commandery of Malta, located in the parish of Holy-Cecile. With the Middle Ages there was in this small seigniory, as in all the others, a charged officer, under the name of provost, of all the details of the administration. This office that one. often find in our regions, conceded in stronghold, was sometimes exerted by hard and avid men, and the inhabitants of the Chestnut grove bought at the price of a revenue of thirty pennies, the right to put one. them in the place of this intermediary obliged with their lord. The sum was large for the time, but the advantage too; because apart from much of others which are obvious, one of the men of the community exerting these functions on a purely free basis, the economy was large. T1 had there profit also for the commander of Launay, to perceive the sum initially, then to let its vassal do themselves their business.

Each year, the feastday of Saint-Barnabe (1l June), the chiefs of house met to elect three candidates, one of which was selected for provost, or mayor, by the lord. After the solemn installation and the service of oath, there was festival at the village; and the institution functioned as well as possible of the interests of all until 1525. From this date, internal discords occurred between the inhabitants: little by little the voters refused to use their rights, several were even condemned to the fine and since 1534 (June 14, where one declared mayor a sior Morin) one does not attend any more but one exchange of stamped paper between the seneshal Bereau, father of the poet of this name, assisted by his Pruyau fellow-member, and Jehan Morin, affublé of Mathurin Barbarin, its allocated sergeant (1).

This charter of 1236, written with a hand mutilated by the German balls, gives the detailed account of the introduction into the principal village of the parish of Saint-Philbert-of-Bridge-Charrault, at time when feudality dominated, of the electoral vote for the choice of the mayor or provost, charged with collecting the tax. If the right obtained thus (and not without sorrow probably), promptly fell in disuse, one should not be caught some to the lords, but on the subjects, that the threat of a large fine only brought back to the poll, and whose indifference caused the cancellation of the charter intended to ensure the safety of their goods and their people.