Medieval village in High-Auvergne

Wars of Religion

| Feat of arms | Marguerite of Valois |

Huguenots who by here pass,
Who to loot are not wearied,
This small saint cock a snook at you
That is not gold, money neither relic.

Feat of arms

Lavedan was the chief of Protestants in the High-Auvergne, he gave the hand, a side, to the huguenots of the Rouergue and Cévennes, and the other, to these of the Limousin and the Quercy. 15th April 1574, he had seized Mauriac; he had taken Pleaux the 31st March precedent after having destroyed the castle of Pleaux-Soubeyre belonging to François Robert of Lignerac representing the catholic cause.

States were convened to Murat the 4th May 1574 and a sum of 80000 pounds was voted for the deliverance of places taken by the huguenots. Saint-Herem, governor of the province, Montal his lieutenant in the High-Auvergne join all the catholic nobility. Religionnaires warn leave Mauriac the 29th July 1574 but one left them masters of the countryside, enrich by the looting and by ransoms that they had made pay to bourgeois of Mauriac and Pleaux.

Pleaux were still occupied by the huguenots at the end of the month of August 1574. At this time, Montal came to raise the siege of the castle of Miremont; he drove its troops under walls of Pleaux and lay siege to the place. The Protestant party was affected by the war that the governor of Auvergne, St-Hérem and Montal, his lieutenant, made to the viscount of Lavedan. Some of chiefs had taken the resolution to come to help him. The Hague and Langoiran join the viscount of Gourdon and went to support Lavedan and besieged. Montal do not wait them. He pulled out with its canon, although he was the strongest in number of men, but badly armed and most without military discipline. The siege of Pleaux had to be raised in the first days of September 1574.

A short while after that troops come to the help of Protestants had left the Auvergne, Catholics besieged again the city of Pleaux and took possession of it. It is the less certain than to the month of October 1574 they put there a garrison. The baron of Drugeac, in charge to defend the city, ordered there ten arquebusiers. To the month of November, the garrison was reinforced of twenty - two men of foot ordered by the sieur of Lascorbes, that was replaced the month following by the captain Delpeuch. In the High-Auvergne, successive reverse weaken extremely Religionnaires. The fall of a fortified castle near Saint-Flour, had excited them, but the day of Quinsac (Puy-Quinsac, commune of Saint-Julien-aux-Bois) in 1575, made them in the impossibility to hold the countryside more long. A large of horsemen, leaded by Robert of Lignerac, met with companies of the viscount of Lavedan: the affair was hot; Catholics took it and Lignerac made captive Lavedan.

The Religionnaires hold Argentat. They entrenched there one’s best, and the small unfortunately city had been unceasing attacked by the resided neighbor gentlemen faithful to the ancient faith. François of Grenier, husband of Marguerite of Pleaux, valiant and bold catholic, had allied with the knight of Montal, man not less courageous, to make to the huguenots a war of skirmishes. "These two horsemen thus unite undertook all. Argentat, Beaulieu, Saint-Céré carry again marks of their boldness and it is not one of the old peoples of this quarter that, in its accounts, puts these two gentlemen as these only the huguenots have the most apprehended as well as reason ."

The High-Auvergne was again strongly threatened in 1590, by Protestants. A garrison was placed in Mauriac, and an other of four - twenty men in a neighbor tower of the castle of Poulz, near Pleaux, castle that was occupied, in 1590 by the huguenots.

The treaty, signed in Salers the 5th September 1590, between Missilhac, governor of High-Auvergne and Drugeac and Lignerac, put an end at wars of religion in the provost duty of Mauriac. To replace destroyed castles one built the fort of Pleaux near the church with an external belt, one no longer sees trace this wall whose dungeon was the tower raised on the sacristy of Saint-Sauveur, tower demolished in 1789.

Marguerite of Valois
From Marguerite still the echo heave sighs
Carlat in its old walls to the amiable princess
Instead of a prison offers a fortress
Where soon governed the insidious love.

   April 1585, to the head of a large troop that had raised the bailiff of mountains of Auvergne, Robert of Lignerac, its new lover, Marguerite of Valois succeeds to seize Agen and walked on Tonneins and Villeneuve that it wanted to surprise. Henri of Navarre forced to send troops against her. Marguerite was defeated and took refuge in Agen.

Humiliations, scandals, extortions of the countess of Duras, her maid of honor, forced her to leave abruptly this place of retirement. 25th September 1585, she riding pillion behind Lignerac, accompanied by its court that ran in disorder, surrounded of 80 gentlemen and 400 lancers. She made 24 leagues in two days, arrived finally on the frontier of Auvergne where the captain Marcé, brother of the bailiff of mountains, waited, with hundred gentlemen, to drive her to the castle of Carlat that he ordered.

Knowing the escape of Marguerite, Henri 3 sent to Marcé instructions in order that he assured Marguerite and retained her prisoner. Approaching this castle of Carlat, wrote Aubigné in his Universal History, "the captain of the place told to the princess that she was the well come. To what he had the reply that he deserved. And then seeing a grilled window on a precipice rock of thirty fathoms, the captain apologized on the commandment that he had from the King. She refused to believe him, tell that his brother and his husband would make him rather open this passage". By fair means, the Queen of Navarre was well captive in the castle of Carlat.

She had all just thirty-three years. She was still beautiful, and, despite her rich stoutness had to appear as womanly as desirable as a queen to her suite. Among her suitor, it was found some, Lignerac, the bailiff of mountains, that thought he had privilege to her favor for been saved her of the pursuit of Matignon and helped of his deniers. Whats lack of psychology. Marguerite enjoyed to give to that it did not owe anything, but it disgusted it to refund its debts, especially in currency of heart. She took, seems - it, sympathy for the son of his apothecary, a young man that had given her cares during her sickness. The soldier, rejected, is so affected to fury of this preference. Mendoza, the ambassador of Spain, has not invented the tragic news that 19th July 1586 it brings to Philippe II. "I hear to tell that the mother Queen lamented recently with Sylvio (?) that M of Lenerac (Lignerac) had killed stab dagger in the bedroom of the princess of Béarn the son of an apothecary, so close to his bed that she was stained of blood, and that one told that it was by jealousy, what is worse.

Lignerac did not expect that one excluded him of the succession of Marzé. It was to him, in default of the King and Randan, and not to Marguerite, to dispose of Carlat. He had a grudge against this ungrateful, that, forgetful of rendered services and advances of money, conspired to dispossess him the government of his brother. Lignerac entered in the fortress, and having showed there the strongest, without combat to what it seems, it spoke authoritatively. Lignerac, write Henri of Noailles, told to Marion, "that it was necessary that the uncle of Isabeau (as he calls Aubiac, its cousin by alliance) jumped over the rock ." If one remembers that the fortress stand up vertically to forty meters of high, one will believe easily that this news was rough to Marguerite.

She thought only to save the lover that she saw already dead and, "by prayers and otherwise," do not insist on this otherwise, she obtained his pardon. But it was provided that she left at once. "She rather leave and change place than staying there without him".

Lignerac, so pitiful that he had appeared, did not forget to divest the fugitive. To pay 10000 or 18000 pounds that he had advanced her, he seizes her deniers, and, as extra, her jewels. After this brutal regulation of account, the gallant knight, accompanied by his brother, Cambon, and some gentlemen, escorted, one does not know where, but not very far, a small troop that went away in confusion.


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Pleaux - High-Auvergne © 1996, 1997 by Vincent Di Sanzo