House of Vergy

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Arms of the Vergys :
gules, with quintefeuilles or
Motto : "J'ai valu, vaux et vaudrai."
War cry : "Vergy" then "Vergy notre daine"[1]

The House of Vergy is one of the oldest French noble families, attested since the 9th century[1]

Château de Vergy[edit]

The rocky spur with the ruins of the château de Vergy

The reputedly impregnable château de Vergy was sited on a rocky spur near Beaune in Burgundy (present-day communes of Reulle-Vergy, L'Étang-Vergy and Curtil-Vergy). The first fort on the site dates to the Roman period. The medieval castle was razed in 1609 and only small traces remain.

Lords[edit]

7th century[edit]

The first known lord of Vergy is Guérin (Warin) de Vergy, brother of saint Leodegar. Guérin was stoned around 681 at the foot of the rocky spur at Vergy, shortly after his brother's martyrdom.[2]

First House of Vergy (9th–10th centuries)[edit]

The first house of Vergy arose in the 9th century with Warin, or Guérin, I of Vergy(760 – >819), who was count of Chalon and count of Mâcon, then count of Auvergne (818).[3]

Second House of Vergy (11th–12th centuries)[edit]

Eglise Saint-Saturnin – entirely 12th century (except the 16th century nave vaults[4]

In the 12th century Vergy was considered one of the most impregnable fortresses in the kingdom by Louis VII of France. Pope Alexander III took refuge there in 1159. It was during this era that the church of Saint-Saturnin was built, still to be seen today.

Castle (13th–17th century)[edit]

With the other Burgundian possessions, Vergy was merged into the royal domains in 1477, on the death of Charles the Bold. The castle was immediately ceded to William IV de Vergy-Autrey by Louis XI. In 1609, following the participation Charles of Lorraine (governor of Burgundy) in the Catholic League from 1589 onwards, Henri IV completely razed the castle.[2] Except for the church of Saint-Saturnin, the burg of Vergy has now entirely disappeared.

Notable members[edit]

Bishops of Autun :

  • Wallon de Vergy (895–919)
  • Hervée de Vergy (920-v.929) (or Hervaeus, Herivaeus)
  • Guy de Vergy (1224–1245) (or Guido)

Bishops of Paris :

  • Humbert de Vergy (1030–1060) (ou Imbert), lord of Vergy

Bishops of Mâcon :

  • Renaud de Vergy (1185–1197)

Archbishops of Besançon :

Turin Shroud[edit]

The Vergy family is the first historically attested owner of the Turin Shroud. It was Jeanne de Vergy who – in accordance with her husband Geoffroy de Charny's vows – put on the first showings of the relic at Lirey. The relic was twice absent in her castle at Montfort.

History of the Shroud and the Charny and Vergy families (excerpt of an electronic publication):

1353: Geoffroy 1st de Charny, a presumed descendant of the Knights of the Temple who died at the stake with Jacques de Molay, is allowed to build a church in Lirey.

1356: Death of Geoffroy 1st de Charny. His wife Jeanne de Vergy, gives the Shroud to the Canons of Lirey who keep it in their collegiate church.

1357: First public exhibition of the Shroud in Lirey collegiate church.

Pilgrimage of Lirey representing the Shroud of Turin (Croquis d'Arthur Forgeais, 1865)

A pilgrimage medal, dating from that time, shows the image of the Shroud with very precise indications in spite of its small dimensions. On this medal one can see a frontal and dorsal view of the body, the linen herring patterns, four marks of burns as well as the coats of arms of the Charny and Vergy families. This pilgrimage medal is exhibited at the Cluny museum in Paris (France).

1378: Clement VII, Jeanne de Charny's nephew, is elected Pope...

Vergy in medieval literature[edit]

  • La Chastelaine de Vergy : 13th century courtly romance, in octosyllabes, anonymous. Very popular in royal and noble courts, Marguerite de France (1492-1549) made a summary of its plot in L'Heptaméron. The story recounts the trials of the forbidden love suffered by a knight for the châtelaine of Vergy.[5]
  • G. de Montreuil, La violette (or Gérard de Nevers) : in this 13th-century chivalric romance, Gérard de Nevers defends the château de Vergy against another knight

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Vergy", in P. Guinard, Recherches sur les origines des seigneurs de Semur-en-Brionnais, Semur-en-Brionnais, 1996
  2. ^ a b L'association L'Abbaye de Saint-Vivant
  3. ^ P. Guinard, Recherches sur les origines des seigneurs de Semur-en-Brionnais, Semur-en-Brionnais, 1996 See Heratlas, with the main lines.
  4. ^ L'association L'Abbaye de Saint-Vivant
  5. ^ External article

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Duchesne, Grande Histoire de la Maison de Vergy, Paris, 1625

External links[edit]