Archon, Aisne

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Fortified church of Archon, the gatehouse south facade
Fortified church of Archon, the gatehouse south facade
Archon is located in France
Location within Hauts-de-France region
Archon is located in Hauts-de-France
Coordinates: 49°44′32″N 4°07′09″E / 49.7422°N 4.1192°E / 49.7422; 4.1192Coordinates: 49°44′32″N 4°07′09″E / 49.7422°N 4.1192°E / 49.7422; 4.1192
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Department Aisne
Arrondissement Vervins
Canton Vervins
Intercommunality Portes de la Thiérache
 • Mayor (2008–2020) Jean-Luc Villain
Area1 6.37 km2 (2.46 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 87
 • Density 14/km2 (35/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 02021 /02360
Elevation 146–225 m (479–738 ft)
(avg. 180 m or 590 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Archon is a commune in the department of Aisne in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Archonais or Archonaises[1]


Archon is located some 60 km east by south east of Saint-Quentin and 40 km west of Charleville-Mézières. It can be accessed by road D744 from Cuiry-les-Iviers in the north which passes through the heart of the commune and the village then continues south to Rozoy-sur-Serre. The D520 road starts from the village and continues east to Parfondeval. The commune consists entirely of farmland and there are no other villages or hamlets.[2]

A stream rises in the commune and flows south joining other tributaries and feeding the Serre river.[2]

Neighbouring communes and villages[2][edit]


In Greek Archon (ἄρχων, pl. Ἄρχοντες) means chief or lord.

The Archon fortified church and its two towers

Archon was known as Archium in 1124. It has been found in Mousterian flint carvings and Roman pottery. In the 13th century, the lordship was given to the Abbey Saint-Remi of Reims and Saint Vincent of Laon and to the Rozoy Chapter.

The village has beautiful old houses and barns built of Wattle and daub. Archon has a restored private castle – the Ogny Castle – built in the 16th/17th centuries. It is a square building flanked by two towers at opposite corners, a square gate, and two square towers. Former mill at Ogny is now a farm. The church of Saint Martin is fortified. The front is protected by two round towers on each side of the door and connected by a bridge with loopholes and a gatehouse.

Archon was the homeland for:

  • Jean d'Ongnies, the Abbot of La Valroy in 1394
  • Pierre Antoine Menu (1769-1844) who was born in Archon on 2 November 1769: Knight of the Legion of Honour
  • Marcel Cury (1891-1984) local historian, author of the Glossary of Archon, Rozoy-sur-Serre and Parfondeval

The two oldest civil status acts of Archon show baptisms in the church of St. Martin in late October 1660. The first was a girl, Jeanne Lengrene, the second child of Jacques Cury, brother of Simon Cury and Claude Mennesson. There were baptisms from 1660 to 1668.

Starting from 1668 there were marriages. The first is cited on 3 July 1668 – the marriage of Michel Dugard and Marguerite Lengrene, widower and widow, witnessed by Jean Lengrene and Claude Chollet, labourers, and Louis de Labarre.

The last burial was in January 1669. Antoinette Bouche was buried on 23 January but the precise date of death and age are not known. The witnesses were her children Jacques and François Jumelet which signifies that Antoinette was an adult and the wife of a Jumelet.

Death certificates and marriage are sometimes more informative and go back to the beginning of the 17th century and the late 16th century. Thus on 20 February 1670 Jean Robinet aged about 85 years was buried who must have been born around 1585 in the reign of Henry III.

The study of these documents helps to better trace the history of the population of Archon over 400 years and to better understand the economic and demographic changes in the village. This study is ongoing and relies on the analysis of the following data:

a) The evolution of births, marriages and deaths from 1660 to 2010 (there was a very strong population growth in the First Empire then a very sharp drop from 1850 to 1900)

b) The appearance and disappearance of surnames: Grimpret, Cury, Menu, Marchand, Lefevre were present since at least the middle of the 17th century and Vilain since the beginning of the 18th century until today. Lengrene, Mennesson, Foulon, Taute and others have not been seen in Archon for a long time.

c) Appearances and disappearances of activities (e.g. weaver, farmer, blacksmith, schoolmaster, baker)

Marital status

Registers of deeds, 1660-1699, 1700-1749, 1750-1769, 1770-1789, 1790-1800, 1801–1819 (1808 is missing) 1820-1835, 1836–1842 (reconstituted), 1843-1862, 1863–1892 (missing 1873-1882), a gap from 1893 to 1918 (except 1913, which is reconstituted), 1919-1956, 1957-1976. Tables: 1802-1952

Acts found in late 2010: 1789–1791 acts, 1793 births, Year II, Year III Deaths, Births in Year V, Year VIII Deaths, Year X Births, 2 births in 1807, 1808, 2 deaths in 1819, year 1835.

Population, social economics, Census statistics: Year IV (men over 12 years) from 1836 to 1906, 1926, 1931, 1936, 1954, 1962.


List of Successive Mayors of Archon[3]

Mayors from the French Revolution to 1941
From To Name Party Position
1790 1792 Gilles Bailliet
1792 1800 Nicolas Leroy
1800 1814 Jean Louis Mathieu
1814 1816 Jacques Bailliet
1816 1821 Louis Duguet
1821 1826 Pierre Quaniaux
1826 1835 Robert Fleury
1835 1839 Pierre Antoine Leroy
1839 1840 Alexandre Marchand Interim Mayor
1840 1848 Antoine Quaniaux
1848 1871 Jean-Louis Napoléon Hennequin
1871 1881 Jules Jean-Louis Quaniaux
1881 1895 Eugène Carlier
1895 1900 Bailliet
1900 1906 Eugène Gosset
1906 1915 Philidor Villain
1915 1921 Marchand
1921 1930 Eugène Catrin
1930 1931 Jules Férez
1931 1941 Paul Vasseur
Mayors from 1941
From To Name Party Position
1941 1944 Roger Fleury Named President of the Special Delegation
1944 1946 Paul Vasseur Elected President of the municipal delegation
1946 1953 Roger Fleury
1953 1965 Michel Dufourg
1965 1983 Roger Fleury
1983 1989 Michel Dufourg
1989 2008 Alain Dufourg DVD
2008 2020 Jean-Luc Villain MD

(Not all data is known)


In 2010 the commune had 87 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the town since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]

Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
329 370 384 398 388 388 389 376 362
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
323 298 278 258 234 231 221 205 228
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
230 222 224 175 187 178 162 157 143
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
154 146 128 118 87 83 92 87 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Population of Archon

Sites and monuments[edit]

The Church of Saint Martin in 1991
  • The Church of Saint Martin (16th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg is registered as an historical monument.[4] It has lost two of the four towers which were originally there. The remaining towers frame the west portal. On the street is the north side which has a massive buttress and is defended by a gatehouse of brick which has a counterpart on the south side overlooking the cemetery. The church has a number of items that are rtegistered as historical objects:
    • A Statue: Saint Martin (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[5]
    • A Statue: Virgin and child (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[6]
    • A set of 2 Sanctuary Lamps (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[7]
    • A Baptismal font (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[8]
    • The complete main Altar (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[9]
    • A set of 2 Processional Banners (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[10]
    • A Sacristy Cross: Christ on the Cross (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[11]
    • An Altar Painting: Calvary, Christ on the Cross (19th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[12]
    • A Statue: Saint Martin (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[13]
    • A Statuette: Virgin and child (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[14]
  • The Sundial from 1820 has a quote from the teacher Prévost: "The glory of the world passes like a shadow"[15]
The 1820 Sundial of Archon

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

  • Pierre Antoine Menu (1769-1844) Soldier of the Year II at 24 years old. After serving 22 years in Europe, he retired to Beaumé in Thiérache, Captain of infantry and Knight of the Legion of Honour.[16] He was born in the village of Archon on 2 November 1769 into a family of weavers. From 22 April 1793 to 1 September 1815, Pierre Antoine spent his entire military career in the 84th infantry regiment of the line. Wounded by a gunshot in the right nipple on 26 July 1812 at Koukoviaczi near Vitebsk in the Battle of Ostrovno, he left the army at the fall of the Empire. He died at Beaumé on 15 January 1844. His burial stone still exists.[17]
  • Marcel Cury (1891-1984), farmer and historian, author with Dr. Georges Railliet of the Glossary of Archon, Rozoy-sur-Serre and Parfondeval and numerous articles including Language of Picardy.[18]

See also[edit]


  • The fortified churches of Thiérache, Discovery Guide / Sites of Memory, walks and tours – Coll. Country Side Story Guide – p. 27, ed. Chamina, 2006, size 14 x 21 cm, 48 pages, (selling price 2007: 6 euros), ISBN 2-84466-110-6 (in French)
  • Glossary of Archon, Rozoy-sur-Serre and Parfondeval, Marcel Cury and Georges Railliet, Museum of Picardy, Amiens, 1965. With a folding map of the region. Collection of the Linguistics Society Picardy III. Published with The permission of CNRS. Paperback, 107 pages uncut, size 16.5 x 25 cm.
  • The Canton of Rozoy-sur-Serre: history, geography, biography, statistics, Isidore Philoximène Mien-Peon, typography and lithography Mourreau Jules, Saint-Quentin 1865

External links[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 [1] Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine., the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" which allow, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For municipalities with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these municipalities is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Aisne (in French)
  2. ^ a b c Google Maps
  3. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  4. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00115503 Church of Saint Martin (in French)
  5. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM02001517 Statue: Saint Martin (in French)
  6. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM02001516 Statue: Virgin and child (in French)
  7. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM02002512 Set of 2 Sanctuary Lamps (in French)
  8. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM02002511 Baptismal font (in French)
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM02002510 Main Altar (in French)
  10. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM02002509 Set of 2 Processional Banners (in French)
  11. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM02002508 Sacristy Cross: Christ on the Cross (in French)
  12. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM02002507 Altar Painting: Calvary, Christ on the Cross (in French)
  13. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM02002506 Statue: Saint Martin (in French)
  14. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM02002505 Statue: Virgin and child (in French)
  15. ^ "La gloire du monde passe comme l'ombre"
  16. ^ Legion of Honour ref LH/1828/37 (National Archives) (in French)
  17. ^ Registered in the Inventory of Cultural Heritage of Picardy and the General Inventory of Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture (in French)
  18. ^ Three-yearly review of the Linguistic Society of Picardy, Museum of Picardy, Amiens