De Rais himself was unable to ascribe an accurate tally but he did not dispute any of the testimonies against him and confessed that “he killed children and had them killed in large numbers – how many he is uncertain”. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Exceptional research! On 30 November 1420, however, Craon substantially increased his grandson's fortune by marrying him to Catherine de Thouars of Brittany, heiress of La Vendée and Poitou. Confident in their case, on 13 September, the ecclesiastical tribunal sitting in Nantes, indicted de Rais and nine of his followers for murder, sodomy, the invocations of demons, heresy and the offending of Divine Majesty. Her mother died soon after she was born. Haha, yes, hence why I didn’t think the completion of the line appropriate with this ghoul. Interesting, indeed. ( Log Out / ( Log Out / Great historical blog and well illustrated too. Perhaps de Rais initially thought that he had a reasonable chance of beating the charge of heresy as he paid the trail scant attention until forced to appear on 8 October when all 49 articles of the 15 page bill of indictment were presented to him. I am pleased you enjoyed it. One of the shrine’s statues was venerated as la Bonne Vierge de Crée-Lait and was often visited by expectant mothers until its destruction during the French Revolution; the remains of the shrine itself were extant until the late 19th century. He was arrested at his castle in Machecoul two days later and, along with four confederates, brought to Nantes where he was housed in an upper chamber of the castle; his confederates being consigned to the dungeon. For the most part, de Rais’ victims were chosen from amongst the poor urchins who begged for charity around his castles. Such grand assemblies were more suited to royal rather than baronial status but these projections of grandeur and prestige were clearly important to de Rais’ image of himself. This is a horrifying story. What an incredible story! A location that was close to the Duke’s heart and one that benefitted handsomely from the Duke making good on a vow he made in captivity in 1420 to give his weight in gold to the convent once freed. The court noted that de Rais “was never able to see the Devil or speak with him, although he did everything he could, to the point that it was not his fault if he could not see the Devil or speak with him.” Damning though such revelations were, after he and Prelati had corroborated each other’s confessions and were about to part, de Rais embraced his former sorcerer, earnestly hoping that they would, by Divine Grace, meet again in Paradise. In some historical periods people didn’t talk about this kind of “activity.” It was hushed. Agreed, it’s pretty grim. Agreed, an extraordinary life even by the standards of that extraordinary period. From his private chapel at the Château de Machecoul he founded a chapter of canons and maintained a full choir and music school that was said to be fit for a cathedral and commissioned organs that could be carried on the shoulders of six men, so that he might enjoy music whenever it pleased him; in all, an ecclesiastical entourage of more than 50 people and as many horses. ( Log Out /
By 1436, his family appealed to Charles VII to reign in the profligate baron and while the king acquiesced and ordered that no one should enter into future contract with de Rais, the edicts of the French king held no sway in Brittany. He devoted large rooms in his castles to the succession of sorcerers and charlatans that he hired from France, Germany and Italy. What’s the old saying? At first, the victims’ bodies were dumped in rooms in the towers of whichever castle they met their sad end and witnesses’ spoke of once having to hastily remove the bones of some 40 children from one castle before the new owners arrived to take possession. On 25 October, de Rais was summoned for sentencing by the ecclesiastical court; two sentences were read. Although the war against the English would continue until the end of 1453, de Rais effectively withdrew from court and campaigning not long after the death of his grandfather in 1432. Catherine de Thouars 1201 – … The Revolution also saw the destruction of de Rais’ tomb but his terrible legend lives on. I’m actually at a loss for words. They had three children: Margaret is named as Constance and Guy's daughter by historians Dom Morice, Dom Charles Taillandiers, Prudence-Guillaume de Roujoux and. In 1341, John III of Brittany died. Yes, it’s particularly strange looking at such things through modern eyes. Change ), The Breton Bluebeard and his Bride – Bonjour From Brittany. Thank you for your hard work and research. Thanks for checking my blog. Apologies, I tried not make it salacious at all. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Catherine_of_Thouars&oldid=964555532, Pages using infobox royalty with unknown parameters, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 June 2020, at 06:24. I will happily be sure to check out your blog! Catherine had a twin sister, Margaret, and their mother might have died because of a difficult delivery After her mother's death, her father married Eustachie of Chemillé, and had two sons, Peter and Thomas.
In 1420 Gilles de Rais started his killing spree, during his crimes as a serial killer he was known to torture, rape, mutilate, and murder his victims. The frightened cleric surrendered the castle to de Rais who thereupon had him clapped in irons and imprisoned in the castle’s dungeon. However, the Duke quickly captured the former and his powerful brother, Arthur de Richemont, obligingly besieged the latter thus forcing de Rais to come to terms. Often his servants would lure away a boy from his parents with the promise of employment and he even engaged two women who actively procured children for him from the neighbouring countryside. He could claim kinship with two of Brittany’s most renowned medieval knights, Bertrand du Guesclin and Olivier de Clisson. Whether he was overwhelmed by the testimonies railed against him or overcome with a genuine desire to confess and secure redemption; whatever the reason, de Rais began to talk at length of his crimes. Thank you! However, a few months later they were absolved and legally married; a union that markedly increased his already substantial landholdings, making him one of the richest men in France. When he next appeared before the court just two days later, de Rais appeared a broken man; he was contrite and resigned. I am pleased that you found it so , Another wonderful story Stay Well. His father, Guy II de Laval, Baron of Rais, was doyen of the barons of Brittany and owned extensive lands in Brittany, the Breton Marches and in France. Thank you so much!! Stay Well. With seven companies of men-at-arms maintained at his own expense, de Rais distinguished himself in the ongoing war against the English, notably recovering the castles of Lude, Rainefort and Malicorne-sur-Sarthe. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Indeed, the following year the Duke of Brittany paid 100,000 gold crowns for two of de Rais’ most important estates. H. Peter I Duke of Brittany; W. Alix de Thouars; m. 1212. Thereafter, he retired to Brittany. Thank you and you are most welcome, you’ve some great, well-illustrated posts there! I am pleased you enjoyed it. Several years after de Rais’ death, his family erected a propitiatory shrine some way from the field of execution which, over time, acquired a reputation for helping mothers produce milk for breastfeeding their children. She was the first wife of Andrew III, Baron of Vitré. Constance Penthièvre de Bretagne, Duchess regnant of Brittany, Countess regnant of Richmond, was born 12 June 1161 to Conan IV de Bretagne (c1138-1171) and Margaret of Huntingdon (1140-1201) and died 5 September 1201 of unspecified causes. Catherine was the second daughter of Constance, Duchess of Brittany, and Guy of Thouars. I am pleased you found it interesting.
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