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Saint Aubin Castle

History of the castle

In 1234, despite everything, Pierre Mauclerc must yield in front of the force (English alliance does not bring the desired military aid to him): he joined French mobility and the castle of Aubin Saint is given in pledge to the troops of Louis IX. With the majority of his son Jean (1237), Pierre gives up, as promised, any political activity and engages in forwarding of Louis IX in Egypt. Joinville speaks about it then like knight assagi and worthy of praises in all points.

The castle and the village of Aubin Saint then will benefit from a few decades of peaces which will allow a significant economic development in all the duchy.

About 1430, under the reign of the duke Jean V of Montfort, the village "is emmuraillée" and the castle is altered. The desire of peace of the duke and his political prudence does not prevent it from being kept at its borders. Brittany indeed saw a period of safety and of prosperity relating close to France to fire and blood but, in the border areas, the ceaseless incursions of lorry drivers of all edges oblige with vigilance.

Thirty years later, the situation is much less calm: under Louis XI, the dukes of Brittany take part in the last great feudal revolts. Thus, in 1465, François II adheres to the league Public property and 10 000 Breton soldiers are engaged against the French. The years pass in escarmouches which do not give really the advantage to one or the other camp.

In 1487, the open war with France becomes inevitable. Several Breton barons, in favour of fastening in France and gathered behind the marshal of Rieux, recognize the rights of Charles VIII to succeed the duke (who does not have a male heir). To perfect treason, they obtain the assistance of 6 000 soldiers balanced by the king of France. The French Army is actually strong of 15 000 men divided into three bodies and equipped with an artillery of excellent quality. This army fails in spite of very in front of Nantes (June August 1487) and the marshal of Rieux (fine captain of war) then joins himself the duke thus giving again a little hope to the Breton ones.

But on July 19, 1488, the French troops of Trémoille remove, gràce with their artillery, the castle of Ferns in spite of the resistance of its 3 000 defenders. The castle of Aubin Saint of Cormier is invested in its turn and on July 28, to some step of the village in the moors of Usel, the 15 000 French fall out of the 11 000 Breton soldiers (there are with them English archers) that Rieux gathered with haste. Engagement lasts only 4 hours but it is a true carnage: 6 000 Breton remains on the ground whereas the French deplore only 1 500 victims. The winners do not make prisoners: all the combatants who carry the black cross (distinctive sign of the Breton army inherited the crusades) are carried out.

The duke François II, overcome and morally killed, is constrained with rendering and peace is signed on August 20, 1488. The old duke will not survive humiliation: he dies in September. By way of pledge, the king of France preserves several strengthened cities of which Saint Aubin of Cormier. The troops of occupation are there always in 1490 and the castle will be dismembered before their departure. In 1491, the girl of François II, Anne of Brittany, becomes queen of France by marrying Charles VIII, the winner of Aubin Saint of Cormier.

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Text of Gérard Boulé (But it was not translated by GB)

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