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Bever (Municipality, Province of Flemish Brabant, Belgium)


Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: bever | bievene | axes: 6 (red) | croy-renty |
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[Flag of Bever]

Municipal flag of Bever - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 21 May 2005

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Presentation of Bever

The municipality of Bever (in French, Biévène; 2,048 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 1,977 ha) is located in the south-west corner of the province of Flemish Brabant, a region known as Pajottenland, close to the neighbouring pProvinces of East Flanders and Hainaut. The municipality of Bever is made of the big village of Bever and several hamlets, the most important of them being Burght, Bois d'Acren, Romont and Broeck.

The name of Bever is of Celtic origin; it comes either from beven, "a border", or beber, "a beaver". The name of the village appeared in 946 in a document from the abbey of Gembloux. In the Middle Ages, Bever was split between the domain of Rubempré-Renesse, transferred to the Massiet family in 1621, and the main domain of Hallut (Burght), later transfered to the Croÿ family. The two domains were suzereigns of the Count of Hainaut; they had their own échevinage (municipal administration) and a chart-law.
In the XVIth and XVIIth century, Bever was plundered several times during the Religious Wars and sufferred from starvation and epidemics. The wives of Liénard de Val and of Sébastien Cartier were burnt at the stake as witches in 1594 and 1595, respectively.
In 1963, Bever and a significant part of Bois d'Acren were transferred from Hainaut to (then united) Brabant, whereas the hamlets of Warissaet and Vert Chemin were incorporated to the municipality of Silly (Brabant). Bever is a municipality with "facilities" for the French-speakers.

The Brussels-Bever cyclist race was run from 1966 to 1973; it was mostly a Belgian affair, with only the Dutch Ronny van de Vijver winning in 1970. The race resumed in 1975 as Brussels-Bever-Brussels, and van de Vijver won once again. Rudy Pevenage was the last winner of the race in 1977.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 21 May 2005

Municipal flag of Bever

The municipal flag of Bever is green with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was imposed to the municipality by Ministerial Decree on 16 February 1993. The Decree was published in the Belgian official gazette on 22 May 1993.
Green recalls that Bever is mostly a rural municipality (even if most of its inhabitants work today in Brussels).

The municipal arms of Bever were adopted by the Municipal Council on 8 December 1913 and confirmed by Royal Decree on 2 May 1914, published in the Belgian official gazette on 24 May 1914. The original Decree was lost and a new Royal Decree was signed on 21 July 1923 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 15 September 1923.
The arms are:
Quartered one and four argent three fesses gules two and three three axes gules placed two and one.
The Gelre Armorial shows "Argent three axes [doloires] gules the two in chief accosted (Renty) a cotise or all over" for Tassart Gallois de Renty (H. Galoes v. Renty, #388, folio 48v).

Croÿ is an ancient French house, that appeared in the village of Crouy, Picardy, in the XIIth century. The old arms of Croÿ are D'argent à trois fasces de gueules.
In 1354, Guillaume de Croÿ married Ysabeau de Renty, and the quartered arms of Croÿ-Renty appeared, as:
Écartelé aux I et IV d'argent à trois fasces de gueules qui estCroÿ; aux II et III, d'argent à trois doloires de gueules les deux en chef adossées qui est Renty (Quartered I and IV argent three fasces gules (Croÿ) and II and III argent three axes gules the two in chief accosted (Renty)).
In June 1598, King Henri IV erected the Duchy of Croÿ, a privilege that was confirmed by Louis XV in 1768. Several branches developed until the middle of the XVIIIth century; in 1767, however, the only remaining of them was the Croÿ-Solre branch. The three sons of Duke Auguste de Croÿ then founded the three modern branches of Croÿ-Dülmen, Croy-Solre and Austria. The branch of Croÿ-Dülmen was made Serene Highness in 1825, as were all the other members of the family in March 1833. There are currently Croÿ branches in France, Belgium, Bohemia, Westphalia and Austria. The head of the lineage is Duke of Croÿ (b. 1914), living in Westfalia.
The Belgian branch was made Serene Highness by the King of the Belgians on 2 January 1933; a branch of the family was allowed on 27 October 1947 to take the title of Croÿ-Le Rœulx.

Source: Princess Marie-Dorothée (Mimi) de Croÿ website

The Croÿ island (700 ha), located in the Kerguelen archipelago was named in 1773 by Yves Joseph de Kerguelen de Trémarec after Duke of Croÿ, one of the sponsors of the expedition in the southern seas. It is one of the only big islands of the archipelago when no exotic plant or animal was ever introduced.

The arms of Croÿ were used by the municipality of Solre-Saint-Géry (Beaumont); they appear on the municipal flags of Bever, Londerzeel (via Malderen) and Sivry-Rance, and are the origin of the flag of Froidchapelle. They appear on the old arms of Saint-Vaast (La Louvière) and Senzeilles (Cerfontaine).
In France, the arms of Croÿ are used by the municipalities of Bermerain, Lez-Fontaines-et-Solrinnes and Hervelinghen. They appear on the arms of Avesnelles and were the former arms of Landrecies. They also appear on several monuments in Belgium, for instance on the chapel of Havré (Mons), the baptismal font of Rêves (Les Bons Villers), and a fireplace in the castle of Gerpinnes (today the town hall).

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 25 May 2007