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Roye (Municipality, Somme, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-27 by ivan sache
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Flag of Roye - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 1 July 2020

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Presentation of Roye

The municipality of Roye (6,709 inhabitants in 2018; 1,555 ha; municipal website) is located 50 km south-east of Amiens.

Roye is located in Santerre, a rich rural region, on the road used for ages by eastern and northern invaders. Accordingly, the town was looted by the Vandals, the Goths, the Franks, the Huns and the Northmen.
When part of the Kingdom of France, Roye was coveted by the feudal lords who challenged the royal power, such as the Duke of Vermandois and the Duke of Burgundy, and by the kings of England, allied to the Flemish, Spaniards and Austrians. Roye remained a border town until 1659.
Roye was completely destroyed during the First and Second World Wars, which left only a few remains from the past: the apse of the St. Peter church (15th century), the St. Giles church (late 15th century), and the St. Lawrence tower, once defending the town's walls.

Barthélemy de Roye (c. 1170-1237) was appointed Grand Chamberlain of France by King Philip I August in 1208. He assisted, and some say, saved the king at the battle of Bouvines, in 1214, which resulted in the defeat of the feudal lords. He served also Louis VIII and Regent Blanche.

The Guérinets were a sect established by Pierre Guérin (d. 1654), priest at the St. Georges church in Roye and author of Sainte œconomie de la famille de Jésus (1631-1633). His main disciples were Claude Bucquet, priest at the St. Peter church in Roye, Antoine Bucquet, manager of the Hôtel-Dieu (hospital) in Montdidier, and Madeleine de Flers, Superior of the Augustine nuns serving the hospital. Accused of being illuminati by the Capuchins of Montdidier, the guérinets were jailed upon order of Pére Joseph, Richelieu's confidant, in 1630 and 1634, and eventually released of all charges, in 1635. They were inspired by Benet Canfield Rule of Perfection and other mystics, such as St. John of the Cross.
[André Bord. Jean de la Croix en France]

Ivan Sache, 3 July 2020

Flag of Roye

The flag of Roye (photo) is white with the municipal logo, which features the municipal coat of arms, "Gules a bend argent a chief azure three fleurs-de-lis or".

The arms of Roye are those of the Roye lineage, surmounted by a chief of France, maybe to recall that several kings of France (Louis XI, Henry IV, Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVIII) stayed in the town.
The Roye family ruled the town from Évrard de Roye (1095) to the 15th century, when it winded up. Among its prominent members are Guy de Roye, Archbishop of Reims (1390-1406); Jean de Roye, Chamberlain of King Louis XI, and Éléonore de Roye (1535-1564), wife of Louis I de Bourbon-Condé and mother of eight children. A local legend claims that the bend argent recalls the road connecting Amiens to Roye, known as Brunehaut Road. This legend is probably recalled by the red road featured on the municipal logo.
The oldest known seal of the Roye family, kept in the Somme Departmental Archives, is the counter-seal of Matthieu de Roye appended to a document dated 1282.
[Jacques Dulphy]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 3 July 2020