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Épernon (Municipality, Eure-et-Loir, France)

Last modified: 2024-01-06 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: nogent-le-roi |
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Flag of Nogent-le-Roi - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 February 2022

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Presentation of Nogent-le-Roi

Nogent-le-Roi (3,990 inhabitants in 2015, 1,301 ha), is is a commune in the department of Eure-et-Loir, near Maintenon and Épernon.

In the 1st century, in the heart of the country of the gallic tribe of the Carnutes, a Gallo-Roman city bore the name of Noviomagus. It was a market, a city of fairs.
In the course of the 10th century, the city came under the suzerainty of the counts of Chartres, and therefore of the counts of Blois-Champagne. Hugues of Blois, an elder brother of Eudes I of Blois, took over the abbacy of Coulombs and therefore the avorie of the estate located in Nogent. In 986, his probable children inherited his duties: Hugues of Beauvais inherited the lordship of Nogent and his younger brother Roger I, future bishop of Beauvais, the abbey lordship of Coulombs. In 1008, Hugues of Beauvais was assassinated; his nephew by marriage Isembart or Erambert inherited the title of Nogent. He is the son of a first marriage of Renart de Broyes, the husband of the sister of Hugues, Héloïse of Pithiviers. He represented with his mother-in-law the interests of the House of Blois. Hugues Bardoul, eldest son of Isembart, then inherited Nogent. He was also Lord of Pithiviers, Broyes and Beaufort in Champagne. The daughter of Hugues Bardoul, Isabelle of Broyes, married Simon I of Montfort. Their son Amaury II of Montfort-l'Amaury (1056-1089) took the town and the castle in 1080. On his death, his sister Isabeau de Montfort transmitted Nogent to the house of Tosny by his marriage with Raoul II or III the Elder. Around 1203, King Philippe Auguste seized all the Norman property of the Tosny family because of their loyalty to the King of England John (Lackland).

In 1218, Philippe Auguste received the city directly as a gift from Isabelle/Elisabeth de Blois, Countess of Chartres, daughter of Thibaud V of Blois and suzerain of Nogent: Nogent-le-Roi then took its current name and belonged to the Crown. Saint Louis stayed there regularly and even began a barefoot pilgrimage to Chartres there, according to the memoirs of Joinville. In 1286, the county of Chartres was acquired by Philippe IV le Bel, who gave it to his brother Charles de Valois in 1290, and the lordship of Nogent was entrusted to the younger siblings of the royal family, the counts of Évreux, then kings of Navarre. After the betrayal of Charles the Bad, son of Philippe of Evreux, Nogent-le-Roi and Anet returned to the Crown of France in 1363, that is to say to the Valois kings. In 1421, the city was taken by the English, commanded by Henry V of England. The city was taken over by the French commanded by Giraud de la Pallière for the Dauphin Charles VII in 1427. In 1428, the city was taken by the English commanded by the Count of Salisbury.
Charles VII gave Nogent to his counselor-chamberlain Pierre de Brézé in December 1444. Pierre de Brézé, the king's man of confidence, had the castle rebuilt.
In 1477, Jacques de Brézé killed his wife Charlotte of France, natural daughter of Charles VII and Agnès Sorel, surprised in gallant company. To punish him, Louis XI withdrew the barony of Nogent-le-Roi, which went to his son Louis de Brézé, nephew of King Louis, grandson of Charles VII and future husband of Diane de Poitiers.
In 1489, obligation was made by the city of Chartres to the inhabitants of Nogent-le-Roi to maintain the riverbed of the Eure river; the lord of Nogent-le-Roi and the inhabitants opposed it and broke the locks . They were condemned by the King and the Parliament. The king of France Henri II, in 1548 tried to make the Eure navigable again from Chartres to Nogent-le-Roi
In 1538 Françoise de Brézé, daughter of Louis de Brézé and Diane de Poitiers married Marshal Robert IV, Lord of La Marck, Duke of Bouillon and Count of Braine, who therefore inherited Nogent-le-Roi. The sons and grandsons of Françoise de Brézé and Robert IV of La Marck-Bouillon, the dukes Henri-Robert († 1574), Guillaume-Robert († 1588) and his sister Charlotte († 1594) will also have Nogent, then Charles-Robert count of Maulévrier and Braine, younger brother of Henri -Robert († November 1622), and finally his own younger son Louis de La Marck, Marquis de Mauny († 1626), brother of Henri-Robert II Duke of Bouillon and Count of Braine († 1652), and Alexandre de La Marck (abbot of Igny and Braine; † 1625).
On December 20, 1562, after the battle of Dreux which opposed Catholics and Protestants and where the Prince of Condé was defeated by the Duke of Guise, the English ambassador Trochkmorton and François Péruchel, lieutenant of the Prince of Condé, were arrested in Nogent-le-Roi by the Duke of Guise in the castle which then belonged to Françoise de Brézé, the Duchess of Bouillon.
In 1589, while Nogent-le-Roi was a stronghold of Henry III's troops, the population, exasperated by the vexations that his troops exerted on them, besieged the castle. The besiegers were commanded by a canon of Chartres. The troops surrendered, and their lives were saved, but the commander of the castle fled, was caught up and killed. Shortly after, on November 27, 1590, the castle was recaptured and the town sacked by royal troops who hanged the captain guarding the castle.

Nogent was sold in 1628 to Nicolas Bautru († 1661, Captain of the Gate Guards, and favorite of the Cardinal de Richelieu) and erected in County for him in 1636.
In 1736, the town took the name of Saint-Sulpice de Nogent-le-Roy (from the name of the parish church).Around 1746, Emilie de Bautru and her husband Louis de Melun sell the county of Nogent to the Marshal-Duke of Noailles.
During the French Revolution, the town took the name of Nogent-le-Roulebois, from the name of the second river that crosses it.

Between 1821 and 1822, what remains of the old castle was demolished by the contractor Théodore Noël. The mayor of Nogent-le-Roi from 1861 to 1894, Eugène Mesquite, who was also a collaborator of Baron Haussmann, built the Dreux-Maintenon railway line (commissioned in 1887) and built the hospital, the nursery school, the town hall and from 1860 on the ruins of the old fortified castle, a new castle in the Louis XIII style.

Olivier Touzeau, 27 February 2022

Flag of Nogent-le-Roi

The flag of Épernon is light blue with the coat of arms (photo, 2013; photo, 2017).
The arms of Nogent-le-Roi are blazoned: Azure a chevron Argent, between two roses in chief et a wolf's head eradicated in base of the same.

Olivier Touzeau, 27 February 2022