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Montaigu-Vendée (Municipality, Vendée, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-09 by ivan sache
Keywords: montaigu-vendée | montaigu | boufféré | la guyonniè |
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Flag of Montaigu-Vendée - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2021

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Presentation of Montaigu-Vendée

The municipality of Montaigu-Vendée (20,229 inhabitants in 2018; 11,792 ha) was established on 1 January 2019 as the merger of the former municipalities of Montaigu (5,211 inh.), Boufféré (3,335 inh. in 2016), La Guyonnière (2,736 inh.), Saint-Georges-de-Montaigu (4,269 inh.), and Saint-Hilaire-de-Loulay (4,533 inh.).

Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2021

Flag of Montaigu-Vendée

The flag of Montaigu-Vendée (photo, photo) is white with the municipal logo.

Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2021

Former municipalities



Flag of Montaigu - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2021

Montaigu was established in the aftermath of the looting of the neighboring town of Durivum (located on the site of present-day Saint-Georges-de-Montaigu) by the Vikings who came via river Maine at the end of the 9th century; the inhabitants found refuge a little further north at the confluence of rivers Maine and Asson, on a fortifiable rock.
The lineage of the lords of Montaigu, among whom Maurice II, documented at the end of the 12th century in the charters of foundation of a chaplaincy in the southern suburb, on the Way of St. James. Maurice II sided with Henry II PlantagenĂȘt, King of England, and Duke of Aquitaine by his marriage to Eleanor, when their son Richard entered into rebellion.

At the beginning of the 13th century Montaigu, like Poitou, was incorporated to the Kingdom of France. During the Hundred Years War, after the cession of Poitou to England by the Treaty of Brétigny in 1360, an English garrison settled in Montaigu, until expelled in 1373 by the Constable of Clisson and Bertrand du Guesclin.
A lord of Montaigu, Jean III Harpedane, husband of Marguerite de Valois, who was alongside Joan of Arc during the deliverance of Orleans in 1429, founded in the town in 1438 a collegiate church dedicated to St. Maurice. In his struggle with Duke of Brittany Francis II, Louis XI visited Montaigu 1468; he encouraged the fortification of the place, which he acquired temporarily in 1473 to reinforce the walls.

In 1517, the newly created Barony of Montaigu was owned by the La Trémoille family. Following Calvin's stay in Poitiers, the Protestant reform spread in Poitou and reached Montaigu. During the Wars of Religion, the town passed several times from the hands of the Catholics to those of the Protestants, notably during the siege of 1580 reported by Agrippa d'Aubigné, or the intervention of Henri de Navarre in 1588. Following these violent clashes, the fortifications of the castle were dismantled.
Protestant worship continued in Montaigu throughout the 17th century, the new baron, Gabriel de Machecoul, himself being a Huguenot, and only ended with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. In 1696, Montaigu was erected into a Marquisate, and the bearer of the title converted to Catholicism around the same time.
By the middle of the 18th century, Montaigu had 1,500 inhabitants. From 1772, the city played the role of official capital of the common marches of Brittany and Poitou, although not part of it. The last lord of Montaigu, Jacques Gabriel Louis Le Clerc de Juigné, Lieutenant General of the king's armies and former ambassador of France in Russia, was elected by the marches as representative of the nobility, and then deputy to the States General of 1789.

At the start of the French Revolution, Montaigu was among the first places in Lower-Poitou to congratulate the National Assembly for the Decrees issued on the night of August 4, which abolished feudalism. The adoption of the civil constitution of the clergy in 1791 and, especially, the mass levy declared in February 1793, caused the onset of the the Vendée insurrectionat the beginning of March 1793. On 13 March, a troop of inhabitants of the surrounding villages took the town and executed many Republicans.
During the War in the Vendée, Montaigu's division was commanded by General Pierre Rezeau, one of Charette's lieutenants. The town was recaptured on 16 September by the Republicans who pillaged it after killing hundreds of Vendeans, then reconquered on the 21 September by the Vendeans, who also perpetrated looting and massacres. The town was definitively taken over on the 30 September by Kléber. Charette continued the fight, especially around Montaigu, until March 1796, when he was captured near the Chabotterie wood and brought, via Montaigu, to Nantes to be executed. In October 1799, Suzannet, Charette's successor of Charette, tried with Henri-Charles de La Roche Saint-André, to seize Montaigu, to no avail, which put an end to military actions in the region.
Montaigu was a district capital from 1790 to 1795, then a district and finally a sous-préfecture of the Vendée from 1800 to 1810. In 1810 , the unification of the districts of Montaigu and of Napoléon (La Roche-sur-Yon) led to the disappearance of the court and reduced the town to a simple administrative center of the canton.

The flag of Montaigu (photo) was white with the municipal logo, which includes the red griffin featured on the municipal coat of arms, "Vair, a griffin gules". This were the arms of the Belleville family, the first lords of Montaigu until 1517.

Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2021



Flag of Boufféré - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2021

The flag of Boufféré (photo) was white with the municipal logo.

Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2021

La Guyonnière


Flag of La Guyonnière - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2021

La Guyonnière, allegedly established in the 14th century, was most probably named for a Guyon family.
The last lord of La Guyonnière was Vice Admiral Louis Charles du Chaffault (1708-1794), who served for nearly 70 years in the Royal Navy. He fought the English Navy in 1756 in Martinique, capturing HMS Warwick, and in 1778 in Ushant. Appointed commander of the French-Spanish fleet, du Chaffault retired short before the French Revolution. Opposed to the Revolution, he hid several priests and chiefs of the Vendean Army. In 1793, he led the Royalist insurgents in Montaigu; captured by the Republicans, he died in jail in Nantes.

The flag of La Guyonnière (photo, photo) was white with the municipal logo.
The open "G" framed in a blue square represents the opening-up of the municipality, as well as stability and continuous development.
The lion symbolizes modernity and dynamism, as well as traditions. The blue and gray reflections represent Lake Chausselière (34 ha).
[Municipal website]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 9 July 2021