The preceptory of Billy-sur-Ourcq

Contribution : Frédérique Roustant
Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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France, département of Aisne

France, department of Aisne, around 20 km south of Soissons.

The first mention of the existence of a Templar house at Billy-sur-Ourcq dates from 1236, when we find in the archives of Jacques de Bazoches(1), Bishop of Soissons, a document mentioning the gift made to the Order by Gaudefroy, lord of Margival(2).
This initial gift concerned all the properties that this lords possessed at Billy, lands, woods, meadows, tithes, rights of justice, his domain,... and his house, for the Order to pay him an annual pension of 10 pounds.

In 1239 the abbot of Longpont(3) yielded to Robert, commander of the house of Mont de Soissons, for the price of 30 livres of Provins, the house which the abbey owned at Billy, a house formerly owned by Gauthier, Pastor of the parish.

The inventory drawn up in 1309 at the request of the Grand Prior of France of the Order of the Hospital, shows that the house of Billy had an estate of about 80 arpents(4) and had an income of 57 pounds 4 sols.

Notes :

(1)Jacques de Bazoches, son of Nicolas de Bazoches and Agnes de Chérisy (or Quierzy). He was born around 1195 and died in 1242. He was bishop of Soissons from 1219 until his death. In 1226, following the death of Guillaume de Joinville, bishop of Reims, and as the first suffragan of the archdiocese, he crowned the young king Louis IX of France in Reims.

(2)Small village located around a dozen km northeast of Soissons.

(3)The Cistercian abbey of Notre-Dame de Longpont was founded in 1131 by Bernard de Clairvaux at the request of the bishop of Soissons, Josselin de Vierzy. Its abbey church was built between 1192 and 1227, the date of its consecration in the presence of the King of France Louis IX.

(4)Depending on the region, one arpent was more or less 50 ares.

More references on the Web... Web sources
  1. "Acte n°208811 dans Chartae Galliae, éd. Benoît-Michel Tock. Edition électronique: Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes, 2014"
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