The preceptory of Catillon

Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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France, département de l'Aisne

France, department of Aisne, around 30 km north of Laon, 30km south-east of Saint-Quentin, commune of Nouvion-et-Catillon.

>Gable of the Chapel of Saint Mary Magdalena
Gable of the Chapel of Saint Mary Magdalena
Source :

The templar house of Catillon appears for the first time in acts in 1204, when Wibert, abbot of Saint-Martin de Laon(1) gave to the Templars of Catillon all the properties, lands, meadows, pastures, censives, etc., which the abbey owned at Richecourt(2) in exchange of an annual rent of 17 "jalois"(3) of wheat per year. This charter tells us that at that time the Templars were already settled at Catillon.

Around 1232, a charter of the Abbey of Saint-Martin de Laon mentioned the settlement of a conflict between the Templars of Catillon and the Premonstratensians of Saint-Martin about the use of a fishpond installed on a brook in Remies(4). This affair will be settled only by the intervention of Enguerrand III of Coucy(5) and Robert of Lille, master of the Templar Order in France.

About the creation of this house of Catillon, it is possible that it dates from the first half of the 12th century, because an undated charter of Barthélémy de Jur(6), bishop of Laon between 1113 and 1151, already mentioned donations made to the Order in the villages of Richecourt and Mesbrecourt(7) by Hescot de Vendeuil and Guy "Cattus". Other documents dated 1246 and 1265 mention other gifts made to the Order on the territory of Mesbrecourt, by a Gobert, said "Li Pez de Chevresis" and by a sieur Evrard le Riche.

Notes :

(1)Abbey of the Order of Premonstratensians (or Norbertins) founded in 1124 by the Bishop of Laon, Bartholomew of Jur, and (Saint) Norbert of Xanten. This is one of the first "daughters" of the Abbey of Premontré, located around 20 km from Laon.

(2)Small village located just next to Catillon. Now called Mesbrecourt-Richecourt.

(3)A “jalois” is an ancient measure of volume of grain, and an measure of area used almost exclusively in the region of Aisne. As volume a "jalois" is in between 52 and 65 liters depending on the city, and as area, a "jalois" is in between 30 and 61 ares.

(4)Small village located around 4km south of Catillon, on the small river "Serre".

(5)Enguerrand III de Coucy. He was the son of Raoul 1st of Coucy and Alix II of Dreux. He was born in 1182 and died in 1242. He took part in the battle of Bouvines in 1214, during which he disarmed Emperor Otto IV of Brunswick. Thereafter, he participated in the crusade against the Albigensians. On the death of King Louis VIII, he organized a conspiracy to seize the throne to the detriment of the young Louis IX, but was betrayed by Thibault IV of Champagne. He died in 1242, pierced by his own sword during a fall on horseback.

(6)Bartholomew of Jur (sometimes called of Vir, Granson or Joux) was born about 1080 and died in 1158. He was the son of Conon, Lord of Grandson, La Sarraz, Jura and Lausanne. He was bishop of Laon from 1113 to 1151, when he resigned to retire as a simple monk in the Cistercian monastery of Foigny in Thiérache.

(7)Small village located just next to Catillon. Now called Mesbrecourt-Richecourt.

More references... Bibliography
  1. "Les commanderies du Grand Prieuré de France"(lien sur - volume 1 - lien sur - volume 2)
    Eugène Mannier, 1872

More references on the Web... Internet sources
  1. "The chapel of Catillon on (in French)"
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Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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