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TOURAINE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 103 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TOURAINE, an old province in France, which stretched along both banks of the Loire in the neighbourhood of Tours, the river dividing it into Upper and Lower Touraine. It was bounded on the N. by Orleanais, W. by Anjou and Maine, S. by Poitou and E. by Berry, and it corresponded approximately to the modern department of Indre et Loire. Touraine took its name from the Turones, the tribe by which it was inhabited at the time of Caesar's conquest of Gaul. They were unwarlike, and offered practically no resistance to the invader, though they joined in the revolt of Vercingetorix in A.D. 52. The capital city, Caesarodunum, which was built on the site of the eastern part of the present city of Tours, was made by Valentinian the metropolis of the 3rd Lyonnaise, which included roughly the later provinces of Touraine, Brittany, Maine and Anjou. Christianity seems to have been introduced into Touraine not much earlier than the beginning of the 4th century, although tradition assigns St Gatien, the first bishop of Tours, to the 3rd. The most famous of its apostles was St Martin (ft. 375-400), who founded the abbey of Marmoutier, near Tours, and whose tomb in the city became a celebrated shrine. Tours was besieged by the Visigoths in 428, and though it offered a successful resistance on this occasion it was included fifty years later in the territory of the Visigoths. The Tourangeans refused to adopt the Arian heresy of their conquerors, and this difference in religion materially assisted in 507 the conquest of the province by Clovis, whose orthodoxy was guaranteed by the miraculous intervention of St Martin. St Clotilda, wife of Clovis, spent the last years of her life in retreat at Tours. The possession of Touraine was constantly the subject of dispute between the Merovingian princes, and the province enjoyed no settled peace until the reign of Charlemagne. He established Alcuin as abbot of St Martin of Tours, and under his auspices the school of Tours became one of the chief seats of learning in 2 The fact of this colouring matter being soluble in water was incidentally mentioned at a meeting of the Zoological Society of London by W. B. Tegetmeier, and brought to the notice of Professor A. H. Church, who, after experiment, published in 1868 (Student and Intellectual Observer, i. 161-168) an account of it as " Turacin, a new animal pigment containing copper." Further information on the subject was given by Monteiro (Chem. News, xxviii. 201; Quart. Journ. Science, 2nd series, vol. iv. p. 132). The property is possessed by the crimson feathers of all the birds of the family. the middle ages. In the 9th century Tours also became the ecclesiastical metropolis of Brittany, Maine and Anjou, and when the empire was divided by Louis the Pious into various districts or missatica, Tours was the centre of one of these, the boundaries of which corresponded roughly with those of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the city. Touraine suffered from the invasions of the Northmen, who massacred the monks of Marmoutier in 853, but never pillaged Tours. The administration of Touraine was entrusted, from Merovingian times onward, to counts appointed by the crown. The office became hereditary in 940 or 941 with Thibault the Old or the " Tricheur." His son Odo I. was attacked by Fulk the Black, count of Anjou, and despoiled of part of his territory. His grandson Thibault III., who refused homage to Henry I., king of France, in 1044, was entirely dispossessed by Geoffrey of Anjou, called the Hammer (d. 1o6o). The 7th count, Fulk (d. 1109), ruled both Anjou and Touraine, and the county of Touraine remained under the domination of the counts of Anjou (q.v.) until Henry II. of England deprived his brother Geoffrey of Touraine by force of arms. Henry II. carried out many improvements, but peace was destroyed by the revolt of his sons. Richard Coeur de Lion, in league with Philip Augustus, had seized Touraine, and after his death Arthur of Brittany was recognized as count. In 1204 it was united to the French crown, and its cession was formally acknowledged by King John at Chinon in 1214. Philip appointed Guillaume des Roches hereditary seneschal in 1204, but the dignity was ceded to the crown in 1312. Touraine was granted from time to time to princes of the blood as an appanage of the crown of France. In 1328 it was held by Jeanne of Burgundy, queen of France; by Philip, duke of Orleans, in 1344; and in 1360 it was made a peerage duchy on behalf of Philip the Bold, afterwards duke of Burgundy. It was the scene of dispute between Charles, afterwards Charles VII., and his mother, Isabel of Bavaria, who was helped by the Burgundians. After his expulsion from Paris by the English Charles spent much of his time in the chateaux of Touraine, although his seat of government was at Bourges. He bestowed the duchy successively on his wife Mary of Anjou, on Archibald Douglas and on Louis III. of Anjou. It was the dower of Mary Stuart as the widow of Francis II. The last duke of Touraine was Francis, duke of Alengon, who died in 1584. Plessis-les-Tours had been the favourite residence of Louis XI., who granted many privileges to the town of Tours, and increased its prosperity by the establishment of the silk-weaving industry. The reformed religion numbered many adherents in Touraine, who suffered in the massacres following on the conspiracy of Amboise; and, though in 1562 the army of Conde pillaged the city of Tours, the marshal of St Andre reconquered Touraine for the Catholic party. Many Huguenots emigrated after the massacre of St Bartholomew, and after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes the silk industry, which had been mainly in the hands of the Huguenots, was almost destroyed. This migration was one of the prime causes of the extreme poverty of the province in the next century. At the Revolution the nobles of Touraine made a declaration expressing their sympathy with the ideas of liberty and fraternity. Among the many famous men who were born within its boundaries are Jean le Meingre Boucicaut, marshal of France, Beroalde de Verville, author of the Moyen de parvenir, Rabelais, Cardinal Richelieu, C. J. Avisseau, the potter (1796-1861), the novelist Balzac and the poet Alfred de Vigny. See the quarterly publication of the Memoires of the Societe archeologique de Touraine (1842, &c.) which include a Dictionnaire geographique, historique et biographique (6 vols., 1878-1884), by J. X. Carre de Busserolle. There are histories of Touraine and its monuments by Chalmel (4 vols. Paris, 1828), by S. Bellanger (Paris, 1845), by Bourrasse (1858). See also Dupin de Saint Andre, Hist. du protestantisme en Touraine (Paris, 1885) ; T. A. Cook, Old Touraine (2 vols. London, 1892).
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