Advances in Historical Studies
2013. Vol.2, No.3, 156-166
Published Online September 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Les Châteaux de Landiras et de Montferrand and
Their Seigneurial Families
—Part Two: Two Families—One Destiny
Donald A. Bailey
Department of History, University of Winnipeg Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Received March 25th, 2013; revised April 27th, 2013; accepted May 5th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Donald A. Bailey. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons At-
tribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
Emerging from the Hundred Years’ War, the Montferrand families acquired Renaissance associations,
experienced internal divisions during the Reformation, generated Bordeaux’s only saint, and came up to
the Revolution with the usual noble financial challenges. Deeply opposed to the Revolution, they suffered
confiscation and parcellization and barely held onto any property at all. The core estate of the Château de
Landiras finds its modern renown in its fine grave wines.
Keywords: Montferrand de Guyenne; Landiras; Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac; Bordeaux; Hundred Years’
War; French Revolution; Bertrand III; Pierre II; Lesparre; de Goth; de la Roque-Budos;
Communay; Graves Wine
The Hundred Years’ War
Mary of Bedford, illegitimate daughter of John of Lancaster,
was the last person mentioned in Part One.1 Her husband was
Pierre II de Montferrand, baron of Landiras, soudan of La Trau,
etc., and lord of La Tour de Bessan.2 Pierre’s Anglo-French
machinations (being both a vassal of the Duke of Guyenne, the
King of England, and a sub-vassal of the King of France) twice
took him from Guyenne to England and back again and were
part of the events that eventually brought the War to an end.
Montferrand-Landiras was also governor of Blaye-et-Sainte-
Luce (today, Blaye), a town on the right bank of the Garonne
crucial to the defence of Bordeaux, when French forces be-
sieged it. The French were led by the now middle-aged Jean
Dunois (ca. 1403-1468), count of Longueville, the famous
“Bastard of Orléans”, companion of Joan of Arc. A large as-
sault forced Pierre II to abandon the town and take refuge in its
château, which itself fell on 24 May 1451, only three days later.
The city of Bordeaux was to capitulate on 23 June. Dunois gave
generous terms and even let our Pierre II de Montferrand, in a
private treaty, ransom his freedom for either 10,000 écus or the
turning over of his son and nephew as hostages. He had to give
up all his possessions, three of which would be returned pro-
vided that he swore an oath of fidelity to Charles VII of France
(1422-1461) within six weeks.
Montferrand-Landiras then disappeared for about fourteen
months,3 but his English allegiance was revived in August 1452
by renewed French assaults on Guyenne. It had been Charles
VII’s moderation towards the Midi in general that had helped
undermine the region’s loyalty to the English crown, but now,
in uncontested control, Charles imposed taxes and other obliga-
tions that provoked renewed disloyalties (Cocks, 1984: 24-25).4
In reaction, Pierre de Montferrand sailed for England with
1Very few dates will be attached to individuals of either Montferrand branch
in this article, since they may all be easily found in the earlier article’s
Genealogy. Chronological context should emerge from other dates men-
2Pierre was often referred to by one of his mother’s other titles, sire de
Lesparre. Through Isabelle de Preissac, he was one of three heirs to the
château de Lesparre after the death of Amanieu de Madaillan. An inquest in
1446 found that he was “the closest descendent, by his mother” (Barein,
1876: I, 159). He “took possession” in 1452 (Féret, 1889: III, 468).
Since Pierre received compensations for the non-
ayment of his wife’s
dowry only in 1450, Henry Ribadieu doubts (1990: 194, n. 2) the marriage
was actually before 1435; yet John of Lancaster-Bedford had died in Sep-
tember 1435, so it’s unlikely that Pierre would have sought the marriage
afterwards. Among the compensations were the barony of Marennes and the
éage (toll gate) of Hastingues (a bastide—walled town—in Landes, Aqui-
taine, founded in 1289 by John Hastings, then seneschal of Gascony).
Despite his apparently low credit at the English court, Pierre was charged
to guard both Dax and Blaye, which were too far apart to defend simulta-
neously. Thus, his defence of Blaye (Ribadieu: 194). Bertrand IV de Mont-
ferrand meanwhile defended Bourg, but only half-heartedly after the fall o
Blaye (Ibid.: 212). Ribadieu always refers to Pierre and Bertrand as “broth-
ers”, but Bertrand was the son of Jean, Pierre’s half-brother. By the way,
Ribadieu spells the family name “Montferrant”, as Féret recommends (III,
3Ribadieu suspects Pierre II de Montferrand-LaTrau-Lesparre-Landiras was
ashamed of having signed with Dunois provisions that so benefitted him
personally at the expense of Guyenne (“qui liait sa fortune à la chute de sa
atrie”, “which joined his fortune to the collapse of his country”, 269).
4As heading the conspiracy, Cocks (1984) mentions “le sire de Lesparre et
Pierre de Montferrand” as if they were distinct persons and says that the
latter carried the title of “Souldich de l’Estrade” (25), which looks suspi-
ciously close to “soudan de La Trau”.
(Cocks was the first author of a work that, through at least the next seven
editions, from 1868 to 1908, he co-authored with Édouard Féret and that by
2001 had seen sixteen editions.)
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 157
one of his distant relations, Jean de Foix.5 As it happened, the
Duke of Somerset (Edmund Beaufort, 1405-1455) was then
preëminent at court, and he was looking for a way to re-es-
tablish his reputation and reinforce his influence after his disas-
trous loss of Normandy (D.N.B.: IV, 39). Montferrand’s pro-
posal gave him this opportunity, and so the council of Henry VI
(1422-1461) was persuaded to offer a sizeable force, com-
manded by the now eighty-year-old John Talbot, first count of
Shrewsbury (ca. 1373-1453), who had been unable to save Or-
léans from Jeanne d’Arc and Dunois in 1429.
After a few successful engagements, the English and their
Guyennese supporters lost the decisive battle of Castillon, near
Bordeaux, on 17 July 1453, and so, this time definitively, all
their lands in France except Calais. Talbot and his son had lost
their lives in the battle,6 but Pierre de Montferrand-Landiras
escaped to Bordeaux, which he and others attempted to secure.
The château of Lesparre was taken and in part destroyed (Ri-
badieu: 319). On 9 October, at Montferrand, the treaty render-
ing Bordeaux to the French was signed, most of the generous
provisions of 1451 retracted, and our baron and his uncle Fran-
çois de Montferrand-d’Uza-Belin were among a score of lords
exempted from the amnesty and banished from France in per-
petuity (Communay, 1889: 1; Cocks, 1984: 26).7 After return-
ing to London, however, a motley collection of émigrés organ-
ized a new enterprise against the French, with Pierre II de
Montferrand-Landiras at their head. Landing at Médoc, he was
arrested during a night-time attempt to enter what was officially
no longer “his” château of Lesparre, taken to Poitiers for trial,
and in July 1454 condemned and executed—in fact, decapitated
and quartered, with pieces of his body nailed to the city gates
(Féret: III, 468; Ribadieu: 381). The Hundred Years’ War was
finally over; Guyenne had been under English suzerainty for
just short of three centuries.
The resulting confiscations require some attention, because,
once again, the sources are not transparent. Between 1451 and
1454, this unfortunate baron of Montferrand lost two of his
properties, both previously more important than Landiras itself:
In April 1451, the seigniory of Lesparre had been transferred to
Amanieu d’Albret (1425-1463/73), elder son of Charles II
d’Albret, but without posterity himself. So Lesparre passed to a
brother’s cadet grandson, Gabriel d’Albret (“La Maison d’Al-
bret”).8 Already confiscated (when?), the château de La Trau
was razed to the ground, with the terre being given to an un-
known person.9 The senior branch of the family was threat-
ened by Charles VII’s order to destroy the château of Montfer-
rand, but nothing happened at this time.10 Langoiran had been
given to Pierre in 1446 in partial compensation for being denied
Lesparre, then taken away in 1454 because of his treason, and
transferred to the legitimatized bastard Jean d’Armagnac. Soon,
Charles VII relented and as early as 1454 (?) restored owner-
ship of their biens to the senior branch (Grasset, 1981: 97-98 &
113; Abbot, n.d.: 323 & 325)—OR was it Louis XI who in
1472 restored the properties to Bertrand IV’s son, Gaston I
(Féret: III, 468)? Charles VII’s younger son, as Charles Duke of
Guyenne, restored most of the properties of the Landiras branch,
but the courts refused to transfer Lesparre back from the
Restoration of Reputation after the War
François IV de Montferrand-Landiras, the son of Pierre II de
Montferrand-Lesparre-Landiras and Mary Bedford, had been
one of the hostages of the 1451 Blaye-et-Sainte-Luce treaty. He
was reared at the court of Prince Charles of France, the duke of
Berry, brother of soon-to-be King Louis XI (1461-1483). When
Prince Charles was named Duke of Guyenne in 1469, Montfer-
rand-Landiras was appointed his premier panetier (the person
charged with supplying the prince’s bread), while cousin and
fellow hostage, Bertrand IV, became the prince’s conseiller et
chambellain.11 Prince Charles, until his death in May 1472, was
at the centre of most of the conspiracies against his brother the
king, so any lingering resentment towards the French conquest
of Guyenne would have made the young Montferrands at home
in the prince’s rebellions. But when the prince/duke died,
François IV de Montferrand-Landiras entered the service of
Pierre de Beaujeu, a member of the Bourbon family. In 1474
Beaujeu married Anne de France, Louis XI’s daughter, who
was to be regent for her young brother, King Charles VIII
(1483-1498). Thus, his new service would have brought Mont-
ferrand-Landiras over to behaviour more supportive of the
French crown. In fact, he had already participated loyally dur-
ing Louis XI’s last wars and later marched with King Charles
into the Italian Wars. More than one baron of Landiras was to
fight in these wars, as did their Montferrand cousins.
Bertrand IV de Montferrand, son of Jean I, the elder half-
brother of the ill-fated Pierre II de Montferrand-Landiras and so
heir to the senior line, also suffered from conflicting loyalties
and so endured the confiscations and restorations just described.
Through his 1473 marriage to Catherine de Lescun, Bertrand’s
son Gaston became associated with what had been one of the
most famous factions at the French royal court on the eve of
5Baurein writes that Gaston de Foix gave his daughter to Jehannot de
Montferrand, son of François de Montferrand, sgr. d’Uza (III, 231; Baurein
spells it Uzar). Gaston de Foix was the father of our Jean de Foix, who was
later to add Candale to his titles. The elder brother of François was Bertrand
III de Montferrand, the father of Pierre de Montferrand-Landiras by his (se-
cond) marriage to Isabeau de Preissac-Landiras, and so Jehannot and Pierre
were cousins germane, which made Jean de Foix and Pierre de Montferrand
first cousins through marriage.
6But Talbot did leave his name on various sites in the Médoc part of the
Gironde, as well as on a château and a fine wine there produced.
7Cocks (1984) makes the obvious point that, after 19 October 1453, the
history of the province and that of the country were combined. (This time, it
is Lesparre and de l’Estrade whom he cites as distinct persons. Cf. note 4.)
Ribadieu says five were banished to England (365), rather than “a score”;
it’s he who names François.
By the way, Jean I de Foix-Candale was also taken prisoner at the fateful
battle of Castillon and spent seven years in captivity. Back in England by
1460, he was able to make peace with the king of France in 1461-62, gave
up all his possessions in England except the title Comte de Candale [= Earl
of Kendal], and resumed lordship of his French estates, to the title of which
he had added “Candale” (Bailey, 41, note 39). Cf. note 24, in Part One. The
granddaughter of Jean de Foix-Candale and Margaret Kerdeston (aka
“Marguerite de La Pole-Suffolk”) was to marry Ladislaus (Vladislaus) II o
Hungary and Bohemia in 1502, so making them ultimately the ancestors o
the modern Hapsburgs, the Bourbon dynasty of France after Henry IV, and
the Stuarts after Charles I.
8The court condemning Pierre II to death in 1454 stated that he “had never
een seigneur de Lesparre except in name”, but see note 2, above. The
recipient, Amanieu d’Albret, was comte d’Orval, in Normandy. A sei-
gneurie de Lesparre also turns up twice in the Grailly-Foix family.
9“Gérard d’Albret is named by Grasset (98), but I am unable to find this
name anywhere—or any alternative recipient!
10Destroyed (Féret: III, 468); “lost only a few stones” (Grasset: 98); order
carried out in 1591 (yet “demolished for the second time”?!), after the city
of Bordeaux purchased the property (Grasset: 115).
11The French “conseiller” can mean either English “councillor” or “coun-
selor/adviser”, often easy to distinguish, but not here. A “chamberlain”
manages the household of a noble or prince.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Joan of Arc’s arrival there.12 And Gaston was amongst the no-
bility of the Bordelaise obligated to the ban et arrière-ban
(“mustering of the king’s vassals for war”) called up by Gaston
de Foix in 1481 (Baurein: I, 434-36).13 It was from Gaston de
Montferrand’s second marriage, in 1483, to Jeanne (or Jehanne)
de Maingot de Surgères, that our senior line continued.
In these decades, the elder Montferrand branch sprouted two
other, cadet dynasties. One, founded by Betrtrand III’s brother
François I (d. bf. 1456), sgr de Montferrand and (by marriage)
viscount d’Uza, survived only three generations. But a later
branch, titled “Cancon & Foncaude” and founded after 1474 by
Gaston I’s brother, Jean II de Montferrand, survived for six
generations and, in fact, succeeded the senior branch before
itself relinquishing titles and lands to the barons of Landiras.
The Landiras branch indulged a similar experience, in the short-
lived Portets branch of the family. A son of Thomas de Mont-
ferrand-Landiras, Jehannot de Montferrand, seems to have rec-
ognized his brother’s claim to the main inheritance in 1559 and
founded a parallel branch on a seigneurie brought into the fam-
ily much earlier by Arnaud de Preissac.14 The establishment of
cadet lines attenuated sibling rivalry, but it also had the prag-
matic goal of facilitating governance in an age without modern
communication. Naturally, these dynastic enterprises mean nu-
merous duplications of names and numbers, which, together
with merely some similar names held by scattered siblings,
have seriously misled impatient genealogists.
From the Italian Wars (1494-1559) to the
Wars of Religion (1562-1598)
Towards the end of the 15th century, both branches of the
Montferrand dynasty were again active, this time in the French
invasion of Italy. These wars, too, involved dynastic claims,
territorial ambition, and commercial advantages. But this time it
was the French who won many of the famous battles, especially
in the first decades, and then lost the war. The Austrian-Spanish
Hapsburgs came to dominate most of Italy, while France’s only
gains (the bishoprics of Metz, Toul and Verdun) were in the
Rhineland, far from the Italian peninsula. Francis I’s (1515-
1547) great victory at Marignano in 1515, however, did lead to
the Concordat of Bologna, in which the king of France was
recognized as supreme in all but name over the affairs, finances
and appointments of the French (Gallican) church. Our Fran-
çois IV de Montferrand-Landiras participated in the campaign
that opened the Italian Wars and culminated in a temporary
triumph in Naples. His grandson, Jean IV, also fought as a
young man in Italy and later, as a royalist Catholic, in France.
Pierre I de Montferrand, of the senior house, fought at the
French disaster at Pavia in 1525, in which King Francis I was
captured (Communay: xxxiii). His son, Charles I, also fought in
Italy (Communay: xxxiv). Charles’s two sons (Charles II and
Guy) were to defend opposite sides in the French Wars of Re-
The 16th century had seen a profound division within the
Latin Church, which soon provoked religious civil wars in sev-
eral countries. The reformed religion of John Calvin had a tre-
mendous impact on his native land. Although it was never safe
for Calvin himself to return to France, scores of other Genevan-
trained pastors risked (and some lost) their lives to preach the
new faith there. By the late 1560s, perhaps as many as one third
of the French nobility had converted, thereby entailing most of
their peasants, as well as significant numbers of merchants,
lawyers, teachers and royal officials. The sudden death of King
Henry II (1547-1559) during a joust to celebrate the end of the
Italian Wars precipitated the French Wars of Religion. He left
four sons under fifteen years of age and the fortunes of France
in the untested, but competent, hands of his Italian widow,
Catherine de Médicis (1519-1589). The wars ended only after
the vigorous Protestant successor to the throne, Henry of Na-
varre (1589-1610), defeated or bought off his Catholic adver-
saries while negotiating his own (re)conversion to Catholicism
in 1593, and after he then offered religious security to his for-
mer co-religionists in the Edict of Nantes (1598).
Jean IV de Montferrand-Landiras participated in this civil
war on the royalist, Catholic side “with ardour”, and in 1570
Charles IX (1560-1574) admitted him to the Order of Saint
Michael (Grasset: 110).15 Jean’s son, Gaston II, remained loyal
to the Catholic Valois kings; of this husband of (Saint) Jeanne
de Lestonnac, more later. Their son, François V de Montfer-
rand-Landiras, also seigneur de St Morillon and other places,
became a gentilhomme ordinaire de la chambre16 of Henry IV
in 1603 and the captain of a company of light horse, posts
which illustrate the family’s modest status on the national
As for the senior branch, Charles II de Montferrand, first
baron of the Bordelaise (Guyenne), became mayor and gover-
nor of Bordeaux in 1569. He boastfully carried out royal orders
to extend the St. Bartholomew Day’s massacre of Protestants to
Bordeaux (250 killed). After several military engagements
12Catherine de Lescun was the daughter of Jean, bastard of Armagnac,
called “de Lescun”, count of Comminges and baron of Gourdon. An Ar-
magnac from his mother s side, Jean d’Armagnac, a marshal (maréchal) o
France, was also, among other charges, lieutenant-general of Guyenne; he
was legitimized in 1463 (Anselme, 1967: VIII, 94-95).
13Remember that the Montferrands had made various marital alliances to the
houses of Foix and Albret in earlier centuries, where the seigneuries o
Lescun and Comminges, like that of Lesparre, were to be found. Further-
more, there had also been connections to the Armagnacs, since it was
members of this family who were counts d’Astarac.
14See note 70, in Part One. The seigneurie of Portets had been under the
authority of the soudans of La Trau since at least the 1380s. In 1587, Jean
de Montferrand* sold Portets to Guillaume de Gasq, trésorier de France
(Barein: III: 71 & 75). (Trésoriers de France were regional royal servants,
not a unique & central officer.)
*Barein says “Jean”, but Jehannot de Montferrand-Portets died in 1561
and Jean IV (Jehan) in 1580 at the latest, so a 1587 sale would have to have
been made by the former’s son (Gaston de Montferrand-Portets; no known
dates) or, less likely, by the latter’s son (Gaston II).
15Grasset simply has “Jean” admitted by Charles IX in 1570. Alternately,
Jean de Montferrand-Landiras was admitted to the Order of Saint Michael
in 1571, with the title Baron of Poltelz [sic], which had been his brother’s
title but which may have returned to a house that his heir’s death reunited.
Montferrand is found in what is a second list under 1571, the first occa-
sion when part of the list is termed “Qualifiés” (neither defined nor ex-
plained). Colleville & Saint-Christo (2001: 109). Let us note here that, by
right of having been mayor of Bordeaux, Michel de Montaigne, who enters
our story below, was also promoted to the Ordre de Saint-Michel (Ibid.: x).
16Of the regular noble or royal servants of noble background who ran er-
rands or handled small tasks for his master, un gentilhomme ordinaireheld
such a position for at least a year, rather than, say, quarterly.
17There were, in fact, quite a few connections between this gentilhomme
ordinaire and his master. King of France only from 1589, Henry IV had
ruled the Kingdom of Navarre in the southwest of France since 1572. He
was, furthermore, a friend of Michel de Montaigne, François V’s great
uncle. And as a member of the house of Bourbon, the king was a collateral
descendant of Pierre de Beaujeu, whom François IV de Montferrand-Lan-
diras had served towards the end of his career. Finally, since Henry IV’s
mother was Jeanne d’Albret (a house that ruled Foix as well as Navarre),
there was also a distant family relationship between Montferrand-Landiras
and his king.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 159
against the Huguenots, he was killed by arquebus fire during
the siege of Gensac in 1574 (Féret: III, 469) or in July 1475
(Communay: xxxiv). His marriage to his cousin Marguerite de
Montferrand-Cancon being sterile, his younger brother, Guy de
Montferrand, inherited the fiefs of Montferrand.
Guy de Montferrand-Loigoiran, however, was a Huguenot,
the name given to French adherents of Jean Calvin, and so his
military engagements were in opposition to those of his elder
brother. On the eve of the bloody massacre of Huguenots in
1572 that broke out in Paris on St. Bartholemew’s Day (24
August), he was somehow warned and took refuge in Saint-
Germain-en-Laye (Communay: xl). Among his several military
exploits during the rest of the decade, the most striking (and
most tainted) was the capture of Périgueux (Dordogne) on 6
August 1575. The following three days saw an outbreak of
murder and looting, in which even priests were not spared.
Because of this event, which even exceeded the norm, the
memoirs of the Huguenot Duke de Bouillon (Henri de La Tour
d’Auvergne, viscount of Turenne: 1555-1623) describe Mont-
ferrand-Loigoiran as “one of the most cruel and irreligious men
of his time” (“Montferrand”: 14). Thiviers suffered similar
pillaging later in the month, and also the rich abbey of Chan-
celade on 2 September. Realizing that Monferrand-Loigoiran’s
actions were not advancing the Huguenot cause, King Henry of
Navarre dismissed him in 1577. The irritated baron therefore
made his peace with Catholicism and lived out the remaining
fourteen years of his life enjoying his two noble châteaux. He
and his son Gédéon died in the same year, one month apart.
Once more, we meet divergent emphases: One asserts that, to
meet her debts to the city of Bordeaux, Guy’s widow, Jeanne
d’Eschelles (who had died in 1594), sold the fief of Montfer-
rand in 1595 (!) to her late husband’s distant cousin (his sister-
in-law’s brother), François II de Montferrand-Cancon, scion of
the younger branch of this senior line (source lost). Another
asserts that Jeanne d’Eschelles sought to sell the fief and that
the jurats (municipal officials) of Bordeaux, wanting to expand
the city across the river and still finding the castle threatening
to the city’s interests, purchased the barony on 15 August
1591.18 Thus, François II was obliged to begin a protracted
process to recover it (Communay: xlii; Grasset: 109, 113 &
116). Regardless, the family had experienced financial difficul-
ties throughout the century and had been selling off parcels
since 1519 (Grasset: 113-15). The barony of Veyrines, for ex-
ample, was sold (to the mayor and jurats of Bordeaux) in 1526
(Barein, II: 243), the barony of Langoiran in 1578 (Communay:
Doc. XLIII, 121-25; Abbot dates the sale to 1590 [323]), and
three-quarters of the barony of Portets, Castres and Arbanats in
1587 (Barein III: 71 & 75). Indeed, nobles all over Western
Europe faced financial exigencies in this extremely inflationary
century that forced frequent sales from their estates.19 In inter-
esting contrast to these sales, Thomas de Montferrand had
“shared” some of his patrimony (“biens”) with residents (“ha-
bitants”) of Landiras in 1536 (“Les Seigneurs de Landiras_1”).
Earlier, in 1518, he had given some land to the Syndics of the
“Fabrique et Oeuvre”20 of the church Saint-Hypolite d’Arbanats
and to the syndics and parishioners of the parish for them to
cultivate, in exchange for three religious services a year (at
Christmas, Easter and Pentecost) for himself and his late par-
ents (Barein: III, 76-77).
By a 1577 marriage to Claire de Pellegue, Guy de Montfer-
rand’s heir, François II, had sired seven children. Yet, despite
his marriage in 1625 to Jacquette de Beauxoncles, their son
François III died without heirs in October 1660. All four of his
younger brothers having pre-deceased him, titles and properties
passed to the Montferrand-Landiras branch.
Before abandoning the senior branch, however, let us suggest
that its name and existence may be responsible for the relative
historical obscurity of the Montferrands of Landiras. Once the
details of the Landiras line’s activities are discerned, one is
surprised to find so little mention of it in the general histories of
France. Since the name “Montferrand” identified both branches
of the family and the elder line’s château, records of achieve-
ments of the Montferrands of Landiras must often have been
ascribed to their cousins. For instance, in one renowned history
of France, the actions of Pierre II de Montferrand are, indeed,
mentioned, but without any reference to his seigneurie of
Landiras (Petit-Dutaillis, 1902: 111).21
Renaissance and Reformation; Saint Jeanne
(“Joan”) de Lestonnac (1556-1640)
While discussing the Wars of Religion, we alluded to Gaston
II de Montferrand-Landiras. He may have trained as a lawyer
and become a member of the Parlement of Bordeaux, and so a
colleague of his future father-in-law, Richard Lestonnac.22 He
may otherwise have performed little of note himself during his
less than twenty-year possession of the lands and titles adhering
to this cadet branch of the house of Montferrand. But in 1573,
he married Jeanne de Lestonnac, who was to become the fam-
ily’s most renowned member—the only saint born and bred in
Bordeaux. Although only seventeen years old at the time of her
marriage, Jeanne’s life had already been filled with the drama
of late 16th-century France.
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day had occurred the
year before this marriage. Jeanne’s mother, Jeanne Eyquem de
18Jacques de Montignon, maréchal de France, came to take possession but
found the castle occupied by Charles Achard, Charles and Guy’s second
cousin, grandson of Catherine de Montferrand-Laminsans; this claimant was
ersuaded to leave (28 August), and Bordeaux turned ownership over to the
marshal (31 October 1591, how willingly is not clear—cf. Abbot: 327);
François II de Montferrand-Cancon was able to buy the barony back be-
tween 1594 and 1607, but with the château demolished (Communay: Doc.
XLV, 126-132).
It is hard to reconcile this genealogy with that offerered by GeneaNet
(André Decloitre): Charles I’s sister Catherine married Louis Jean de
Laminsans, brn d’Auros, in 1514. But they had a son, Pierre Charles de
Laminsans, who had posterity, so whence would come the claims of his
sister’s descendents? Sister Catherine de Laminsans married Jean Achard
des Augiers (this agrees with Communay), but their sons were Jean and
Robert, not Charles (Communay’s attempted usurper of the Montferrand
19Another example of property exchanges: in 1514, the owner of la Maison
noble de Cagés did homage to Thomas de Montferrand; in 1574, Cagés was
sold to “Messieurs Jean and Gaston de Montferrand”; and in 1580, it was
sold by Gaston de Montferrand; in 1597, the new owner did homage for the
property to Jeanne de Lestonnac, dame de Landiras (Barein: III, 126-127).
20The “fabrique” of a church was the group of clerics (and, after the Council
of Trent, also laymen) charged with the administration of the communal
goods of the parish (=vestry), while the “œuvre” was the church group
specializing in charitable actions.
21We speak of the relevant volume in Ernest Lavisse’s renowned series
istoire de France. Ribadieu does balance the two branches in his study o
France’s ultimate conquest of Guyenne.
22Or so claims “Les Seigneurs de Landiras_2”. Communay (lxxii) makes no
mention of this judicial position. Dast Le Vacher de Boisville, while con-
firming Richard de Lestonnac as becoming a conseiller (clerc), enrolled in
the Parlement de Bordeaux on 1 June 1554 (41), has no mention of any
Montferrand anywhere in the “Liste”.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Montaigne, had joined the new faith and made every effort to
bring up her daughter in it. Jeanne Eyquem’s brother was Mi-
chel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592), whose fame as essay-
ist lay ahead of him. Both of the Eyquem parents were Roman
Catholics, but the mother happened to be of Spanish-Jewish
descent, and an attitude of religious forbearance appears to have
pervaded the household. Although always a loyal Catholic de-
spite his various philosophical doubts, Michel de Montaigne
made many friends among the Protestants, including with the
king of Navarre. Thus, the second basis of Montaigne’s his-
torical reputation was his devotion to the practice of toleration
and reconciliation, at a time when the majority of Europeans
and their monarchs were fanatical adherents of their respective
faiths and willing to kill or die for them.
Let us, therefore, examine Jeanne de Lestonnac’s back-
ground in more detail. Her maternal grandfather was deter-
mined that Jeanne Eyquem’s brother would excel in erudition
and so ordered that no one was to speak in his presence any-
thing but Latin until Michel Eyquem was six years old. It
should not surprise us, then, that young Jeanne, our saint’s
mother, also profitted from the family’s erudition. Contempo-
raries later extolled her command of both Greek and Latin.
Michel eventually studied law, travelled extensively, and re-
turned to become a magistrate in the important Parlement of
Bordeaux (as a “lay counsellor”, inscribed in October 1557),
(Dast Le Vacher de Boisville). Deciding that he preferred tran-
quillity to engagement, however, he left his judicial office and
returned to the family’s château. There, he read extensively,
reflected deeply, and began to write the famous essays (Essais:
from “essayer”—to test, to try out) that have influenced all
subsequent literature throughout the world. Against his inclina-
tions, Michel de Montaigne was also pulled out of his retreat to
serve from 1581 to 1585 as the mayor of Bordeaux, less than
ten years after Charles II de Montferrand (of the senior line)
had been the city’s governor and mayor.
These two connections with the world of law and politics are
also reflected in his sister’s marriage. For the husband of
Jeanne Eyquem de Montaigne was to be Richard de Lestonnac,
from 1554 or ‘57 to 1571, a councillor (conseiller) in the Par-
lement of Bordeaux, where Michel Eyquem had also been a
councillor. Like his brother-in-law, Lestonnac associated fre-
quently with the city’s literary elite. Since he was a fervent Ca-
tholic, his Huguenot wife (Montaigne’s sister) sent their eldest
of seven children to grow up and be taught in the home of the
girl’s aunt and uncle (Thomas de Beauregard), both faithful
Protestants. Uncle Michel alerted the father as to what was
happening, and young Jeanne was brought back to the parental
home, where her soul was fought over. Her eventual decision
for Catholicism was to earn the lifelong enmity of her mother.
Despite this spiritually conflicted childhood, Jeanne grew into
what her doting uncle described as “un chef-d’oeuvre” (master-
piece) of nature, “combining such a beautiful soul to such a
beautiful body and lodging a princess in a magnificent palace”
(Vies des saints…, 1950: II, 50; and Coulson, 1964: 224-225).
Later, after founding the first teaching order of nuns in
France, Jeanne de Lestonnac said she had learnt much of value
from her Protestant period: incorporating religious goals in an
educational program, the commitment to educating girls as well
as boys, giving a social dimension to instruction, and innova-
tive orientations in teaching (Boisse, 1999: 4-5). Of course, her
bordelaise patrons belonged to the Society of Jesus, which mo-
deled most of these same qualities. Jeanne’s brother, François
de Lestonnac (1572-1631), had become a Jesuit and died as
recteur (director) of the College of Poitiers (Féret: III, 405;
GeneaNet supplies his dates and names him “Roger”).
Obviously an attractive marriage partner, Jeanne de Leston-
nac appears to have had twenty-four years of happiness as the
baronne de Landiras. Five of her seven children with Gaston II
de Montferrand-Landiras made it out of infancy, though the
eldest son died in late adolescence. The surviving son, after
studying with the Jesuits in Rome, was to succeed to the family
estates and responsibilities; two daughters were later to enter
the religious life and the third daughter married. But between
1592 and 1597, Jeanne de Lestonnac lost, in quick succession,
her uncle, her father and, through an accident, her husband. At
age 41, she had become a widow.23
The fruits of her childhood religious struggles could now
move from devoted and pious direction of a family to the ser-
vice of her faith through prayer, celibacy and female education,
though she did not abandon her young children before the eld-
est attained maturity. Only in 1603, did she enter the Feuillant
convent at Toulouse. But the austerities imposed by this order
undermined her health within three months and she wisely
withdrew. She retired briefly to the château of La Mothe (one
of her late husband’s seigneuries).24 The end of the year found
her living in the Montferrand hôtel (substantial private mansion,
usually in a city) in Bordeaux, where a severe plague broke out
in 1604-1605. Devoting her energies to the sick and suffering,
the dowager baroness of Landiras reached the conclusion that
God intended her to work among the poor and, especially, to
educate their girls. Jeanne de Lestonnac was about to make a
significant contribution to what in France is called the Catholic
Jeanne had fallen under the influence of two priests of the
Society of Jesus, the famous Counter- or Catholic-Reformation
order that had been founded between 1534 and 1540 under the
inspiration of St. Ignatius Loyola. Fathers Jean de Bordes
and ??? (first name unknown) Raymond were teaching boys at
the Collège de Madeleine, in Bordeaux, according to Jesuit
principles. They were already dreaming of somehow establish-
ing a comparable school for girls. They put Jeanne de Leston-
nac and the two women already following her through the rig-
ours of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises (1548), and then helped
them establish a school for girls and found a female order. In
this enterprise, they were at first supported by Cardinal Fran-
çois d’Escoubleau de Sourdis (1574-1628), archbishop of Bor-
deaux from 1599. But he began to make difficulties after dis-
covering that he could not persuade Jeanne and her disciples to
attach themselves to his preferred Ursulines or otherwise con-
trol the new order. Indeed, he later fomented the conspiracy
which led to Jeanne’s temporary discharge from the leadership
of her own order.
Her new order has been variously called La Compagnie de
Marie Notre-Dame, Les Soeurs de Notre-Dame de Bordeaux,
and Les Filles de Notre-Dame (Communay: lxxiii, also sug-
gests “Jésuites”, which underlines that order’s initiative in
Jeanne’s enterprise). The work began and the initial drafts of
23With a still young eldest son, Jeanne de Lestonnac assumed the direction
of the estate’s affairs for six years after her widowhood. For exam
le, on 28
July 1597, she received homage from Jean du Fossard when he succeeded to
his father’s land, called de Cagés (Baurein: III, 126-127), as observed in
footnote 19, above.
24Recall the Landiras associations with the La Mothe family at the very
beginning of history’s record of the château.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 161
the rules were written as early as 1606. On 7 April 1607, Pope
Paul V (1605-1621) officially approved the new order, and on 8
December 1610, the first five “female companions” (com-
pagnes) took their vows. One of these companions had been a
Protestant when Jeanne de Lestonnac’s personal magnetism
first drew them together. Her background and Jeanne’s own
childhood were reflected in the special attention the new order
took to educate and convert Protestant girls.
The rapid popularity of the Company meant that they soon
outgrew their original building, which still stands on the rue du
Hâ. (Its chapel, in which Jeanne eventually died, started con-
struction in 1616, and has served, ironically, as a Protestant
chapel since the French Revolution.) Soon, Jeanne de Leston-
nac was travelling to other cities to found new houses. The five
original nuns had dedicated themselves to “a life neither uni-
quely active, nor purely contemplative, but [with] the two to-
gether and resembling that of the glorious Virgin Mary” (Boisse:
9). They wanted to penetrate Mary’s mystère (“spiritual secret”)
and imitate her attitudes and actions, and they sought to find
God in all things.
Jeanne de Lestonnac’s qualities of leadership are described
by Benedictine historians as follows: “The mother superior was
at the same time the friendly and the strong woman, endowed
with great powers of persuasion, animated by a supernatural
spirit, giving both the maxim and the example, [and] making of
obedience the sap of life that invigorates” (Vies des saints: 54).
Despite the archbishop’s later conspiracy against her, she car-
ried herself with humility and tenderness, eventually cleared
her name, and returned to her post of leadership. In 1638, two
years before her death, she wrote her final amendments of the
Company’s Rules and Constitutions.
Mère Jeanne received into the order two of her daughters,
Marthe and Madeleine de Montferrand-Landiras (both of whom
pre-deceased her), and even two granddaughters, Jeanne and
Françoise de Chartres-d’Arpaillant. Jeanne de Lestonnac died
on 2 February 1640, at the age of eighty-four. She was to be
beatified in 1900 by the renowned, reforming Pope Leo XIII
(1878-1903), with three healing miracles attributed to her dur-
ing the 19th century being “authenticated”. She was canonized
on 15 May 1949 by Pius XII (1939-1958), with two more at-
tributed miracles accepted (Boisse: 25). Let us reiterate that she
is the only saint who was born, lived and died in Bordeaux.
Numerous statues have been erected in her memory, and so it is
a little surprising that the one placed in her memory at the Châ-
teau de Landiras is in fact a representation of the Virgin.25
At the death of Jeanne de Lestonnac, there were thirty
daughter houses already established in France and the Spanish
Netherlands (now Belgium); today, approximately 2000 Daugh-
ters of Mary Our Lady work and pray in 120 convents scattered
over five continents. Five nuns were to be massacred at the
French Cape in South Africa in 1793, another guillotined dur-
ing the Revolution (in 1794), and more recently (1989) an-
other was murdered in Columbia (Boisse: 11). The nuns of the
Company work in schools, parishes, Christian movements, and
solidarity organizations, where they combat illiteracy and pro-
mote human dignity especially for young females (“Sainte-
Jeanne de Lestonnac”). A “Sainte Jeanne de Lestonnac School”,
for example, may be found on Avenida Lestonnac, in Temecula,
Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac’s order preceded and may have
partly inspired two other remarkable female enterprises in the
early 17th century. In a close association with Saint Vincent de
Paul (1581-1660), who was simultaneously founding the Con-
gregation of the Priests of the Mission in 1633, Saint Louise de
Marillac (1591-1660) established the Filles de la Charité
(Daughters of Charity). Like Jeanne de Lestonnac, Louise de
Marillac paid special attention to the poor and outcast. This
energetic visionary was beatified in 1919 (after Jeanne de
Lestonnac) and canonized in 1934 (before Jeanne). Even earlier,
at the other side of France, Saint Vincent’s friend and colleague,
Saint François de Sâles, the so-called bishop of Geneva, had in-
spired Jeanne-Françoise Frémiot (1572-1641), since 1601 the
widowed baroness de Chantal, to found the Order of the Visita-
tion Saint-Mary in 1610. Vincent de Paul, who also knew her
directly, called her “one of the holiest people I have ever met
on this earth” (Attwater, 1983: 180). She was canonized as early
as 1767, almost two centuries before her contemporary saints.
For readers who combine their interest in religion with an
interest in fine wines, Jeanne de Lestonnac has one other strik-
ing association. On 17 June 1540, Louis de Roustaing, seignior
of La Tour, sold a small vineyard, known as Le Domaine de La
Mission, to Arnaut de Lestonnac, a burgher and merchant of
Bordeaux. The purchaser may have been Jeanne de Lestonnac’s
grandfather, for the Olive de Lestonnac who leased the land on
30 March 1650 to the Lazarist Fathers26 was Jeanne’s cousin
(“Château Haut-Brion”). Arnaut de Lestonnac had foreseen the
great potential of the wines of Haut-Brion and had promoted
their cultivation. His son, Pierre de Lestonnac, and his grand-
daughter, Olive de Lestonnac (married to Marc-Antoine de
Gourgues, an illustrious premier président of the Parlement of
Bordeaux), carried on his work. The lease of 1650 became an
outright sale in 1664, effected by Olive de Lestonnac’s heiress,
Catherine de Mullet. Over the next several centuries the Lazar-
ist Fathers nurtured the viniculture of the Domaine of the Mis-
sion into one of the great wines of France: “Château La Mission
Haut-Brion” (“Château Haut-Brion”).
The Montferrand-Landiras Maison at the
End of the Ancien Régime
The “Ormée de Bordeaux” (1648-1654) was perhaps the most
significant side-event of the Parisian and kingdom-wide rebel-
lion known as the Fronde. The well-known event was a chaos
of resistance to the person and policies of Cardinal Mazarin,
initiated by the Parlement de Paris and then picked up by the
prince de Condé and other nobles. But the Ormée was a popular
uprising that gave Bordeaux a distinctively republican munici-
pal government for half a decade. What the Montferrand family
thought of it can be easily guessed, but I can’t find any of them
in the narrative. However, Bernard de Nogaret de la Valette,
duke d’Épernon (1592; 1642-1661), the Governor of Guyenne
and charged by Mazarin to restore order, installed himself in
the château de Montferrand in 1649 (Grasset: 110); when in that
year the revolt spread outside the city, the château de Montfer-
rand was ravaged (Sarrazin, 1996: 31).
Through their son, François V, Gaston II and Jeanne de
Lestonnac had only one grandchild. This Bernard de Montfer-
rand-Landiras followed his father’s military career, but really
served his dynasty in two other notable ways. In September
25The outstretched arms, the serpent entwining the feet, and her standing on
a globe (representing the world) all suggest that it is a statue of Mary and
not of Jeanne. It is the central focus of pilgrimages to the château.
26Members of Saint Vincent de Paul’s order are often called “Lazarists”
because their initial residence had been the Saint Lazarus Priory in Paris.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
1651, he obtained the erection of Landiras from a barony into a
marquisate (Communay: lxxiv). And in 1660, he inherited the
lands and titles of the senior branch of the house of Montfer-
rand, from which Landiras had been separated since the death
of Bertrand III around 1446, more than two centuries earlier.
The house now once more combined in one branch both the
first and the second baronies of Guyenne. The family’s destiny
being only two more generations of direct male heirs, however,
they would not long enjoy these reunited possessions.
The marriage of Bernard de Montferrand-Landiras to Marie-
Delphine (“Delphinette”) de Pontac in 1646 or ‘47 was the
second time (the marriage to Jeanne de Lestonnac being the
first) that our noble house had married into the Parlement de
Bordeaux, where Marie-Delphine’s father, Geoffrey de Pontac,
had been a president à mortier (senior judge).27 It was in fact
common for noble families to marry their sons into judicial or
commercial urban families, as the rich dowries accompanying
such brides often restored financial liquidity to an aristocratic
family’s estate. (The practice was rather crudely referred to as
“manuring one’s fields” and was of course preferred to the
selling of portions of the estate that we have noted above and
are about to see again below.) The two sons of Bernard and
Marie-Delphine were in turn to inherit the lands and titles of the
Girondin Montferrand family. During the second’s (Léon de
Montferrand’s) tenure, by a decree of the Conseil d’État, on 21
April 1705, the charge of Grand Sénéchal de Guyenne was de-
clared hereditary in the Montferrand-Landiras line.
Leon’s son, François-Armand de Montferrand-Landiras
(1704-1761), sold the “Maison Noble de la Mote [sic]” in 1750
to the famous philosophe Montesquieu, le Baron de la Brède
(“Les Seigneurs de Landiras_2”).28 Then, on 28 June 1751, for
60,000 pounds (livres), he sold the hôtel de Montferrand, on
streets (rues) Porte-Dijeaux and Margaux in Bordeaux. The
proceeds of this sale allowed him to retire debts on the land of
Landiras. He was to be the last male of the house, however, for
on 2 October 1751, his only son was murdered on the Amboise
Bridge by a sieur Ouvrard de Matigny.29 This unfortunate son
was Charles-Hyacinthe, captain of a royal regiment and Count
(be it noted) of Montferrand.
The lands and titles of the house, by François-Armand de
Montferrand-Landiras’s last testament, passed to his two ne-
phews, sons of his sister Marie-Catherine de Montferrand, wife
of Étienne François de Brassier, seigneur de La Marque, Bey-
chevelle, etc., a conseiller in the Parelment de Bordeaux, and
immensely prosperous producer of wine (Communay: lxxvi;
Figéac, 1996: I, 75 & 122). But both of them died without heirs,
and the lands and titles—le marquisat de Landiras, la baronnie
de Montferrand, etc.—passed to the progeny of Delphine de
Brassier, their sister. In 1745 she had married Michel-Joseph de
La Roque (or Laroque), baron of Budos (d. 1770, at age 50).30
This Delphine de Brassier-La Roque, was a local socialite,
famous for her gaming parties, especially “le brelan” (a card
game involving three of a kind). Her 1787 will indicated her
intention of bequeathing to her son her hôtel in Bordeaux and
the terre of Beychevelle (Figeac, 1996: I, 284 & II, 68).31 To
this son, François-Armand de La Roque, and Catherine de Mé-
noire de Barbe a daughter was born. By her marriage in 1814,
Catherine Delphine de La Roque Budos (d. 1860) was to bring
what was left of a formerly extensive inheritance to Léon de
Brivazac, the son of Jean Baptisite Guillaume Léonard de Bri-
vazac, a lawyer (avocat).
The French Revolution and After
In the fall of 1788, however, the crisis in royal finances had
forced Louis XVI to summon the Estates-General, and every
province in France had to hold local assemblies to elect depu-
ties. In almost every province, the assemblies were divided into
three sections, according to their “Ordre” (a term not quite
equivalent to the modern idea of “social class”; it distinguished
function, rather than ownership), with each Ordre, or Estate,
meeting and voting separately. Prior to modern attempts to
“rationalize” political institutions, it could be a woman who had
the right to political participation and electoral recognition, if
she were the person solely possessed of the property so enfran-
chised (the lady/dame where there was no lord/seignieur); but a
male had to represent her in public assembles. And so, in
Guyenne, at the General Assembly of the Three Ordres in the
winter of 1788-89, Delphine de Brassier, widow of Michel-
Joseph de La Roque, baron de Budos, was represented by her
son, François-Armand de La Roque, chevalier de Budos. As he
was also baron de Montferrand and so first baron of Guyenne,
he had his own right to participation. Not to lose the family’s
second vote, he was represented in the assembly by his brother,
Charles-François-Armand de La Roque (O’Gilvy, 1856: I,
205).32 The later meeting of the Estates-General in Versailles,
27The son of Geoffroy de Pontac, sgr de Salles (d. 1641), and Delphinette’s
half-brother, Arnaud de Pontac (1600-1681) had been a magistrate in the
Parlement since 1632, and was to be a First President from 1653 to 1673
(Dast Le Vacher de Boisville; GeneaNet). Some sources give the son’s su-
perior office to the father!
28Alternately, after various litigations and sales, the château de la Motte-
Saint-André passed by marriage to the Duhumel family, whose daughter
Jeanne Thérèse Duhumel (our geneaology shows “Thérèse-Jeanne du Hamel”
married François-Armand de Montferrand. The Société archéologique de
Bordeaux says the property was sold and divided up in 1742 (“Jacques
29Montferrand whipped a dog which had run under his horse’s legs, and the
dog’s angry owner shot him. Fleeing justice, the culprit was hanged in
effigy (Communay: lxxvii; Grasset: 119-20).
30The château de Budos was located only a little south of Landiras. Its fam-
ily traced itself back to the late 13th century, in fact dating its oldest archi-
val record to the same year that Guilliaume Le Templier had put Landiras
on the historical record. Much of the Budos-family information (ca.
1790-1820) in the following paragraphs is obtained or confirmed by Bacque
(1908: 27-29). Cf. note 64, in Part One.
Within a few more years, the barons of Brivazac came to enjoy the Mont-
ferrand-Landiras succession. It should be noted, though, first, that it was
from the La Roque-Budos family that the property was confiscated during
the French Revolution and, second, that in 1783 Baurein states “M. de
Brassier” was “the present seignior” (III, 208). (The “Privilege du Roi” o
the first edition is dated 1783, and this statement was not up-dated for ou
1876 edition.)
31In 1757, her husband had purchased the seigneurie of Beychevelle after
the death of the last Duke of Épernon and ordered its château demolished, to
be replaced by “un corps de logis bas” that dominated the Gironde (Figeac:
I, 144). It might be mentioned that the Montferrands had perhaps two con-
nections to the Épernons: in 1587, Jean-Louis de Nogaret de La Valette,
later duc d’Épernon (1554; 1581-1642), had married Marguerite de Foix-
Candale; when their son Bernard died in 1661, the title was more or less
usurped by his grandnephew, Jean-Baptiste-Gaston de Goth (1631-1690),
the grandson of Jacques de Goth, marquis de Rouillac, and Hélène de No-
garet, the sister of the just mentioned Jean-Louis de Nogaret de La Valette.
Further failures of male heirs saw the seigneurie pass through the Zamets to
the Pardaillon-Gondrins and its eventual sale in 1751. Chenaye Des Bois
(1980), vol. IV, tome VII; and “4. Épernon”, Dictionnaire de Biographie
rançaise, vol. XII (1970).
32Interestingly, an O’Gilvy, as a member of a “Régiment irlandais”, is found
in the Ordre de Saint-Michel, admitted in 1763, as a lieutenant at a captain’s
rank (Colleville: 327).
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 163
very soon moved to Paris, did not develop to the taste of many
aristocrats and clergy, and they began to leave the country. La
Roque-Budos was to be one of these; in fact, he fled France for
England as early as 1789.
Immediately after the events of the summer of 1789 (the fall
of the Bastille, the law abolishing feudalism, the Declaration of
the Rights of Man and Citizen, e.g.), many aristocrats fled
France, usually going to Austria or England. These were the
strident opponents of the Revolution, but over the next few
years, nobles continued to flee, sometimes because they grew to
dislike the unfolding of revolutionary events and sometimes
because some little or large thing in their appearance, deport-
ment, speech, actions, dress or friendships drew the attention or
aroused the suspicions of neighbours or officials. The Terror
from July 1793 to July 1794, in particular, justifiably frightened
many. Lest Landiras seem far from Paris, let us remember that
the moderately radical leaders of the Revolution’s Legislative
Assembly (October 1791-September 1792) were called the
“Girondins” because of the region many of them represented.33
By fleeing in the first year of the Revolution, F.-A. de La
Roque-Budos, marquis of Landiras (Marion, Benzacar & Cau-
drillier, 1911: I, 140, #174),34 escaped the harrowing experi-
ences of so many of his peers. A chevalier of the Ordre of
Saint-Louis, he had been a captain of a company of dragoons,
and so perhaps it was natural that he carried on a military career
in exile. He was part of an attempted invasion of France in
1792, passed the years 1795-1797 in the Prince de Condé’s
army, and was to be found in Russia from 1799 to 1801. The
following year, he accepted the general amnesty of Napoleon
and returned to France. He was to die in Bordeaux in 1825. For
his part, Léon de Brivazac, son-in-law of F.-A. de La Roque-
Budos, had emigrated to England in 1792. He participated in
the ill-fated “Débarquement de Quiberon”, a counter-Revolu-
tion invasion of Brittany in June-July 1795, and returned to
England with the remnants of his royalist regiment (Figéac: I,
473). Brivazac then remained in London until the general am-
nesty of the émigrés in 1802.35
Worth mentioning, though I haven’t been able to find the
reason, just after the regional Assembly had closed, Charles
F.-A. de La Roque-Budos fought a duel at Bechwelle36 on 11 or
14 March 1789, in which he killed André Joseph de Martin du
Tyrac de Marcellus (1745-1789), comte de Marc. Marcellus
was a lieutenant du roi en Guienne and a friend of the comte de
Fumel (then, the royal garrison commander in Bordeaux and in
1790 the mayor of the newly elected revolutionary council—
Auerbach, 5). For this occasion, La Roque-Budos is always
identified as “frère de [Marguerite de La Roque-Budos] Mme
de Saint-Hérem” (Figéac: I, 236, n. 76; “GeneaNet”; and
“Duels”). So, political vehemence or family honour?
The Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary fate of individual
estates is rarely easy to ascertain. Usually it was the military
member of the family who fled and left the supervision of the
estates to others, in this case La Roque-Budos’s brother,
Charles-François-Armand de La Roque, chevalier de Budos.
Even so, it was he and his widowed mother themselves who
plundered much of the estate, selling off parts for quick cash in
April 1793.37 In the commune of Budos itself, it appears that the
La Roque de Budos estate was the only noble land to be sold
(Figéac: I, 420). F. A. La Roque received an indemnity of
732,210 francs in 1825 for the family’s losses and Dumas de La
Roque (how related?), 204,545 francs—both among the few
still living, so as to be compensated themselves (Figéac: II, 589,
Table XC). By 1831, 39.47% of the bordelaise nobility had
recovered their 1789 possessions, but in only 15.45% of the
cases was ownership in 1789 and 1831 the same (Figeac: II,
This paucity of compensation was certainly not due to lack of
loyalty to the Restoration regime. In 1813, La Roque-Budos
was part of a pious, royalist group who met by night, and in
1814, he was among the royal troops who assembled on Louis
XVIII’s behalf in Bordeaux, in an immediately vain attempt to
precipitate Napoleon’s fall (Figeac: II, 495, 501-502 & 511). In
a similar spirit, Léon de Brivazac preceded the Duke of An-
goulême (elder son of the future Charles X) as this prince’s
entourage entered Bordeaux; thereafter he became part of An-
goulême’s garde d’honneur. We could follow the career of his
son Léon II Armand de Brivazac and his 1860 marriage to
Anne Louise Caroline de Lur-Saluces, but how far has the Bu-
dos story taken us from the seigneurie of Landiras? We should
not forget that the Baron de Brivazac succeeded to the lands, at
least to the titles of Landiras, Budos and so on, but what does
this really mean?
One of the famous 18th-century maps by Pierre Belleyme,
chief topographer at the Archives Nationales, clearly shows the
vineyard and château of Landiras in the 1760s. Because a lord
might be identified by only one of the several titles in his pos-
session, not to mention his diverse terres, it is hard to get a
sense of what portion might be indicated in an estimate of any-
one’s holdings. But the Documents relatifs à la vente des Biens
nationaux (“Documents concerning the sale of national proper-
ties”) shows Charles La Roque-Budos, in reference to a “sec-
ond” confiscation of lands, as possessing Budos, Landiras, St.-
Michel-de-Rieufort, and Illats. On 29 Brumaire Year II (19 No-
vember 1793),38 Landiras itself, “château and surrounding
land”, is measured at 1200 journaux and valued at 213,878
livres.39 This land was divided into numbered parcels and sold
over the next several months, from at least 4 Nivôse Year II to
26 Ventôse Year III (i.e., 24 December 1793-16 February 1795).
At most auctions, the principal buyer was one Jean Amanieu,
dit Moine, with various members of the Dutrénit family often
33Indeed, see Stephen Auerbach, “Politics, Protest, and Violence in Revolu-
tionary Bordeaux, 1789-1794”, in Proceedings of the Western Society fo
rench Histor
(Vol. 37, 2009), and the works he cites.
34Note the presentation of his title. The next entry (#175) refers to “Lar-
roque jeune, dit Larroque-La Tour”.
35As many as 36.03% of the bordelaise nobility became émigrés, including
four members of the La Roque-Budos family (Figéac: I, 381). And yet the
barons de Brassier, along with the Foix-Candale, were among “le plus
brilliant parvenu” of the opening of the 19th century (Figéac: II, 611).
36Is this actually “Beychevelle”, one of the La Roque-Budos family estates?
37One source says that Landiras was confiscated and demolished early in the
Revolution, its stones being used in essential other buildings (“Les Sei-
gneurs de Landiras_2”). The Château de Budos was similarly torn down and
left in ruins. So, balancing the assertion that so much Revolutionary dissipa-
tion was due to sans-culottes excesses, Figéac makes sure we notice what
the great families did themselves (I, 449). Thus, the current château de
Landiras dates from the early 19th century.
38A completely new calendar was among the more sweeping changes inau-
gurated by the Revolution (metric measurement perhaps being the most
notable and enduring). It chose the retroactive date of the adoption of the
republican constitution (22 September 1792) as the start of “Year I” and
eliminated the names of months honouring Roman gods and emperors in
favour of beautiful names reflecting the seasons of the year; but the calenda
was terminated at the end of our 1805.
39A journal (pl. -aux) was the amount of land that could be worked in one
day. (One of the inventories of the property was dated 6 Ventose Year III o
the French Revolution [i.e., 24 February 1795].)
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
purchasing several sections, as did Joachim Chalup, among
others. A hundred years later the best wine produced in the
commune of Landiras is called “Château-Darricaut”, whose
owner was the count R. de Chalup! His produce amounted to
15 tonneaux (barrels) of red wine and 30 of white (Cocks &
Féret, 7th éd., 1898: 338).40 Obviously, though at least part of
the count’s property would include land from the ancient sei-
gneurie de Landiras, he possessed neither the château itself nor
the right to so name his wines.
Each parcel was numbered and described, as for example the
following, bought by Amanieu: #26, “maison et 176 r. vigne”;
#37, “maison, parc à brebis et 12 j., 25 r. terres, bois et taillis”;
and #68, “maison (écroulée) et 2 j. 7r. pins, taillis”. Thus, from
these examples alone, we can see that Amanieu acquired three
“houses” of which one was dilapidated, a sheepfold, a good bit
of land and woods and thickets and pines, and 176 “r.” of vine-
yard.41 Other parcels listed “two rooms”, “granges” (barns), and
“chais”, this last being cool spaces where wine was fermented
in barrels. Almost every parcel was described as having a
“maison”, so one has to wonder what that term really meant?
Were there that many domiciled peasant families on the sei-
gneurie of Landiras? From another source, it appears that the
actual “ruins of the château”, as part of a parcel containing 24
ares, 10 cent. (yielding a revenue of 7 francs, 35 centimes),
along with other parcels, were bought by Édouard Louis
It is not surprising to find that Jeanne de Lestonnac’s “Re-
ligieuses de Notre Dame” suffered confiscations too. For Feb-
ruary 1792, the Documents relatifs à la vente des Biens na-
tionaux indicated that in Bordeaux itself the order owned three
houses on rue des Etuves, three houses and a convent on the rue
du Hâ, and one house on each of the rue du Pas-St-George and
rue Ste-Catherine, for a total worth of 116,601 livres.43
The scholar A. Communay writes that the barons of Brivazac
came to enjoy the Montferrand-Landiras legacy, as, indeed, we
have seen. The 1814 marriage of Léon de Brivazac, former
émigré, to Catherine Delphine de La Roque-Budos, the daugh-
ter of émigré Charles-F.-A. La Roque, proved more fertile, with
four children, than any recent marriage of male descendants
(Communay: lxxvii; and O’Gilvy: I, 392). Does this mean that
Michel Figeac’s statement that the family’s property was not
restored even as late as 1831 only shows that he did not take
heiresses into account (Figeac: I, 465)? In any case, the uncer-
tainties surrounding many details of medieval Landiras seem to
return for its history in modern times.
Terroir and Wines
The remarkable work Bordeaux ses environs et ses vins
classés par ordre de mérite [“The regions around Bordeaux and
their wines classified in order of merit”] (sixteen editions be-
tween 1850 and 2001) fills in gaps after the middle of the 19th
century, however. For each commune in the Bordelaise it lists
the best wines in their order of merit and gives names of both
wine and proprietor and the production volume. The first two
editions do not mention “Château de Landiras”, but the editions
from 1881 on do, and they estimate its quality of wine relative
to its neighbours. Alphonse Bordes was the proprietor from at
least 1874, when he possessed 86 hectares,44 into the early 20th
century (Féret: II, 445). By 1929 the owner is François Bordes,
which suggests single-family possession for over sixty years. In
the same period, the nearby village of Landiras suffered a
modest decrease in population, from 1735 to 1605 inhabitants.
We do not know when grapevines were first cultivated on the
land adjacent to the château of Landiras, or when its seigniors
began to pay particular attention to the potential of the terroir
for quality wine. Would it be in the 16th century, about the
same time that Jeanne de Lestonnac’s grandfather began to take
special care in the cultivation of his estates north of the Ga-
ronne—earlier, or later? The freezing winter of 1956 destroyed
all the vines in the Bordeaux region, and those of the Château
de Landiras were only replanted in the 1980s by the renowned
Danish wine connoisseur Peter Vinding-Diers. The property of
the Château de Landiras today comprises 75 hectares, of which
26 hectares are under “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée”.45
We have very little information on the succession of owners
in the mid-20th century. The 14th edition (1991) of Bordeaux...
et ses vins does not mention the Château de Landiras at all. The
1995 edition, however, names Vinding-Diers as the proprietor,
judges the quality of the wine seventh out of twenty-eight,
prints a picture of the château, and offers the fullest history of
the château of any edition (765).46 According to the 2001 edi-
tion, the wine has regained its second-place ranking and a pic-
ture of its label is printed. “S.C.A. Dne La Grave” replaces the
name of a private proprietor, and the German Maison Sichel
has the exclusive rights to market the wine (Boidron & Lemay,
2001, 16th éd.: 771-772 & 2274). The distinguished wine
magazine Decanter, sampling the 1998 vintage, described the
“excellent balance” of its red, to which it awarded four out of
five stars, making it one of the best priced wines in its class
(Decanter, 2002: 40). In late 2002, a short-lived Canadian-
Swiss-French partnership acquired the Château de Landiras and
undertook to improve the wine’s quality still more. In 2007,
Michel Pélissié (co-head, with Jean Nouvel, of an architectural
40Would this be Marie Antoine “Robert” de Chalup (1861-1926), comte de
Chalup (a nobility dating back to 1553 in Périgord)? (GeneaNet: “Marie
Antoine ‘Robert’ de Chalup”; Wikepedia “Familles subsistantes de la
noblesse française”). There is a “rue de Joachim Chalup” in the village o
In 1874, an A. de Chalup produced a wine called “Aux Arricauds”−−four
barrels of red wine and twenty of white, from 158 hectares (Féret: II, 445).
41“J.” = journal/journaux, but I can’t explicitly unearth what an “r.” was.
However, it often preceded the word/term “vigne” and vineyards were often
measured in “arpents”, which, according to the custom of the region, meas-
ured 20 to 50 “ares”. An “are” was one hundred square metres, a useful
measure where small surfaces of land were especially valuable, as in the
case of vineyards; a hundred “ares” made up a hectare. I’m inclined to see
the “r” as representing the sound “are”.
42The Plan cadastraux de Landiras [land registry/survey], in the Archives
Départementales de La Gironde (Annexe), Bordeaux, is a detailed map
showing all the numbered parcels of land. The Cadastre des Matrices [reg-
istry of standards] (cote 3P 3) attaches owners’ names to these numbers.
umbers 769-828bis compose the property “Château de Landiras”. The ruins
of the château are located in #791.
I assume that “10 cent.” measures ten hundredths of an “are”.
43Marion et al., Documents...Biens nationaux (108. n. 5) states that twenty-
three nuns of the choir and five converses claimed gross revenues of 15,792
livres in 1790, of which 9160 l. were net. (Soeurs converses did the menial
work in a convent and were not part of the soeurs de choeur, who concen-
trated on more spiritual activities).
44In that year, four “tonneaux” of red wine were produced, and eight o
45The label for a 2009 vintage has reduced these recent figures to 70 hec-
tares, of which 20 are under cultivation, 15 of red wine and 5 of white. A
hectare is a metric measurement of land, equal to 2471 acres or 10,000
square metres. An acre is a traditional measurement of land, equivalent to
4840 sq. yards.
46The 14th edition is written-compiled by Édouard Féret, Claude Féret, and
Marc-Henry Lemay; and the 15th by Lemay alone.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 165
group), acquired the Château de Landiras. He had earlier, in
1997, purchased “Château Maison Noble”, at St-Martin-du-Puy
in the Entre-Deux-Mers. With the assistance of François Puerta,
Pélissié is continuing to restore the quality of the wine and its
The château de Landiras, though its wines, can easily echo its
previous renown, so long as the property has continuing own-
ership, sufficient capitalization, and dedicated management. Its
glorious history is doubtlessly a thing of the past, but what a
legacy! Several archbishops of Bordeaux, perhaps a Crusading
knight, feudal magnates rubbing shoulders with kings of two
countries over several centuries, some marriages into families
of magistrates in the Parlement de Bordeaux and at least one
mayor of the city, marital associations with both English and
French royalty and with the celebrated essayist Michel de
Montaigne, and the direct presence for three decades of a de-
vout wife and mother who went on to found a remarkable reli-
gious order and eventually to be recognized as a saint. At all
these points, the barons of Landiras made a modest contribution
to history. Less often noticed, however, is the significance of
the impetuous temper of Pierre II de Montferrand-Landiras,
whose instigation of the ill-fated English expedition under John
Talbot brought a dramatic anticlimax to an already expired
Hundred Years’ War. Could one describe as “similar” the un-
fortunate experiences of the barons of Montferrand-Landiras
during the French Revolution? In all these ways, the Château de
Landiras and its seigniors have played significant roles through-
out the High and Later Middle Ages and beyond. To combine
all these associations with a quality wine is certainly not unique,
but remains nonetheless rare.
The author wishes to thank the Discretionary Grant Program,
Research and Innovation Committee, of the University of Win-
nipeg (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), for generously agreeing
to fund the publication of these articles. He is also most grateful
to Marshall Bailey and Kathleen Sweeney for their making
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