L’abbaye cistercienne de Bégard des origines à 1476 : histoire et chartes


Bégard abbey has traditionally been considered as the first Cistercian house in Medieval Brittany. This volume contains 272 documents, mostly edited for the first time, originating from the abbey or pertaining to its history. They have been gathered from a wide variety of sources discovered in France, England and at the Vatican. Put together, they provide the information for a partial reconstruction of the history of the abbey which, at first, might have been an eremitical or Benedictine foundation to be incorporated into the Cistercian order in the early XIIIth century. New insights are given into the relations of the monks with their vassals, with the Breton nobility and with the bishops. The tenures and farming methods used in the Bégard holdings are reconsidered, as well  as the roles played by a number of abbots, especially by Vincent de Kerléau (1444-1476) who was entrusted with high offices by the popes Nicolas V and Callixtus III and by the dukes of Brittany Peter II, Arthur III and Francis II. The texts originating from England give a wealth of details about the chequered history of Begar, the alien priory granted to the abbey shortly after the Conquest. It was located near Richmond, Yorkshire and received revenues from local mills and from Boston Fair in Lincolnshire. The texts are written in a variety of languages – Latin, Middle French, Middle English – but the toponymy and anthroponymy are mostly Celtic.


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