Lords of Brancion's little histories

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Fresco, Brancion castle - ©Christophe.Finot / CC-BY-SA Fresco, Brancion castle - ©Christophe.Finot / CC-BY-SA
Brancion castle Castle Josserand IV de Brancion Crusades Ghost

The family of Brancion (also known as Gros family) counted several mighty lords and brave strapping lads! We know them since the 10th c. They were Crusaders, bishops (like Liébaud III at the end of the 10th c., bishop of Mâcon) or priors in Cluny abbey like Josserand and his brother Bertrand in the 12th c.

Bernard on his donkey

Bernard I de Brancion, for his part, made pretty naughty things… he had remorse weighing on his soul! So he went to the pilgrimage in Rome. Yes, but he died as he came back in Burgundy.

Before that, he quarrelled with Cluny abbey: he was very naughty, so the pope gave him an anathema (a religious disapproval). Upset, Bernard begged the abbot of Cluny to remove this blame. But the abbot couldn’t do it, he had to go to Rome for that. So Bernard died during this trip…

Few years later, the abbot, who was strolling in the Burgundian forest, suddenly came across Bernard, riding on a donkey! His ghost said he made naughty things, yes, nut he wanted abbot of Cluny’s forgiveness to rest in peace…

Josserand in Crusade

Hey, here’s Josserand IV who’s racing down at top speed! This lord went to the Crusade with his son and the king of France saint Louis, in 1248. He died, on the Holy Land, during the siege of Mansourah… Josserand was a mighty lord, rich, powerful, “one of the best knight in the army”, said the chronicler Joinville. We can see his recumbent figure in the small church of Brancion…

He and his son spent a fortune to go to Crusades (yes, at that time, it was expensive to go to war), so this last one had to sell the castle to the duke of Burgundy Hugues IV in 1259…

A Parisian place for Brancion!

Hey! Did you know that in the 19th century, we still have a descendant of the Brancion family? Yes, a man called Rattier de Brancion, a colonel killed during the battle of Sébastopol… A place in Paris (15th arrondissement), the porte de Brancion, was named after him!


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