Clisson: death and bloody madness

The castleThe castle | ©Dyak44 / CC-BY-SA


Olivier III de Clisson raised the castle in the middle of the 14th c.

The story begins when Jeanne de Belleville, the pretty heiress of Yeu, married Olivier III de Clisson, a nobleman and proud lord coming from Nantes area.

They entirely rebuilt the castle and spent here a happy life, until that damned day… that day where the Breton Succession war torn up the land in pieces.

Olivier made up his mind: he supported the party of the Blois-Penthièvre, the party of the king of France.

But the enemy party was the one of the Monfort family, allied with the English! And those one captured him.

He was set free, but people suspected him of treason, they thought he cooked up with the enemy!! Oh, but he was loyal to his king of France, what a shame… Judged, sentenced to death, he was executed in Paris in 1343…

Gory head

His gory head was hung to the castle of Bouffay, in Nantes.

Jeanne, wearing black, such a lugubrious silhouette, stayed here, in front of the castle for hours, under the cold rain…

She couldn’t take her eyes off this terrible vision: revenge! She’d only live for that.

Her son, Olivier, the future constable, was near her, weeping, hanging to her dress. She said to her kid: “Here’s your father’s head. Swear to me you’ll avenge him one day!”

Humiliated and inconsolable, she left France for England, with her son Olivier, this little kid who already understood that France killed his father…

He soon came back here as constable of France, and get back his lands and his honour… but that’s another story! He took possession of castle of Yeu in 1392, transforming and fortifying it.

An eye for an eye!

Jeanne, for her part, who was she? Nicknamed the “Bloody lioness” (Lionne sanglante in French), she joined other Breton lords against Charles de Blois, the successor of the duke of Brittany.

With a single slogan: revenge!! For this, she sold all her jewels, her dresses, everything, in order to commission 3 boats and plunder the French coasts: a real pirate, who sowed mess, violence, who didn’t hesitate to spill blood, lot of blood… for her Olivier! No more pity: they’d pay for this…