Rochechouart castle and the gory hand legend

The castleThe castle | ©Traumrune / WikimediaCommons / CC-BY-SA


In June 1512, François de Rochechouart-Pontville turned up in the house of Pierre Bermondet, lord of Boucheron, general lieutenant for the seneschal of Limoges.

Well, what’s wrong with that ? Oh, wait a minute... Pierre didn’t want to sell one of his land to François, and this one wanted it so bad!

This situation dragged on, and on… so one day, François get bored: enough with that!

He went to Pierre’s bedroom and strangled him! Then he put him back in his bed, so people could think it was a natural death…

Then François get back to his castle of Rochechouart… where he had a quiet life, without remorse, having parties and feasts.

After that, he went to Italy, in Rome… where he disappeared without a trace, leaving his wife alone in Limousin.

A macabre gift

A legend was created based on this news story: the story of the cut hand… brr, sinister!

Abbot Duléry talked about it in his book Histoire de Rochechouart (1855): lord of Pontville, a very jealous man, was hunting. Meanwhile, Pierre Bermondet paid a visit to his castle: her wife hosted him.

People told Bermondet was a handsome and well-built guy, with gorgeous hands… The lady of Rochechouart was so happy of this visit!

She proposed to stay for dinner: the lord accepted and left before her husband's return.

Pontville’s wife told him about Bermondet’s visit, a charming, elegant and handsome man, with gorgeous hands… “Blah, blah… nonsense!” thought the lord.

Very thoughtful, losing his temper, Pontville left his castle and saddled up his horse.

He rushed with his henchmen, to go to the Bermondet’s castle: he killed this one with a knife! Then he cut one of his hand, put it in a box and came back to his own castle.

What about the box? He gave it to his wife.

“Oh, my Gosh!! What’s this?” said she.

The poor one discovered the gory hand. Pontville laughed and yelled:

“Madame, this is the hand you liked so much, the handsome Bermondet’s hand!”

The lady fainted when she heard that…