History of Balaguier d'Olt - commune in Aveyron

Origin of the word BALAGUIER

There are several versions on the origin of the name of Balaguier
The first, the name of Balaguier would have a prelatine (Gallic) origin: "balec", the broom. He gave in French: broom. This utensil was once made with branches of broom. In ancient Occitan we used the word "Balac". It has been supplanted by the word "gineste" of Latin origin. The root is complemented by the collective suffix "ier", ère ".This structure is highlighted by the ancient transcriptions in Latin: Balagerium (1301), Balaguiéro (1390) .Balaguier comes from" balaguiére ", place colonized by the broom .

The second, according to the "general toponymy of France" Ernest Negre, the name of Balaguier is part of a context of "fortification" and originated in the name balaguarium, consisting of a suffix novel "arium" preceded by a Gallic radical "balacon" (advance of roof) or Welsh "balog" (crenel). Which could have meant "crenellated wall".

Third hypothesis, the carton of Conques (XI ° century), speaks of a fortified village called Blacaria and that several authors identify with our current Balaguier.

Fourth hypothesis, but the most fanciful, Balaguier would derive its name from "vallis aquarum valley of the waters because of the three abundant springs of water that spring: 1 °) to the mill of Lève, 2 °) in the vicinity of the cave called" Roquevinière , "Vallis aquarum", full of water, would have given: val = bal and aqua would have Given the succession of acute and aguier, whence the word Balaguier, which is without foundation, is absolutely false, for the simple reason that Balaguier, according to the archives of Figeac and elsewhere, was already writing with a B At a time when the local patois had not yet transformed the V into B.


If the origin of the name of Balaguier is unknown, the citadel of Balaguier is already reported from the 8th century, during the invasion of Aquitaine by the Arabs. An archive of Conques written to 1020, mention the capture of Balaguier for the Arabs:
"In 725 a troop of Saracens led by Ambiza, had fortified themselves in a certain castle of Balaguier, from which they plundered the holy places and vexed ecclesiastics, and other honest people"
L. Saint-Marty in "The popular history of Quercy" "In the words of some authors," he said, "the Arabs would have fortified themselves at Balaguier, on the limit of Rouergue, and of Quercy, from whence they would have ravaged the environs with impunity" . These people were not very agreeable; The country had much to suffer; Fanatized by their religion, they attacked all that was Christian, the monasteries of Souillac, Coronzac, and Moissac were destroyed; At Cahors, they succeeded in forcing the ramparts; Finally "arrested at Poitiers in 24 for the troops of Charles Martel, they slowly retreated leaving behind the country covered with ruins.

card-old balaguier

BALAGUIER's family
The family of Balaguier is one of the oldest of the Rouergue and the Quercy. Some claim that it originated from the princes of Catalonia and Majorca, there is also a hamlet called Balaguier in the Aude.
"This important family, which is sometimes confused with that of Cardaillac, claimed to have something more than the others.In fact, in 1300, Bertrand de Balaguier calls himself the coseor of Cajarc and Capdenac and confirms orders made by the consuls, and we do not see that protests "Galhard Bourcier, bayle of Cajarc for the redoptador pay in christ monsenhor Sicart de Montaigu, avesque of Cahors." Coseigneur, he had the right to take this title, because he had property in the peninsula of Andressac. "As viguier had the right to confirm the consular orders, no doubt, since the bayle attends this act, as well as other viguiers." (Edmond Albe)

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In 1232, the Lords of Balaguier had two chapels built at the convent of the Cordeliers at Villefranche; Their arms appeared, according to Claude de Bruyere, to the vaults of these two chapels.
The arms of the family of Balaguier: of gold with three fasces Gules, figure in The third square room of the museum of Versailles where four rooms are reserved for the crusades. Guillaume de Balaguier, seigneur of Montsalès, participated in the first crusade of Saint Louis (I248-I254) seventh of the general series. His participation in the crusade was known by the discovery towards 1840, in an antique Parisian of titles Borrowed by the crusaders of Philip Augustus and St. Louis, to rich merchants of Pisa and Genoa. These securities would come from the archives of the Société de Saint-Georges, a bank where traders deposited their debt notes. During the occupation of Liguria in 1796-97, by the revolutionary armies commanded by Bona-parte, the archives of the Society of St. George were plundered and covered with dust in some re-corner of a shop in Paris.

At the time of the Crusades, when the Popes appealed to Christendom to take from the Muslims the tomb of Christ, one of the members of Balaguier's noble family "crossed" to go and deliver the holy places.
We thus have many debt securities, similar to that subscribed by Guillaume de Balaguier. Following one of these titles dated June 1250 and signed in due form, where five French gentlemen, to go to the crusade, make a loan of 150 books tournaments guaranteed by their property mortgages, one can read the following act: "to the same praetors, Dominique de Telia and Marco Ciconia, of Genoa, also in June 1250, under the guarantee of Count Alphonse and under the seal of the first named: Hugues de Riergues, Raymond of Séve-rac, Guillaume of Balaguier, Motel of Lapanouse and Bernard de Lévezou, all Rouergats, except Hugues de Riergues and qualified of damoiseaux, make on another document recognition of a loan of 300 books.
Thus, thanks to this document, we know that Guillaume de Balaguier, a gentleman, a gentleman, who was not yet a knight, participated in the first Saint Louis Crusade.

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EN 1303; Bertrand de Balaguier sent ten men to King Philip the Fair for the war in Flanders. But from this period it seems that the family of Balaguier definitely leaves his country of origin; In fact the notarial acts of Figeac do not mention any Balaguier who claims to be Lord of Balaguier. This family had swarmed in the neighborhood and had allied itself with other powerful families: the lords of Cajarc and Capde-nac; Towards I300, this family takes the name of Cardaillac and it is to it that belonged the Cardaillac, lords of Brengues and Montbrun whose lands stretched on Saujac and on various fiefs in Rouergue. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the classical Balaguiers are lords of Montsalès and Salvagnac-Cajarc ...
Although it had many branches, it is almost certain that the family of Balaguier is a native of the village which bears his name, and which everyone agrees has lost all trace of its past grandeur. In fact, it held in the Rouergue one of the first ranks by its services, the possession of a large number of seigniorial and titled lands, and its alliances with the oldest races of the country.
De Barreau in his book entitled "Historical and genealogical documents of the Rouergue" gives the certainty. The family of Balaguier very flourishing in the XII ° century extinguished in the XVI ° century and its vast estates passed by the women in those of the dukes of Uzès (Gard).

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There are some definite documents on Balaguier during the interminable war of XIX-X years, when England tried in vain to settle on the continent and to enlarge her possessions in France, and where her king endeavored to become King of France . Several times our city had to undergo the occupation of the English, that of kind of maquisards called "Routier".
In 1360, France signs the Treaty of Brétigny with Edward III who acquires a quarter of the kingdom and the extended 17 current departments; Quercy and Rouergue become English lands, but the hearts remain French; the English troops then had to reckon with the hostility of the French populations united in spite of themselves in their domain. Did not the English soldiers say ironically when talking about our ancestors: "who would have opened them and a larded pig, we would have in their heart, the fleur de lys found" ...
Balaguier was a center of resistance; at that time his castle belonged to the Marquis de Cardaillac, lord of Brengues, baron of Foissac, lord of Larroque-Toirac, Montbrun and Balaguier; he was one of the lords who distinguished himself most against the English. All the means of disturbing the occupation troops were good; the inhabitants of Balaguier stopped the boats which came down from the Lot, and exerted a tax, no doubt rather onerous, since in 1362, Sieur de Pomiers, seneschal in Quercy on behalf of the Prince of Wales, defended the inhabitants of Balaguier to stop the boats that were carrying food to Cahors and to demand the toll. "
In 1369, King Charles V, after having well taken over the kingdom and restored the finances, wanted to supersede the treaty of Bretigny, which had painfully amputated his kingdom, and resumed the struggle against Edward III. Patriotism was still alive. In our region "the inhabitants of Villeneuve played a large part in the war against the English with those of Villefranche, they united a large body of gendarmerie who submerged the boats of the English in the Lot and stopped their races in Rouergue. Of the Lot lent itself to beautiful nautical combats.Balaguier was taken several times, in 1375, on the 1 ° day of November, the feast of All Saints' Day, the English took the place of Balaguier in Quercy, and after looting it left ". (E. Cabrol Annales de Villefranche, TIP 128) ...
The English of Balaguier came to Cajarc on the Friday before the Feast God 1376, to carry a challenge "vengro per combatre"; the prud'hommes and Jean d'Hébrard who were there, gave them 60 loaves and 4 barrels of wine. We do not give the result of the battle, but there was a battle "Item lo dia quens (that we) combatero los Angles de Balaguier". This facilitated truces with this band, whose leader was Bernard Doat
They returned to Balaguier, for two years later, in 1377, they negotiated with Bernard Doat, captain who occupied Balaguier under the orders of Bertrecat d'Albret; And the city was bought for gold, at the same time as Belcastel and other places; The act reports that the redemption was paid by the most privileged taxpayers.
Of fear, no doubt, that this place would not again become an English hideaway, the castle, of which there is not one stone left, was demolished at once by order of King Charles V, after it had been taken over from the English Who had become masters of it.

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