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Re: Questions for Sinclair de la Behottiere
Nevin Sinclair's account appears to be correct. Saint Clair's Father
apparently bethrothed him to this English woman. I was given the
information that she was from somewhere near London. The record of his
death was, in french, was "decapite", in English "decapitated". As you
cross the Epte river, there are magnificent ruins of the fortress of
Andelys. This is the gateway to Normandy. It was in this fortress that
Richard Coeur de Lion was held captive. A fortified castle, which
apparently predates the arrival of Saint Clair at Cherbourg in
Normadie. Coutintin he arrived in approximately 867. There are six towns
with the name simply "St. Clair"
in France. There is a "Mount St. Clair" in the south of France near
Montpelier. There is "St. Clair-d'Arcey" in the Eure. There is a "St.
Clair d'Halouze" in Calvados (Fine apple brandy is produced in this region
of Normandy...). There is a "St. Clair de la Toure" in the mountains near
Chanbery. There is a "Saint Clair de Marque" in Savoi. There is a "St.
Clair de Rome". There is a "Sinclair-sur-Jalaure". There is a "St. Clair
sur L'Elle". There is a "St. Clair sous Monts". The statues of Saint Clair
show him holding his head in his hand. He is always dressed as a monk. At
the place of his beheading, there is a small chapel directly across from the
rock on which he was beheaded. In the town of "Saint Clair sur Epte" their
is an ancient chateau, the ruins of which are still visible, it predates the
arrival of the Saint. The chateau sur Epte, the chateau
De Ville Arceau, the fortress Gisors, all predate Saint Clair's arrival.
Monsieur Le Mayor Destouches would be pleased to recieve correspondance,
though he has no email facilties (It would simply be "Le Marie, St Clair-sur
Epte, Val-d'Oise, France") the town has approximately 1,100 people. In 1962
an archeologist excavated a site close by the chapel of Saint Clair, which
shows the earliest beginnings of the town, approximately 400 years after the
birth of Christ.
The Salle de Fete (Every French town has a party hall for weddings, baptisms
or other important events) of Saint Clair-sur-Epte is built entirely of wood
from Norway. The Gables are marked with dragon heads to remind the
townspeople of the viking, who ravaged all of Normandy. The Normans
besieged France as
Vikings or Norsemen.
The following are the major dates in their plaguing of the Frankish Kingdom:
800 Channel coast invaded by Vikings.
820 Seine valley laid waste by Vikings.
836 Christians presecuted in the Contentin region.
858 Bayeux devastated by the Vikings.
875 Further perssecution in the West.
885 Paris beseiged by Vikings
911 Treaty of St-Clair-sur-Epte: Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy.
912 Rollo baptised in Rouen.
Rollo is always depicted being a large man of red hair and beard.
Normandy was in fact an independant dukedom. Under William Longsword the
dukedom took on its final form with the unification of the Avranchin and the
10-11C Consolidation of ducal powers. Restoration of the abbeys. Creation
of new monasteries.
1027 Birth of William, the future conqueror of England, at Falaise.
1066 Invasion of England by William, King of France threatened by his
vassal, the Duke
of Normandy, now also King of England.
1087 Death of William the Conqueror in Rouen.
Normandy was not fully recovered by the French Crown until 1469, when the
Dukial Seal, when Charles of France, the last Duke of Normandy, recognised
by the French Crown, was diposessed by the Dukedom. Our Queen today still
remains the Duke of Normandy in many British eyes.
I will return to St-Clair-sur-Epte for the third time in attempt to find
answers to your questions. St. Clair-sur Epte wass apparently called before
its renaming Chateau-sur-Epte. In the church itself which apparently is
being rebuilt by stripping off the modern masonery, many of the heraldic
symbols are seen. I will have more information for you shortly. I am
sending a second email concerning the Holy well and the chapel.
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