A Brief History of
Poitou, France

Fontenay-le-Compte Birthplace of Pierre Michaud
Aigre Possible Birthplace of Olivier D'Aigre
La Rochelle Birthplace of Marie Ancelin
Angoulême Birthplace of Noël Simard
Isle-de-Ré Birthplace of Gilles and Jean Gaudreau
Beaulieu-sous-la-Roche Birthplace of René Albert

700 BC
to 56 BC
Celtic tribes occupy much of western Europe. The Iron Age in France.
56 BC Celtic settlement of Limonum ( Poitiers) captured by the Romans.
56 BC
to 406 AD
Roman Empire in Gaul. Aquitania quickly becomes an integral part of the Empire.
315 St. Hilary born in Poitiers.
353St. Hilary of Poitiers becomes bishop of Poitiers, begins suppressing Arianism.
356St. Hilary banished to Phrygia.
361St. Hilary returns to Poitiers.
406 AD The Vandals ravage Gaul.
418 Establishment of the Visigoths in Aquitaine.
507 Clovis I, King of the Franks, beats Alaric II, the King of the Visigoths, near Poitiers (Vouillé). The Visigoths emigrate to Spain. Aquitaine passes into the hands of the Franks.
511 The Council of Orleans. Clovis I creates a united and Christian Gaul.
682 Foundation of the Abbey of Saint Michel en l'Herm.
732 Charles Martel defeats the Saracens at Poitiers, turning back the Muslim invasion of Europe.
799 First Viking raid in Boin.
836 Translation of the relics of Saint Philibert de Grandlieu in Déas.
843-868 Norman invasions intensify.
928 The Count of Poitou officially becomes Duke of Aquitaine.
~1000 Foundation of the Abbey of Saint Pierre de Maillezais.
1058 Pope Etienne IX incorporates the Abbey of Maillezais into the Congregation of Cluny.
1099 Dedication of Saint Nicolas of Chaize-le-Vicomte.
1130's Foundation of the abbeys of Chauvet Island, Breuil-Herbaud, Grainetière, and Trizay.
1137 Guillaune VIII of Poitou dies. Eleanor of Aquitaine marries Louis VII, the king of France.
1152 Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII separate. Eleanor remarries, to Henry Plantagenêt, future King of England.
1199 Democracy comes to Poitou. La Rochelle elects Guillaume de Montmirailas its first mayor. City becomes know for its stubborn independence.
1204 Death of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Philippe Auguste undertakes the conquest of Poitou.
1205 First mention of a windmill (on the Island of Yeu).
1217 Decision to dig the "Channel of the Five Abbots" through the Poitou Marsh.
1241-1271 Principality of Alphonse of Poitiers, brother of Saint Louis.
1283 Additional draining of the Poitou Marsh.
1317 Partition of the Diocese of Poitiers. Creation of the regions of Luçon and Maillezais.
1340 English attack against the Abbey of Orbestier.
1346 Overthrow of the Count of Derby in Poitou.
1348 The plague arrives to Poitou.
1356 The Battle of Poitiers. Edward the Black Prince, destroys the French army near Poitiers while raiding out of Bordeaux. He captures John II, King of France.
1360 Treaty of Brétigny-Calais cedes Poitou to the King of England, Edward III.
1362 Edward III cedes the Principality of Aquitaine to his son.
1372-1373 French reconquest of Poitou by Du Guesclin.
1369-1416 Principality of Jean de Berry.
1416 Becomes part of French Crown lands.
1427-1433 War between G. of Trémonville and A. of Richemont.
1431Charles VII establishes the University at Poitiers.
1440 Revolt of Praguerie.
1453 End of the Hundred Years' War. All of Aquitane becomes part of France.
1465 Organization of "the League of the Public Property."
1488 St-Aubin-of-Cormier: Trémoille's royal forces overcome Breton army.
1514 Drafting of the habit of Poitou.
1517 "The Virtue of Indulgences" published by Martin Luther. The Protestant Reformation begins.
1523 Parliament is created in Poitiers.
1525 Pavie: The Poitevine Nobility is decimated.
1534 Calvin in Poitiers -- Protestantism arrives in Poitou.
1540 Mathematician Francois Viète born in Fontenay-le-Comte. Viète introduced the first systematic algebraic notation, including the use of symbols like the plus '+' and minus '-' signs.
1551 Creation of the Présidial.
1550-1560 Expansion of the Reform of Poitou.
1562The Wars of Religion begin.
1567 Meeting of Protestant Nobles of Low-Poitou.
1568-1569 Significant destruction in Low-Poitou. Capture of Saint Michel en l'Herm. Huguenot raids.
1570 Capture of Fontenay-le-Comte by the Huguenots.
1571 Confession of the Reformed faith.
1573 Organization of the Protestant (Huguenot) Reformed Churches.
1577 Capture of les Sables d'Olonne by Chaumois Huguenots.
1580 The Château of TERRE-NEUVE is built outside Fontenay-le-Comte.
1585-1598 Devastation along the Brittany-Poitou "border of religion." These religious wars rage across the countryside, destroying crops, depopulating villages, and laying the foundation for years of famine and plague in the region.
1598 Edict of Nantes. Talmont, Beauvoir designated as Protestant places of safety.
1608 Richelieu becomes Bishop of Luçon (until 1623).
1614 Richelieu acts as Spokesman of Clergy in the States General.
1622 Seigneur de Soubise, Protestant general, beaten in Riez by Louis XIII.
1627-1628 Siege of La Rochelle.
1631-1632 Great Plague and famine.
1635-1643 Revolts in Poitou.
1637 Pierre Micheau (dit Michaud) born in Fontenay-le-Comte.
1642-1666 Massive drainage of the Poitou Marsh.
1643 Olivier D'Aigre (founder of the Daigle family in the New World) born in Poitou.
1648 Anti-tax revolt. Pope Innocent X moves the episcopal seat to La Rochelle.
1654 Marie Ancelin, future wife of Pierre Michaud, born in La Rochelle.
1655 Pierre Simard (founder of the Simard family in the New World) arrives in New France.
1656 Pierre Michaud sails from La Rochelle for Quebec.
1661-1662 Food Crisis.
1663 Olivier D'Aigre departs from La Rochelle for Acadia.
1665 Marie Ancelin and her family emigrate from La Rochelle to Quebec.
1665 Gilles and Jean Gaudreau (founders of the Gaudreau family in the New World) emigrate from Isle de Ré, Poitou, for Quebec.
1666 Barnabe Martin emigrates from Indre-et-Loire to Acadia.
1672 Pierre Albert (founder of the Albert family in New France) born in Poitou.
1685 Revocation of the Edict of Nantes
1702-1713 Another disastrous series of religious wars rage across the countryside.
1716-1720 The System of Law installed.
1756-1763 Seven Years War. France cedes Canada to England.
1788 Winter famine.
1789 French Revolution begins.
1793 Vendean Royalist Athanase Charette captures the isle of Noirmoutier.
1793 King Louis XVI executed.
1804 Napoleon Bonaparte becomes Emperor of France.

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