Stéphane Bern recounts the bloody fate of Jeanne de Belleville, a pirate in love

Female pirate of the Middle Ages, such is the romantic and bloody fate of the Lady of Clisson who sows terror to avenge the death of her husband. Monday, April 25, “Secrets d’histoire” follows in his footsteps, in the heart of the mysterious Medieval walls of the Great West.

How a tall woman of seigniory, famous for her beauty, became an outcast robbed of her property, explored the shores of the Atlantic and the English Channel, ruled the people, approached the merchant ships of the kingdom in France, stole the cargoes and put everything away. are the crew fierce with the sword? In the “Secrets d’histoire” broadcast in France 3, we learn that well-born, the young woman to become France’s first female pirate, was born in 1300 in Belleville-sur-Vie, the historic land of Poitou , in a family. obtaining salt from salt marshes attached to the levels of Brittany and Poitou, the white gold of the Middle Ages. Married at 14 to Geoffroy de Châteaubriant, widowed at the age of 26, Jeanne de Belleville remarried in 1330 to the Breton lord Olivier IV de Clisson, a climbing knight and adopted the family motto: “For to my liking “.

Jeanne de Belleville will be a comic book hero

At the Vieux-Château on Ile-d’Yeu, a defensive fort built by the Clisson couple, model the Black Island castle in Tintin’s Speeches, Stéphane Bern tells us the romantic story of one who was nicknamed “The Bloody Lioness” or “The Breton Tigress” and gave birth to seven children. “Between ruthless rebels and freedom -loving rebels, our imaginations are filled with all these sea criminals, Blackbeard, Jack Rackham, English Anne Bonny and Mary Read … But the only one who has become a love pirate, it was Jeanne de Belleville, leader of the men, violent warrior, a woman hit by Great History“, explains Stéphane Bern. Under the writing of screenwriter Roger Seiter, he can be a hero in comics, it is revealed” Secrets of History “with a particular taste that translates some aspects of the famous film. Pirates of the Caribbean . But let us go back to the year of grace 1341 when Jean III, Duke of Brittany died without an heir. Two suitors were torn apart to rule this very powerful duchy: Jean Monfort supported by Edward III, King of England and Charles de Blois, supported by the King of France, Philippe VI de Valois. One war in succession, accompanied by a mini-Hundred Years War, begins in Brittany.

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While defending the city of Vannes, Olivier IV de Clisson, who had full confidence in the King of France, was kidnapped and then released against a ridiculous ransom. Rumor has it that this is a breach of loyalty. This will be confirmed, letter to the alliance of the King of England in support, by the Earl of Salisbury. For example, the King of France beheaded the treacherous head without trial for the crime of lèse-majesté, hung his body in the gibbet of Montfaucon often reserved for the worst class of peasants, and forced the his bloody head on the wall from Nantes. . “Secrets d’histoire” reopens the case kept in the National Archives. Such violence provoked and rallied other Breton lords on the cause of English. With her two sons at the foot of the wall, Jeanne vowed to take revenge on her husband. The widow Clisson united 400 knights, loyal to her husband, took over the castle of Lord Le Gallois de la Heuze, and won her first conquests on land.

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The awakening of the bloody lion

To escape the king, Jeanne de Belleville became lord of the ships and raised the flag of the pirates, one of whom would later take the name of Jolly Roger. Legendary of his brutality, he would not hesitate to cut off the hands and feet of some of the survivors so that they could not swim. Like a Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill) at sea, he satisfies his revenge. Stéphane Bern took the opportunity to remember the difference between pirates, thieves for their own account, and corsaires, which the king ordered to steal from the enemies of France. The Saint-Malo host took us on a malouinière to meet a true descendant of a corsair captain. As for Jeanne de Belleville, she finally found refuge in the English court, where King Edward III gave her “Our beloved cousin, Clisson’s wife”.

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Always proud and warm, Jeanne de Belleville sought to reclaim her lands in France. He married in the last marriage of a lieutenant to the king of England, Walter Bentley, who succeeded the castle of Noirmoutier for a time, fighting for his wife without later finding all his property at the time of his death, in at the time of his death. age 60.

Olivier V de Clisson, worthy heir

One of his sons, Olivier V de Clisson, a brilliant knight of his mother’s caliber, returned to the French side, becoming friends with Du Guesclin and Grand Constable of the kingdom of France. In 1360, the Treaty of Brétigny signed between the King of France and England, allowed him to recover all his property and land. A special pardon clause granted is attached to the official document. Jeanne’s son, a terrible businessman, would become one of the richest lords in France, owning 1/5th of Brittany, determines the French magazine 3. The castle of Josselin, fortified -an in the lands of the North and South, with his large statue on the wall representing Olivier de Clisson riding a horse, straight sword, proves its importance. In the fictional scenes, in the words of historians and novelists, are added those of Astrid de Belleville and Josselin de Rohan-Chabot, two descendants of Jeanne de Belleville, who prove to have great relevance and natural feeling. to narrate, in this issue of “Secrets of History” that shows the Middle Ages in a new light through the direction of a woman with infallible will.

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