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Famous personages of Castres or passing through Castres


  • Henri IV, en visite à Castres
    Henri de NAVARRE.
    14th of March of 1585: visit of Henri de Navarre.
  • Henri IV, en visite à Castres
    Henri de NAVARRE.
    14th of March of 1585: visit of Henri de Navarre.
 
On the 14th of March of 1585: visit of Henri de Navarre.

Henri IV, roy de France, a visité Castres
Henri de Navarre, the future Henri IV came to Castres in order to consult the other Protestant party leaders about the fight against the Catholics. Castres inhabitants rather remember the anecdote of the delicious millas tasted by the future king. A peasant gave the King that famous corn cake. Before offering the dry cake, the landlady had improved it with honey. The satiated king saw a sign of wealth in this daily meal of Castres inhabitants… He therefore increased the taxes! The legend tells that when he came back three years later, he met the same peasant who had become a wretch and he tasted a awful millas. Surprised to behold this misfortune, the king had to hear that the country enrichment had considerably impoverished the people ….Therefore Henri IV learnt the lesson and reduced the taxes.

  • Pierre Borel, médecin du Roy
    Pierre BOREL
    1654: Pierre BOREL became physician to the King
  • Henri IV, en visite à Castres
    Pierre BOREL
    1654: Pierre BOREL became physician to the King
 
1654: Pierre BOREL became physician to the King

Pierre Borel, médecin du Roy
Doctor in medicine, college regent and member of the Castres Academy, Pierre Borel became the official physician to the King Louis XIV in the year 1654. The most famous part of his work remains “Antiquités du comté de Castres” where he often appears to be often a naïve historian and his “Trésor des recherches et antiquités gauloises et franques”, a philological dictionary.

His scientific work is of high interest: in his biblioteca chimica, he draws up the first chemistry and alchemy printed bibliography. He is the author of natural history books, of medical observations, in medical matters, optics and linguistics and is avid for progress; he is the representative of the savant current of the 17th century.

  • Paul PELISSON-FONTANIER
    Paul PELISSON-FONTANIER
    1661: Paul PELISSON FONTANIER was imprisoned in the Bastille
  • Paul PELISSON-FONTANIER
    Paul PELISSON-FONTANIER
    1661: Paul PELISSON FONTANIER was imprisoned in the Bastille
 
1661: Paul PELISSON FONTANIER was imprisoned in the Bastille

Paul PELISSON-FONTANIER
Born in a Protestant family of Castres, Paul Pélisson was a lawyer and a writer. He is imprisoned in the Bastille in 1661 after the disgrace of his patron Nicolas Fouquet. He remained in prison for four years as he had refused to repudiate Fouquet and had written an “Address to the King by one of his faithful subjects about Mr Fouquet’s trial” then “Second defence of Mr Fouquet” in his favour.

Released in 1666, he became official historian to the King. He abjured the Protestant religion and obtained ecclesiastical preferment. First a member of the Castres Academy, he later became director of the French Academy in 1653.

  • Armand du Plessis, duc de RICHELIEU
    Armand du Plessis, CARDINAL DE RICHELIEU
    August of 1629: the Cardinal Richelieu visited Castres.
  • Armand du Plessis, duc de RICHELIEU
    Armand du Plessis, CARDINAL DE RICHELIEU
    August of 1629: the Cardinal Richelieu visited Castres.
 
August of 1629: the Cardinal Richelieu visited Castres.

Armand du plessis, cardinal de Richelieu
After Henri IV’s death in 1610, the Protestants’ rights were flouted and there came troublesome times again. Rohan and Louis XIII ordered the destruction of the fortifications of Castres after the fall of La Rochelle, last bastion of the Reformed Party. Coming from Montpellier, with such troops that «four thousand breads »had to be cooked for them, the Cardinal Richelieu came personally to control the dismantling of the city fortifications. This was done during that summer of 1629 when Richelieu discovered a city ravaged by the pest and from then on obedient to its king.

  • Pierre De FERMAT
    Pierre De FERMAT
    12th of January of 1665: Pierre De FERMAT died in Castres
  • Pierre De FERMAT
    Pierre De FERMAT
    12th of January of 1665: Pierre De FERMAT died in Castres
 
12th of January of 1665: Pierre De FERMAT died in Castres.

Armand du plessis, cardinal de Richelieu
Struck down on that day by an apoplexy attack during a session of the Edict Chamber, Castres indeed lost an eminent councillor and magistrate of the Catholic section where he had been seating since 1638. On an epistolary friendship with Pascal, he became a highly reputed mathematician with his scientific works. He improved the optical and mechanical sciences, and above all the theory of numbers. He would gladly challenge other European mathematicians like Descartes, Pascal, Roberval, etc...He was buried in the Saint Vincent Church, (south-west corner of the Jean Jaurès square).

  • Monseigneur de TUBOEUF
    Monseigneur de TUBOEUF
    4th of February 1665: Monseigneur de TUBOEUF, Bishop of Castres.
  • Monseigneur de TUBOEUF
    Monseigneur de TUBOEUF
    4th of February 1665: Monseigneur de TUBOEUF.
 
4th of February 1665: Monseigneur de TUBOEUF, Bishop of Castres.

Monseigneur de TUBOEUF
After a disastrous episcopacy in the city of Saint Pons, Monseigneur de Tuboeuf came in solemnly on that day as Bishop of Castres where he might accomplish his builder’s dreams.

As the old Episcopal house seemed exiguous and in bad condition, the prelate decided to order the building of an Episcopal city as sumptuous as the one of the Bishops of Albi. Designed after Jules Hardouin Mansart’s plans, the building was finished in 1673, then completed by gardens whose beauty is linked to the Le Nôtre renown, designer of the Versailles gardens.

Then, the Bishop asked the King the authorisation to rebuild the cathedral. The works went slowly because of the lack of money and the cathedral will be consecrated only under the episcopacy of Monseigneur de Beaujeu, long time after Monseigneur de Tuboeuf died, in 1682.

  • Jean-Louis de LIGONIER
    Jean-Louis de LIGONIER
    1697: Jean Louis De LIGONIER ran away from France
  • Jean-Louis de LIGONIER
    Jean-Louis de LIGONIER
    1697: Jean Louis De LIGONIER ran away from France
 
1697 : Jean-Louis de LIGONIER ran away from France

Jean-Louis de LIGONIER
In this era of intolerance towards Calvinists and after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Jean Louis de Ligonier, son of a Protestant family of Castres had to leave France to find shelter in the Netherlands then to England. Enlisted in the English military force, he climbed up through the ranks, became Field Marshall and Peer of Ireland, Earl then member of the House of Lords. He died in 1770, showered with honours. He has a memorial in Westminster Abbey.

  • Emilie de VILLENEUVE
    Emilie de VILLENEUVE
    8th of December 1836: Emilie de VILLENEUVE took the veil
  • Emilie de VILLENEUVE
    Emilie de VILLENEUVE
    8th of December 1836: Emilie de VILLENEUVE took the veil
 
8th of December 1836: Emilie de VILLENEUVE took the veil

Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve
She founded with two other young girls the congregation of “les soeurs de Notre Dame de l'Immaculée Conception” called “Blue Sisters”, owing to their blue suit.

Why Notre Dame de l'Immaculée Conception? Emilie, since her mother’s death, had decided to leave it to the Holy Mary. Daughter of the wealthy Marquess Louis de Villeneuve, she was raised up at the Hauterive castle and however chose to leave a wealthy life and to devote herself to the poor. She died of cholera in 1854 after she had offered her life to stop the plague in Castres.

  • Jean JAURES
    Jean JAURES
    19th of May 1876: first speech of Jean JAURES
  • Jean JAURES
    Jean JAURES
    19th of May 1876: first speech of Jean JAURES
 
19th of May 1876: first speech of Jean JAURES

Jean JAURES
«Therefore, Mister Prefect, in answer to your visit which is an honour for us and a call to our good will, I promise on behalf of my fellow students, that we will work in the future to serve our country like we are working today to make you worthy to serve it.»

This very young man of 16 years old who was speaking his first public speech was Jean Jaurès, who later on was to become the great orator and politician we know. On the occasion of an unexpected visit of the Prefect of Police at the college of Castres, Jaurès caught the attention with “his firm voice, resolute gesture, intense clear eyes and beautiful thoughts clothed in a distinguished form” (in Le Républicain du Tarn 05/21/1876).

The following autumn Jaurès will have left Castres for the Sainte Barbe college in Paris in order to prepare Ecole Normale Supérieure entrance examination. He came first in the examination and third of his promotion before beginning his eminent destiny.

  • Francisco de Goya
    Francisco de Goya
    27th of September 1894: works by GOYA came into the museum
  • Francisco de Goya
    Francisco de Goya
    27th of September 1894: works by GOYA came into the museum
 
27th of September 1894: works by GOYA came into the museum

Francisco de Goya
With successive decisions of the painter Marcel BRIGUIBOUL then of his unique son and his widow, the city of Castres inherited all his works and, particularly three paintings by Goya: the “Self-portrait with glasses”, the Portrait of Francisco del Mazo, a set of caprices and the “Junta of the Philippines”. These peerless masterpieces purchased in Madrid on the 7th of May 1881 became with numerous prestigious works the initial point of the Hispanic art collection of the museum of Castres.

Son of a rich middle-class family of Castres, Marcel BRIGUIBOUL came to painting in Barcelona and got his training in Paris where he met Jean-Paul Laurens, Renoir, Monet. A painter and collector, dazzled by the big Spanish masters, he acquired numerous high quality paintings among which paintings by GOYA.