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CONFRATERNITIES


Before tiing to our village, he/it appears me useful to explain what is a charity .


The masterly exposition of Mrs. Catherine Verschoote, member of the Society of Antiquarians of Normandy, during an evening organized by The Circle of Vernonnais survey March 25, 1999 permits me to try of it to me.
We don't have no document that goes up again beyond of the 15th century but one can think, and some confraternities affirm it, that these brotherly associations go up again in the beginning the 11th century.
They are in composed general of 12 15 brothers' who elect the prévôt that is in charge of the order and the alderman, responsible of amounts. They are elected for one year. Often the prévôt becomes alderman and the alderman becomes the ancient or king.
Three orders participate in the life of the confraternity:
Partners that come from other parishes and payents a yearly royalties. They benefit for them and their families of services that provide the charity.
The gainful: The clerk, clothed of a surplice, he/it helps the priest and holds registers.
The Chapelainses, priests that say Mass for the defunct in the chapel affected to the confraternity.
The tintenellier or cliqueteur that sound bells (tintenelles) and shout died them, to inform the people of deaths. He/it also shouts some Pater Nosters (shout of patenôtreses). As he/it walks a lot, the confraternity offers him of the new shoes.
Servers or servants who lend vow in public, to keep statutes, to increase possessions and to submit itself/themselves to regulations of the charity.
After the election, at the time of the passage of responsibilities, the ancient alderman kissed on the mouth his/her/its substitute.
The vicar was president of full right of the charity.
In the church benches of the charity were installed, one for the prévôt, the other for the alderman with sites for the carries banner and for the carries cross.
To the breast of the community, women were admitted, one called them sœurs, they sewed shrouds, made the toilet of deaths and prepared agapeses.
Possessions. Every brother possessed a hood, way of stole more or less decorated that he carried on the left shoulder, he covered himself/itself the chief of a biretta. Sometimes he/it also carried a soutanelle to protect itself/themselves of the cold weather. He/it had to carry shoes; hooves and boots were proscribed. That it is under the ancient regime or to the 19th century, these clothes were decorated richly of embroideries to the thread of gold and money. On the hood represented, in a circle, the holy boss of the charity.
For the pomp, charitonses paraded with banners to fringes of gold where were written down the name of the charity. They also possessed a cross of procession in silvery metal, sometimes same in money, of carries them candles in turned wood, of sticks with a golden sculpture either painted representing a holy boss framed of palms sustaining a canopy. One can observe some in numerous churches where they have been put down after the dissolution of confraternities.
All this material was stored in the room of the charity, local affected to this use especially. A case to three locks, doubled of lead in time of war, served to arrange registers. Cracks in the lid permitted to slip there of currency pieces.
Craftsmen of the village maintained all this material, including the char(ou hearse) .
Brothers also possessed the small crosses containing relics, they were in metal.




Assemblies. They were held every week, one held of it chapter (as in monasteries), one adjusted of it the internal problems, replacements. All was consigned on the register of deliberations.
Agapeses. They took place at the time of the feast of the holy boss of the confraternity. Overflows were stigmatized there by denunciation to the bishop. To avoid abuses, this last limited the length of these rejoicings where poor were invited.

 

 

Brothers of the Charity St Martin before the church of Pressagny the proud leave in procession. (Postcard photo.)

One slandered a lot on abuses during these feasts; in fact brothers were cheerful but rarely intoxicated.
Liabilities.

1) brothers made vow to serve whatever he/it costs some to the service of patients, dying and deaths. Situations were heroic at the time of the big epidemics where all the population escaped, letting the alone charitonses facing their duties. Many died some, reached by the pain that they coasted. If they had not respected their vœuxes, who would have buried deaths that dispersed the contagion?

The Parliament gave back homage to these men for their courage.
2) obligation of comparante. They had to be present to every office: Mass, Vespers, Complies, including during the thick works, crops, vintages etc...
3) obligation to pray, to confess itself/themselves, to receive communion to the least once the year, to like his/her/its neighbor, to be good life and mœurs otherwise they were reprimanded, paid fines or same were excluded.
4) Matuelle obligation. It consisted in making disappear begging by helps to domicile, of bread distributions, of helps to exoineses of their body (infirm and handicapped), of grants to endow the poor girls so that they can get married. The poor women in gésine, ready linens received to give birth to wrap up their baby. At the time of calamities: fires, hail, lost harvest, facts of war, victims were helped.
5) obligation of patient visit and to come with the priest when he/it carried the last sacraments.
6) obligation to come with pilgrims of passage that surrendered to Rome or Compostelle.
The burial.
1) the family informed the crier so that he announces the death.
2) the clerk sounded the bell of the church to a different rhythm depending on whether he was about a defunct man, woman or child.
3) the crier warned brothers who surrendered to the room of charity to clothe ornaments then to surrender to the domicile of the defunct. It was necessary to make quickly...
4) the body was escorted by paths or streets with banner, cross and decorum.
5) in the church, it was necessary to illuminate the ceremony with lights (candles cost dear). Benefactors were privileged by a bigger quantity of candles.
6) brothers had to be present in mind (they had to not doze).
7) in the cemetery, the crier had dug the pit and set down shovels in cross; the cortege gave back himself of it for the stake in earth.
8) brothers proceeded to a distribution of aumônes, in general of bread, then close to the funerary pit after all these liabilities, they relieved themselves on the wall of the cemetery. One blamed them it, but ceremonies were long and laws of the nature are demanding...
9) charitonses came with the family of the defunct to his/her/its domicile; they were thanked by coolings without alcohol.
At the time of epidemics, when the load was too heavy, they had the right to attach itself/themselves helps; in case of weariness, they could go in at home, provided that to pray of it.
The Revolution carries a terrifying stroke to charities, they are forbidden by a decree of the legislative assembly of August 18, 1792. All their possessions are confiscated. The Concordat re-establishes all their rights and they take their activities as if it had not happened anything.
Under Louis Philippe, Eminence Olivier bishop of Évreux must put back the order in confraternities that drift, doesn't follow the rule anymore and overtly opposes to the clergy. The struggle will be long but the prelate will arrive to his/her/its ends.
Members of confraternities were often of rich considerable that didn't hesitate to put the hand to the purse, it was a means to limit the poverty, the rich saw of their own eyes misery. If they respected requirements of the gospel: You will like your neighbor as yourself, they could make otherwise that to share.
Today, does one need to recreate this direct contact between rich and poor maybe, would confraternities of charity answer them again to this goal?
The Normandy is the alone province to have preserved as many charities. The department of the Eure is an exception by the number important of his/her/its confraternities that live again today, especially in the region of Bernay.
Let's leave the exposition of Mrs. Verschoote now to study what touches our Township closely
To Our Lady of the Isle, the Jean-Baptist Saint Confraternity has been founded in 1730. The following day of the feast of this holy boss, a procession surrendered the church of the Isle to the priory of The Madeleine of Pressagny. Did she/it pass by the road of the Andelyses or by the road of the Valley?
In the canton of Ecos, all townships possessed their confraternities until the beginning of this century. Today alone the township of Berthenonville had his been born again. Mézières in Vexin considers, her also, to proceed to one reconstitution of his/her/its charity.
With regard to our township, a register of the confraternity Saint Antoine of Pressagny the proud is preserved to archives of the city of Vernon. Opened in 1785 under the responsibility of Pierre Palmentier, king of the so-called confraternity and translated by Joachim Nightshade, Mr. of school of the Parish of Pressagny the proud.
This register retraces this saint's life that, been born to Côme in Egypt to the 3rd century of our era, made the admiration of his/her/its contemporary by his/her/its rigor to apply a Christian life made of sharing and abstinence. He/it is as famous to have dominated temptations by which the Shrewd tried to give back it impure and to make him fear by all monstrous apparition ways. To see the œuvre of Flaubert: The Temptation of St Antoine.

The most ancient brother names:
Louis Marie
Louis Postel
Guillaume Philipes
Pierre of Orleans, death in 1778.
Michel Varin
Jean Bultel
Etienne Briard
Antoine the Tellier
Mathieu Marie
Pierre Hebert
Jean Martin Bourdon, death in 1772
Louis Jacques Benard
Names of brothers that must pass Roy,
Jean Marc in 1786
Louis Benard in 1787
Jean Jacques Bernard in 1788
Jacques The Haberdasher in 1789
Pierre Cabot in 1790
Louis Charles Pâlé in 1791
Pierre Vicomte in 1792
Michel Benat in 1793
Antoine Renaulten 1794
Pierre Louis Benarden 1795 Tintenelles of the confraternity of St Antoine of Pressagny
the proud.
Pierre Palmentieren 1796 flowers of lily have been scraped during the Revolution. (Photo: B. Marsan.)

Since January 17, 1794 until January 17, 1801, the confraternity didn't hold an assembly, his/her/its activities having been interrupted during this interval by the Revolution and this 17 January 1801, feast of the blissful St Antoine, Pierre Louis Benard passed King of the confrairie and is acquitted himself well of his/her/its duty towards God and the most gracious manner towards his/her/its brothers.
Of 1801 to 1806, the vicar, Madelain is the editor of amount-given back them.
Pierre Parmentier1802 (One doesn't roll the rs anymore)
Jean Marc1803
Jacques Benard1804
Jean Benard1805
Jacques Bourdon1806
Says it day of St Antoine 1806, has been stopped to the unanimity among brothers that whoever would miss to the Pascal duty of their society, would be excluded of the society.
Madelin P.D.
1807 (it is another hand that writes) Jean Jacques The Haberdasher king.
1808 Jacques Cabot is a king.
1809 Michel Benard is a king
1810 François Renal
1811 Jean Benard jacques
1812 Jacques Bourdon
During the year twelve, one paid for bread ten soils the pound and again one could not have some.
1813 Jacques Lemercier.
1814 Jacques Cabot
1815 Michel Benard
1816 François Renal Jounard going against
1817 Jean Jacques Benard
1818 Jean Jacques Lemercier
1819 Jean Jacques Cabot
1820 Michel Benard
1821 Jean Jacques Benard
1822 Jean Jacques Lemercier
The stick of the blissful Saint Antoine remained to the dying last brother who was Jacques The Haberdasher, death in 1831. The confraternity was abolished in 1822 for lack of brother. Of his/her/its existence, he/it made a Mass tell all years January 17, day to which stories brothers celebrated the blissful Saint. Since 1822 until the day of his/her/its death.
Reconstitution of a Charity (document preserved in a private collection)
The year 1896, the Sunday 12 January has been convened a general assembly of all brothers composing the Charity of Saint Martin of Pressagny the proud, which is united himself to the Town hall in sufficient number to deliberate and stopped what follows, aiming to the modification of the regulation.


Chapter 1st: Formation.
Article 1st family's chief, inhabiting the Township , that will want to benefit the privilege of the free burial for him , his/her/its wife and his/her/its children , will be held to accept and to sign the present regulation and to serve until the age of 60 years .
Article 2. The service is payable of all shareholder, to count of the year that will follow his/her/its marriage and of all bachelor from the age of 25 years.
Article 3. All stranger, immediately his/her/its arrival in the Township that will want to make part of the Charity, will be held
to accept the present regulation. From the age of 45 years, he/it should make 4 years of service in succession.
Article 4. All no one that will refuse the service and that will want to make bury itself/themselves by the Charity should pay a sum of 50 francs below for his/her/its family's member except exceptions, to know:
1) from the birth until the age of 5 years, one should pay for a sum of 10 francs.
2) from 5 years until the age of 12 years, one should pay for a sum of 25 francs.
Article5. The Prévôt will have to still to make pay for himself before to convene brothers. In the case where he/it would not have made him, he/it is responsible of the sum towards the Charity.
Article 6. He/it will be put back to every brother who will have attended burials foreseen above by the article 4, a redistribution of 2 francs.
Article 7. He/it will be discerned for every burial, a sum of one franc fifty cents for payment to the Serving Brother, to convene Brothers; he/it will also have to, a half-hour before the levee of the body, to carry the sheet, the Cross and candlesticks to the mortuary domicile, under pain of an one franc fine.
Article 8. Parents of Brothers in activity of service or having made their service, will be buried by the Charity, in return for a payment of 10 francs that will be poured in the cash-box.
Article 9. All man that will be able to make his/her/its service personally, is allowed to make replace itself/themselves, provided that his/her/its substitute is aged of 18 years to the less and 60 years at more.
Article 10.
Article 11. All brothers, out of service, as well as their women and their children, will be buried by the Charity, as by the past.
.
Article 12. Sappers - firemen won't be been anxious to make the Charity replace itself/themselves to attend the burial of one of their friends or a honorary member of the Co; the service will be made then by the two societies.
Chapter 2: Service.
Article 1. The number of brothers to make the service is fixed to thirteen.
Article 2.
Article 3. For the burial of a five year child until the age of twelve years, he/it will be command six brothers; the King or the Prévôt and the serving brother should attend there.
Article 4. The designation of Brothers for the burial of children will make himself while following the order of enrollment of the picture.
Article 5. A quest will be top to burials, by the Prévôt and days of feasts, by the King; the product will be poured some in the trunk of the Charity.
Service of obligation.
January 20. St Sébastien.
The two Sundays of the St Sacrament.
The day of the All Saints' Day.
The Christmas day.
The First Communion.
The Confirmation.
Service of Devotion.
Branches.
The Day of Easter.
The ascension.
Assumption.
Chapter 3. Obstacles.
The alone reasons legitimate obstacle is:
1) the legally noted illnesses.
2) one won't be been anxious to make replace itself/themselves for the burial of his/her/its family's member; as his/her/its father and mother, brother and sœur, uncle and aunt.
3) one will have to still to warn the Prévôt of it.
Chapter 4 Fines.
Article 1st. Every missing Brother to a Mass of obligation will pay for a fine of fifty cents; the one that won't have arrived for the gospel, will pay a fine of twenty five cents.
Article 2. Every missing Brother to vespers, will pay a fine of twenty five cents.
Article 3. Every missing Brother to a service of burial, will pay a fine of two francs; the one that won't be present to the levee of the body, will pay a fine of fifty cents.
Article 4. The Prévôt should have Brothers always convened, a half-hour before the hour fixed for the levee of the body.
Article 5. All Brother who will present himself with his/her/its shoe or the smutty dresses or without being shaved, will pay a fine of twenty five cents.
Article 6. All Brother who will present himself in state of drunkenness or that will hold a conduct that would carry reach to the respect of the society, will pay a fine of fifty cents.
Article 7. All Brother who will refuse to pay for his/her/its fines, will be scratched of the list of the Charity; therefore, he/it won't have right to the free burial, as well as his/her/its wife and his/her/its children.
Article 8. For fines will be paid to the Prévôt, every year, the Christmas day,: the product of fines will be spent according to the vœu of the Brother majority.
Article 9. The King and the Prévôt will owe all years, the Christmas day, to proceed to the retiring Brother replacement.
Article 10. December 31 of every year, the Prévôt should convene the Charity, either to the church or elsewhere to proceed to the nomination of the King, the Prévôt and the serving Brother; he should give account of his/her/its management of the year and should make verify his/her/its amounts by the Mayor.
Article 11. The Charity won't take care any more to provide a cantor for burials.
Article 12. To the Mass of St Sébastien, a blessed bread will be offered and will be paid by all Brothers in activity of service.
Article 13. For he/it will be paid on resources of the cash-box to the bellringer and the cantor, each three francs, for their honoraria of St Sébastien.
Article 14. For the banquet of St Sébastien, he/it won't be taken on the cash-box that for the meal of the serving Brother and the small clerks.
Article 15 He/it will be taken every year, on resources of the cash-box , a sum of fifteen francs , for honoraria of Mr. the vicar .
Article 16. All Brothers will owe obedience to the King and the Prévôt, for everything that concerns the service that will be continued as by the past.
Article 17. All chief that would come to infringe to the present Regulation will be responsible of the nonperformance.
Article 18. All business no foreseen by the present Regulation will be the spring of the Brother majority in activity.
Article 19. The present Regulation, submitted to the approval of all members composing the Charity, annul the ancient.
Makes thus and signed, after made reading, to Pressagny the proud, January 12, 1896.
Members of the Commission.
One can read signings of:
Members of the Commission:
Noé Lehec, I.Lemercier, A.Levreux, L.Vivien, D.Lemercier,
Members of the Charity:
Letellier Gabriel, Charles Delaisement, Godard, Dine Adolphe, Mel Lefebvre, Benard Laurent, Lorailler, E. Doré,,
Eugene Allais, Thorel, Connan, Marcel, E.Benard, Varin, Léon,? Allois Jules, Chaumont René, E. Letellier, Olivier,
Letellier, Perrineau, O.Parmentier, Craipon, Alphonse, Rémy Lemaitre, Chaumont Benjamin, Albert Louis, A.Varin,,
Léonard skate, Alphonse Letellier, Régnier Léon.

Follow amounts of the fraternity and modifications of the regulation. In 1919 the age of the service is prolonged of 60 to 65 years and tariffs of burials undergo a strong inflation.
Among brothers, many names remain again in the memory of most ancient of pressécagnienses:
Herpin Wenceslas. He/it held coffee today named the smoking-room. He/it was as shoemaker.
Thorel Gustave. His/her/its name is even living today to the village.
Debord Jean.He/it exploited the coffee of The Marette in the house occupied by the store of antiques.
Lemercier Julien. Was an agriculturist in the occupied farm today by Mr. and Mrs. Mainguy
Varin Louis. Father of German Etienne. His/her/its Victorine wife was nicknamed Vitaline.
Lehec Ernest. Son of an ancient mayor of Pressagny.
Of Orleans Arthur. Nicknamed Tutur. One of his/her/its ancestor was mayor of Pressagny.
Benard municipal Louis,Conseiller until 1971, his/her/its family always lives to Pressagny.
Dine Adolphe. The last of ferrymen. His/her/its Suzanne girl married Charles Leguay, their descendants,
are known well of pressécagnienses.
The fraternity died out in 1928, hoods and banners have been lost with the destruction of the church in 1944, the hearse served until in years 70. Since, he/it remains wisely in his/her/its local kid on the room of the church. Will owe you him to serve again? Will find you him a room in a museum? It would be can be the most beautiful end for this chariot to arm that transported so much pressécagniens for their ultimate journey.
Rémy Lebrun

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Chariot or hearse of the confraternity of St Martin of Pressagny the proud (Photo: B. Marsan.)

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