© Stephen E. Jones
Locations of the Shroud: Lirey c.1355 - Chambéry 1471
This is the entry, "Locations of the Shroud: Lirey c.1355 - Chambéry 1471." I am working through the topics in the entry, "Shroud of Turin, expanding on them.
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Introduction. This five-part series of entries will trace the locations of the cloth today known as Shroud of Turin, from its first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France in c.1355, to its current location, since 1578 (apart from short periods due to wars) in or around St John the Baptist Cathedral, Turin, Italy. It is partly based on my 2012 post, "The Shroud's location."
[Above: Extract from Ian Wilson's "Travels of the Shroud" map. The left-most arrowed route to "Paris 1307" should be ignored as it was part of Wilson's Templar theory, which he no longer holds. Also the "1418" after "Montfort" is incorrect as the Shroud was at a different "Montfort" in 1418 (see below).]
Lirey (c.1355-1357). The first undisputed appearance of the Shroud was at Lirey collegiate church, in c.1355 when it
was exhibited by Geoffroy I de Charny (c.1300-1356) and his wife Jeanne de Vergy (c.1332-1428). And after Geoffroy's 1356 death in the Battle of Poitiers, the Shroud continued to be exhibited by Jeanne de Vergy until at least 1357 [Lirey (1)].]
Montfort (c.1358-1359). In 1358, following the French defeat at the 1356 Battle of Poitiers in which Geoffroy I died,
marauding bands of English soldiers attacked French towns, including nearby Troyes. So Jeanne probably took her young son Geoffroy II de Charny (1352–1398), and the Shroud, from Lirey south to the comparative safety of her castle at Montfort-en-Auxois.
Anthon (c.1359-1388) . In c.1359 Jeanne married the wealthy Aymon IV of Geneva (c. 1324-1388) and took Geoffroy II and the Shroud from Montfort to one of Aymon's estates in High Savoy (that part of France bordering both Switzerland and Italy), probably Anthon.
[Right (enlarge): Chateau at Anthon Isère (not Anthon High Savoy) built in 1315 by Guichard d'Anthon, presumably Aymon IV's great uncle Guichard VI d'Anthon (c. 1278-1320), which Aymon inherited through his mother Isabelle d'Anthon (c.1307-1335). Being part of Aymon IV's estates, it is possible (albeit less likely) that Jeanne, Geoffroy II and Aymon IV lived here with the Shroud for ~29 years between 1359 and 1388.]
Aymon was an uncle of Robert of Geneva (1342–1394), the future first Avignon Pope Clement VII (†1378-1394). And Aymon's domains were close to Annecy where Clement VII had been born and grew up. It is likely that Jeanne had arranged a private viewing of the Shroud to Robert before, or upon him becoming Pope in 1378 (see next). Both Aymon IV and Geoffroy II were knights of the Order of the Collar of Savoy, as was Humbert de Villersexel (1385-1437), the second husband of Geoffroy II's daughter Marguerite de Charny (1390-1460). That, and the many years that Jeanne and Geoffroy II lived in High Savoy, helps explain the transfer of the Shroud by the childless Marguerite to the House of Savoy in 1453.
Lirey (1389-c.1418). Aymon died in 1388 and so Jeanne returned to Lirey with the Shroud. Which explains the complaint of the local Bishop of Troyes, Pierre d'Arcis' (c. 1300-95), in his c.1389 Memorandum, that following the Shroud's first exhibition at Lirey in c.1355, it had been "kept ... hidden afterwards for thirty-four years or thereabouts down to the present year ". Jeanne then passed the Shroud over to her son Geoffroy II, who had presumably returned to Lirey when he attained his age of majority in 1373. Geoffroy married Marguerite de Poitiers (1362-1418), Bishop Henri's niece, in c.1389, so the Shroud may have been Jeanne's wedding present to him! Geoffroy then sought and received permission to exhibit the Shroud from Pope Clement VII, through his Savoy-born legate Cardinal Pierre de Thury, bypassing Bishop d'Arcis. According to Bishop d'Arcis' Memorandum, which is
[Left (enlarge): Part of Bishop Pierre d'Arcis' c.1389 Memorandum, showing that it is only a rough draft. And since no other record exists of d'Arcis' appeal to the Pope, but the Pope did reply to d'Arcis, it is likely that the Bishop made his complaint verbally through Cardinal Thury.]
only a draft, unsigned, and undated, he claimed that one of his predecessors, Bishop Henri de Poitiers (c.1327-1370), had investigated the Shroud when it was first exhibited at Lirey in c.1355, and had found that it was just a painting. But there is no evidence that Bishop de Poitiers had a problem with the Shroud, rather the contrary, and the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) in 1978 conclusively proved that the Shroud is not a painting. Unbeknown to Bishop d'Arcis, Pope Clement evidently knew the truth about the Shroud, from Jeanne, the wife of his near neighbour and uncle Aymon (see above). And indeed in correspondence with Bishop d'Arcis, the Pope let it slip that he had personally corresponded with Geoffroy II on the matter. So in what must have been a surprise to the Bishop (to put it mildly), Pope Clement VII sided with Geoffroy II against him, and decreed that the second Lirey exhibition should continue, albeit with less ceremony and toned-down claims. Moreover, the Pope ordered "perpetual silence" from Bishop d'Arcis on this matter, or be excommunicated! It is not known for how long the second Lirey exhibition of the Shroud continued. The Hundred Years War between England and France had entered an extended period of peace from 1389–1415. So there is no reason why the second Lirey exhibition of the Shroud did not continue until Geoffroy II's death in 1398, or even beyond it until 1418, since the Shroud was until that year under the control of the canons of Lirey church (see below).
St. Hippolyte-sur-le-Doubs (1418-37). Following Geoffrey II's death in 1398, his eldest child, the ~8 year-old Marguerite de Charny inherited the Shroud. Geoffrey II's widow, Marguerite de Poitiers (c.1362 -1418) married Guillaume de Noyers (c.1360-1409) and they had a son, Charles de Noyers (c.1401-1459). Presumably Marguerite and her two younger sisters Henriette (c.1395-1460) and Jeanne (1397-1406) went to live with their mother on Guillaume's estates in Bergundy, and the Shroud remained in Lirey under the control of the canons of Lirey church. Marguerite married Jean de Bauffremont (1380-1415), who was killed without issue at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415, which marked the resumption of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. Marguerite then in 1416 married Humbert de Villersexel, a knight of the Order of the Collar of Savoy, as was Aymon IV and Geoffroy II (as we saw above). Marguerite lived with Humbert at his castle also called "Montfort"
[Right (enlarge): 1670 depiction of the Grotto Chateau de la Roche, St. Hippolyte-sur-le-Doubs, which was destroyed in 1665. Presumably this was the "Montfort" in which Marguerite de Charny and Humbert de Villersexel lived with the Shroud between 1418-38.]
at Saint-Hippolyte-sur-le-Doubs, near the border of Savoy, and the borders of Germany and Switzerland. As before after the Battle of Poitiers (see above), after their crushing victory at Agincourt, English soldiers remained in France, looting defenceless French towns. In 1418 Lirey itself came under threat and so the canons of Lirey church asked Humbert to temporarily take the Shroud to the safety of his castle in far eastern France. This was done and in a letter dated 6 July 1418, Humbert acknowledged receiving various relics from the Lirey church including, "a cloth, on which is the figure or representation of the Shroud of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is in a casket emblazoned with the de Charny crest". The Shroud in its casket was deposited in Humbert's Chapel des Buessarts, and for the next twenty years the Shroud was brought out each year for display (see plaque below). In her time at St. Hippolyte, Marguerite lost her daughter Jeanne de Charny in c.1406, her mother Marguerite de Poitiers in 1418, and her grandmother Jeanne de Vergy in 1428 (aged ~96!).
With Marguerite de Charny (1437-1453). Humbert died in 1437, with Marguerite now aged ~48 and still childless. Although Humbert had been previously married, he had no children from that marriage either, so Humbert's properties were inherited by his nearest male relative, François de la Palud (?-1456), who was also Marguerite's nephew by marriage. Humbert's will provided that Marguerite was trustee of the Shroud. So Marguerite left St. Hippolyte taking the Shroud with her, holding known public exhibitions at Liege, Belgium (1449) and Germolles (1452) - see map above. But Humbert in his 1418 letter (above) had promised that he would return to the Lirey church
[Left: Modern day plaque in the church of St Hippolyte sur Doubs, which translated, states that: "The Holy Shroud of our Lord Jesus Christ, brought to France during the 4th crusade and given to the Count Humbert de la Roche of St Hippolyte by the canons of Lirey was venerated in this chapel for 34 years then given to the Duke Louis of Savoy by Marguerite de Charny, widow of count Humbert".]
all its relics, including the Shroud, when the English threat to it had ended. So upon Humbert's death the canons of Lirey demanded that Marguerite return the relics, including the Shroud, to them. But Marguerite refused, pointing out that she did not sign Humbert's letter and the Shroud was her property, not his. So in 1443 she was summoned by the Lirey canons before the parliament of Dole, France, which had jurisdiction over St. Hippolyte. Marguerite agreed to return the other relics, but she refused to hand over the Shroud, on the grounds that the danger from the English had not yet passed and the wooden Lirey church had become dilapidated. She again insisted that the Shroud was a personal possession of her family, acquired by her grandfather, Geoffroy I de Charny as a spoil of war ("conquis par feu" = "conquered by fire"), and that it never belonged to the Lirey church (it was never listed on the church's inventories). With the legal assistance of her half-brother Charles de Noyers, this was extended until 1446 and then extended further to 1449 and 1451, by other courts and officials, on the agreed condition that Marguerite made payments for the repair and upkeep of the Lirey church. But in 1452, with the danger to Lirey from the English having passed, and the church having been fully repaired, Marguerite was excommunicated by a Besançon ecclesiastical court, because of her continued refusal to hand over the Shroud to the Lirey church. By 1453 the childless, twice-widowed Marguerite was in her sixties, and had been the custodian of the Shroud for 35 years. Marguerite de Charny never did hand over the Shroud to the Lirey church, and (see next), she did not bequeath it to any of her relatives either, but in 1353 transferred the Shroud to the House of Savoy.
Geneva (22 March 1453). On 22 March 1453, in Geneva (presumably at Château de Chillon or Chillon Castle)
Marguerite transferred ownership of the Shroud to Duke Louis I of Savoy (1413-1465) and his wife Anne de Lusignan of Cyprus (1415–1462). In return, the Duke ceded to Marguerite his castle at Varambon and the revenues of his estate of Miribel, both in eastern France, in return for unspecified "valuable services." This can only have been the transfer of ownership of the Shroud. Varambon had been for generations the seat of the de la Palud family until it was confiscated by Duke Louis I from Marguerite's nephew and Humbert's heir, François de la Palud. Marguerite had previously petitioned King Charles VII (1403–61), that Louis pay compensation for what he had taken from her nephew, so presumably this was a face-saving way for Louis to return Varambon to its rightful owner. The revenues from Miribel were already exhausted, so in 1455 Louis took it back replaced it with the town and manor of Flumet, in High Savoy. Marguerite did not profit from the exchange. It was not a commercial transaction (if it had been Marguerite could have asked and received much more for the Shroud) but the Duke and Duchess wanted to express their gratitude to Marguerite in a tangible way, and also to be able to confirm in law that they now owned the Shroud. Therefore the repeated claim by professional Shroud sceptic, Joe Nickell, that Marguerite "sold" the Shroud for "two castles" is false. As Ian Wilson pointed out, "Margaret was now in her seventies, and one can scarcely suppose that at this stage in her life she should have been particularly interested in acquiring real estate"! The Duke's wife, Anne de Lusignan, had previously expressed an interest in the Shroud and was eager to possess it. Until her marriage Anne had lived in Cyprus, and the Church of the Acheiropoietos (Greek "made without hands"), at Lapithos, Cyprus, dedicated to the Mandylion (the Shroud "doubled-in-four"), was not far from where she had lived. So it is likely that Anne recognised the resemblance between the face on the Mandylion and that on Marguerite de Charny's Shroud. If Anne also knew the story that Marguerite's Shroud had been looted from Constantinople (see plaque above) then she may have realised that the Shroud was the lost Mandylion (or at least a very old copy of it)! Similarly, Marguerite would likely have seen in Anne a kindred spirit, who truly valued the Shroud. That, coupled with Duke Louis and Anne's well-known piety, and their power to ensure the safety of the Shroud, would have all been factors in persuading Marguerite to pass on the Shroud to the House of Savoy, who went on to own it for the next 530 years! When the canons of Lirey discovered in 1457 that Marguerite had ceded the Shroud to the Savoys, they had her excommunicated by the ecclesiastical court of Besançon, unless the Shroud was returned to them. They were again paid off again temporarily by Marguerite, and in 1459 lifted the excommunication, having been paid off by Duke Louis.
Geneva - Chambéry (1453-65). After the Shroud became the property of the Dukes of Savoy on 22 March 1453, it initially had no fixed abode. The Savoy family carried the Shroud around with them on their travels. However, it is likely that the Shroud was within a few days transferred from Duke Louis' Geneva castle to his Chateau in the Savoy capital Chambéry, in far south-eastern France, near the borders of Italy and Switzerland.
[Left (enlarge): Château of the Dukes of Chambéry. In the 14th century this was the principal residence of the Savoys. So initially the Shroud would have been held here, when it was not travelling with a Duke.]
Marguerite de Charny died on 7 October 1460, having bequeathed her titles and lands, including Lirey, to her cousin and godson, Antoine Guerry des Essarts (c. 1408-74), the son of Bishop Henri de Poitiers' illegitimate daughter Guillemette (c. 1380-1450). As there would be no legal requirement for Marguerite to leave her titles and lands to the son of an illegitimate child, she must have done so because she was a close friend of her aunt Guillemette. This is further evidence that, contrary to Bishop d'Arcis' claim in his 1389 Memorandum, Bishop de Poitiers had no problem with the exhibition of the Shroud at Lirey in c. 1355. Even after Marguerite's death the canons of Lirey kept demanding the Shroud be returned to them. Finally in 1464 Duke Louis paid them out with a large sum of money, and an annual rent from the revenues of his one of his castles as compensation for their loss of the Shroud. Considering that the Lirey church never owned the Shroud, it having been left in their hands when Geoffroy II unexpectedly died in 1398, and Marguerite was his heir and so was the Shroud's rightful owner, the Lirey canons' continual demands over a long period of time that the Shroud be returned to them, or Marguerite would be excommunicated, unless they were paid large sums of money, was simply extortion! On 11 November 1462 Anne died in Geneva, followed on 29 January 1465 by Duke Louis at Lyon.
Chambéry (1465-71). On Duke Louis I's death in 1465, his eldest child, Amadeus IX (1435-72), inherited his father's title and properties, including the Shroud. He shared with his wife Duchess Yolande de Valois (1434-1478), a devotion to the Shroud. Yolande was a daughter of the late King Charles VII of France(1403-61) and a sister of the reigning King Louis XI (1423-83), whose Queen was Charlotte of Savoy (1441-83), Amadeus' sister! Yolande had been betrothed to Amadeus in 1436, when she was four years old, and she had lived at the Savoy court since then, as was the custom. So she would have been ~19 when her grandfather Louis I received the Shroud in 1453. In 1452, Amadeus and Yolande were married, and after that they had walked from Vercelli, Italy to Chambéry, a distance of ~ 280 km (~170 miles), in an act of veneration of the Shroud. In 1471, a year before his death, Amadeus IX began the enlargement and embellishment of the Dukes' chapel at Chambéry, to make it a worthy home for the Shroud. But Amadeus suffered from epilepsy and had delegated to Yolande the government of his territories. In 1471 Yolande founded the convent in Chambéry of the Poor Clare nuns. In that same year Francesco della Rovere (1414-84), one of Duke Louis I's Franciscan retinue, was elected Pope Sixtus IV (†1471-84).
Continued in, "Locations of the Shroud: Chambéry 1471-Turin 1578."
1. The term "undisputed history" is Ian Wilson's, in his 1996, "Highlights of the Undisputed History." By "undisputed" Wilson means, "documented history of the Shroud of Turin," not that no one disputes it. But in fact the overwhelming majority of leading Shroud sceptics accept that the Lirey Shroud was the Shroud of Turin. The sole exception (as far as I am aware) is that of professional conspiracy theorists Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, who claim that the Shroud was faked photographically by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). But Leonardo was born almost a century after the Shroud's first exhibition at Lirey in c.1355, so Picknett and Prince have to maintain, against all the evidence, that the Shroud of Turin is Leonardo's 1492 fake which had been substituted by the House of Savoy for the supposedly `inferior' Shroud of Lirey, which was then destroyed. [return]
2. Wilson, I. 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Gollancz: London, inside cover. [return]
3. "So obviously there remains an unexplained gap between 1204 and the 1350s (and my suggestion of Templar ownership during this period has never been more than tentative and provisional - please note that I no longer support the claims for this ..." Wilson, I., 2012, "Discovering more of the Shroud's Early History: A promising new approach ...," Talk for the International Congress on the Holy Shroud in Spain, Aula Magna of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, 28-30 April, 2012, p.2. [return]
4. Latendresse, M., 2012, "A Souvenir from Lirey," Sindonology.org. [return]
5. Montfort-en-Auxois, aka Montigny-Montfort. In the map above it is at the location shown as "Montfort 1418" but the "1418" is wrong, being confused with Montfort castle at St. Hippolyte-sur-le-Doubs. [return]
6. "Château des Panettes," Châteaux de France, 8 October 2014. Translated by Google. [return]
7. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.228, 241. [return]
8. "Grotte de la Roche: Histoire et Mysteres...," Office de tourisme de la Communauté de communes de Saint-Hippolyte (Doubs). [return]
9. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.212. [return]
10. Jean Espirat, "Photos of Saint-Hippolyte," France-Voyage.com. [return]
11. Duncan, H., 2006, " The Turin Shroud in a 15th century Fresco in St Hippolyte," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 63, June. [return]
12. "Château de Chillon," Wikipedia, 1 February 2015. Photograph, "Castle_of_Chillon_N.jpg"," by Zacharie Grossen, 3 July 2014. [return]
13. Nickell, J., 1993, "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, p.23; Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," , Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, pp.18-19 & Nickell, J., 2007, "Relics of the Christ," The University Press of Kentucky: Lexington KY, p.133. [return]
14. Wilson, 1979, p.214. [return]
15. "Château des Ducs de Savoie à Chambéry," Chambéry Tourisme & Congrès. [return]
• "Chambéry," Wikipedia, 14 February 2015.
• "Yolande of Valois," Wikipedia, 13 March 2014.
• Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Synergy Books: Tempe AZ, p.33
• Brucker, E., 1998, "Thy Holy Face: My 39 Years of Lecturing on the Shroud of Turin," Brucker: Tucson AZ, pp.15-16
• Crispino, D.C., 1981, "Why Did Geoffroy de Charny Change His Mind?," Shroud Spectrum International, #1, December, pp.28-34, p.29.
• Crispino, D.C., 1982, "The Report of the Poor Clare Nuns," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 2, March, pp.19-28, pp.20, 22.
• Crispino, D.C., 1983a, "Louis I, Duke of Savoy," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 7, June, pp.7-14, pp.9, 13.
• Crispino, D.C., 1983b, "The Castle of Montfort," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 8, September, pp.35-40.
• Crispino, D.C., 1988, "To Know the Truth: A Sixteenth Century Document with Excursus," Shroud Spectrum International, #28/29, September/December, pp.25-40, p.38.
• Currer-Briggs, N., 1988, "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, pp.35-37, 44-46, 65.
• Currer-Briggs, N., 1995, "Shroud Mafia: The Creation of a Relic?," Book Guild: Sussex UK, pp.16-17, 35, 220-221.
• de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, pp.15-17.
• Duncan, H., 2013, "The Shroud in Montfort, 1418-?," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 77, June.
• Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.12-13, 14-16.
• Humber, T., 1978, "The Sacred Shroud," , Pocket Books: New York NY, pp.103-105.
• Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.129.
• Jones, S.E., 2015, "de Charny Family Tree," Ancestry.com.au (members only).
• Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, pp.49, 53, 64-65.
• Piana, A., 2007, "The Shroud's "Missing Years," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 66. December.
• Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, p.66.
• Sox, H.D., 1978, "File on the Shroud," Coronet: London, pp.41-43.
• Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, pp.47-48, 102-103.
• Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, pp.42-43, 46-47.
• Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, pp.41, 50-51, 53.
• Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.85-87, 193, 203-210, 214-218, 260-261.
• Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, pp.12-13.
• Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, pp.14-21. • Wilson, 1994, pp.20-25.
• Wilson, I., 1994, "A Chronology of the Shroud 1452-1509," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 38, August/September, pp.20-25, pp.19-20.
• Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p, pp.4, 116-122, 126-128, 130, 132, 210-211, 279-283.
• Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.221-222, 229-245, 302-303.
Created: 16 February 2015. Updated: 17 March 2017.