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Marnay (Municipality, Haute-Saône, France)

Last modified: 2022-02-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: marnay |
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Banner of Marnay - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 31 May 2021

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Presentation of Marnay

The municipality of Marnay (1,508 inhabitants in 2019; 1,037 ha; municipal website) is located 50 km south-west of Vesoul.

Marnay-la-Ville was originally established in the valley of river Ognon. At the end of the 10th century, the villagers moved to a safer place, establishing Marnay-le-Château / Marnay-le-Bourg on a rocky spur. The castle was the residence of the Chalon, the junior branch of the Counts of Burgundy. The new village quickly thrived; the church dedicated to St. Symphorian was built in the early 12th century. Beatrix of Chalon (1195-1261), daughter of Stephen II (1172-1241), Count of Auxonne and Chalon, was recorded in 1210 as the Dame of Marnay; around 1215. Beatrix married Simon of Joinville (c. 1175-1233), Seneschal of Champagne; their son, John of Joinville (c. 1224-1317) was St. Louis' friends and chronicler.
John II of Chalon-Arlay (1312-1362) granted in 1354 a charter to the village, allowing the inhabitants to fortify the place with a double wall interspersed with gardens. The Joinville were succeeded in 1361 by the Montbéliard and in 1397 by the Neufchatel. In the 14th century, Marnay had a cloth hall and fairs, while tanneries, sawmills, oil and flour mills were established along the Ognon.

After the death of Duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold in 1477 during the siege of Nancy, the French commanded by the lord of Craon attacked and burned down Marnay; the town was reconquered by the Burgundians, who were expelled again two years later.
Marnay was acquired in 1512 from Ferdinand of Neufchatel by Lawrence of Gorrevod (d. 1527), Count of Pont-de-Vaux and Governor of Bresse, who restored the castle and revamped the chapel. In 1595, the rascals Tremblecourt and d'Haussonville, on Henry IV's behalf, briefly seized the castle four times, being every time expelled.
Charles-Emmanuel of Gorrevod (1569-1625), favorite of Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabel, was created Marquess of Marnay in 1602; he was also Bailiff of Amont and Knight of Honor at the Parliament of Dole. Gorrevod married in 1621 Isabel of Burgundy (1600-1650); before his death, he bequeathed in 1625 the Marnay farm to the Order of the Carmel, which established there a convent in 1678.
In 1637, Louis XIII invaded Franche-Comté. During the siege of the castle, the mercenaries led by Bernard of Saxe-Weimar burned down the village. A painting portraying the Virgin, originally housed in the hospital's chapel, was found near the castle wall; scared by the miracle, the assaulters eventually lifted the siege.
From 1658 to 1660, several women from Marnay were trialed for witchcraft. After the death of Isabel of Gorrevod and of his son, Eugen, in 1681, without male descendants, Marnay was transferred to the Beauffremont, who ruled it until the French Revolution.

Ivan Sache, 2 June 2021

Flag of Marnay

The banner of Marnay (photo) is vertically divided black-golden yellow with the municipal arms, "Sable a eun or", in the upper part.

J. Gauthier (Les sceaux et les armoiries des villes et bourgs de Franche-Comté, 1883) reports the municipal seal of Marnay used in the late 18th century as featuring a shield "Sable a sun or" surmounted by a marquess' coronet and surrounded by two palms tied in base by a ribbon. The modern, greater coat of arms, appears to have been designed after this seal .
The sun is also featured in the arms of three other towns in Franche-Comté: Dôle, Luxeuil-les-Bains and Lure.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 2 June 2021

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