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Bourgueil-en-Vallée, Abbey of


Former Benedictine house in the former Diocese of Angers, now Indre-et-Loire, France (patron, St. Peter). It was founded in 989 by Emma, wife of Count William IV of Poitiers, and confirmed by Pope John XV in 990 and by King Hugh Capet in 994. The first abbot, Gausbert, ruled simultaneously the Abbeys of Bourgueil, Saint-Julien of Tours,marmoutier, and La Couture at Le Mans. Baudry of Bourgueil, the seventh abbot (10791107), was the most notable prelate to come from the abbey. He was archbishop of Dol in Brittany and one of the most important Latin poets of the 12th century. At its height the abbey directed 42 priories and 64 parish churches; it had properties throughout western France, as well as some important vineyards in the Loire Valley. The abbey was placed under commendatory abbots after 1475 but was reformed by the maurists in 1630. It was suppressed in 1791. The buildings, which were mostly destroyed during the French Revolution, included the Gothic church (built 124693), a cloister of the 15th century, and the conventual dwellings dating from 1658 to 1672.

Bibliography: There is a copy of the unedited cartulary of Bourgueil at the Bibliothéque Municipale of Tours, MS 1338,1339. Gallia Christiana, v. 113 (Paris 171585), v. 1416 (Paris 185665) 14:654667. p. calendini, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 10:229234. l. musset, "Les Plus anciennes chartes normandes de l'abbaye de B.," Bulletin de la société des antiquaires de Normandie, 54 (195758) 1554; "Deux nouvelles chartes normandes de l'abbaye de B.," ibid., 56 (196162) 541. m. dupont, "Monographie du cartulaire de B., des origines à la fin du moyen âge" (Mémoires de la soc. archeol. de Touraine 56; Tours 1962).

[l. musset]

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