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Saint Laumer of Blois, Abbey of


In Blois, central France. Benedictines from the monastery of Corbion, founded near Chartres c. 575 by St. Laumer (d. c. 590), fled with the relics of their founder to Blois at the time of the Norman invasions (c. 874). Under the castle of Count Thibault in 924 they built the new Abbey of St. Laumer, which flourished in the Middle Ages. Commendatory in the early 16th century and pillaged by huguenots in 1568, the abbey joined the maurists in 1627 and revived. In 1697, however, Louis XIV gave the abbot's monastic revenue (some 8,000 livres) to the new Diocese of Blois; and benefices for the cathedral chapter were carved out of other abbatial properties. The abbey was greatly reduced in membership and wealth when it was suppressed by the French Revolution in 1791. The 13th-century Romanesque church, with noteworthy sculpture, was modified several times since and became a parish church; other buildings served as a hospital.

Bibliography: u. chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques du moyenâge. Topobiobibliographie, 2 v. (Paris 18941903) 2:2720. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:397398, 871. m. vinet, Le Royal monastère bénédictin de Saint-Laumer de Blois (La Roche-sur-Yon 1960).

[l. j. lekai]

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