Allier takes its name from the River Allier, which crosses the South to the North and divides it into two parts almost equal, one to the East and the other to the West. It belongs to the central region of the France and depends on the Loire basin. It was formed in 1790 by the almost all former Bourbonnais and a small part of the Auvergne region to the Southwest. Its boundaries are to the Southeast, the Loire department; to the East, in Saône-et-Loire, including the Loire separates it in large part; to the Northeast, in the Nièvre département to the Northwest, in the Cher département to the West, in the Creuse département Finally, to the South of the Puy de Dome.


The Department of Allier is formed from the almost all of the former Bourbonnais. The territory of the province was originally occupied by the Aedui and the Arverni and the Bituriges. At the request of the Aedui, allies of Caesar, it establishes, under their protection, a part of the Boii, who, out of Germany, had, by invading Gaul. with the Helvetii, provided the Conqueror a pretext to meddle in the Affairs of the country, and who tamed by him, had earned by courage the esteem of the winner. This colony is established between the Loire and Allier, between the land of the Aedui and the Arverni, and founded a town called Gergovia Boiorum. The new city became quite important years. During the great Gallic insurrection against Caesar, she attended a fierce and bloody struggle between Vercingetorix and the Romans. Under imperial rule, the country belonged half to the Aquitaine first half first Lyonnaise. Last witness to the efforts of the Gallic nationality against Caesar, he long kept a spirit of independence which was manifested by frequent insurrections. The revolt of the Boien Maricus under Vitellius, that of the Bagaudae in the third century of our era called on this unfortunate countered further disasters. At the time of the barbarian invasions, it was part of the empire of the Visigoths and was subjected to the Franks in 759, under Pepin the short.

Bourbonnais is the birthplace of the Royal House of Bourbon, flattery has not failed to assign an ancient origin family dominating there, one of the Lords of Bourbon. Both make it back to Clovis, others only up to Charlemagne; but the story is nothing authentic about this House before the reign of Charles the Simple. In 913, the prince gives Aymar or Adhémar few fiefs on the banks of the Allier successors take almost all the name of Archambault, who remained attached to the town of Bourbon-L'ARCHAMBAULT. Their story is that of almost all contemporary Lords. At war with their neighbours, they abandon themselves to all the violence of time, being absolve by the monks that they fill present; but as they were more eager than the Lords of Bourbon were generous, these barons sometimes try to donations erased their predecessors or stolen without any kind of there of perpetual quarrels between the clergy and the seigneurs. One of these disputes was completed by Pope Urban II in favor of the House of Bourbon.

In 1115, during the reign of Louis the fat, Aymon II invaded the field of his nephew, orphan and still a child, and usurping the title of baron of Bourbon. The mother of the child complains to the King of France, which was then in Bourges. This sum Aymon appear before him; Aymon refuses and locks himself in the castle of Germigny. Louis the fat comes to besiege, gives several unnecessary attacks and converts the seat blockade. Forced by hunger, Aymon is forced to surrender and sentenced by a court to return to his nephew fields with which it was seized; but the child having died in the meantime, the stop was point executed, and Aymon became the legitimate owner of the barony of Bourbon.

His son, Archambault VI, part with Louis le Jeune for Palestine. To have money, it caters to the monks of Souvigny, attic of property by his predecessors, and seemingly unable to refuse to contribute to something so Holy they refuse however and does give the sum requested after receiving guarantees, not only of the sire de Bourbon, but his wife, Agnes of Savoy, and gentlemen of the country thirty.

Towards the end of the 12th century, the male line of the Bourbon family died. the daughter of Archambault VII, Janet, married Guy de Dampierre, Lord of Saint-Dizier in Champagne, and it brings in dowry the inheritance of his fathers. Their son, Archambault VIII, was a favourite of King Louis VIII. He followed him to the crusade against the Albigensians, and distinguished himself by his bravery and skill. It is through him that was told to columnist, which has transmitted it to us an oft-cited anecdote, and that testifies both to the chastity of the King of France and of familiarity with Archambault enjoyed to the King. Louis VIII had fallen ill at Montpensier doctors declare him that blood and robust temperament cannot accommodate the absolute loyalty that he keeps to the absent Queen. During his sleep, is introduced in his room a beautiful girl the King awoke the sees, speaks to him gently, and after call Archambault, to which he attributed this trap in her chastity, directs it to extend the girl with her parents, adding that it is better to die than to save themselves by a mortal sin. Dying, Louis recommended his son to the Constable Matthew de Montmorency and the sire de Bourbon. That son was to be saint Louis. Archambault was faithful; He fought bravely beside him at the battle of Taillebourg and where he was wounded he died a few months after from his injuries. His reign was marked by a massive expansion of its areas, by pious foundations and large gifts to the clergy, and the granting of charters, franchises in the Commons, who then stood by the France. His son, Archambault IX, followed St. Louis on his first Crusade and increased the power of his family, which was still shut in his person. He died during the crusade in the island of Cyprus. He left two daughters, one, Agnes, heiress of the Bourbonnais, married Robert d'Artois, nephew of St. Louis. She had a daughter from his first marriage the daughter, his sole heir, married one of the sons of saint Louis, Robert, count of Clermont. From this marriage came the Royal House of Bourbon. The Bourbonnais belonged since that time to the Royal House of France. The first prince of this race, Robert, at the age of twenty years, received in a tournament a blow on the head; on long feared for his life. It heals, but he remained fool all his life; He languishes in a perpetual childhood until the age of fifty-nine. He died at Paris in 1317.

Louis Ier, his son, ruled already for a long time the fields of his father. It is reported in the wars in Flanders, in particular the disastrous battle of Kortrijk, where he saved the remnants of the French army. Under Charles le Bel, the Bourbonnais was erected as a Duché-pairie in favour of Louis Ier. This prince, who had brilliantly contributed to the splendor of his house and had increased the areas of the county on the market and part of the Limagne of Auvergne, died in 1341.

Pierre Ier, his son, succeeded him. Wounded at the battle of Crécy, he was killed to Poitiers by fighting bravely to King Jean II. He needed this glorious death to erase the memory of the intrigue in which he was engaged with Charles the bad, King of Navarre, the evil genius of the France at this time. His brother, Jacques, who had obtained the sword of Constable, was injured and taken to the battle of Poitiers.

Pierre Ier, sumptuous and beautiful, had contracted some debts, and the embarrassment of its business had contributed no little to engage him in his sad complicity with Charles the bad. Louis II, his son, probe and loyal, hastened to his property to cover the debts which had failed to be so fatal to honor his father and his house. The creditors of the late Duke had resorted to the ecclesiastical power and did excommunicate Pierre Ier; his body even remained in gage in the Church of Poitiers. His son went to him to find himself, after obtaining from the Court of Rome revocation of the excommunication launched against him. The France was unhappy; delivered by betrayal, torn apart by factions, sorry by the foreign war, it was still plagued by the horrors of the Jacquerie at the fury of farmers raised against the nobles by poverty and oppression. In this century of crimes and miseries, Louis strove to remain always loyal to cure the ills of his country. He devoted himself to the service of the dauphin (since Charles V), went to England to negotiate the release of King John and was one of the hostages who replaced in London. The delays is started run all the clauses of the Treaty of Brétigny made last eight years captivity, which, moreover, had nothing rude. He lived at the Court of England, free on parole, in the middle of the festivities and pleasures; It is called the King of honour and liesse. He obtained through England; but King Édouard wanted point to let him return to France. In vain the vassals of the Duke were assessed for 100,000 florins, of which Louis had visited pleige, i.e. which he was a guarantor for freedom of the King of France. The sum was handed over to the King of England; but it still alleged new pretexts to hold. "Finally, said Mr. Béraud (history of the Dukes of Bourbon), the ninth year of captivity would start, when a court intrigue came to make this freedom that he had been able to get through the payment of its bond. '' Edward had to Minister and favorite Guillaume Wicam, that he was raised to the dignity of grand Chancellor he intended him the bishopric of Winchester, who attending the death of the cardinal of Winchester but could not get the bubble of Pope Urban V to Wicam in the possession of the rich benefit; he resorted to the Duke of Bourbon, whose credit with the pontiff was known; He promised freedom for price of the service that it was expecting it assured him that it would be well courteous to the prison. The Duke wrote to the Court of Rome, and he received a writ by which it left him master of the bishopric. Bourbon not gave to the King of England that having him sign the deed of issue, for which Edward found average to pay 20,000 pounds. It was just free, he hastened to the Bourbonnais, whose inhabitants came to provide even a sum of 140,000 pounds, amount of obligations it had contracted during his stay in London. »

Louis found the province ravaged, exhausted moral anarchy is met, as in all France, to the deplorable state of agriculture and trade. This valiant chivalry French, so glorious at the time of the Crusades, will was gradually corrupted, weakened. the nobility, after fleeing shamefully in Poitiers, was the object of mockery of the people and the burghers, who began to feel their strength and lose the respect that their masters knew more imposing on them; the old feudal organization had lost its prestige, that she had hardly regain, and the time was not far away where a poor girl of the people, Jehanne Lorraine good, would give the example of the patriotism and courage these barons and Knights, forgetful of the ancient traditions. Louis of Bourbon tried to resurrect the feelings of the past in the heart of his barons and wanted to found an order of chivalry. After meeting his former comrades in arms, he treated them beautifully for three days, then gave them go to mills for the first day of the year 1369. On the said day, he declared them his project, distributed them the badges of the new order, whose motto was that happy word 'Hope', heard mass with them and exhorted them to defend God, homeland and the ladies. "I beg all those agenda, cried he, they want to honour ladies and damsels and don't suffer in hear speak evil; because those who wrong say are small in their honour and say to a lady who can not revancher what they did oseroient say a man; which would have their shame and women, after God, comes partly from the honor in this world; There, that those who carry this agenda are jugglers and misinterpreted one another, which is an ugly thing to any gentleman, but have faith to the other like he belongs any honour and chivalry. My friends through my ecu d'Or is a band where it says Allem, i.e. go all to the service of God, and are all in the defence of our country and where we can find and beg honour by fact of chivalry. And for this, my brethren, I told you that means the order of the gold ecu which everyone who I baillé it must swear and promise to keep, and I the first. »

He swore and received the oath of his companions. Then the Lord of Vichy, speaking on behalf of all the Knights ' our very dreaded Lord, he says, see here your chivalry that very humbly thank you for great gifts and beautiful order that have given them; which do know you that give this day, fors they offer their bodies and belongings that you should receive cettuy first day of the year, notwithstanding that they are obliged to but their heart is closed, and their will is such. ' 'I get, ' cried the Duke moved, I receive today the most beautiful gifts that Lord can receive, when I get the heart of so noble Knights. »

But, as an appearance of positive-minded modern in the middle of this chivalrous scene, was entering the room master Huguenin Chauveau, severe vigilante, Attorney general of the Duke, which brought in Louis a registry where were recounted the packages and disobedience of several warlords during the absence of the Duke; It called for justice; and for some it was life. «Master Hayward, said the Duke, did you also register services they have rendered to me? '' And, taking the report, he threw it into the fireplace, which glowed a fire of January. The past and the future met in this singular scene, with its impulses easy towards the good as to evil, the other with the spirit of cold justice, which a moment of enthusiasm does not forget so easily suffered headaches and crimes.

Louis, nicknamed the great and the good, and who has earned at least the second of those titles, not replied only not to give these badges of chivalry to his barons he wanted that they honorassent them by their value and led them against the English. This war yet Robert his Duchy; but duty held him back with Bertrand Du Guesclin, his friend and his brother in arms. A truce being occurred, he took the opportunity to run to new adventures and with one hundred Knights spent in Spain, where Henri de ruse called him to a crusade against the Saracens. But he who wanted him to fight the Portuguese instead of the infidels, the Duke refused ironing the Pyrenees without having drawn the sword and returned to fight against the English. Guardian of the young King Charles VI, half with the Duke of Burgundy, he was acquitted of his duty with loyalty, fit two crusades in Africa alone with hundreds of Knights. This man, who, by his chivalrous value and his spirit of adventure, belonged to ancient times, knew not least by alliances and happy acquisitions significantly increase areas of his house. It combines the Bourbonnais le Forez, a part of the Auvergne, Beaujolais and the Principality of Dombes. Involved in bloody strife that désolèrent the reign of the insane Charles VI, he took the Duke of Orleans against the Duke of Burgundy, John the fearless. It invades the Bourbonnais and went master of some cities, but Louis, aged over seventy years, raised an army and chase the Burgundians. He died shortly after at Montluçon.

We quickly passed on the part of the life of this prince, who belongs to the General history of our country we will do the same for its successors, becoming increasingly involved in the Affairs of the Kingdom.

The son of Duke Louis, Jean debauched and prodigal, had inherited that courage. Taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt, he died in London after 18 years in captivity. He had to redeem themselves, subscribed to a shameful Treaty, which gave the English the best seats of the Auvergne and Bourbonnais. His son, Charles Ier, who ruled his States, and his vassals refused to run such treaty; but they sent him a ransom of 100,000 ECU, that the English accepted, without surrender their prisoner. Under the Government of Jean Ier, who was the Duke of Orléans, the Bourbonnais was exposed to the most dreadful devastation committed by the opposite party. The new Duke Charles Ier rendered great services to the young King Charles VII, then fugitive, greeted him and fought for him regain his Kingdom, Xaintrailles and Dunois. But later, the Duke of Bourbon excited against Charles VII son (since Louis XI) and resulted it in a League against his father. Charles VII came himself in Bourbonnais at the head of an army for the dauphin, who had found a shelter there. All the cities that resisted him were ruthlessly plundered. However the King pardoned the leaders of the rebellion and gave even his daughter Jeanne in marriage to the son of the Duke of Bourbon, which succeeded his father in 1456 under the name Jean II.

This prince imitated his father in his spirit of revolt against Royal authority but Louis XI won by skilled concessions, and in the minority of Charles VIII, Jean II received the sword of Constable. He did in took less part in the ridicule thrown shields of the Duke of Orleans (since Louis XII) against the Regent. He died in 1487. His brother, Pierre II, was the husband of the same Regent, Anne de Beaujeu. Under his Government, or rather that of his wife, the Bourbonnais enjoys a quiet and uninterrupted prosperity. The country grows and repaired its ancient disasters. Pedro II died in 1503. It died the elder branch of the House of Bourbon, who owned the Duchy from Robert, son of saint Louis.

The rich inheritance went to the great-grandson of the Duke Jean Ier of Bourbon, Charles de Montpensier, married the daughter of the last Duke, his cousin, ugly and counterfeit, but that brought him as a dowry the power and wealth. This young man is the one who became so sadly famous under the name of the Constable of Bourbon. Beautiful, fearless, he dazzled by its pomp and amazed by his courage. The part he took in the wars of Italy gave him the reputation of a great man of war. He received the sword of Constable and commanded the vanguard at Marignan. But, by his pride, he had excited the wrath of King Francis I, and the latter, having come to mills to take the son of the Duke on the font of baptism, was wounded by the splendor of the holidays that offered him his vassal. "A King of France in could do the same," he said with bitterness and refusing to compensate expenses it had made to its service, he retired him his salary and his pension. The Constable not less followed the King in defence of the Champagne, that had invaded the army of Charles v. But the King gave the Duke of Alençon command of the vanguard, which belonged by right to the Constable, it withdrew to mills, once finished campaign. His son had died his wife died shortly after making the donation of possessions, caution that seemed unnecessary, since, the Constable had not was the son-in-law of the last Duke of Bourbon, the legacy of this family owed yet to return as head of the House of Montpensier.

But Charles was a relentless enemy, Louise of Savoy, mother of the King, which he had postponed, said to be the amorous advances. This woman excited against him the King his son and disregard any justice, it aroused against the obvious right of the Duke the intricacies of the chicane and the wrangling of lawyers. The receiver was on the heritage. Therefore the Constable kept more measurement. He gave ear to proposals that Charles v made him do, knowing attempted to betray his country by hatred against the King. The Emperor offered him the hand of one of her sisters, two hundred thousand ecus of dot and a Kingdom established in the South of the dismembered France. At this price, Bourbon sold his honor and his country. François Ier, warned that market at the time to leave for Italy, invited him to follow. Bourbon pretended to be sick to dispense to obey. The King himself came to mills; He walked up to the bed of the Constable and had with him a secret interview. François Ier spoke to him gently, not him concealing not been warned of attempts of corruption which the Constable had been. It claimed that it had pushed back, and the only disease prevented him to follow the King immediately that Moreover, it the join as soon as his strength would allow it. François Ier left him leaving with him one of his gentlemen, Warty, to spy on the Constable. Bourbon indeed left a few days later, shifting litter; but, arrived at Lapalisse, he learns that the King is educated about; Therefore he thinks more to flee. He pretended to feel more sick evil because of the rapid progress; Bourbon gathers around him his gentlemen, their command to bemoan his fate and calling Warty. It arrived, the Constable said a dying voice to find the King, to know its desperate position and to express his bitter regrets not being able to provide new services. Warty part; Bourbon mounted on horseback, arrives at Chantelle, stronghold, where it gathers as soon as all the elements of a vigorous resistance. The King warned, sent against the duc du Maréchal de Chabannes with troops. Then, despairing of take in Chantelle against a typically seat, Bourbon, accompanied by a single gentleman, Pomperant, decided to flee and leave the France. After dangers and adventures of all kinds, the two fugitives reached the border of Savoy, where the Duke went to Italy, where he began to head troops of Charles v.

The rest of his story is too known to be reported here. We know its disappointment at the Court of Charles v, the barely concealed contempt that found throughout this traitor, the evil that he did in his country and severe lyrics that addressed dying Bayard Mr, said the loyal Knight to the Duke who is perceptive about his fate, he did y point of mercy in me, because I'm dying in good man; but I pity you see against your prince and your homeland and your oath! Bourbon was killed while climbing the walls of Rome at the head of the German soldiers.

His property had been confiscated and gathered at the Crown in 1531. Since they were detached to form various Appanages, until 1622. At that time, they entered the House of Condé, who kept it until the French Revolution. They brought even betrayal. The grand Condé imitated the Constable in fighting against the France but he was able to repair his fault by his repentance and victories over the enemies of his country. The Bourbonnais, since the grand Constable, has more history which it either own and, if the title of Duke of Bourbon still reappears in history under Louis XV, the annals of the province mingle with those of the France.

The Department of Allier did not suffer from the last German invasion (war of 1870-1871).

Source: France illustrated, geography, history, statistics administration by Victor-Adolphe Malta-Brun (1816-1889).

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