Place:Abbeville, Somme, France


Alt namesAbbaticovillasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 1
Abbatis Villasource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 2
Abbavillasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 1
Coordinates50.1°N 1.833°E
Located inSomme, France
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Abbeville is a commune in the Somme department and in Hauts-de-France region in northern France.

It is the chef-lieu of one of the arrondissements of Somme. Located on the river Somme, it was the capital of Ponthieu. Its inhabitants are called the Abbevillois.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia



The subsoil contains many vestiges of the Pleistocene. This discovery was a founding element of prehistory as a science.

The name Abbeville has been adopted to name a category of paleolithic[1] stone tools. These stone tools are also known as handaxes. Various handaxes were found near Abbeville by Jacques Boucher de Perthes starting in 1838 and he was the first to describe the stones in detail, pointing out in the first publication of its kind, in 1846, that the stones were chipped deliberately by early man, so as to form a tool. These stone tools which are some of the earliest found in Europe, were chipped on both sides so as to form a sharp edge, were known as Abbevillian handaxes or bifaces, but recently the term 'Abevillian' is becoming obsolete as the earlier form of stone tool, not found in Europe, is known as the Oldowan chopper. Some of these artifacts are displayed at the Musee Boucher-de-Perthes.

A more refined and later version of handaxe production was found in the Abbeville/Somme River district. The more refined handaxe became known as the Acheulean industry, named after Saint-Acheul, today a suburb of Amiens.

It retained some importance into the Bronze Age.[1]


Although the research of Jacques Boucher de Perthes has highlighted an occupation of the site of Abbeville (Menchecourt-les-Abbeville quarter) from the Acheulean era, in Roman times it was a succession of marshes, similar to marsh of Saint-Gilles which remains today. Further to the north, the entire plateau between the Authie and the Somme was covered in primary forest. The Romans had to break through this forest massif for the passage of the road from Amiens to the village of Ponches on the one hand, and on the other to the west by the road linking the Beauvaisis in Boulogne-sur-Mer. The couple Abbeville / Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is the key to the historical enigma of the landing of Magnus Maximus and his Britto-Roman troops in the spring of 383 AD (St-Valery = Leuconos > Pors Liogan; Abbeville = Talence > Tolente). The road to Paris passes near the Vieux-Rouen-sur-Bresle, which has been identified with the character Himbaldus (Château-Hubault).

Middle Ages

Early Middle Ages

In the 7th century, the Benedictine monks of Saint-Valéry, Saint-Josse, Saint-Saulve de Montreuil, Forest-Montiers, Balance and Valloires cleared the woods that were close to their monasteries. The Frankish king Dagobert I then gave part of the forest of Crécy, the hermitage became the : it is the Act of birth of the abbatial field of Abbeville. The name, Abbeville, comes from the Latin and means "town (or more exactly) field of Abbots" (of Saint-Riquier).

The first historical mention of Abbeville, in the Chronicle of , dates to 831 AD. It was a small island in the Somme, inhabited by fishermen who refuged there with their boats and had fortified it against barbarian invasions from the north. The Abbot Angilbert built a castle to defend this island, which depended on the Abbey of Saint-Riquier.[2][3] It was an important fort city responsible for the defense of the Somme.

In 992, Hugh Capet fortified the city and gave it to his daughter, Gisèle, on her marriage with Hugh I, Count of Ponthieu who resided in Montreuil.

High Middle Ages

From the 12th century, the Abbot opened a leprosy hospice, the maladrerie des Frères du Val, moved to Grand-Laviers in the following century, before urban sprawl. Then accessible to boats, Abbeville became a port of the English Channel under the dependence of the Abbots of Saint-Riquier. Subsequently, the silting up of the forced the sea to recede by , but the city continued to be a trading port. Abbeville became the capital of the Ponthieu and rapidly spread on both banks of the River Somme, right on the slope of the hillsides and left into the marshes.

In 1095, Guy I Count of Ponthieu founded the Abbey Saint-Pierre of Abbeville and on 24 May 1098, he was dubbed as a Knight by Louis the Fat.

On the occasion of the First Crusade, Abbeville was the meeting point of many troops from the northern provinces. Godefroy de Bouillon reviewed them on the current location of the .

With the rapid development of the salt trade (from Rue), woad (waide in Picard) and industry of wool cloth, the bourgeois increased in number and political importance: They asked for a charter granted in the course of the 12th century and which was confirmed in 1184[1][3] by Count John I of Ponthieu who died in Palestine. To commemorate the event, they built a belfry in 1126. A century later, Jeanne de Dammartin, Countess of Ponthieu (1220–1278), allowed the religious to convert an additional part of forests into cropland, allowing the development of the local economy. Afterwards it was governed by the Counts of Ponthieu. Together with that county, it came into the possession of the Alençon and other French families, and afterwards into that of the House of Castile. In 1214, the Abbeville militia took part in the Battle of Bouvines.

In the middle of the 13th century, Abbeville was "one of the best cities of the Kings of France". Its port was one of the first of the Kingdom and its considerable trade.

In 1259, the Estates-General of the Kingdom stood at Abbeville and Henry III of England has met with Louis IX of France to sign the Treaty of Paris, which settled the question of the conquests of Philip Augustus.

In 1272, Ponthieu with Abbeville, passed by marriage to the Kings of England, but Philip V took over the city, claiming that Edward II of England had not fulfilled its duty of vassal. Edward II complied with the feudal law, and Abbeville fell under English rule. However many challenges rose between the bourgeois and their new masters.

Late Middle Ages

Throughout the Hundred Years' War, the town was alternately occupied by the English and French causing the inhabitants of the town enormous suffering. They were tested by excessive taxes and terrible epidemics. Over the decades, the region was devastated by looting, epidemics and wolves. The city thus appealed to the King of France twice, in 1406 and in 1415.

Affected by the , Abbeville resisted the English army, and served as a home base for who refuelled Calais besieged by the English.

In 1360, it was transferred, with the County of Ponthieu, of which it was the capital, to the Crown of England by the Treaty of Brétigny. That same year, John II of France stayed there after returning from captivity.

In 1361, Abbeville, again English, poorly welcomed its new masters. Ringois, bourgeois of the city, refusing to take the oath of obedience to Edward III of England, was taken to English soil and hurried from the top of the Tower of Dover Castle into the sea in 1368. During this period, a revolt of Jacques was defeated by the Abbeville militia in the vicinity of Saint-Riquier. The soldiers of Charles V captured the city by surprise, but the English recaptured it shortly after and it remained in their possession until 1385.

Like other Picardy cities, it then passed under Burgundian rule at the end of the in 1421. In 1430, Henry VI of England was received at Abbeville.

In 1435, the city was ceded to Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy, by the Treaty of Arras.[4]

Louis XI bought Abbeville to the Duke of Burgundy in 1463 and visited the city on 27 September of the same year. In December, by its letters patent, he confirmed the privileges of the city, attached by his predecessors, but in 1465, Charles the Bold returns on this assignment by taking the lead of the League of the Public Weal.

In 1466, the municipality enacts safety regulations recommending to reduce or not use flammable materials (such as walls in timber or straw roofs) in construction, in order to reduce the risk of fire. However, it clashed with general hostility, and the regulations were finally just applied.

Louis XI failed before Abbeville in 1471, but covered Picardy on the death of the Duke of Burgundy in 1477.

Early modern era

In 1477 it was annexed by King Louis XI of France,[1] and was held by two illegitimate branches of the royal family in the 16th and 17th centuries, being in 1696 reunited to the crown.[4] In 1480, then 1483, a plague epidemic ravaged Abbeville. Charles VIII visited the town in 1493.

16th century

On 3 October 1514, Louis XII married Mary Tudor in Abbeville, the daughter of Henry VII of England.[2][3]

On 23 June 1517, Francis I came to Abbeville with the Queen and met Cardinal Wolsey, representing the King of England to form a league against Charles V. In 1523, the English finally fell alongside Charles V in the wars of Francis I and the city had to suffer many frequent requisitions. That same year, an outbreak of plague ravaged Abbeville. A further epidemic of plague struck Abbeville in 1582.

In 1531, Francis I performed a new tour in the city. The most serious blows to Abbeville were the series of English raids by the Duke of Suffolk on the sides of the estuary in 1544, after the fall of Boulogne and Montreuil. King Henry II was received in Abbeville in 1550.

During the Wars of Religion, the governor, who was Protestant was massacred with his family, by the people. In 1568, François Cocqueville, a Protestant leader of war, entered the Ponthieu with 3,000 soldiers. He plundered and sacked the , towns, churches and castles of Authie and Saint-Valery-sur-Somme region.[5] Chased by the , Cocqueville was captured with several of his own and they were beheaded on the marketplace of Abbeville.

The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre caused no casualties in Abbeville due to the moderation of Léonor d'Orléans, the Duke of Longueville and governor of Picardy. However, Abbeville had embraced the Catholic League and suffered from the Wars of Religion, and it was relieved when it was recognised, by Henry IV in April 1594, despite the clergy who persisted in its resistance. Following this, on 18 December 1594, the King of France Henry IV visited Abbeville.

17th century

At the beginning of the 17th century a plague epidemic wreaked havoc. More than 8,000 people perished, thus depopulating Abbeville.

On 21 December 1620, King Louis XIII visited the town. His sister Henrietta went there several times.

In 1635 and 1636 the town suffered from the war against the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. They destroyed many villages located in the surrounding area. Richelieu stayed in the city in October. A plague epidemic raged again during the years 1635, 1636 and 1637.

In 1656, 6,000 soldiers, who had participated in the English Civil War, landed in France and took their quarters in Abbeville from where they left to go and reinforce the army of Turenne en route to Valenciennes. Shortly after, Balthazard Fargues sold the place to John of Austria and after meeting the price, he refused to deliver it to him, raising troops for himself who were then spread throughout the Ponthieu to ransom the inhabitants. Finally stopped, he was tried and hanged at Place Saint-Pierre on 17 March 1665.

In 1657, Louis XIV came twice to Abbeville with his mother, Anne of Austria.

By the mid-16th century, the woad trade shrank after the promotion of the pastel of the Pays du Midi, and it took to restructuring crafts. Colbert used it, and under Louis XIV, the city developed through the installation of Van Robais, manufacturers of sheets and tapestries from the Netherlands who, in 1665, created the (drapery workshops).

In 1685, it suffered a serious blow at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the Protestant temple was destroyed and the persecuted workers who were the majority of skilled labour left the town, including those of Van Robais. The population decreased very strongly and never fully recovered from this exodus of talent.[1]

In 1693 the Ponthieu became the refuge of a considerable number of Bretons and Normans who had left their country because of , but they almost all perished of misery.

18th century

At the end of the reign of Louis XIV the country was covered with troops. The city crowded of sick and wounded. In 1708, after the capture of Lille, the troops of the Duke of Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy came forward frequently at the gates of Abbeville, the farms and villages. The winter of 1709 was terrible; people perished from cold, hunger and misery. At this time industry was quite dark and the State was required to help sheets manufacturers.

In 1717, Peter the Great passed through Abbeville.

In July 1766, the Chevalier de La Barre, accused of having, a year earlier, failed to give a due salute to a religious procession for Corpus Christi by refusing to remove his hat and singing ungodly songs. However, the story is more complex and revolves around a mutilated cross. He was executed on the Place du Grand-Marché for blasphemy. Subject to the issue, his legs were crushed. The right hand and the determined language, his decapitated corpse was finally delivered to the flames with the Dictionnaire philosophique of Voltaire on the same place. Today, a paving stone, engraved with his name and the date of his execution, is visible on the place of execution (Place Max-Lejeune), near the town hall. The martyrdom of the Chevalier de La Barre served as Voltaire's banner in his fight against religious fanaticism.

On 2 November 1773, the powder magazine exploded killing 150 people and damaging nearly 1,000 houses.

Administratively, the people of Abbeville formed a whose competence has been confused with that of the delegation of the same name (located in the Generalitat of Amiens). On the eve of the Revolution, Abbeville was the chef-lieu of a main electoral Bailiwick (without secondary Bailiwick).

Abbeville was fairly important in the 18th century, when the Van Robais Royal Manufacture (one of the first major factories in France) brought great prosperity (but some class controversy) to the town. Voltaire, among others, wrote about it.

Contemporary era

French Revolution

There were no significant excesses during periods of Revolution and the Terror.

In 1793, on Place Saint-Pierre the furniture of the churches was burned, along with images and the feudal titles. The became the Temple of Reason.

On 8 June 1794, a festival was celebrated in honour of the Supreme Being. Abbeville suffered from famine in 1794 and 1795.

On 5 January 1795, the Hotel of Grutuze, built under Charles VII, attended by the directors of the district, was destroyed by a fire.

In 1797, the , one of the oldest learned societies of France, was created.

In 1798 and 1799, the winter was severe and a part of the town was flooded.

Consulate and Empire

On 18 brumaire year X (9 November 1801), there was a terrible hurricane that caused more than 1,300,000 francs worth of damage in the arrondissement.

On 29 prairial year XI (18 June 1803), Napoleon passed through the town for the first time. During the preparations of the expedition he was planning against the United Kingdom, the First Consul often spent time in Abbeville by going to the camp of Boulogne.

In 1813, as part of the reorganisation of the cavalry which had been decimated in Russia, the arrondissement offered the government 43 men mounted and equipped.

Early in 1814, with invasion becoming more imminent every day, the urban National Guard was reorganised across the whole of the Empire. 30 pieces of artillery were placed on the walls, and to complete the defense system, trees were felled in the vicinity to make 30,000 palisades and 14,000 shields. On 20 February, a column of cavalry forming the vanguard of the 3rd Corps of the Prussian army, commanded by Baron de Geismar, arrived in Doullens, before heading to Abbeville. Immediately, the Abbevillois ran to arms. 800 rifles were made available and a vigorous resistance began when the population learned that this supposed vanguard of the Prussian army had more than 1,500 to 2,000 men in its ranks, both Cossacks and Saxon Lancers, who eventually made their way to Paris.

In early April, after the Battle of Paris and the abdication of Napoleon, 2,000 Lancers and Prussian cuirassiers commanded by General Röder arrived from Paris and the surrounding countryside, and committed all kinds of excesses during their stay.

On 27 April 1814, Louis XVIII entered the town and was received with an outpouring of joy. He stayed at the Abbey of Saint-Pierre.

During the First Restoration, many distinguished people and about 10,000 British troops passed through Abbeville, to return to their country. The Duke of Berry, accompanied by the and the , stayed there.

On 21 March 1815, King Louis XVIII, who was on the way to exile, spent a night in the town.

In 1815, after the Battle of Waterloo, the town was again put into defence. However, after numerous desertions, the garrison was reduced to 400 men.

July monarchy, Second Republic and Second Empire

Victor Hugo came to Abbeville three times, as a tourist: In 1835, he stayed there successively from July 26 (after going down to L'Écu de Brabant), then on 4 and 5 August (staying at L'Hôtel d'Angleterre). In August and September 1837, he came to Amiens after having descended the Somme by Steamboat. Finally, in 1849, leaving the city in the rain on 11 September.

In 1847, there was the arrival of the railway in Abbeville with the opening of the Amiens-Abbeville section of the line of the Longueau–Boulogne railway. In 1856, the Abbeville railway station was inaugurated, which is still in service.

End of 19th century and Belle Epoque

Abbeville was the birthplace of Rear Admiral Amédée Courbet (1827–1885), whose victories on land and at sea made him a national hero during the Sino-French War (August 1884 to April 1885). Courbet died in June 1885, shortly after the end of the war, at Makung in the Pescadores Islands, and his body was brought back to France and buried in Abbeville on 1 September 1885 after a state funeral at Les Invalides a few days earlier. Abbeville's old Haymarket Square (Place du Marché-au-Blé) was renamed Place de l'Amiral Courbet in July 1885, shortly after the news of Courbet's death reached France, and an extravagant baroque statue of Courbet was erected in the middle of the square at the end of the nineteenth century. The statue was damaged in a devastating German bombing raid during World War II. It was an allied base during World War I.[2]

In 1896, the Socialist Jules Guesde came to lecture in Abbeville. In the aftermath, a group of the French Workers' Party and a House of the people are created. 1899, the phone has already arrived in Abbeville but its operation does not any satisfaction.

In 1899, Abbeville industry had a mill, a table linen factory, a rope factory, a factory of weight scales, three smelters, a boiler works, a locksmith for buildings, a wood grinding mill, a distillery, etc.

On 7 July 1907 was the inauguration of the , gathering many Republicans, delegates from Socialist groups and free-thinkers.

World War I and the conferences of Abbeville

During World War I, the town was never occupied by the German troops (as evidenced by the monument built on the Mont de Caubert).

In 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, it served as a military hospital (the 3rd Australian General Hospital). As with Amiens and Beauvais, the town was partially destroyed and the is significant nearby, particularly due to unexploded ordnance still found in the soil.

In 1918, it was the seat of two Anglo-French conferences (conferences of Abbeville): That of 25 March, between Field Marshal Haig and Generals Wilson and Foch, who convened the Doullens conference. During the second conference on 2 May, Foch demanded authority on the Italian front but only obtained a power of coordination. It was at the Conference of Abbeville (1 and 2 May 1918) while the armies weakened that Foch opposite Clemenceau and Lloyd George would have considered a fallback to the south to protect the capital. In the event that the French and British armies were separated and they could no longer defend both access to the ports of the English Channel and Paris, the British army would have then withdrawn and stood on the Somme.

On May 31, 1918, American war poet John Allan Wyeth was a Second Lieutenant in the 33rd U.S. Infantry Division, which was largely composed of soldiers from the Illinois Army National Guard. Lt. Wyeth and his fellow Doughboys were stationed in nearby Huppy, when German aeroplanes began a bombing raid on Abbeville. At the time, such air raids were a nightly affair and Abbeville was in the process of being evacuated. Lt. Wyeth later versified his memories of the air raid in the sonnet Huppy.

Interwar period

On 3 May 1936, voters in the 1st District of Abbeville did not derogate from a broad popular movement. In the 2nd round, they chose as the MP who, at 27 years old, was the youngest elected to the chamber.

World War II

On 12 September 1939 in Abbeville a conference took place in which France and the United Kingdom decided to not continue the attack on Germany, which resulted in a tougher situation on eastern front. On 9 May 1940, authorities in Belgium arrested a number of both far right and far left activists and put them in custody of a French Army unit stationed near Abbeville. On 20 May, when the advancing German Army cut off the area (see following), a group of French soldiers carried out a massacre and killed a number of members of the right wing Verdinaso and Rexist Party and of the Belgian Communist Party. Altogether, twenty two suspects of varying political stripe were selected and executed without trial.

In the development of the 1940 Battle of France, the Germans had massed the bulk of their armoured force in Panzer Group von Kleist, which attacked through the comparatively unguarded sector of the Ardennes and achieved a breakthrough at Sedan with air support. The group raced to the coast of the English Channel at Abbeville, thus isolating (20 May 1940)[1] the British Expeditionary Force, Belgian Army, and some divisions of the French Army in northern France.

Charles de Gaulle (17–18 May 1940), then a colonel, launched a counterattack in the region of Laon (see the map) with 80 tanks to destroy the communication of the German armoured troops. His newly formed 4e Division cuirassée reached Montcornet, resulting in the Battle of Montcornet. Without support, the 4th DCR was forced to retreat. The Abbeville massacre took place on 20 May 1940. Abbeville was taken by the Germans from the 2nd Panzer Division of Generalmajor Rudolf Veiel, also on 20 May 1940. There was another counter-attack with the Battle of Abbeville. After Laon (24 May), de Gaulle was promoted to temporary general: "On 28 May (...) the 4th DCR attacked twice to destroy a pocket captured by the enemy south of the Somme near Abbeville. The operation was successful, with over 400 prisoners taken and the entire pocket mopped up except for Abbeville (...) but in the second attack the 4th DCR failed to gain control of the city in the face of superior enemy numbers." The Germans were forced back about . The Allied Aerodrome Abbeville was used by the German Luftwaffe during most of the war.

After five years, in September 1944, Abbeville was liberated by the Polish 1st Armoured Division (which was attached to the 1st Canadian Army) under General Stanisław Maczek, which entered Abbeville through the suburb of Rouvroy. World War II was not kind to the architecture of the town as the famous 17th-century Gothic Cathedral of St. Vulfran was nearly destroyed.[1] It, along with the town hall with its tower from the 13th century were saved, albeit damaged.[3]

Floods of 2001

In the spring of 2001, the city, like the Somme Valley, had to suffer floods. These lasted several weeks, because of the saturation of the water table, the result of a year of exceptional precipitation. The station was inaccessible, the tracks being covered by several centimetres of water.

Personnes mentionnées dans les actes à cause de leur fonction locale

(Cette liste doit être établie uniquement à partir de sources que chacun peut facilement vérifier, comme les Archives Départementales en ligne, ou le dépôt dans la base WeRelate d'actes numérisés - par photo ou copie scannée.)



Instituteurs, maîtres ou recteurs d'école

Médecins, chirurgiens, officiers de santé

  • 1700 : Charles Jacques, chirurgien (paroisse St-Sépulcre)

Patronymes courants

au XIXème siècle

Patronymes des électeurs en 1849

La commune est codée ... dans le "Répertoire" publié en 1972 par Boyenval, Debrie et Vaillant.


Les surnoms n'ont pas qu'une fonction descriptive ou ironique. Ils permettent d'identifier des individus portant le même prénom et le même patronyme.

External links

  • For more information, see the FR Wikipedia article Abbeville.

Research Tips

28 fév 2021 ► 53 personnes y sont étudiées ou répertoriées.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Abbeville. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.