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les Enluminures

[Document] [CHAUSSIN DE BEAUCHEMIN, François de], Terrier de Chilly-le-Vignoble, Vincelles, Trenal et autres lieux [Land Terrier]

In French, decorated manuscript on paper
Eastern France, Jura (près de Lons-le-Saunier), 1557-1558 (additions 1561, 1624 and 1678)

TM 346

xiv-463 ff., original foliation in Roman letters I - IIIIC LXVI [cited], with 2 ff. or 3 ff. lacking, 2 ff. displaced, foliation in Arabic numbers 1 to 210, following the Roman foliation, pagination in Arabic numbers 1 to 230, at ff. 317-434v, incomplete (collation, i14 [lacks 2 first folios] ii16 iii-ix12 x8 xi12 xii4 xiii-xiv12 xv8 xvi-xviii12 xix16 xx-xxiv12 xxv6 xxvi-xxviii12 xxix4 [quire of 6 ff. of which 2 have been used to form the pastedown and flyleaf on the lower cover] xxx-xxxii16 xxxiii18 [lacking 2 or 3 folios, center of the quire numbered 373-375, probably from an error in foliation considering the structure of the quire, ff. 377-378 are a bifolio added after f. 376], xxxiv-xxxvi16 xxxvii14 xxxviii12 xxxix7 [lacking the last blank folio]), with rare signatures preserved in the lower margin of the first recto (f. 333r et 418r, “xxx” et “xxxv”), without catchwords, on paper (paper without watermarks except ff. 17, 154-155, letters S et B with quatrefoil, cf. Briquet 9688, Montbrison 1558-1591), written in black ink in a French cursive chancellery script, on 26 to 28 long lines (justification 260 x 165 mm.), ruled by folding, 43 initials decorated with penwork with interlaces of anthropo- and zoomorphic character, traces of humidity in the margin on the first 40 folios and on the last 30, sometimes including the text, but not affecting reading, the first 14 damaged but not including the text, several folios detached in the second and third quires, foliation cut off by the binder on ff. 293 and following, paper burned by the ink on ff. 440 and following. Original binding in tanned leather sewn on four bands with blindstamping of filets and floral motifs on the boards with a title in paper on the upper cover: “Terrier du fief de Chaussin de l’an 1557,” et “Premier.” with inserts of parchment, cut from a manuscript Breviary, nocturnes of the Office of St. Laurence (dimensions, 50 x 340 mm., width of the original manuscript, 190 mm., justification 130 mm.), binding rubbed with some wormholes, missing on the edges and spine, box in linen with gold title on brown morocco: “Terres relevant de François de Chaulein 1557.” Dimensions 345 x 245 mm.

Inestimable as a source for family history, toponymy, linguistics, economics, and social history, this Terrier is associated with one of the most important families in the Burgundian Jura in the later Middle Ages. Unpublished, the Terrier of François Chaussin de Beauchemin, relates directly to another Terrier (now in the Arsenal) and provides a wealth of information on the lands and families in this under-studied area of France. Most unusual is its rich decoration, adorned with elaborate initials, often figural, by a gifted notary-scribe.


1. Manuscript made for François Chaussin, seigneur of Beauchemin, in the Jura, in 1557-1558;

2. This Terrier remained in the hands of the heirs of François Chaussin, as annotations on ff. 105-108v attest and was used many times in the course of judicial proceedings as is attested on f. 466v, “Produictes par Cl. Loys le 8e may 1658” et “Produit par Brun le vingt-deux d’aost seize cent quattre vingt seize. A Perrin.”


ff. [i]-[xiv], Contents, beginning on f. 61

ff. 1-4v, Jean de Sayne, Vidimus of the letters of the Terrier given by the Court at Dole to François Chaussin de Beauchemin, 13 December 1557, incipit, “A tous ceulx qui ces presentes lettres verront et ourront, salut. Je, Jean Sayne de Sainct Amour, notere publique et commissaire depputé en ceste partye par auctorité et lettres de la Cour souveraine de Parlement a Dole, savoir faiz que adjournez et appellez par devant moy tous et quelzconques les tenans et possedans meix, maisons et heritaiges censauf et estans de la directe et censive portant loudz et retenue de François de Chaulcin, escuier, sieur de Beauchemin, Vincelles en partie etc., pour d’iceux meix, maisons, terres, prez, vignes ensemble des censes, rentes, devoirs et redevances audit sieur appartenans en venir faire je, ledit commis, confession, declaracion et recognoissance pour valoir et servir audit sieur, ses hoirs et ayans cause a l’advenir partant comme de raison. Suyvant quoy et en vertu d’un mandement en forme de terrier obtenu a la part dudit sieur de Beauchemin de la souveraine cour de Parlement a Dole, contenant ma commission et puissance mesme …”; the “vidimus” begins on f. 2, incipit, “Philippe, par la grace de Dieu, roy de Castille, de Leon, d’Arragon, d’Angleterre, de France, de Naples, de Secille etc., duc et comte de Bourgongne, Charrolois etc., dominateur en Asie, Afficque etc. … salut. Receue avons l’humble supplicacion et requeste de nostre amé et feal François de Chaulcin …” and designates the notaries on f. 4 “maistres Jehan Sayne, de Sainct-Amour, Felix Charpy, Pierre Boisson, de Lons-le-Saulnier, Thomas Guienod, de Savigny-en-Revermont”;

ff. 5-16v, Possessions held by François de Chaussin de Beauchemin, divided by types and locations, f. 5, incipit, “domaine et autres droicts seigneuriaulx competans et appartenans a François de Chaulcin, escuier, seigneur de Beauchemin les Chavannes, Vincelles en partie etc., tant es lieux de Chilley, Vincelles, Trenay que autres lieux”; ff. 8-10v, arable land; ff. 11-12v, vineyards at Gevingey and Courbouzon (“Montboson”), ff. 13-14v, near Trenal, ff. 15-16v blank;

ff. 17-466v, Terrier and obligations of the tenants of François de Chaussin de Beauchemin, divided by localities and provenance, incipit, “Chilley, Recognoissance de honorable homme Jehan Charreton de Chilley, notere…” ; ff. 17-104, Chilly (“Chilley”); ff. 105-108v originellement blancs avec additions sur le Moulin dit Grospis, à Chilly; ff. 109-120v, Courlans et Chavanne (“Collans et Eschavance”); ff. 123-152, Frebuans ; ff. 156-156v, addition de 1558 sur Trenal; ff. 157r-205v, Trenal (“Trenay”); ff. 206-206v, addition of 15 March 1561[old style]; ff. 209-216, Sainct Laurens de La Roche et Arteue (“Saint-Laurent-la-Roche”); ff. 218-229v, Nilly (“le vilaige de Nilley”); ff. 231-274, La Condamine (“Le vilaige de Condamine”); ff. 275-310v, Montmorot; ff. 317-377v, tax of Vincelles, Rotalier (“Rotilly”), Vercia, Sainte-Agnès coming from the succession of Alain Merlet, Seigneur de Saint-Vincent et Vincelles, on ff. 361-377v, tax of the inhabitants of Rotalier (“Rotelly”), which are mainly due for the lands of Paisia, commune reunited with that of Vercia in 1822; ff. 378-381v, Grusse (“Greusses”); ff. 383-395, Sainte-Agnès [et Rotalier, Paisia et Vincelles], text apparently incomplete, with dates, resumes of obligations due, and list of witnesses omitted; ff. 398-417v, Vercia; ff. 417v-418v additions of 1 December 1561; ff. 420-429, Paisia; ff. 430-435, Bonaisot, commune joined with Vincelles between 1790 and 1794 ; ff. 440-466v, Cesancey (“Sezancey”); ff. 121-122v, 136v, 152v-155v, 207-208v, 230-230v, 262-262v, 275-275v, 311-316v, 382, 392, 395v-396v, 419-419v, 435v-439v blank;

This is an unusually grand copy—in size and ornamentation--of aTerrier (French, “terrier,” and English “terrier”) or a Liber recognitionem, in this case the estate register of the lord of Chaussin de Beauchemin, which describes all the lands held by the tenants and the amounts they owe to the lord. They often begin, as does this one, with a transcription of a legal judgment from the Parliament that forces the tenants to answer in front of the notary (cf. ff. 2-4 above).

The present Terrier was made on order for François de Chaussin, seigneur of Beauchemin, a member of a very important feudal family known from the end of the tenth century. Following a revolt in 1337, Henri de Montfaucon, Count of Montbéliard and grandson by his mother of Simonin, Lord of Chaussin and of the Marche, acquired the lands of the Chaussin, which belonged for the first time to the County of Burgundy. Whereas their lands were among the most important in the County of Burgundy (the “Franche-Comté”), members of the family never came to play an active role in Burgundian politics. François was the leader of the “Beauchemin” branch of the family. Nothing is known of him, except that he had the lordship of La Tournelle between 1533 and 1543. He married twice, once with the daughter of Alain Merlet, mentioned the Terrier and a second time with Françoise de Montconis. He was buried in the Chapel of the Order of the Preachers in the convent of the Jacobins.

There is a pendant to the present Terrier in Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, MS 6336, which was made at the same time and for nearly the same places. It was made between 1555 et 1565 at first at the request of Pierre de Vauldrey, and continued by that of his daughter Anne for their part of the seigniory of Vincelles, with Rotalier, Vincelles, Sainte-Agnès, Beine, Vercia and Paisia (established by the notaries Pierre Boisson and Claude Bonnet). Perhaps the Arsenal manuscript completes the listings in the present document, because the Terrier of François de Chaussin appears to cover only a portion of his lands, those relevant to the seigniory of Vincelles and located within a ten-kilometer zone from Montmorot and Lons-le Saunier in the North to Vercia in the South. The seigniory of Beauchemin itself is situated further north just to the Southeast of Dole. Further study is required to determine how these two Terriers relate to each other, but the Arsenal manuscript is neither as grand nor as richly decorated as the present Terrier.

This Terrier contains more than 300 declarations, which describe the belongings and lands of François de Beauchemin, as well as the rents or obligations due him, in wheat, oats, hens, and also through work owed by the tenant. Another feudal law attested to in the document is the use of the “four banal” (or common oven) “ouquel four plusieurs habitans … vont faire cuire leurs pastés et ont acoustumé de payer au fournier et admodiateur dudit four de selon qu’ilz conviennent entre eux…” (f. 6v).

The tenants themselves are obliged to list what they owe in front of several notaries, and over a period of several months the notaries visit the lands to hear these declarations, which they eventually record with the seigneur who ordered the Terrier or his representative (“François de Beauchemin représenté par Claude Moreau, clerc, serviteur et procureur dudit seigneur”). The final document, the Terrier, includes a copy of each declaration, often with a countersignature for each entry. In this manuscript only the declarations of the first half are signed; afterwards the signatures only appear sporadically (ff. 368v, 402r, 416v, 446v). The name of the notary is uncertain, but if he were Jean de Sayne, de Saint-Amour (Jura), he would belong to a great parliamentary family in the Franche-Comté.

Literally hundreds of plots, gardens, and persons are mentioned in the course of this rich document. The Chaussin family, its dependencies, lands, and feudal relationships merit further study. Important members of the family include the author of the Chevalier délibéré, Olivier de La Marche, as well as the celebrated historian and philologist Jean-Baptiste de La Curne de Sainte-Palaye, élu à l’Académie française en 1758. Other documents from the same region have even led to the publication of a guide to the dialect of the region (cf. Grosjean and Briot, 1901), which should be compared with the particularities of language found in the present document. So, too, should the Terriers from this region be assembled and compared, which would include not only the Arsenal manuscript mentioned above but also the famous Terrier of Chaussin itself of 1373 (cf. Y. Zaluska, Manuscrits enlumines de Dijon).


Remarkable is the abundant and high-quality decoration of this Terrier, especially when compared with that in other Terriers, which are above all administrative documents and in which the decoration is thus either absent or purely functional. Exploiting geometric motif of the interlace, the notarial scribe also developed a striking figural décor for which he used a watercolor wash, giving depth to his creations. Among the approximately forty large initials (from c. 60 mm. to c. 165 mm. in height) and another forty simpler, ornamental initials, three types are noteworthy:

The first type is the most tradition, employing cadels or interlaces, often forming faces, monsters, and vegetal motifs, as on ff. 9v (I, 150 mm.), 13 (S, 50 mm.), 156 (A, 85 mm.), 295 (C, 125 mm.), 317 (V, 80 mm.), 325 (I, 200 mm.), 341v (C, 120 mm.), 349 (L, 160 x 110 mm.), 383 (S, 90 mm.), 386 (A, 100 mm.), 398 (V, 115 x 110 mm.), 405 (C, 90 mm.), 408 (J, 170 mm.), 418 (J, 170 mm.), 420 (M, 110 x 120 mm.).

The second type reverses the motif of white ivyleaves, which is a revival of a motif already employed from the beginning of the first half of the sixteenth century. This motif is often enhanced by animals, especially storks, or by transformations of the foliage into tree trunks, as on ff. 1 (A, 165 mm., with shield left blank), 5 (S, 120 mm., stork), 299 (B, 170 x 130 mm.), 300v (E, 60 mm.), 306 (C, 150 x 110 mm.), 321 (R, 120 x 100 mm.), 326 (R, 110 x 90 mm.), 331v (B, 160 mm.), 337 (D, 110 mm., stork), 338v (P, 110 mm.), 350v (A, 90 x 100 mm.), 361 (R, 115 x 105 mm.), 411v (L, 150 mm., stork, fish)., 430 (B, 130 mm.), 459v (B, 110 mm.).

A third, more creative type of initial moves away from geometrical or foliate forms in order to present new types of decoration, thus on ff. 293 (R), 330 (J, faces), 343 (C), 349 (R, vase), 402 (P), 418 (J). Of this type on f. 402 there appears in a letter P of 95 mm. height a small nude human ithyphallic figure. The scribe’s calligraphic skill manifests itself also in many other figural initials often quite large, such as ff. 229 (P, 160 mm.), 275 (A, 50 mm.), 276v (P, 160 mm.), 283 (A, 70 mm.), 286v (C, 60 mm.), 363v (H, 210 mm.).


Briot, F.-A. Chaussin et ses environs, Paris, 1893 (repr., Amiens, 1990, in Monographies des villes et villages de France).

Gauthier, Marthe. Chaussin: maison féodale de Bourgogne-Franche-Comté depuis le XIe siècle et ses alliances et devenirs, Yzeure, Imprimeries réunies, 1980.

Doubs, Archives départementales. Courtieu, Jean, ed. Parlement de Dole: répertoire numérique détaillé de la sous-série 2 B, Besançon, 1994

Grojean, Mlle. and F.-A. Briot, Glossaire du patois de Chaussin, Lons-le-Saunier, L. Declume, 1901.

Jura. Archives départementales. Hours, Henri, ed. Minutes des notaires (xvie-xixe siècles), Contrôle des actes et enregistrement (xviie-xixe siècles), Hypothèques (xixe siècle): état des fonds, Montmorot, Archives départementales, 1987

Lesne, Brigitte. Le parlement de Franche-Comté de 1500 à 1668: organisation et attributions, thèse pour le diplôme d’archiviste paléographe, 1933

Montmorot, Archives départementales du Jura, 1 F 218: Inventaire après décès de Guillaume de Chaussin, seigneur de Beauchemin (1594), copié par B. Prost.

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, département de l’Arsenal; ms. 6336: terrier de Vincelles pour Pierre de Vauldrey (1555-1565); ms. 6960: manuel des cens de Chilly et Frebuans pour le comte de Montrevel, seigneur de Courlans.

Pidoux de La Maduère, Sylvain. Les officiers au Parlement de Dole et leur famille, Paris, 1961, 4 vols.

Rousset, Alphonse. Dictionnaire géographique, historique et statistique des comm.unes de la Franche-Comté et des hameaux qui en dépendent: classés par département: Département du Jura, 6 vols., Besançon, Bintot, 1853-1858.

Online resources

Claudet, Jacques, ed. Terrier de Guillaume de Chissey (1565-1575), escuyer [reproduction et transcription partielle du document conservé aux Archives municipales de Pontarlier], 2000

Côte d’Or. Archives départementales. Garnier, Joseph, ed. Inventaire sommaire des archives départementales antérieures à 1790. Côte-d'Or. Archives civiles. Série B, vol. 4: Chambre des comptes de Bourgogne, n° 9500 à 11264, Dijon, 1876, p. 26
of the numerous such books.

A more complete description in French is available upon request.