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History of Trouzilit

ne kilometre west away from the market town of Tréglonou, whose houses, with their steep slopes, seem to hold themselves to each other in order to avoid slipping into the river of Aber-Benoit, the traveller who goes along the Ploudalmézeau road comes across, on the right side, a beautiful clump of forests rising in tiers above the estuary. These forests are one of the decorations of the deep and meandering water flow where the sea flood goes more than two miles upstream into the land as far as the picturesque coves of Tariec and the Moulin-de-Châtel. They wrap up the castle or manor house of the former Trouzilit Viscount, founded there in a remote age in order to keep an eye on the mouth of the Aber-Benoit and forbid the sea scouring people from approaching it.

Blason de TournemineThe old name is Tuonsilic. We can find it under this form, made up of the topographical term “tuon”, “traon” (valley) and “Silic”, proper noun. During the census of the Léon bishopric in 1481, the Sieur of Tuonsilic, with two hundred pounds pension, who was called to be at the head of the Plouguin noblemen - Tréglonou was formerly just a respite - was replaced, due to his disability, by Prigent Lezcazvoal, a spear soldier with an aide and a page. This infirm gentleman was Tournemine, born from the cadet side of the Sires of Coetmeur, in Plougourvest. The coat of arms of the Tournemine of Trouzilit, made of gold and azure, showing the arms of the cadet side of the family, still surmounts the lateral door of the Tréglonou church. 

Catherine Tournemine, his daughter and heiress, married Marc de Kerlech, Sieur of Trouzilit, who then married in 1529 Françoise Barbier de Kerjean. He appeared as a military man during the Census of 1534, but he went down in history under the name of Barbier. Around 1610, the Blason de Kergolay, seigneur de Kerangouez et Kersalaunproperty belonged to Jean Barbier, Sieur of Trouzilit, married to Renée de Kerouartz. Their daughter and heiress, Françoise Barbier, brought Trouzilit in the Carne House through her marriage to Charles de Carne, Lord of Cohignac, knight of the King’s Order.

Seized by the inheritance creditors of late Philibert de Carné, viscount of Trouzilit, the property was bought on August 28th 1679 for the price of twenty six thousand pounds, by Jean de Kergorlay, Lord of Kersalaün in Plouzané, husband of Marie de Kerlech, born of the House of Roscervo in Lampaul-Ploudalmézeau. He was the son of Jean de Kergorlay and Mauricette Simon, the heiress to Troménec, in Landéda, married in 1619. He was also the owner of the Manor House of Mesnaot, in Saint-Pabu. He died in Brest in 1701 and was burried at the Carmes. In 1703 his widow created in the market town of Landéda a hospice for the poor.

heir son, Charles-Louis de Kergorlay, knight, viscount of Trouzilit, born in 1678 at the Manor House, curious about the Carpont, in Lampaul, had the honour, eight years later, to have as godfather, in the Church of the Sept-Saints in Brest, Charles de Lennox, duke of Richmond, peer of England, and as godmother the mother of this latter, Louis-Renée de Penancoët, duchess of Portsmouth, favourite of England’s King, Charles II. He married in Morlaix in 1710 Marie-Françoise-Louis des Nos des Fossés, daughter of a councillor of the Brittany parliament, and he died in this town in 1721. The portraits of this latter and his wife have been reproduced in the wonderful work of M. A. Mousset: Documents pour servir à l’histoire de la maison de Kergorlay (Documentation to be used for the history of the Kergorlay House). A bright wig of abundant curls happily circle the open face with regular and finely chiselled features of the young knight of Trouzilit. His wife is a nice person in a not too excessively low-cut dress, with her hair simply done in the Regency fashion, with a flower in her hair and a plait running along the neck to the breast.

At the Trouzilit castle in 1715 was born their elder son, Alain-Louis de Kergorlay, knight of Cariot, Trogoff, la Ville-Daniel, who entered the service of the King when seventeen and in 1734-35 took part in the Rhine campaign as a “flag gentleman”, and then as a sub-lieutenant of the French guards. He became lieutenant in 1744 and was the year after seriously wounded when fighting in Fontenoy.

The night of the battle, his servant, who was looking for him, found him in the middle of dead bodies and carried him on his back to the ambulance, where the surgeons’ care saved his life. Later, he fought in Germany under the orders of Soubise, Broglie and Estrées, became camp marshal (brigade general) in 1770 and left the French guards in 1777 with a pension of eight thousand pounds.

is wife, Marie-Joséphine de Boisgelin, the daughter of the marquis of Cucé, president wearing a mortar on his head at the Parliament of Brittany, whom he married late in life in Rennes in 1766, died when twenty eight years old in 1772 leaving him two sons, among whom the elder, Gabriel-Louis-Marie, earl of Kergorlay, lieutenant in the regiment of Champagne, and then appointed in 1789 to the regiment cavalry general captain, was made in the same year a marquis of Trouzilit. He went to Italy in 1790 with his family, for a pleasure trip, apparently, with regular passports, but the events of the Revolution prevented his return. He was in Munich in 1791, took part in the campaign of 1792 in the army of princes, and stayed exiled until 30 Germinal year X, date at which a consul decree cancelled him from the émigrés. The Restoration made him as a deputy of the Manche and a peer of France. His wife, whom married in Versailles in 1787, was named Justine de Faudoas-Canisy. From him and his brother, Louis-Florian-Paul, cavalry officer, husband of Blanche-Césarine de la Luzerne, are born all the current Kergorlays..

M. Mousset says that the Trouzilit land was sold nationally. At the departmental Archives, I could only find the purchase act of the Trouzilit-Coz, which was found on the émigré Kergorlay and acquired on 24 Germinal year V by the citizens François Le Guen and Rosier. The former Manor House of Trouzilit was a fort house of which still remains a round tower with loopholes, but the rest of the gothic buildings was found in 1679 in a complete state of ruins. The current edifice, restored by the Kergorlays, is carried by two wings with acute attics which bring with them some character. Near, there is a modern chapel, and in a prairie, the old feudal dovecote chaperoned by greenery emerges from high grass. If, as I read it some time, the power of a knight was measured with distance separating the dovecote and the castle, the viscounts of Trouzilit were powerful, because this distance here is many hundred metres.

  MANOIR DE TROUZILIT - Trouzilit - 29870 Tréglonou - FRANCE - Phone: 33 (0)2 98 04 01 20 -