A Jacobite Gazetteer - France


Abbey tower in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux
Abbey tower in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux

The village of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux is a suburb of Valenciennes located almost 200 kilometres north of Paris, near the Belgian border. On November 25, 1755, King Louis XV of France, named Henry, Cardinal Duke of York (later King Henry IX) commendatory abbot of Saint-Amand-les Eaux; he was already commendatory abbot of the nearby Abbey of Anchin. 1 Henry received a substantial annual income from these abbeys.

In 1789 the abbey was suppressed by order of the French National Assembly; Henry thereupon ceased to receive any income from it. The buildings were almost completely destroyed in 1794; the only part which survives is the magnificent Baroque tower which currently houses a municipal musuem.

In the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Valenciennes there is a portrait of Henry. 2 The museum is located on Boulevard Watteau; it is open daily except Tuesday from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.

Abbey of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux
View of the abbey in the eighteenth century


1 Mémoires du duc de Luynes sur la cour de Louis XV (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1864), XIV, 319. Herbert Vaughan, in his The Last of the Royal Stuarts: Henry Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York (London: Methuen, 1906), 58, mistakenly says that Henry was named abbot in 1748; this is incorrect.

2 Joconde: Catalogue des Collections des Musées de France. The oil on canvas painting measures 79.5 cm high and 59.5 cm wide.

This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (noel.mcferran@rogers.com) and was last updated January 16, 2008.
© Noel S. McFerran 2007-2008.