© Stephen E. Jones
Locations of the Shroud: Chambéry 1471 - Turin 1578
This is the seventh and final installment of the entry, "Locations of the Shroud: Chambéry 1471 - Turin 1578." It is a continuation of "Locations of the Shroud: Lirey c.1355 - Chambéry 1471." I am working through the topics in the entry, "Shroud of Turin, expanding on them.
Introduction. This is the second of a three-part series of entries which will briefly trace the locations of the cloth today known as Shroud of Turin, from its first appearance in undisputed history (see previous) at Lirey, France in c.1355, to its current location since 1578 in St John the Baptist Cathedral, Turin, Italy. It is partly based on my 2012 post, "The Shroud's location."
Chambéry-Vercelli, Italy (1471-73). In 1471 began the enlargement of the Savoys private Royal Chapel at Chambéry, which later would become the Sainte Chapelle, a permanent home for the Shroud. In September that year the Shroud was transferred from Chambéry over the Alps to Vercelli, Italy (see
previous map). Duke Amadeus IX (1435-1472) died on 30 March 1472, and his eldest surviving son, six year-old Philibert I (1465-1482), became Duke of Savoy. Amadeus IX had refused to honour the agreement of his father Duke Louis I (1413–65), to pay the Lirey canons an annual rent as compensation for them losing the Shroud (see previous). So upon his death the Lirey canons in 1472 complained to King Louis XI (1423–83) about Amadeus IX's failure to honor his father's agreement, and they requested that the King reinstate the revenues to them. The king responded by sending letters to three of his bailiffs, presumably to seize the Shroud. It presumably was forewarning of this action which prompted dowager Duchess Yolande (1434-78), Louis XI's estranged sister, to move the Shroud out of Louis XI's jurisdiction over the Alps into Italy. But the Lirey canons were rebuffed by Louis XI, because in 1473 they approached Yolande, who was acting as regent for her now eight year-old son Duke Philibert I, claiming eight years of arrears of the income promised them by Louis I in 1464. But Yolande had been living with the Savoys as Amadeus IX's betrothed future wife in 1453 (see previous) when Louis I received the Shroud from Marguerite de Charny (c.1390-1460) and she would have known that the Shroud never was the property of the Lirey church, and so she also rebuffed them, ending their lucrative extortion racket (see previous)! In 1473, Pope Sixtus IV (1414–1484), who as Francesco della Rovere was one of Duke Louis I's Franciscan retinue, published his De sanguine Christi, in which he referred to the Shroud as:
"... the Shroud in which the body of Christ was wrapped when he was taken down from the cross. This is now preserved with great devotion by the Dukes of Savoy, and is coloured with the blood of Christ".Under the ownership of the House of Savoy, with their royal and papal connections, the Shroud had achieved a respectability that had been all but lost after its wrongful condemnation as a painted forgery by Bishop Pierre d'Arcis (c.1300-95) in 1389. Which in the providence of the Man on the Shroud (who is ruling over all - Acts 10:36; Rom 9:5; Eph 1:21-22; Php 2:9), saved His burial cloth, bearing His image and blood, from being seized, especially when Marguerite de Charny travelled around France with it for ~35 years from ~1418-53, on a mule!
The Shroud returned from Moncalieri to Ivrea on ~25 August 1474 and over a year later departed from there back to Chambéry on 5 October, 1475.
Chambéry (1474-1502). Yolande, wife of the late Duke Amadeus IX, died at Chambéry on 23 August 1478, leaving her 13 year-old son, Duke Philibert, I the sole ruler of Savoy. But 4 years later Philibert himself died in a hunting accident near Lyon on 22 Apr 1482, aged 16. Philibert was married to Bianca Sforza (1472-1510) but as she was then only 10(!) the marriage had not been consummated, and so she returned to Milan. Philibert was succeeded as Duke by his 14 year-old brother Charles I (1468-1490). In 1485 Charles I married Bianca (Blanche) de Montferrat (1472-1519). A miniature by Jean Colombe (c.1430-93) added to John Duke of Berry (1340–1416)'s Les Très Riches Heures, shows Charles and Bianca looking at a Man of Sorrows art work [right (enlarge)] which depicts the dead Christ with the Shroud's distinctive wounds, bloodstains and crossed hands. The Shroud continued to be carried around with the Savoys in their journeys from castle to castle; for example, Susa - Avigliano - Rivoli (1477-8). Exhibitions of the Shroud were held at Savigliano (1488) and Vercelli (1494). Charles I and Bianca had two children, Yolande Louise (1487–1499) and Charles II (1489–96). In 1490 Duke Charles I died at the age of 23, believed to have been poisoned by Ludovico II, Marquess of Saluzzo (1438-1504), with whom he was at war. The Dukedom and the Shroud passed to Charles I's 7 month-old son, Charles II, with dowager Duchess Bianca acting as regent. But on 1496 Duke Charles II died aged 7. Since there were no surviving males from Amadeus IX's line, the Dukedom and the Shroud passed to Amadeus' 58 year-old brother, Philip II (1438-97). Philip was married to his second wife Claudine de Brosse of Brittany (1450–1513). But only a year later, in 1497, Philip II died and the Dukedom and the Shroud passed to his 17 year-old son Philibert II (1480-1504), from Philip II's first marriage to Margaret of Bourbon (1438–83). In 1501 Philibert II, at 21, married the widowed Margaret of Austria (1480–1530).
Chambéry (1502-32). On 11 June 1502, at the request of Duchess Margaret, the Shroud was to be no longer moved around with the Savoys during their travels, but was given a permanent home in the royal chapel at Chambéry. The Shroud was moved from Chambéry's Franciscan church to the
each opened by a separate key, two of which were held by the Duke. A public exhibition of the Shroud was held on Good Friday, 1503 in the market place at Bourg-en-Bresse, arranged by Margaret of Austria for her brother, Philip I of Castile (1478–1506). On 10 September 1504, Duke Philibert II died aged 24, from drinking too much iced wine after hunting, leaving Margaret of Austria twice-widowed and childless at 22. He was succeeded as Duke by his 18 year-old half-brother Charles III (1486-1553), from Philip II's second marriage to Claudine de Brosse. Dowager Duchess Margaret relinquished custody of the Shroud in 1505 to the new Duke's mother, the pious dowager duchess Claudine, who was also devoted to the Shroud and temporarily kept it with her in her castle at Billiat, near Nantua, France. The copy of the Shroud in St. Gommaire church, Lierre, Belgium [left (enlarge)], attributed to Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and dated 1516, is probably Margaret of Austria's copy, mentioned in her 1507 inventory, "The picture of the Holy Shroud of Our Lord made on cloth." In 1506 Pope Julius II (1443–1513) formally approved the name "Sainte-Chapelle of the Holy Shroud," after the chapel of the same name in Paris which St King Louis IX (1214–70) built to house the Crown of Thorns. The Pope also declares the 4th May the annual Feast of the Holy Shroud. Three years later in 1509 the Shroud was installed in a new silver casket which had been commissioned by Margaret of Austria, now regent of the Netherlands (see next on the fire of 1532). Charles' mother, dowager duchess Claudine de Brosse died at Chambéry in 1513 and was buried behind the high altar of the Sainte Chapelle, facing the Shroud's casket. Public exhibitions of the Shroud were held on the balcony of the Sainte Chapelle, probably at least every year on the 4th of May until 1533 (see next), as depicted retrospectively by Carlo Malliano in his "Ostension of the Holy Shroud" (1579) [right (enlarge)]. In 1516 King Francis I of France (1494–1547), a son of Duke Philip II's daughter Louise of Savoy (1476–1531), came from Lyon to Chambéry to venerate the Shroud. In 1521 Charles III married Beatrice of Portugal (1504-1538), a daughter of Spain's King Manuel I (1469–1521) and Queen Maria of Aragon (1482–1517). They had nine children, one of whom, Emmanuel Philibert (1528-80), would become Duke. Margaret of Austria died in Belgium in 1530, mercifully having been spared from what was to happen only two years later (see next).
Chambéry (1532)-Piedmont (1535). On 4 December 1532 a fire nearly destroyed the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry. Because the Shroud was behind an iron grille, secured by four locks with separate keys, there was no time to obtain them all to unlock the grille. So a local blacksmith, Guillaume Pussod, was called and with the help of the chapel's canons, at great risk to their lives, he prised open the grille and removed the casket from the burning chapel. But by that time the casket had begun to melt and a drop of molten silver had burned through a corner of the Shroud which was folded in 48 layers. The inside of the casket was doused with buckets of water and the fire extinguished. The casket was then taken into the nearby Treasury and when the Shroud was extracted it was found that miraculously the burn marks had paralleled the image (see below) and apart from part of the shoulders and upper arms, the image was not affected. The Shroud was not exhibited on 4th May 1533, seemingly confirming rumours that it had been totally destroyed. In April 1534 the Shroud was carried in a procession, including Duke Charles III, the local cardinal Cardinal Louis de Gorrevod (c.1473-1535), two bishops, an ecclesiastical notary and many other clergy, to Chambéry's convent of the Poor Clare nuns (founded by Duchess Yolande in 1471). After the Shroud had been laid out on a table, to counter the above rumours, Cardinal Gorrevod, invited those present to testify that the cloth before them was the same as the one they knew before the fire. After three bishops and ten noblemen did so testify, the Cardinal himself testified:
"It is the same sheet as we ourselves before the fire have many times held in our hands, seen, touched and shown to the people" (my emphasis).
The Cardinal's words indicate that he had been one of the clerics who had held the Shroud at its Chambéry exhibitions (see above) and that there had been many such exhibitions, the records of which have not survived. The Poor Clare nuns then sewed a Holland cloth backing on to the Shroud and covered the unsightly burn holes with triangular linen patches, sewed into the backing cloth. An insightful report by Abesse Louise de Vargin, who had unparalleled access to the Shroud, is online. The repairs were completed on 2 May, just in time for the Shroud's annual exhibition on 4th May 1454.Francesco II Sforza (1495–1535), the Duke of Milan, died with no heir. This sparked a fresh outbreak of the Italian Wars between France's King Francis I and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500–1558). The latter took charge of the Duchy of Milan, and announced that his son, King Philip II of Spain (1527–98), was the new Duke of Milan. At this, Francis I invaded Italy through Savoy, in March 1536. Savoy was aligned with Charles V and so it passed into French control. Charles III and his family, seeing what was coming, had already left Chambéry in late 1535, taking the Shroud with them over the Alps into Piedmont, Italy.
Piedmont (1535)-Chambéry (1561). The Shroud was taken by Duke Charles III to Piedmont, Italy, passing through the Lanzo valley. On 4 May 1535, the Feast Day of the Holy Shroud, the Shroud was exhibited in Turin, possibly at
[Left (enlarge): The Savoy Castle of Rivoli, on the outskirts of Turin, where the Shroud was possibly exhibited on 4 May 1535 and probably kept between then and the French capture of Turin a year later.]
outskirts of Turin, where the future Duke Charles Emmanuel (1562-1630) was later born. The French Army captured Turin in April 1536, but it failed to take Milan. The next record of the Shroud is just over a year later, when it was exhibited on 7 May 1536, at Milan, now safe in Charles V's territory. However, because of the ongoing threat of a French invasion of Milan, in 1537 the Shroud was taken to Vercelli. Then on Good Friday 1537 the Shroud was exhibited further south at Nice. Charles III's wife, Duchess Beatrice died in January 1538 in Nice. And it was in Nice, in June 1538, that the Truce of Nice was signed by Charles V and Francis I, temporarily ending the war, but leaving Turin in French hands. In 1541 the Shroud returned to Vercelli where it will stay for the next twenty years, in the treasury of St. Eusebius Cathedral. In 1542 Francis I, allied with the Muslim Ottoman Empire, declared war on Charles V's Holy Roman Empire. In August 1543 a Franco-Ottoman fleet captured the city of Nice. For Christian and Islamic troops to jointly attack a Christian town was regarded as shocking. Francis I died in 1547 and was succeeded to the throne by his son, King Henry II of France (1519-59), who continued his father's war. The future Duke Emmanuel Philibert served in Charles V's army in the war against France, and distinguished himself by capturing the northern France town of Hesdin in July 1553. In August 1553 Charles III died in Vercelli and his eldest surviving son Emmanuel Philibert succeeded him as Duke. In November 1553 the French sacked Vercelli but the Shroud was hidden in the house of Antoine Claude Costa, one of the canons. Emperor Charles V abdicated the Western part of his Empire in 1556 and gave it to his son Philip II, who continued his father's war with France. Duke Emmanuel Philibert personally led an invasion of northern France and decisively defeated the French at Battle of St. Quentin in August 1557. This important victory secured for the Duke a place at the conference table when the terms of peace were deliberated. In April 1559 Henry II of France and Philip II of Spain signed the Treaty of Chateau-Cambrésis which ended the 60 year-long Italian Wars. Under its terms, amongst others, France restored Piedmont and Savoy to the Duke of Savoy, and Duke Emmanuel Philibert was to marry Marguerite of Valois (1523–74), the sister of Henry II, in July 1559.
[Right (enlarge): Miniature by Christophe Duch (1559), in the prayer-book of Duchess Marguerite, presumably a wedding present, depicting a private exhibition of the Shroud, probably in the Sainte-Chapelle, Chambéry, before the 1532 fire.]
But just before the wedding, Henry sustained a fatal injury in a jousting tournament. Henry insisted that the wedding go ahead and and died a day after it. In 1560 the Shroud was exhibited from a balcony in Vercelli castle, and then after 25 years of exile of the Savoys from their own lands, the Shroud returned to Chambéry in 1561.
Chambéry (1561)-Turin (1578). On 3 June 1561 the Shroud was returned to Chambéry, and deposited in the Franciscan convent. The next day Duke Emmanuel Philibert led a procession accompanied by trumpeters and torches, to the now restored Sainte Chapelle. On 15 August the first exposition of Shroud in a quarter of a century was held in the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry's high altar. On 17 August, because of the huge crowds and the confined space in, and in front of, the Sainte Chapelle, the Shroud was exhibited from the walls of Chambéry and also above the piazza of the castle. But the days of the Shroud in
[Above (enlarge): Simulated exhibition of the Shroud (white rectangle) from a temporary scaffolding platform outside the Sainte-Chapelle, Chambéry's apse window, overlooking the piazza of Chambéry Castle, where the Shroud was presumably exhibited on 17 August 1561.]
Chambéry were numbered. Following the Treaty of Chateau-Cambrés, Chambéry was no longer suitable for the capital of the dukes of Savoy. Moreover, there still was the likelihood of further French aggression and as an experienced military man, the Duke knew that Chambéry was indefensible. In 1562 Charles Emmanuel I (1562-1630), the future Duke of Savoy, and the only child of the 38 year-old Marguerite and the 34 year-old Emmanuel Philibert, was born. But significantly he was born in the Castle of Rivoli, Piedmont, not in Chambéry. In 1566 there was a private exposition of the Shroud in the Sainte-Chapelle for the new duchess of Savoy from Nemours, the important and influential Anna d'Este (1531-1607), who had married that year Jacques de Savoie, Duke of Nemours (1531-85), a descendant of both Duke Louis I's sister Agnes de Savoie (1445-1509) and Louis' brother Duke Philip II. The Shroud was recorded as being kept in an iron box as the silver casket had been destroyed in the 1532 fire. Duke Emmanuel-Philibert saw Turin as the logical center of his dominions but needed an excuse to bring the Shroud there. In 1578 that excuse came in the form of an announcement by the saintly Cardinal Charles Borromeo (1538–1584), the Archbishop of Milan, that he was intending to make a pilgrimage on foot to Chambéry to revere the Shroud, because of a vow he had made during a plague that had afflicted Milan. Duke Emmanuel Philibert volunteered to have the Shroud brought from Chambéry to Turin, ostensibly to save the relatively young (~40 years old) but sickly Borromeo the rigors of the journey over the Alps to reach Chambéry. On 14 September 1578, the Shroud arrived in Turin, never to return to Chambéry again.
To be continued in the first installment of the entry, "Locations of the Shroud: Turin 1578 - the Present.
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• Crispino, D.C., 1982, "The Report of the Poor Clare Nuns," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 2, March, pp.19-28, p.20.
• Crispino, D.C., 1983, "Louis I, Duke of Savoy," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 7, June, pp.7-14, pp.8-9, p.13.
• Crispino, D.C., 1988, "To Know the Truth: A Sixteenth Century Document with Excursus," Shroud Spectrum International, #28/29, September/December, pp.25-40, pp.38-39.
• de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.16.
• Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.16-17.
• Humber, T., 1978, "The Sacred Shroud," , Pocket Books: New York NY, pp.104-105.
• Jones, S.E., 2015, "de Charny Family Tree" and "Savoy Family Tree," Ancestry.com.au (members only).
• Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, p.163.
• Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, pp.66-68.
• Scott, 2003, pp.47-48, 365 n.79.
• Van Haelst, R., 1986, "The Lier Shroud: A Problem in Attribution," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 20, September, pp.7-24.
• Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, pp.53-54.
• Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.217-220, 262-263.
• Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.70.
• Wilson, I., 1994a, "A New Finding - A Hitherto Unknown Shroud Image From 1486," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 38, August/September, pp.16-19, p.16.
• Wilson, 1994b, pp.19-25.
• Wilson, I., 1996a, "News from France: CIELT to hold Pre-Exposition International Shroud Symposium in Nice, 11-14 May 1997," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 43, June/July.
• Wilson, I., 1996b, "A Calendar of the Shroud for the years 1509-1694," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 44, November/December.
• Wilson, 1998, pp.64-66, 116, 282-286.
• Wilson, 2010, pp.242-257.
Created: 14 March, 2015. Updated: 28 March, 2015.