Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lirey (1): Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Turin Shroud Encyclopedia
© Stephen E. Jones

Lirey (1)

This my old Turin Shroud Encyclopedia has been superseded by my new Turin Shroud Encyclopedia.

This is entry #13(1), "Lirey (1)," of my "Turin Shroud Encyclopedia." My next post in this series will be the first installment of entry #13(2). Because of its length, I had to split this entry #13 into two parts. I am continuing to work through the topics in entry #3, "Shroud of Turin."

[Main index] [Entry index] [Previous #12] [Next #13(2)].

Introduction. The tiny French village of Lirey is located about 100 miles (~160 kms) southeast of Paris[2] and about 12 miles (~21 kms) south of the city of Troyes[3]. Lirey has rarely ever numbered more

[Above (click to enlarge): Map showing the approximate location of Lirey, France (added in blue), in relation to Paris (top left), Troyes (above) and Turin (bottom right)[5]. Other places on the map which are part of the Shroud's history are, to Lirey's southeast, Besançon, Bourg-en-Bresse and Chambéry.]

than 100 residents[4]. The Shroud's first appearance in undisputed history was at Lirey, about 1355[6].

Lirey was the de Charny family seat. Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300-1356) was the youngest son[7] of Jean de Charny (c. 1260-1323) and Marguerite de Joinville (c. 1262-1306)[8]. Their eldest son Dreux (c. 1290-1325)[9] inherited Charny and the main Mont-Saint-Jean title[10], both of which on his death passed to his daughter Guillemette (c. 1316-1361)[11]. Geoffroy I inherited Lirey from his mother, it having been part of her dowry from her father Jean de Joinville (c. 1224-1318)[12]. The middle son, Jean II de Charny (c. 1295?-1346), married Jeanne de Frolois in 1315, receiving her de Marigny-sur-Ouche title[13], but died childless[14], leaving Lirey the de Charny family seat[15].

Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300-1356). Geoffroy I[16] had married his first wife Jeanne de Toucy (c. 1301-c.1348) in 1318[17] and they had a daughter, Charlotte (c.1319-98)[18]. But Jeanne de Toucy died about 1348, probably from the Black Death[19]. In 1337, the year the Hundred Years' War between England and France began[20],

[Right (click to enlarge): Map of English possessions in France and major battles 1339-1415, during the Hundred Years War[21].]

Geoffroy fought at Languedoc and Guyenne in southern France[22]. In 1340 he defended Tournai in the north, and in 1341 Angers in the west with the future King John II of France (1319–1364)[23]. I propose that King Philip VI (1293–1350) gave Geoffroy I the Shroud (which the King had obtained from Besançon Cathedral[24]) between 1341-1343 as a reward for protecting his son in the Battle of Angers. During the battle of Morlaix, Brittany, in 1342, Geoffroy was captured and taken prisoner to Goodrich Castle in England[25]. He was allowed to return to England to find the money for his ransom, which evidently was paid, probably by his family[26], since he did not return to England but in late 1342 he was fighting the English near Vannes, also in Brittany[27]. In 1345, during a truce between the English and the French, Geoffroy with a fellow knight, Edward de Beaujeu (1316-1351)[28], mounted a surprise attack on the Turkish-held harbour fortress of Smyrna, capturing it[29]. The next year, 1346, Geoffroy was back in south-west France, fighting the English at the siege of Aiguillon[30]. After that battle, Geoffroy was promoted to the rank of chevalier (knight), and made Captain (Governor[31]) of Saint-Omer, near Calais[32]. In 1349 Geoffroy attempted to recapture the port of Calais itself from the English, but he was double-crossed by an Aimery of Pavia and was again captured and taken prisoner to England, where this time a huge ransom of 12,000 gold ecus was posted for his return[33]. While in prison Geoffroy wrote a Book of Chivalry, setting out his views on the behaviour of the ideal knight[34]. In 1351 the ransom was paid by the new King John II, Geoffroy's former commander, and he returned to France[35]. Geoffroy then mounted a surprise night raid upon the castle of his betrayer, Aimery of Pavia, and took him back to his base at St Omer[36] where Geoffroy had all the military powers of the king[37]. There Geoffroy tortured and then decapitated his betrayer, cut his body into quarters, and hung them on the town gates[38]. Medieval military justice no doubt, but flagrant disobedience of the New Testament command for a Christian to love his enemies (Mt 5:43-44; Lk 6:27, 35) and not to take revenge but leaving that to God (Rom 12:19). For that disobedience, did Geoffroy later pay a heavy price? In 1351, King John II appointed Geoffroy the Bearer of the sacred Oriflamme of St. Denis[39]. In that year, Geoffroy and Edward de Beaujeu helped defeat a French troop at Ardres, near Calais, but Edward was killed[40]. Next year, 1352, King John II made Geoffroy a knight of the new Order of the Star[41]. In that same year he married his second wife, Jeanne de Vergy (c. 1332-1428)[42] and that same year their son, Geoffroy II de Charny (1352–1398), was born[43].

Lirey church. In early 1343, Geoffroy had applied to Philip VI for funds to build and operate a chapel in Lirey, with five

[Above: Map of Lirey, France[44], showing the Church of St. Mary (centre above the `arms' of the Y intersection[45]), which was in 1516 built in stone over the the ruins of Geoffrey I de Charny's wooden church)[46], in the grounds of which the Shroud of Turin was first exhibited in undisputed history in c.1355[47].]

chaplains[48]. Geoffroy himself would contribute his inheritance from an aunt[49], Alix de Joinville (1256-1336)[50]. In June that same year, 1343, King Philip donated land with an annual rental value of 140 livres, tax exempt, for financing the chapel[51]. A Lirey church document of January 1349 confirmed Philip's donation and Geoffroy's contribution[52]. In April 1349, in a petition to the French Pope at Avignon, Clement VI (1291–1352), Geoffroy advised that he had constructed a chapel at Lirey dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary of the Annunciation, with five canons (priests), and requested that it be raised to collegiate church[53]. For a tiny village of 50 houses, this is evidence that Geoffroy already had the Shroud in 1349 (and indeed 1343), and was preparing to exhibit it at the Lirey church[54]. However, due to Geoffroy's imprisonment in England from January 1350 to July 1351[55], the collegiate status of the church was not proceeded with[56]. Nevertheless, according to the church's 1353 Act of Foundation, the church had six canons, one of whom was Dean, as well as three other clerics[57]. Accordingly in that same year, 1353, King John II (1319–1364) agreed to a further annual revenue increase of 62 livres[58]. In 1354, Geoffroy renewed his petition to the new Avignon Pope, Innocent IV (c. 1195-1254), asking at the same time to turn the church at Lirey into a collegiale[59]. So from a simple rural chapel in a village of 50 fifty houses, Geoffroy was preparing his Lirey church from 1343, to be a centre of pilgrimage[60]! Clearly the pilgrimages would be to see the Shroud (as happened in c. 1355[61]. So Geoffroy must have owned the Shroud from no later than 1343. And King Phillip VI must have known that Geoffroy had the Shroud from at least June 1343, for him to agree to fund a church of such disproportionate size for such a tiny village. So too must King John II have to agree to increase funding in 1353, as well as the French Avignon Pope's Clement VI and Innocent IV. This places a 1343 time constraint on theories of when and how Geoffroy de Charny obtained the Shroud (see future). Yet, despite extensive surviving documentation about the establishment of the Lirey church, there is no mention in it of the Shroud[62]. This and subsequent events indicate that the Shroud was never formally transferred by the de Charnys to the church, but retained by them as their private property.

First Lirey Shroud exposition (c. 1354-c.1357). In c.1389 the Bishop of Troyes, Pierre d'Arcis (†1377–1395), reported in a draft memorandum[63] to the French Avignon Pope Clement VII (1342–1394)[64], that one of his predecessors, Henri de Poitiers (†1354–1370), became aware of a cloth "upon which ... was depicted the twofold image of one man ... back and front... upon which the whole likeness of the Saviour ... [was] impressed together with the wounds which He bore," which was being displayed at the "collegiate church ... Lirey" and was being declared by its Dean to be "the actual shroud in which our Saviour Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb"[65]. With the result that, "not only in the kingdom of France, but ... through out the world ... from all parts people came together to view" this "exhibition of the shroud, which all believed to be the shroud of our Lord"[66]. According to d'Arcis, "Henry of Poitiers ... then

[Above: Pilgrim's lead badge preserved in the Cluny Museum in Paris[67]. It was found in the Seine river in 1855 and is presumed to have been lost by a pilgrim after he had been to the first Shroud exposition at Lirey[68]. It depicts two clerics holding what can only be the Shroud at an exhibition[69]. On the Shroud are the front and back images of a naked body, with hands crossed in front[70], laid head to head[71]. The Shroud's herringbone weave is depicted, as are a Roman flagrum, a crown of thorns, the cross and the empty tomb[72]. On either side of the tomb are the coats of arms of Geoffroy I de Charny [left] and his wife Jeanne de Vergy [right][73]. This has been taken to mean that the exposition was held only up to Geoffroy I's death on 19 September 1356[74]. But the inclusion of the coat of arms of Jeanne de Vergy, as well as a document issued from the papal court at Avignon on 5 June 1357, mentioning Jeanne de Vergy and granting indulgences for those who visit the Lirey church and its relics[75] on specified holy days[76], is evidence that Geoffroy's widow continued the exposition after his death from 1357 and possibly even up to the death of Bishop de Poitiers in 1370[77] (but see below).] It is also evidence (if not proof), that there was no scandal associated with the Shroud's origin in c.1355 as claimed by Bishop d'Arcis[78]

Bishop of Troyes" after "diligent inquiry ... discovered the ... cloth had been cunningly painted" and "the artist who had painted it"[79]. De Poitiers then, according to d'Arcis, "began to institute formal proceedings against the ... Dean and his accomplices" but "they kept it hidden afterwards for thirty-four years or thereabouts down to the present year"[80]. Subtracting 34 years from 1389 is 1355[81], when d'Arcis states that de Poitiers concluded his investigation. Which means the Shroud could have been being exhibited from 1354, the year that de Poitiers commenced as Bishop of Troyes[82]. Apart from d'Arcis' assertion which is based on mere hearsay[83], there is no evidence that de Poitiers had a problem with Geoffroy I's exhibition of the Shroud. Not only is there no evidence that de Poitiers carried out an investigation into the Shroud's origin[84], in a letter dated 28 May 1356, the day of the Lirey church's inauguration[85], de Poitiers wrote:

"Henri ... confirmed bishop elect of Troyes, to all those who will see this letter ... You will learn what we ourselves learned on seeing and hearing the letters of the noble knight Geoffrey de Charny, Lord of Savoy and of Lirey, to which and for which our present letters are enclosed, after scrupulous examination of these letters and more especially of the said knight's sentiments of devotion, which he has hitherto manifested for the divine cult and which he manifests ever more daily. And ourselves wishing to develop as much as possible a cult of this nature, we praise, ratify and approve the said letters in all their parts - a cult which is declared and reported to have been canonically and ritually prescribed, as we have been informed by legitimate documents. To all these, we give our assent, our authority and our decision, by faith of which we esteem it our duty to affix our seal to this present letter in perpetual memory" (my emphasis)[86].

Since there was no other "cult" (i.e. "religious practice") at the Lirey church, de Poitiers can only be referring to the Shroud[87] and its exposition which already had been occurring daily by 1356. Moreover, de Poitier's younger brother Charles (1325–1410) evidently had no problem with the de Charny family because he allowed his daughter Marguerite (c.1362-1418) to marry Geoffroy II de Charny[88] in 1392[89], only 2-3 years after the Shroud's second exposition!

Death of Geoffroy I de Charny. On 19 September 1356, Geoffroy I de Charny, bearing the Oriflamme, died in the Battle of Poitiers[90], shielding with his own body King

[Left (click to enlarge): "Battle of Poitiers," miniature by Jean Froissart (c.1337–c.1405), 1356[91].]

John II from English lances[92]. Just as Moses was not allowed by God to live to enter the Promised land, because of his disobedience (Dt 32:48-52; Num 20:11-13; 27:14), did God not allow Geoffroy I to live to see the Shroud exhibited beyond 1356, because of his disobedience in taking brutal personal revenge on Aimery of Pavia (see above)? As we saw above, there is evidence that the first Lirey exposition of the Shroud continued after Geoffroy I's death into 1357, but because of the increasing lawlessness of France after its defeat in the Battle of Poitiers, it may not have continued after 1357[93]. Bishop d'Arcis in his 1389 memorandum went on to complain to Pope Clement VII about a current exposition of the Shroud by "Geoffrey de Charny" II[94]. Leaving aside other problems of d'Arcis' memorandum for the next "Second Lirey exposition of the Shroud (c.1389-c.1390)," the value of Bishop d'Arcis' memorandum is that it is the earliest clear reference to the Shroud's first exposition at Lirey, about 1355[95].

To be continued in the first installment of entry #13(2).

1. This post is copyright. No one may copy from it or any of my posts on this my The Shroud of Turin blog without them first asking and receiving my written permission. Except that I grant permission, without having to ask me, for anyone to copy the title and one paragraph only (including one graphic) of any of my posts, provided that they include a reference to the title of, and a hyperlink to, that post from which it came. [return]
2. Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.46. [return]
3. Currer-Briggs, N., 1988, "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, p.37. [return]
4. Jang, A.W., 2013, "Introducing... Lirey, France!," Shroud Center of Southern California. [return]
5. Extract from Google Maps, Classic View Lirey, France. [return]
6. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.222. [return]
7. Wilson, 2010, p.210. [return]
8. Currer-Briggs, 1988, p.35 & "Marguerite de Joinville," Geni, November 29, 2014. [return]
9. Ibid & Dreux de Charny, II, Geni, November 29, 2014. [return]
10. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.133. [return]
11. Crispino, D., 1990, "The Charny Genealogy," Shroud Spectrum International, #37, December, pp.19-25, p.20 & "Guillemette de Charny," Geni, November 29, 2014. [return]
12. Wilson, 1998, p.133 & Currer-Briggs, 1988, p.35. [return]
13. "Frolois, Jeanne de dame de Marigny-sur-Ouche d. 1342,", 14 Nov 2014. [return]
14. Crispino, 1990, p.20. [return]
15. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.86. [return]
16. Also spelled "Geoffrey," "Geoffroi" and even "Godfrey," by various Shroud authors. I am using "Geoffroy" because that is what was written in French on the tombstone of his son Geoffroy II. [return]
17. Currer-Briggs, N., 1988, "The Shroud In Greece," British Society for the Turin Shroud, Monograph No. 1, p.10 & various online genealogies. [return]
18. Wilson, 1998, p.276; Crispino, D., "The Castle of Mont Saint Jean," Shroud Spectrum International, #28/29, September/December 1988, pp.19-24, p.20 & various online genealogies. [return]
19. Wilson, 1998, p.276. [return]
20. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.46. [return]
21. "Hundred Years' War," Filebox, Virginia Tech. [return]
22. Oxley, 2010, p.46. [return]
23. Ibid. [return]
24. Beecher, P.A., 1928, "The Holy Shroud: Reply to the Rev. Herbert Thurston, S.J.," M.H. Gill & Son: Dublin, p.63; Barnes, A.S., 1934, "The Holy Shroud of Turin," Burns Oates & Washbourne: London, p.55; Brucker, E., 1998, "Thy Holy Face: My 39 Years of Lecturing on the Shroud of Turin," Brucker: Tucson AZ, p.16 & Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.10. [return]
25. Wilson, 1998, p.275. [return]
26. Wilson, 1979, p.200. [return]
27. Wilson, 1998, p.275. [return]
28. Wilson, I., 2012, "Discovering more of the Shroud's Early History: A promising new approach ...," Talk for the International Congress on the Holy Shroud in Spain, Aula Magna of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, 28-30 April, 2012. [return]
29. Wilson, 2010, pp.215-216. [return]
30. Wilson, 2010, p.216. [return]
31. Wilson, 1998, p.277. [return]
32. Wilson, 2010, p.217. [return]
33. Wilson, 1998, pp.276-277. [return]
34. Wilson, 2010, p.219. [return]
35. Wilson, 1998, p.277. [return]
36. Ibid. [return]
37. Wilson, 1998, p.276. [return]
38. Oxley, 2010, pp.46-47. [return]
39. Crispino, D., 1981, "Why Did Geoffroy de Charny Change His Mind?," Shroud Spectrum International, #1, December, pp.28-34, p.29. [return]
40. Wilson, 2010, p.218. [return]
41. Wilson, 1998, p.277. [return]
42. Currer-Briggs, 1988, p.35; Wilson, 1998, p.276; Tribbe, 2006, p.41 & various online genealogies. [return]
43. Currer-Briggs, 1988, p.35. [return]
44. Extract from Google Maps (Earth) Classic View, search on Lirey, France, 11 January 2014. [return]
45. Verified by Google StreetView and by comparison with photographs of the church in reference LTV. [return]
46. Wilson, 1998, p.287. [return]
47. Wilson, 2010, pp.221-222. [return]
48. Crispino, 1981, p.30; Crispino, D., 1988, "To Know the Truth: A Sixteenth Century Document with Excursus," Shroud Spectrum International, #28/29, September/December, pp.25-40, p.33; Tribbe, 2006, p.41. [return]
49. Crispino, 1981, p.30; Crispino, 1988, p.33. [return]
50. Crispino, D., 1990, "Kindred Questions," Shroud Spectrum International, #34, December, pp.43-44, p.43[return]
51. Crispino, 1981, p.30. [return]
52. Ibid. [return]
53. Crispino, 1981, pp.30-31; Crispino, D., 1987, "Geoffroy de Charny in Paris," Shroud Spectrum International, #24, September, pp.13-18, p.13; Wilson, 1998, p.276; Tribbe, 2006, p.41. [return]
54. Currer-Briggs, N., 1984, "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, p.65; Tribbe, 2006, p.41. [return]
55. Crispino, D., 1989, "Geoffroy de Charny's Second Funeral," #30, March, pp.9-13, p.10; Wilson, 1998, p.277. [return]
56. Crispino, 1981, p.30. [return]
57. Ibid; Tribbe, 2006, p.41 Wilson, 2010, p.220. [return]
58. Crispino, 1981, p.30. [return]
59. Currer-Briggs, N., 1995, "Shroud Mafia: The Creation of a Relic?," Book Guild: Sussex UK, p.31. [return]
60. Crispino, 1981, p.31. [return]
61. Wilson, 2010, p.222. [return]
62. Currer-Briggs, 1988, p.49; Wilson, 2010, p.220. [return]
63. Wilson, 1998, p.121. [return]
64. Wilson, 1979, p.266. [return]
65. Wilson, 1979, pp.266-267. [return]
66. Wilson, 1979, p.267. [return]
67. Latendresse, M., 2012, "A Souvenir from Lirey," [return]
68. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.21. [return]
69. Guerrera, 2001, p.103. [return]
70. Ibid. [return]
71. Tribbe, 2006, p.42. [return]
72. Guerrera, 2001, p.103. [return]
73. Ibid. [return]
74. Wilson, 2010, p.222. [return]
75. Wilson, 1998, p.128. [return]
76. Oxley, 2010, pp.52-53. [return]
77. Wilson, 1979, p.194. [return]
78. Wilson, 1998, p.128. [return]
79. Wilson, 1979, p.267. [return]
80. Ibid. [return]
81. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.14. [return]
82. Wilson, 2010, p.220. [return]
83. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, p.19; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.152-153. [return]
84. Scavone, 1989, p.15; Antonacci, 2000, p.152. [return]
85. Wilson, 1979, p.259. [return]
86. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.10-11. [return]
87. Guerrera, 2001, p.11. [return]
88. Currer-Briggs, N., 1984, "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, p.65; . Guerrera, 2001, p.12. [return]
89. Currer-Briggs, 1988, p.35 & various online genealogies. [return]
90. Guerrera, 2001, p.12. [return]
91. "Battle of Poitiers," Wikipedia, 14 December 2014. [return]
92. 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, p.64. [return]
93. Oxley, 2010, p.53. [return]
94. Wilson, 1979, p.267. [return]
95. Scavone, D.C., 1991, "The History of the Turin Shroud to the 14th C.," in Berard, A., ed., 1991, "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, pp.171-204, p.174. [return]

Created: 27 December, 2014. Updated: 20 January, 2015.


Anonymous said...

We learn so many things from you Stephen.

Stephen E. Jones said...


>We learn so many things from you Stephen.

Thanks. I am learning more about the Shroud as I research for these posts.

The most interesting thing I found in researching for this post was, as I posted above:

"So Geoffroy must have owned the Shroud from no later than 1343. And King Phillip VI must have known that Geoffroy had the Shroud from at least June 1343, for him to agree to fund a church of such disproportionate size for such a tiny village. So too must King John II have to agree to increase funding in 1353, as well as the French Avignon Pope's Clement VI and Innocent IV. This places a 1343 time constraint on theories of when and how Geoffroy de Charny obtained the Shroud..."

That rules out those theories which postulate that Geoffroy I obtained the Shroud after 1343. For example, Dan Scavone's theory that Jeanne de Vergy of Besançon brought it with her upon her marriage to Geoffroy in 1352. And Ian Wilson's latest theory that Edward de Beaujeu gave it to him in 1351, as he lay dying at Ardres (Wilson, I., 2012, "Valencia Shroud Congress).

But it leaves in Wilson's original Templar theory that Geoffroy I obtained the Shroud during his first English captivity in 1342. However, Wilson himself has given up that theory.

It also leaves in the theory that King Philip VI gave the Shroud to Geoffroy I, as claimed in an error-ridden 16th century document found posted near the entrance of the rebuilt Lirey church. This was dismissed on inadequate grounds by both Wilson and Crispino.

That would explain why Philip VI so readily funded in 1343 Geoffroy's grandiose Lirey collegiate chapel with its 5 canons, for a village of only 50 houses.

A plausible scenario is that during the 1341 Battle of Angers, where Geoffroy's commander was Philip VI's ~22 year-old son (the future King John II), if Geoffroy had saved Prince John's life (which is not unlikely), then that would be sufficient reason for King Philip to give Geoffroy the Shroud in gratitude.

That would also explain Geoffroy II's explanation that the Shroud was "freely given" to his father and Geoffroy II's daughter Marguerite's explanation that it was "conquis par feu" ("conquered by fire"), i.e. obtained by conquest in battle, by her grandfather Geoffroy I.

This latter theory would not rule out Scavone's de Vergy-Besançon theory if Philip VI had secretly obtained the Shroud from Besançon Cathedral before it burned down in 1349, and gave it to Geoffroy I on the proviso that he not reveal who gave it to him.

That would also explain why neither Geoffroy I, his wife Jeanne de Vergy, Geoffroy II, or the latter's daughter Marguerite, never revealed how Geoffroy I obtained the Shroud.

It would also explain why the ~42 year-old Geoffroy I would seek the hand in marriage of the ~20 year-old Jeanne de Vergy. The de la Roche-de Vergy family were the historic owners of the Shroud from the sack of Constantinople in 1204, and to the rigidly ethical Geoffroy I it would help resolve his conflict in obeying his King in taking the Shroud, yet being the receiver of possibly stolen property of the de Vergys.


Stephen E. Jones said...


Finally, it would also explain why the French Avignon Popes Clement VI and Innocent IV authorised Geoffroy I's even more grandiose collegiate church with 6 canons, including a Dean and 3 assistant clerics.

And why the Avignon Pope Clement VII, supported Geoffroy II's exposition of the Shroud in 1389 and enjoined "perpetual silence" on Troyes' Bishop Pierre d'Arcis.

If Geoffroy I did obtain from Philip VI the Shroud which had been in Besançon Cathedral, on the condition of not revealing who gave it to him and where it came from, those French Popes would have known it confidentially. But it would open up a potentially huge can of worms if the Shroud had been taken from the de Charny-de Vergys and given to Troyes Cathedral, as Bishop d'Arcis and his predecessor Henri de Poitiers wanted.

Because then in desperation the de Charny-de Vergys would have been forced to reveal that it was actually Besançon Cathedral's Shroud, which had been thought to have been lost in the fire of 1349,and that King Philip VI had somehow obtained it and then given it to Geoffroy I.

In all this, I hadn't previously realised that Jeanne de Vergy (c. 1332-1428) lived until she was ~96, outliving her son Geoffroy II (1352–1398). Her second husband, who she married in c. 1359, was the wealthy Aymon of Geneva, who was an uncle of Pope Clement VII.

So Jeanne was well-placed to be a behind-the-scenes long-term protector of the Shroud and supporter of her son Geoffroy II and granddaughter Marguerite de Charny (1393–1460), in their custody of the Shroud.

Although as Wilson ("Holy Faces, Secret Places, 1991, p.18) pointed out, Jeanne probably took the Shroud with her to High Savoy with Aymon, and it was his death in 1388 which may have prompted her to return to Lirey with the Shroud and hold the 1389 exposition, which Bishop Pierre d'Arcis complained to Pope Clement VII about.

If so, then Geoffroy II never actually possessed the Shroud, it having been kept by Jeanne de Vergy, and only at or before her death in 1428 (Geoffroy II having died in 1398), the Shroud then passed to Jeanne's granddaughter Marguerite.

I will post this `Philip VI gave the Shroud to Geoffroy I' theory in a future Encyclopedia entry.

Stephen E. Jones
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