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Bretagne
Official site of the Tourist Office of Centre Morbihan

La maison des chouans at Bignan

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Discovery of the Breton « chouanerie »

KERDEL POUR SITE INTERNET OTL

The association Pierre guillemot wished that the birthplace of the chouan chef, nicknamed the «King of Bignan» become an ecomuseum where every year a new exhibition is presented on the theme of Morbihan chouannerie.e.

Called, the House of the Chouans, this very old house (attested since 1480) was renovated and arranged by the association, as it was in the eighteenth century, at the time of Pierre Guillemot.

Summer exhibition: Popular songs from Chouannerie

Opening and rate

 

Opening 2021

Open for groups by reservation.

Open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 2 pm to 6 pm, from 17th July to 30th August.

Open for the European Heritage Days on 18 and 19 September, from 2 pm to 6.30 pm.

 

Free entrance. Free or accompanied visit.

 

La Maison des Chouans

Kerdel 56500 BIGNAN

Phone : 06 64 65 28 93

Email : guillemotpierre56@yahoo.fr

www.bignanroue.jimdo.com

 

 

 

 

Learn more on the Chouans

Pierre Guillemot, “Rouë Begnen” the King of Bignan

Maison des chouans_Pierre Guillemot

Pierre Guillemot was born on November 1st 1759 at the farm of Kerdel in Bignan. Married, a father and an educated man, he studied at the Collège St Yves in Vannes, Guillemot was not hostile to the first ideals of the revolution and was even elected attorney-trustee of Plumelec, where he settled after his marriage.

In 1792, Pierre Guillemot returned with his family to exploit the land of Kerdel. But in March 1794, noting the excesses of the revolutionaries, especially in religious matters, he raised the whole country of Bignan and its surroundings. Hunted, Pierre Guillemot and his family must abandon this farm which will be plundered and sold as national property.

The nickname "King of Bignan" is given to him by both his friends and the Republicans. His kingdom stretches over more than 50 parishes and his legion will number up to 4,000 men, which testifies to the large mobilization of the peasant population within the chouannerie in the department of Morbihan.

Named colonel of the Catholic and Royal Army, he is, with Georges Cadoudal, the most popular and respected leader of Morbihan chouannerie. Betrayed, he was arrested in Plaudren and tried in Vannes by a military commission. He was executed on January 5, 1805 on the esplanade de la Garenne in the same city.

Why the revolt, the chouannerie ?

Maison des Chouans_Prière

Lors de la Révolution française, dès 1790, les secteurs de Locminé et Saint Jean Brévelay, comme leurs voisins du Morbihan se révoltent contre la République. C'est ce qu'on appelle la chouannerie ! Attention, il ne s'agit pas ici de la chouannerie de Vendée, plus connue et plus meurtrière mais bien de la chouannerie bretonne, celle des paysans de l'Ouest de la France qui prennent les armes pour s'attaquer aux Bleus, les gardes nationaux de la République.

The rural world (80% of the population) was initially in favour of the Revolution of 1789, which was to remove it from feudalism and bring a wind of freedom.In 1790, however, the revolutionaries' excesses, especially in the religious field, began to put doubt in the minds. The Civil Constitution of the clergy wanted to make priests officials by obliging them to take the oath. The refusal to take this oath and the ensuing repression set this world on fire. The sale of the goods of the church and of the emigrants as a national good, mainly for the benefit of the revolutionary bourgeoisie, accentuated discontent.

In 1793 the raising of 300,000 men had to designate by «draw» the men to go to war.

But the draw is not equal: not only judges and members of municipalities, districts or departments are excluded, but in addition, the wealthy pay for others to take their place.

The peasants saw this as privileges which they believed had finally been abolished since 1789 and all these elements led to armed revolt: the Chouannerie (*). This spirit of revolt will persist for nearly half a century on the territory.

(*) The chouannerie owes its name to Jean Cottereau, named Jean Chouan. These men used the owl’s cry to recognize themselves.

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