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Q: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   9 Comments )
Subject: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
Category: Family and Home > Families
Asked by: buncic-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 01 Oct 2003 04:35 PDT
Expires: 31 Oct 2003 03:35 PST
Question ID: 261804
In 1645, Ivan Uzhevych dedicated his Ruthenian grammar to a French
family. This dedication on fol. 5 of the manuscript consists of the
family's coat of arms and a Ruthenian poem of six lines in Cyrillic
script, titled "To the coat of arms of the lords Bryhaller". The
manuscript was written in France, as Uzhevych was a student of
theology in Paris and the manuscript is now kept in the city library
of Arras. Therefore this name has to be interpreted as the French name
Brigallier (or maybe Brigallère or something like that).

The coat of arms shows a hedgehog in the main field and two crescents
above it. The motto above the coat of arms is given as "Zblizka i
Zdaleka", which would have to be retranslated as "De Proche et Loin",
i.e. 'From Near and Far'. You can have a look at the coat of arms on a
facsimile of the page:
1. Hramatyka slov-jans'ka I. Uzevyca. Edited by I.K. Bilodid and Je.M.
   Kudryc'kyj. Kyjiv 1970, p.5/2.
2. Jaskevic, A.A. Starabelaruskija hramatyki: Da prablemy
   ahul'nafilalahicnaj celasnasci. Minsk 1996, p.264.
3. [be patient].

We know very little about Uzhevych. Therefore I hope to find out more
about him through this family he dedicated his manuscript to. Probably
they had helped him finance his studies. I would like to know as much
as possible about them:
- Who were they?
- Where did they live in the 1640s?
- Do they have any connection to Arras?
- Did they have anything to do with Poland-Lithuania?
- Where can I get more information about them?

There is no hurry, and if you cannot answer all these questions, I am
happy about any little piece of information you can give me.

Request for Question Clarification by leli-ga on 15 Oct 2003 16:45 PDT
Hello buncic

Wild boar?!!
I'm glad you found the coat of arms - and thank-you for showing it to

I've found a few snippets which may or may not help.

Would you like a reference to one or two Brigallier merchants and
their business dealings in 16th century Paris?

Evidence suggesting there was no Brigalier/Brigallier in a late 17c
official register of French coats of arms?

An early 18c French text giving further details of the mysterious
"Abad Brigalier" who turns up in google searches?
(e.g.   )
On the surface, it appears to contain a long anecdote from life at the
French court, but it would take time to look into it.
He is in a late 17c book too, spelt as Brigallier, involved in an
implausible and sensational event supposed to have taken place in

An alternative name for the Order of the Porcupine, even though the
order seems not to have continued into the 17c?

I don't expect to be able to build much on these bits and pieces, but
let me know if any would be useful and I'll write up the references

Thanks - Leli

Request for Question Clarification by leli-ga on 16 Oct 2003 05:20 PDT
I now understand a bit more about M. Brigalier.
1 He was apparently chaplain to a member of the royal family.
2 The implausible story I mentioned was part of the "evidence" in a trial.

Clarification of Question by buncic-ga on 16 Oct 2003 08:39 PDT
Hello leli!

Well, the 16th century is a bit far away. If this was the only way to
extrapolate information to the 1640s, okay. But I think it would be
more interesting to try to find out more about those Brigal(l)iers
that lived in the 17th century. And the late 17th or early 18th
century is even less interesting, because that does not have any
effects on who the Brigal(l)iers were in the 1640s. Of course, later
texts that relate to earlier events in the time interesting me are
very welcome.

The Order of the Porcupine might be interesting if it tells us
anything about its members. And this M. Brigalier might in fact be the
one we are looking for, since the time fits in and he seems to have
been rather ifluential.

Looking forward to your findings!
Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
Answered By: leli-ga on 17 Oct 2003 04:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Yes - I think this priest, Abbé Brigalier, must have met many
important people in France during the reign of Louis XIV. However, he
may have been known at court in the 1650s rather than the 1640s.
Anyway, I hope some of this will provide you with useful leads.

The facts are scarce, coming from just two sources, but tantalising.
One source is Ségrais (1624-1701), a figure at court as well as writer
and Académicien. His anecdotes were published posthumously in 1721.
The other is a collection of documents from the Bastille in 1681,
relating to the notorious poisoning (and witchcraft) trials.

Brigalier was chaplain to Anne-Marie Louise d'Orléans (1627-1693),
Duchesse de Montpensier and cousin of the King . She was often known
as "la Grande Mademoiselle" or even just Mademoiselle, which made me
slow to realise who was being mentioned. She was very serious about
religion, and at one time considered becoming a nun.

However, Brigalier's "fame" comes not from the church, but from his
magic. Ségrais writes about his ability to fool the credulous with
conjuring tricks, but by 1681 he is cited as someone who taught others
how to make pacts with the devil and sacrifice three-year-old

Ségrais' version was taken up by Corneille, who quoted his entire
description of Brigalier's magic tricks as an illustration of how
credulous people were in the seventeenth century.

Brigalier had performed a trick with coloured cloths, which made
Madame de Montauban beg him to show his magic to her and le Comte des
Chapelles. He answered that she must know he was no longer able to
make use of his talents, as the Archbishop of Paris had threatened to
ban (interdire) him if he continued. Despite the Comte's assurances
that he wouldn't tell a soul, Brigalier insisted he must excuse
himself because of the "grand danger" he would expose himself to by
agreeing. Eventually he was persuaded to try to comfort Mlle de
Vermisson by resuscitating her pet sparrow, which had just died. The
whole thing is described as a ruse, with details of how the trick was
managed, including cooperation from some nearby nuns.

Later the Comte can't resist telling the story while at supper with
the king. Ségrais then recounts another showy piece of magic which
deceived the Queen. Next we are told how the Abbé convinced a group of
people in Lyon that he was bringing the devil to life, in a trick
involving a beggar-boy hiding behind a painting. The earlier events
took place while the court was at Compiègne, north-east of Paris.

Brigalier is said to have died not long after Mademoiselle (1693).

Perhaps it's hardly surprising that in 1681 Brigalier/Brigallier is
cited in evidence in witchcraft (?) proceedings against la Joly (later
burnt). He is said to have taught people to make agreements with the
devil, and more alarmingly, to sacrifice children.

You may particularly want to see two footnotes. One comments on how
badly advised la Grande Mademoiselle was, as she had a poisoner for a
doctor, and a satanist for a chaplain. This must have been Lauzun's
work, says the comment. (Lauzun was famous as lover, and perhaps
husband, of Mademoiselle.) The other footnote dates Brigalier's
involvement in the sacrifice to 1650.

1650 may indeed be a time when people were taking notice of Abbé
Ségrais was certainly around at court at that period, as a trusted
literary acquaintance of Anne-Marie's:

"En 1656, Mademoiselle confie à Segrais une œuvre collective"

There would be a lot of historical research to do, to take this
further, but I hope you find the court connection helpful in tracking
down some more information on the eccentric Abbé.


The books are:

Auteur(s) :    Ségrais, Jean Regnault de (1624-1701)
Titre(s) :   Segraisiana [Première partie] ou melange d'histoire et de
litterature. Recueilli des entretiens de monsieur de Ségrais de
l'Academie françoise. [Texte imprimé][Deuxième partie] Les Eglogues et
l'Amour gueri par le temps, tragedie-ballet du même auteur, non
imprimée. Ensemble. [Troisième partie] La Rélation de l'isle
imaginaire & l'histoire de la princesse de Paphlagonie, imprimées en
1646. par l'ordre de Mademoiselle.
Publication :  A Paris, par la compagnie des libraires associés. M.
Editeur :  Le Clerc, Nicolas (1655?-1742?)

The Brigalier anecdote runs from page 46 - 56.

Titre(s) :    Règne de Louis XIV (1681 et 1665 à 1674) [Document
électronique] / documents inédits recueillis et publiés par François
Titre d'ensemble :  Archives de la Bastille ; 7
Lien au titre d'ensemble :  Archives de la Bastille
Type de ressource électronique :  Données textuelles
Publication :  1995
Description matérielle :  516 p.
Reproduction :   Num. BNF de l'éd. de Paris : A. Durand et
Pedone-Lauriel, 1874. in-8 °
Autre(s) auteur(s) :   Ravaisson-Mollien, François (1811-1884).
Éditeur scientifique

"Proces-verbal de question de la Joly" begins on page 64. Brigallier
appears again on page 67.

"BRIGALLIER, aumônier de Mademoiselle, enseigne à faire des traités
avec le diable, 64; sacrifie un enfant pour le mariage de la dame de
Saint-Laurens, 67"

Corneille's book is catalogued like this:
Auteur(s) :    Taschereau, Jules-Antoine
Titre(s) :   Histoire de la vie et des ouvrages de P. Corneille
[Document électronique] / par M. J. Taschereau
Titre d'ensemble :  Oeuvres complètes / de J. Taschereau

The title page says:
Oeuvres Completes de P. Corneille

The Brigalier part starts on page 289, in the notes to the first book,
which covers the period up to 1653.
The table of contents says "Crédulité superstitieuse du siècle de
Corneille. - L'abbé Brigalier. - Tours à l'aide desquels il se fait
passer pour sorcier."

To get to the Corneille and the Archives de la Bastille, you need to
search for "brigal*" at:

A separate search is needed for "Ségrais".

You'll see the first search also produces a reference to two 16c
Brigaliers at the University of Paris, being sworn in for something
(?), but unfortunately the entry in the "table des matières" doesn't
have a page number, and I didn't have any luck with guessing where to
look amongst the nearly 1000 pages. The Brigaliers are in the index at
the end of the book, but again without a number.
"Franciscus Brigalier Parisinus Iuratus an. 1596. item Ioan. Brigalier
Paris. "
Pity that, even if they were young students in 1596, there's only a
small chance of their having met Uzhevych.

Auteur(s) :  Du Boulay, César Egasse
Titre(s) :   Historia Universitatis Parisiensis 

Perhaps you'll fight your way through 1000 pages of Latin to see if
there's anything interesting to be found?


I'll pass on the other things I met along the way, in case they're of
any use.

At the Archive Nationales there are 8 records of Brigalier business
dealings in 1551.

Here's a sample:

Date : 1551 juin 19 Fonds : MC Cote : ET/LXXXVI/028
Nature : rente, transport Numéro : 014823
Intervenant 1 Première partie
Qualité, état civil:BOURGEOIS DE PARIS
Intervenant 2 Deuxième partie
Profession :MARCHAND, ORLEANS, 45
Domicile :ORLEANS, 45

To get there go to:

Look for:
"Les bases de données du CHAN interrogeables en texte intégral" 


There's no Brigalier in the alphabetical index to the 1696 register of
French coats of arms:

Auteur(s) :    Hozier, Charles d'
Titre(s) :   Indicateur du grand armorial ou Table alphabétique de
tous les noms de personnes, villes, communautés ou corporations...

Search for "armorial" at:


I came across this page of resources for genealogical research:

And it turns out that the Order of the Porcupine was also called the
Ordre du Camail.

"Kovacs, Éva. 'L'Ordre du Camail des ducs d'Orléans'. Acta historiae
artium, (Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae) 27 (1981), 225–31.
Reports discovery of the first known representation of the Orléans
Order of the Camail or Porcupine in a tryptich of about 1455 by a
painter of the circle of Roger van der Weyden at the Fondation Abegg
in Berne."

I had to laugh when I found our original hedgehog had turned into a
wild boar!
It seems the change from boar to porcupine happened elsewhere too:

"L'on voit dans le Manuscrit 14468, daté de 1450 de la Bibliothèque
Nationale de Paris que les D'Amours avaient aussi une nouvelle version
de leurs armoiries, en remplaçant à cette époque le sanglier par le


I wish I could have found a neat answer to your questions about the
Brigalier family. But I do hope that the stories of Mademoiselle's
chaplain will lead to more clues about his relatives. There are plenty
of books about her. Surely some of these will lead to more

These sites helped me review some of the main points about la Grande

Anne Marie Louise d'Orleans, duchesse de Montpensier'Orleans,_duchesse_de_Montpensier

"Mémoires of Anne-Louise d'Orléans, duchesse de Montpensier (Mlle de
Montpensier, usually called "la grande Mademoiselle"), one of the more
endearing and beloved members of the French royal family."

Article by one of her biographers:

The trial where Brigalier was mentioned was linked to the Brinvilliers

Many people of high social standing were involved in "l'affaire des

"Le scandale est énorme, la marquise de Brinvilliers née
Marie-Madeleine d'Aubrey est la fille d'un conseiller d'Etat. Mais
l'enquête de La Reynie progresse et la liste des empoisonneurs
s'allonge. Plusieurs hauts personnages sont cités : la comtesse de
Soissons et la duchesse de Bouillon nièces de Mazarin ; le maréchal de
Luxembourg ; les comtesses de Polignac, du Roure et de Gramont ; Mmes
de Vivonne et de La Mothe ; Mlles des Oeillets et Cato ; la maréchale
de La Ferté ; Jean Racine."


Do feel free to ask if you would like me to elaborate on anything
here, or help with the rather tedious online catalogues.

Good luck with your research! I have become very curious about all
this and will be looking out for your book when it is eventually

Best wishes - Leli

Search strategy:

After initial searches on google, I searched through various
catalogues, with Brigalier and Brigallier, and also armoirie, armorial
and Ségrais.

Le Centre historique des Archives nationales

Gallica catalogue

Bibliothèque nationale

Catalogue collectif
buncic-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you very much. An exhaustive answer with a lot of new
information for me and several starting points for further research.

Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
From: scriptor-ga on 01 Oct 2003 09:00 PDT
A note for my Fellow Researchers:

I am quite sure that the modern form of the French family's name is
"Brugalières", or "Brugalière". The problem is that I can't prove they
really are connceted with the "Bryhallers" and I did not find any
useful genealogical material on them.

Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
From: fp-ga on 01 Oct 2003 22:41 PDT
You might get some help from the
Societe francaise d´heraldique et de sigillographie, Paris

Their address is mentioned here:

These sites might also be helpful:
Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
From: leli-ga on 02 Oct 2003 03:14 PDT
Hi buncic

Nice to see you around again.

The name Scriptor suggests is very convincing and it's hard to find
another French surname which comes anywhere close. Frustratingly
Brugalière/Brugalières points away from Arras and northern France.
It seems to be a distinctively local name, associated with Lot, in the
This map shows the situation in the late 19th and early 20th century:

Perhaps a member of the family met Uzhevych in Paris?

There are four family historians in Lot and Lot et Garonne who have
researched the name (including Burgalière and Brugaillère):

You may be able to make email contact with them:

There's also a French Family History Association with a Lot branch,
though their page is out of date:

In 1994 they published an article on the name Brugalières from the
16th to 20th centuries:

"# NUMÉRO 12 (décembre 94) [...] Généalogie BRUGALIERES à Catus
16°-20°s (Adrien Foissac +)"

The name turns up repeatedly in the genealogy and history of the area,
though without helpful detail:

1685 Quercy

18c Monflanquin

18c Montagnac

1802  Viazac

19c Gramat

Even playing around with the French phone book supports the idea that
the name is linked to the départements of Lot, and Lot et Garonne. 

Your questions are so challenging, but interesting!
I hope you or another researcher can take this further. 

Best Wishes - Leli
Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
From: fp-ga on 02 Oct 2003 11:24 PDT
The family you are looking for may have become extinct since the 17th
century. Therefore it may prove more efficient trying to identify the
coat of arms before trying to trace a specific family.
Googling for "herisson" (hedgehog) didn't provide further clues.
Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
From: acidtest4u-ga on 03 Oct 2003 03:25 PDT
This is a comment that brings explanation to the motto only

"Cominus et eminus" ("From far and from near" in latin) is the motto
of the King Louis the 12th in France(1462-1515, king of France
(1498-1515)), whose representation animal was a porcupine
see it on the link
It was believed that this animal could also throw its spines far away
to hurt its attackers. hence the motto
Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
From: fp-ga on 03 Oct 2003 08:50 PDT
Not quite the coat of arms you are looking for, but similar:

The porcupine mentioned by acidtest4u-ga seems to be part of the coat
of arms of the de Maupeou family:

For additional information go to
and choose "porc-épic".

Should the Maupeou connection interest you I could forward your
question to a member of this family.

Concerning the motto "Cominus et eminus" it may interest you that in
1393 "the duc d'Orléans, brother of Charles VI" created the "Ordre du
Perhaps some familymember was a knight of this order?
Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
From: buncic-ga on 13 Oct 2003 06:08 PDT
Sorry for this long delay and thank you all very much for your
valuable comments.

And sorry once more for introducing new facts. I have just received
new information from other sources. The name Brigalier does exist in
exactly this form (so that probably it has nothing to do with
Brugalière etc. - sorry!). Probably the family is extinct or
near-extinct and this is why there is so little information in
genealogical sources. In fact the coat of arms can even be found under
this name in Rietstap's big work "Armorial général" (in the reprint of

"Brigalier - Paris. D'or au sanglier de sa[ble]; au chef d'azur,
ch[argé] de trois croiss[ants] du champ."
(= "Brigalier - Paris. In gold a black boar; in the blue chief three
golden crescents.")

A drawing made according to this description can be found in the
"Planches de l'Armorial général de J.-B. Rietstap" by Victor Rolland
(Paris 1903). A colourized version of this drawing is available at

Although this looks very similar to what we find in Uzhevich's
grammar, the colours do not seem to be the same as the ones in
Uzhevich's drawing. I do not know whether the original manuscript of
Uzhevich's grammar is colourized, but obviously the chief is much
brighter (probably silver or gold) than the relatively dark crescents
and the background of the main field.

The fact that the animal here is treated as a boar may be just a
misunderstanding; the porcupine does not occur as a figure in
heraldry, and therefore even in Neubecker & Rentzmann's "Encyclopaedia
of Heraldry" ("Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon", München 1974, p.212) Louis
XII.'s porcupine (of which the authors knew what it was, as the index
shows) is represented in the chapter "Boar". In 1645, Uzhevich
obviously still recognized the porcupine as such, as on the one hand
the animal in the drawing has no tusks and seems to have spines and on
the other hand he not only gives the motto "cominus et eminus" that
acidtest4u found out but also alludes to this animal in the poem,
which I have now understood better than before and of which I give you
a translation here:

  Rightly in the coat of arms there are moons,
     As they signify the clarity of the Brigaliers' virtues.
  And the animal which defends itself from everywhere
     Preserves their virtue and fame.
  However, he who considers the pigeon well
     Easily acknowledges their humanity and sincerity.

The only thing I still do not understand at all is the pigeon: what
does it have to do with the Brigaliers? At least there is no pigeon in
the coat of arms.

Another additional item of information is that the name Brigalier is
mentioned as a member of the Paris city council and captain of the
civic guard; see Jean François de Retz, Mémoires, ed. Simone Bertière,
Paris 1999:
    English translation:
Another source mentions the name Brigallier as financiers in Paris
(Françoise Bayard, Le monde des financiers au XVIIe siècle, Paris

It would be interesting to find out anything more about these people,
but I am afraid this would be  _very_  difficult. Do you have any
ideas how to go on? I could post individual specialized questions for
any bit of new information. In any case it would be interesting to
find out more about this porcupine order; maybe Uzhevich was financed
by a knight of this order because of their aims?
Subject: Re: Who were the Brigalliers (a French family about 1645)?
From: fp-ga on 13 Oct 2003 14:22 PDT
Jean Brigalier, 17th century:
Subject: an explanation on the pigeon ?
From: acidtest4u-ga on 17 Dec 2003 07:10 PST
The pigeon was the symbol of aristocracy. Only noble landowners could
have pigeon houses on their lands. (Pigeon houses were the first
things to be destroyed during the french revolution.....)

i think that the text hint at the nobility of the family !!

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