The town of Le Dorat developed around two elements : a castrum which is a castle, and a group of canons, founded in 975-976, thanks to a certain “Boson le vieux” (“Boson the old”) whom the future generations would refer to as “Count of La Marche”.
The foundation of a chapter of canons by Boson le Vieux in the late 10th century was part of a type of implantation strategy, just as was the foundation of the castrum of Le Dorat. Boson took ownership of a territory between the old counties of Poitiers and Limoges : a territory that relied on a certain number of castles including that of Le Dorat, and Bellac as well.
Its origins, which may seem modest were thwarted in the 15th century when a new legend came up, about the origins of Le Dorat, which claimed the town was founded by Clovis. However, this tardy legend which appeared in the late 15th century, in a document belonging to the chapter was completely made up. This was not surprising for the time since chapters were powerful. Le Dorat’s chapter, like many other chapters, claimed to have prestigious origins, usually as descendents of Charlemagne or in this case, Clovis.
Another legend about Le Dorat’s origins exists. It is said to have been founded by Scott monks, from Ireland or Scoltland. This legend was also tardy. It appeared in the 19th century with the extrapolation of Le Dorat’s old name « Scotorium » which could be found in 11th century charters. Even if such an establishment had existed, it would not have correlated with the canon chapter, which only appeared in the 10th century.
From the church to the Bergere Door
- 1. Foundation of the Chapter
- 2. La communauté de chanoines The canon brotherhood
Foundation of the Chapter
The town of Le Dorat was founded around a religious community called a chapter. Eric Sparhubert, who is a Medieval History lecturer at the University of Limoges, tells us all about its origins, and helps separate facts from legends.