La Croix du Duel

Croix du duel à Hierges

1366000990 - Historic site and monument ,  Wartime memories in Hierges

  • But what is its history...

    The story takes place in the 16th century, in front of the house of Johan Henquin, brewer and innkeeper in Hierges.
    Henry Mayreau is a soldier in Charlemont in the service of the King of Spain.
    One of his brothers, Thiry Mayreau, is clerk at the castle for Gilles de Berlaymont, Baron de Hierges.
    They are seated in front of the inn with many villagers on this 1st May, the day when the hiring of farm workers is negotiated.
    They drink a lot, when Jehan Collin, mayor...
    But what is its history...

    The story takes place in the 16th century, in front of the house of Johan Henquin, brewer and innkeeper in Hierges.
    Henry Mayreau is a soldier in Charlemont in the service of the King of Spain.
    One of his brothers, Thiry Mayreau, is clerk at the castle for Gilles de Berlaymont, Baron de Hierges.
    They are seated in front of the inn with many villagers on this 1st May, the day when the hiring of farm workers is negotiated.
    They drink a lot, when Jehan Collin, mayor of Vireux St Martin, arrives.
    Henry Mayreau became annoyed and accused the mayor of making comments that tarnished his reputation.
    Jehan Collin's denials make him angry.
    He enters the inn and grabs his sword, which hangs from a nail and strikes Jehan Colin on the head and in the hand.
    Jehan Collin in turn draws and strikes three times, which knocks his opponent down... Henry Mayreau is dead.

    Detained in the castle, Jehan Collin was released the next day and on 3 May he sent a request for mercy to Gilles de Berlaymont.
    On 13 June 1579, Baron de Hierges, judging Jehan Collin to be in self-defence, sent a letter releasing him, but ordering him to leave Hierges' lands and banishing him for the rest of his life.
    Jehan Collin, moreover, will have to pay 600 gold florins to the victim's orphans and raise an expiatory cross at the site of the homicide.