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Melun (population 37,000) is a French city on the river Seine. It is the préfecture (administrative capital) of the Seine-et-Marne département.


The city started on an island near the junction of the Marne River and is south southwest of Paris. What Caesar said of Melun in his commentaries testifies that it is very old, and that it was very important in its time. The Normans sacked it in 845.

King Hugh Capet gave Melun to Bouchard, his favorite. Under the reign of Robert, Eudes, the count of Champagne, bought the city, and the king took it back for the viscount in 999. Le Chatelain and his wife, who had sold the city, were hanged.

Melun, ancient family (or household)

1. The first of this household is Josselin I. by name, viscount of Melun, who reigned among the great lords in the court of kings Hugh Capet, and Robert. In 998, he gave the village of Noisy-le-Sec to the monastery of Saint Maur-des-Fossez, where he took upon himself the monk's habit, and where he died March 19, (no year given - probably 998/999).

On February 26, 999 Josselin I De Melun's grandson Manasses supported by Eudes, Count of Chartres and the mayor of Melun took control claiming the important river castle and village. They did not hold it long. King Robert, along with Bouchard for Herve, laid siege in 999 and forced the those fighting against hereditary rights to pay with their lives. The mayor and Eudes were hanged with many others, but there is no further mention of Manasses.

2. Herve, viscount of Melun, who was still living in 1030 by report of the author of Miracles of Saint Liesne, and who was the father of Ursion, who follows.

3. Ursion I. He had Guillaume I. who follows; and Manasses who took the side of Le Chatelain of Cambray against the bishop of this city.

4. Guillaume I., of name, Viscount of Melun, was named, Carpenter, because no weapon (opponents weapons that is) could be found that could resist the power of his strikes. The heaviness of his (weapons) resulted in him being feared in combats". Carpenters must of, at the time, been among the most "well build" people... " This is the report of Pierre, monk of S. Remi of Reims. This historian, who knew Guillaume count of Melun, assures in the fourth book of his history of the conquest of the Holy Land, speaking of the retreat of the Christian army after the taking of Antioch in 1098, that this lord was of royal lineage, and was cousin of Hugues of France, count of Vermandois, brother of king Phillipe I. In 1084, this king confirmed the privileges accorded by his predecessors to the abbey of Holy Father of Melun, and to the prayer of the viscount. The name of his wife and the time of his death are not well known. He was the father of Ursion II De Melun.

Robert, monk of Saint Remy de Reims, in his history of the Holy Land, Book 4, wrote that the house of Melun came from royal origins*. He gathered** "titles and monuments" of that great house, intended for a genealogical history more complete than could be given here. The first of that ancient house, whose memory is preserved to the present day, is..."

(*) See du Bouchet, History of Courtenay, pp 194ff.
(**) Cabinee de M. de Clairembault.

External links and references

Initial text from the "Carpenters' Encyclopedia of Carpenters 2001" Compiled by John R. Carpenter.