SAINTONGE (French pronunciation: ), historically spelled
XAINTONGE and XAINCTONGE, is a former province of France located on
the west central Atlantic coast. The capital city was Saintes
(Xaintes, Xainctes). Other principal towns include
Marennes , Pons , and
Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire . The borders of the
province slightly shifted through history, and some mapmakers, such as
Nicolas Sanson (1650),
Johannes Blaeu (1662), and Bernard Antoine
Jaillot (1733), show it extending into Cognac , traditionally part of
Angoumois , and to the parishes of
Braud-et-Saint-Louis and Étauliers
, part of the Pays Gabay on the right bank of the
Gironde River .
Today, four fifths of the historical
Saintonge province occupies the
modern département of
Charente-Maritime . Most of the other fifth is
Charente , and a small section extends north into
all within the administrative region of
* 1 History
* 2 Pottery
* 3 See also
* 4 References
The province derives its name from the
Santones , an ancient Gallic
tribe that once inhabited the area. During antiquity,
part of the
Roman province of
Gallia Aquitania , and Saintes became
its first capital. The region fell under the control of the kings and
dukes of Aquitaine , the counts of
Anjou , then the counts of Poitiers
, before becoming integrated for centuries in the new Duchy of
Aquitaine . Occupying the frontier between Capetian and Plantagenet
-controlled areas during the late
Middle Ages , between 1152 and 1451,
it was the site of constant struggles between lords torn between their
allegiance to Anglo-Aquitaine and those linked to Paris.
Saintonge was primarily attached to Anglo-Aquitaine until the
mid-fourteenth century. However, errors by Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke
of Lancaster and the
Edward, the Black Prince
Edward, the Black Prince gradually contributed to
weakening English power, and the province ultimately came under the
control of the King of France , Charles VII, "the Victorious" , in
Saintonge was the birthplace of French explorer
Jean Allefonsce (or
Alfonse) in 1484, and
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain in 1574, who explored the
New World and founded
Quebec . It also was one of the centers of
French Huguenots , Protestants.
Saintongeais dialect (patouê saintonjhouê,
jhabrail) was once spoken throughout Saintonge, as well as in the
The region is famous for its grapes, which are used to produce cognac
Pineau des Charentes .
Saintonge jug (1275–1350) exported to London. Now in the Tower
of London .
This area is famous for its medieval pottery, which was widely
exported. Sherds of it have been found in large quantities in medieval
excavations throughout Ireland and other European countries. These
shards are from vessels made and exported as a by-product of the
Bordeaux wine trade (Deroeux and Dufournier, 1991). This ware has been
found on Irish excavations from the later 12th century but it is most
commonly uncovered in 13th-century contexts. They consist of an
off-white micaceous fabric with moderate amounts of quartz and sparse
inclusions of haematite . They are glazed on the external surface
only, with a clear lead glaze. In
Saintonge Green wares, the addition
of copper filings, or copper oxide to the clear lead glaze, produced a
mottled mid-green colouring. Many forms of
Saintonge wares were
Saintonge Green, and in some
cases unglazed wares. Slipped
Saintonge is more consistent in colour
and appearance than unslipped, having the benefit of an undercoating
to regulate the process.
Saintonge polychrome dish in the style
Bernard Palissy , mid-1500s, excavated in London.
London Museum .
The most common forms of vessel produced in this ware were wine jugs.
These were characteristically tall, with slightly ovoid bodies, flat
bases, parrot-beak spouts and strap handles.
Saintonge was exported well through the 17th century. Acadians and
French colonists in
Quebec and Eastern Canada imported many Saintonge
ceramics, including bowls, plates, mugs and other types. Many
Saintonge ceramic fragments have been found in context with
17th-century colonists and are often used as evidence of pre-British
occupation of these areas.
* ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896.
Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
* Derœux, D. ;background:none
Historical provinces of France
* Flanders and Hainaut
Coordinates : 45°45′00″N 0°38′00″W / 45.75°N
0.633333°W / 45.75; -0.633333 Retrieved from
Saintonge additional terms
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