Born in the Pays d’Uzerche or only gone past, they have left their mark on the Pays d’Uzerche
Pope Gregory VIII (Maurice Bourdin)
He was born in Eyburie at the place-called Viozelange and died in 1126.
Antipope from 1118 to 1121.
In 1095, he went to Portugal and became the archbishop of Braga, and enthroned Emperor Henri V despite the pope opinion.
Henri, displeased of the pope Gelasius II, made Bourdin pope in 1118 under the name Gregory VIII; but the prince abandoned him and Bourdin was besieged in Sutri by Calixt II, Gelasius successor. Bourdin was taken and locked away in a monastery, where he died in 1137.
Gaucelm Faidit (around 1150 – 1205)
Troubadour, juggler, musican and poet
Born in Uzerche in 1150.
He was one of the minstrels the most important of his time.
He married a prostitute named Guilhelma Monja, who accompanies him during his peregrinations.
Able to speak the Occitan and oïl language, he was part of the most influential courts in Europe, particularly the court of Richard the Lionheart in Poitiers and the court of Geoffrey Plantagenet in Brittany. He followed Richar the Lionhear in Holy Land during the fourth crusade (1202 – 1204).
He dedicated remarkable verses to Marie de Ventadour.
He was told by some historians to have returned in its native Limousin and died there not long after.
65 songs and a about ten other compositions remain today.
In his honour, the Uzerche secondary school bears his name.
Arthur Young (1741 – 1820)
British farmer and agronomist
In 1787, he called Uzerche the “Perle du Limousin”. In “Voyage en France” he wrote about Uzerche:
“Views of unique beauty overwhelm us; but nothing can be compared to the view on Uzerche: conical mountain emerging from a forests amphitheatre, feet in a magnificent river…”
Prosper Mérimée (1803 – 1870)
French writer, historian and archaeologist
In “Notes d’un voyage en Auvergne”, he writes:
“On the road from Limoges to Tulle, I only must stop in Uzerche, a very picturesque small town. Located on the top of a mountain, it cuts the landscape in two sinuous valleys, watered by the Vézère. From the top of the mountain, this small river lost deep down within the valley seems to be a thin white ribbon weaving on a beautiful green carpet…”
Marie Capelle Lafarge (1816 – 1852)
A poisoning case
A poisoning case that is still a mystery today.
August 1939: Charles Pouch-Lafarge is a forge master in the Glandier and he has just married in Paris Marie Capelle, an orphan descendent of Madame de Genlis, part of the royal family.
When Marie discover her new home, she realises she has been betrayed: there is no elegant castle described by her husband, but an old poorly maintained house, where was living her nasty family-in-law.
Marie soon realises that the house is infested with rats. She told a servant to go to Mister Eyssartier’s, pharmacist in Uzerche, in order to buy arsenic and kill the rats.
From this exact moment, everything turns muddled.
On the 20th of November, Charles Lafarge goes to Paris on business.
On the 14th of December, Marie send him two cakes.
On the 4th of January 1840, Charles returns from Paris, with terrible hartburns. He is confined to bed and finally die some days later.
The mother of Charles Lafarge accuses Marie of poisoning with arsenic powder.
On the 26th of January, Marie is jailed in Brive.
On the 2nd of May, she appears before the criminal court for a case prior to her marriage and about she would have been part of.
She is sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for this case.
On the 2nd of September occurs the first hearing in the trial of this poisoning case.
On the 7th of September, her husband’s corpse is exhumed to be analysed and the experts find arsenic.
On the 9th of September, Marie is sentenced to hard labour for life.
On the 11th of November 1841, she is transferred to jail in Montpellier.
Louis Napoléon pardons her and Marie get out of jail on the 1st of June 1852, ravaged by tuberculosis.
She takes refuge in the village of Orlonac (Ariège) where she is buried on the 7th of November 1852.
The mystery of the “Lafarge case” has never been resolved!
Lafarge case in the press: www.affaires-criminelles.com
Mémoires de Marie Lafarge née Capelle on Google Books.
Simone de Beauvoir (1908 – 1986)
She lived near Uzerche. In “Mémoire d’une jeune fille rangée”, she writes:
“… I have never imagined that such a lovely place to live existed… I used to go walking with my sister, the gorse scratching our legs and the brambles our arms. We used to explore the surroundings, the chestnut groves, the fields, the moors. We used to do great discoveries: ponds; a fall; in the middle of a heath, grey granite blocks we used to hike to see the blue line of the Monédières far away. Along the way, we ate hazelnuts and blackberries…”
Henri Cueco (1929-2017)
Born in Uzerche in 1929, he lived in Parisian region. He was teacher at the Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Radio and television man, stage designer, writer, we was above all a painter and a drawer. As an artist, he be interested in landscape and write “Approches du concept de paysage” where he defines the main distinction between “land” and “landscape”.
Didier Frideloux (1945)
Hyperrealistic, where every detail counts, he creates original works out of his imagination. His drawer, colourist and composer gifts are commensurate with his metaphysical reflections.
Daniel Esmoingt (1951)
He realised in 2000 a huge sculpture “La France Impériale”, which ornaments the Pavillon de Flore pediment of the Louvre.