1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Commercy
COMMERCY, a town of north-eastern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Meuse, on the left bank of the Meuse, 26 m. E. of Bar-le-Duc by rail. Pop. (1906) 5622. Commercy possesses a château of the 17th century, now used as cavalry barracks, a Benedictine convent occupied by a training-college for primary teachers, and a communal college for boys. A statue of Dom Calmet, the historian, born in the vicinity, stands in one of the squares. The industries include iron-working and the manufacture of nails, boots and shoes, embroidery and hosiery. The town has trade in cattle, grain and wood, and is well known for its cakes (madeleines). Commercy dates back to the 9th century, and at that time its lords were dependent on the bishop of Metz. In 1544 it was besieged by Charles V. in person. For some time the lordship was in the hands of François Paul de Gondi, cardinal de Retz, who lived in the town for a number of years, and there composed his memoirs. From him it was purchased by Charles IV., duke of Lorraine. In 1744 it became the residence of Stanislas, king of Poland, who spent a great deal of care on the embellishment of the town, castle and neighbourhood.