1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Péronne

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PÉRONNE, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement of the department of Somme, on the right bank of the Somme at its confluence with the Cologne, 35 m. E. by N. of Amiens by rail. Pop. (1906), 3698. The church of St Jean (1509–1525) was greatly damaged during the bombardment of 1870–71, but has since been restored. The castle of Péronne still retains four large conical-roofed towers dating from the middle ages, one of which is said to have been the prison of Louis XI. in 1468, when he was forced to agree to the “Treaty of Péronne.” Péronne has a sub-prefecture, a tribunal of first instance and a communal college. Its trade and industry are of little importance.

The Frankish kings had a villa at Péronne, which Clovis II. gave to Erchinoaldus, mayor of the palace. The latter founded a monastery here, and raised in honour of St Fursy a collegiate church, which was a wealthy establishment until the Revolution; it is the burial-place of Charles the Simple, who died of starvation in a dungeon in Péronne, into which he had been thrown by the count of Vermandois (929). After the death of Philip of Alsace, Péronne, which he had inherited through his wife, escheated to the French Crown in the reign of Philip Augustus, from whom in 1209 it received a charter. By the treaty of Arras (1435) it was given to the Burgundians; bought back by Louis XI., it passed again into the hands of Charles the Bold in 1465. On the death of Charles, however, in 1477, Louis XI. resumed possession. In 1536 the emperor Charles V. besieged Péronne, but without success; in its defence a woman called Marie Fouré greatly distinguished herself. A statue of her stands in the town, and the anniversary of the raising of the siege is still celebrated annually. It was the first town after Paris at which the League was proclaimed in 1577. Péronne's greatest misfortunes occurred during the Franco-German War. It was invested on the 27th of December 1870, and bombarded from the 28th to the 9th of the following January, upon which date, on account of the sufferings of the civil population, among whom small-pox had broken out, it was compelled to capitulate.