usually darker and denser than lavas of acid type, and when fused they tend to flow to great distances, and may thus form far-spreading sheets, whilst the acid lavas, being more viscous, rapidly consolidate after extrusion. The lava is emitted from the volcanic vent at a high temperature, but on exposure to the air it rapidly consolidates superficially, forming a crust which in many cases is soon broken up by the continued flow of the subjacent liquid lava, so that the surface becomes rugged with clinkers. J. D. Dana introduced the term “aa” for this rough kind of lava-stream, whilst he applied the term “pahoehoe” to those flows which have a smooth surface, or are simply wrinkled and ropy; these terms being used in this sense in Hawaii, in relation to the local lavas. The different kinds of lava are more fully described in the article Volcano.
LAVABO (Lat. “I will wash”; the Fr. equivalent is lavoir), in ecclesiastical usage, the term for the washing of the priests’ hands, at the celebration of the Mass, at the offertory. The words of Psalm xxvi. 6, Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas, are said during the rite. The word is also used for the basin employed in the ritual washing, and also for the lavatories, generally erected in the cloisters of monasteries. Those at Gloucester, Norwich and Lincoln are best known. A very curious example at Fontenay, surrounding a pillar, is given by Viollet-le-Duc. In general the lavabo is a sort of trough; in some places it has an almery for towels, &c.
LAVAGNA, a seaport of Liguria, Italy, in the province of Genoa, from which it is 251 m. S.E. by rail. Pop. (1901) 7005. It has a small shipbuilding trade, and exports great quantities of slate (lavagna, taking its name from the town). It also has a large cotton-mill. It was the seat of the Fieschi family, independent counts, who, at the end of the 12th century, were obliged to recognize the supremacy of Genoa. Sinibaldo Fieschi became Pope Innocent IV. (1243–1254), and Hadrian V. (1276) was also a Fieschi.
LAVAL, ANDRÉ DE, SEIGNEUR DE LOHÉAC (c. 1408–1485), French soldier. In 1423 he served in the French army against England, and in 1428 was taken prisoner by John Talbot, 1st earl of Shrewsbury, after the capitulation of Laval, which he was defending. After paying his ransom he was present with Joan of Arc at the siege of Orleans, at the battle of Patay, and at the coronation of Charles VII. He was made admiral of France in 1437 and marshal in 1439. He served Charles VII. faithfully in all his wars, even against the dauphin (1456), and when the latter became king as Louis XI., Laval was dismissed from the marshal’s office. After the War of the Public Weal he was restored to favour, and recovered the marshal’s bâton, the king also granting him the offices of lieutenant-general to the government of Paris and governor of Picardy, and conferring upon him the collar of the order of St Michael. In 1472 Laval was successful in resisting the attacks of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, on Beauvais.
LAVAL, a town of north-western France, capital of the department of Mayenne, on the Mayenne river, 188 m. W.S.W. of Paris by rail. Pop. (1906) 24,874. On the right bank of the river stands the old feudal city, with its ancient castle and its irregularly built houses whose slate roofs and pointed gables peep from the groves of trees which clothe the hill. On the left bank the regularly built new town extends far into the plain. The river, here 80 yds. broad, is crossed by the handsome railway viaduct, a beautiful stone bridge called Pont Neuf, and the Pont Vieux with three pointed arches, built in the 16th century. There is communication by steamer as far as Angers. Laval may justly claim to be one of the loveliest of French towns. Its most curious and interesting monument is the sombre old castle of the counts (now a prison) with a donjon of the 12th century, the roof of which presents a fine example of the timberwork superseded afterwards by stone machicolation. The “new castle,” dating partly from the Renaissance, serves as court-house. Laval possesses several churches of different periods: in that of the Trinity, which serves as the cathedral, the transept and nave are of the 12th century while the choir is of the 16th; St Vénérand (15th century) has good stained glass; Notre-Dame des Cordeliers, which dates from the end of the 14th century or the beginning of the 15th, has some fine marble altars. Half-a-mile below the Pont Vieux is the beautiful 12th-century church of Avenières, with an ornamental spire of 1534. The finest remaining relic of the ancient fortifications is the Beucheresse gate near the cathedral. The narrow streets around the castle are bordered by many old houses of the 15th and 16th century, chief among which is that known as the “Maison du Grand Veneur.” There are an art-museum, a museum of natural history and archaeology and a library. The town is embellished by fine promenades, at the entrance of one of which, facing the mairie, stands the statue of the celebrated surgeon Ambroise Paré (1517–1590). Laval is the seat of a prefect, a bishopric created in 1855, and a court of assizes, and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, training colleges, an ecclesiastical seminary and a lycée for boys. The principal industry of the town is the cloth manufacture, introduced from Flanders in the 14th century. The production of fabrics of linen, of cotton or of mixtures of both, occupies some 10,000 hands in the town and suburbs. Among the numerous other industries are metal-founding, flour-milling, tanning, dyeing, the making of boots and shoes, and the sawing of the marble quarried in the vicinity. There is trade in grain.
Laval is not known to have existed before the 9th century. It was taken by John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, in 1428, changed hands several times during the wars of the League, and played an important part at the end of the 18th century in the war of La Vendée.
Seigneurs and Counts of Laval. The castle of Laval was founded at the beginning of the 11th century by a lord of the name of Guy, and remained in the possession of his male descendants until the 13th century. In 1218 the lordship passed to the house of Montmorency by the marriage of Emma, daughter of Guy VI. of Laval, to Mathieu de Montmorency, the hero of the battle of Bouvines. Of this union was born Guy VII. seigneur of Laval, the ancestor of the second house of Laval. Anne of Laval (d. 1466), the heiress of the second family, married John de Montfort, who took the name of Guy (XIII.) of Laval. At Charles VII.’s coronation (1429) Guy XIV., who was afterwards son-in-law of John V., duke of Brittany, and father-in-law of King René of Anjou, was created count of Laval, and the countship remained in the possession of Guy’s male descendants until 1547. After the Montforts, the countship of Laval passed by inheritance to the families of Rieux and Sainte Maure, to the Colignys, and finally to the La Trémoilles, who held it until the Revolution.
See Bertrand de Broussillon, La Maison de Laval (3 vols., 1895–1900).
LA VALLIÈRE, LOUISE FRANÇOISE DE (1644–1710), mistress of Louis XIV., was born at Tours on the 6th of August 1644, the daughter of an officer, Laurent de la Baume le Blanc, who took the name of La Vallière from a small property near Amboise. Laurent de la Vallière died in 1651; his widow, who soon married again, joined the court of Gaston d’Orléans at Blois. Louise was brought up with the younger princesses, the step-sisters of La Grande Mademoiselle. After Gaston’s death his widow moved with her daughters to the palace of the Luxembourg in Paris, and with them went Louise, who was now a girl of sixteen. Through the influence of a distant kinswoman, Mme de Choisy, she was named maid of honour to Henrietta of England, who was about her own age and had just married Philip of Orleans, the king’s brother. Henrietta joined the court at Fontainebleau, and was soon on the friendliest terms with her brother-in-law, so friendly indeed that there was some scandal, to avoid which it was determined that Louis should pay marked attentions elsewhere. The person selected was Madame’s maid of honour, Louise. She had been only two months in Fontainebleau before she became the king’s mistress. The affair, begun on Louis’s part as a blind, immediately developed into real passion on both sides. It was Louis’s first serious attachment, and Louise was an innocent, religious-minded girl, who brought