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Quintin (Municipality, Côtes-d'Armor, France)


Last modified: 2023-09-02 by olivier touzeau
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Flags of Quintin - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 14 November 2021

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Presentation of Quintin

Quintin (2,822 inhabitants in 2020; 312 ha) is a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in Brittany in northwestern France.

The area around Quintin has been occupied since the Neolithic. Early Quintin was originally located near Vieux-Bourg but, following a plague epidemic, the city moved to its current location.
The lordship of Quintin dates back to at least the 12th century: the first lord of Quintin whose name we know is Geoffrey I Botherel, son of Alain de Goëlo, count of Penthièvre and Goëlo.
Seat of feudal power, the castle of Quintin suffered extensive damage due to the succession of wars during the 15th and 16th centuries. Only the medieval city walls and the Porte-Neuve are preserved, partly made up of the old Tower of the Archives of the Château de Quintin. In 1691, Quintin was erected into a duchy. After having been one of the last Protestant bastions in the 17th century, the castle has remained unfinished. In the 18th century, its outbuildings and stables were redeveloped and enlarged to constitute the current Château de Quintin. The lordship of Quintin, then its castle, has since its origin always been kept within the same lineage: Rohan, Laval, Coligny, La Trémoille, Gouyon de la Moussaye, Durfort de Lorges, Choiseul, de Polignac are among the most prestigious families to have inherited this estate over the centuries.

Quintin significantly developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, due to the weaving industry and the trade of linen cloth, but the decline came with the French Revolution and cotton gradually taking the lead over linen. More than 300 weavers worked here in its heyday and the linen was exported as far as South America. The town’s heritage is celebrated each year with the Fête des Tisserands (weavers’ festival) at the beginning of August.

Olivier Touzeau, 14 November 2021

The arms of Quintin are blazoned Argent, the chief Gules a label Or. These are the arms of the family of Botherel (extinct in 1428). The arms of "the town of Quintin" are shown in the Armorial General as "Argent a chief gules" (source).
According to Régis de Saint-Jouan (Dictionnaire des communes du département des Côtes-d'Armor, 1990), Albert Mousset (Documents pour servir à l'histoire de la maison de Kergorlay en Bretagne, 1921) reports the arms of Quintin as "Argent a chief of gules (Avaugour) a label or". These arms are assigned to the lord of Quintin in the "Armorial du héraut Navarre" (late 14th century). They are also featured in the Annales briochines published in 1771 by Canon Christophe-Michel Ruffelet. The arms have been used on the letterhead of the municipality since the beginning of the Third Republic.
The painted ornamentation of the meeting room of the General Council in the the old préfecture, designed around 1882, show the label with five points. This design is also featured on a seal used in 1388 by Geoffrey, lord of Quintin (Pierre-Hyacinthe Maurice. Mémoires pour servir de preuves à l'Histoire ecclésiastique et civile de Bretagne) (source : Encyclopédie Marikavel).
Henri, son of Alain, Count of Brittany, was engage by King of France Philip I Augustus with Alix, Duchess of Brittany. After the death of Alain in 1212, the king of France preferred to marry Alix with Pierre de Dreux aka Mauclerc. The new duke soon despoiled Hanri from most of his domains. Keeping only Goëllo, Henri adopted the modest title of lord of Avaugour, after a castle inherited from his father, and substituted the arms of Avaugour the arms of his mother Alix, "Argent a chief gules". His junior brother Geoffrey, lord of Quintin, used a label or as a mark of cadency (source: Paul Chardin. 1894. Avaugour, château et baronnie. Bulletin monumental 59, 217-243).

Ivan Sache, 17 November 2021

Flag of Quintin

The flag, spotted on the tourist office (date unknown) is either:

  • white with the coat of arms (photo, photo)
  • or blue with the coat of arms (photo)

The field Argent of the arms is represented in grey.

Olivier Touzeau, 14 November 2021