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Boussois (Municipality, Nord, France)

Last modified: 2014-10-25 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Boussois]

Flag of Boussois - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2012

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Presentation of Boussois

The municipality of Boussois (3,281 inhabitants in 2009; 629 ha) is located on river Sambre, half distance (10 km) of Maubeuge and of the border with Belgium.

Boussois probably originates in a Gallo-Roman settlement called Buxetum ("a place planted with box", from Latin buxus, "box"), located on the Bavay-Trier Roman way. Until the end of the 19th century, Boussois was mostly a rural village, industry being represented by only three weaver's workshops and three quarries from which stone, marble and sand were extracted.
In 1899, Jules Hénin, owner of a glass factory in Charleroi, established another factory in Boussois, which became "Glass Town". In 1908, Georges Despret (1862-1952) formed the Réunion des glaces et verres spéciaux du Nord de la France, including the Boussois factory, the Recquignies factory and the Jeumont factory, established in 1858 by his uncle Hector Despret. After the Second World War, the whole production was transferred to Boussois; the company was renamed Glaces de Boussois in 1955. At the time, the factory employed 2,000 workers and used a river port on the Sambre. In 1966, the Boussois factory merged with the Souchon-Neuvesel brewery and bottle factory to form Boussois-Souchon-Neuvesel (BSN). In June 1973, BSN, ruled by Antoine Riboud, the former president of Souchon-Neuvesel, formed BSN-Gervais Danone, renamed Danone in 1994, today the French leader on the agri-food market. The Boussois glass factory was incorporated to Pittsburgh Plate Glass in 1982 and taken over by Glaverbel in 1998.

Ivan Sache, 29 April 2012

Flag of Boussois

The flag of Boussois, hoisted in front of the town hall (photo), is yellow with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.

The arms of Boussois are "Barry of twelve argent and azure".
According to Canon Leuridan* (Armorial des communes du département du Nord, Annales de la Société d'études de la province de Cambrai, 1, 1909, 339 p.), these arms belonged to the Montigny de Sivry lineage, once owners of the domain of Boussois. They succeeded there the lords of Sausset and the lords of Jauche, and were succeeded by the Marquis of Wargnies, who sold Boussois to the Chapter of Maubeuge in 1688.

*Théodore Leuridan (1860-1933) was archivist at the Cambrai Diocese, canon of the Lille Diocese and librarian at the Catholic Faculties of Lille. Member of several local scholar societies, he presided the Société d'émulation de Roubaix and the Société d'études de la province de Cambrai. The website of the Société d'émulation de Roubaix includes a list of 118 publications credited to Leuridan, most of them dealing with the feudal local history.

Ivan Sache, 29 April 2012