CHAROLLES, a town of east-central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Saône-et-Loire, situated at the confluence of the Semence and the Arconce, 39 m. W.N.W. of Mâcon on the Paris-Lyon railway. Pop. (1906) 3228. It has a sub-prefecture, tribunals of primary instance and commerce, and a communal college. There are stone quarries in the vicinity; the town manufactures pottery, and is the centre for trade in the famous breed of Charolais cattle and in agricultural products. The ruins of the castle of the counts of Charolais occupy the summit of a hill in the immediate vicinity of the town. Charolles was the capital of Charolais, an old division of France, which from the early 14th century gave the title of count to its possessors. In 1327 the countship passed by marriage to the house of Armagnac, and in 1390 it was sold to Philip of Burgundy. After the death of Charles the Bold, who in his youth had borne the title of count of Charolais, it was seized by Louis XI. of France, but in 1493 it was ceded by Charles VIII. to Maximilian of Austria, the representative of the Burgundian family. Ultimately passing to the Spanish kings, it became for a considerable period an object of dispute between France and Spain, until at length in 1684 it was assigned to the great Condé, a creditor of the king of Spain. It was united to the French crown in 1771.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)