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Eu

EU, a town of north-western France, in the department of Seine-Inférieure, on the river Bresle, 64 m. N.N.E. of Rouen on the Western railway, and 2 m. E.S.E. of Le Tréport, at the mouth of the Bresle, which is canalized between the two towns. Pop. (1906) 4865. The extensive forest of Eu lies to the south-east of the town. Eu has three buildings of importance - the beautiful Gothic church of St Laurent (12th and 13th centuries) of which the exterior of the choir with its three tiers of ornamented buttressing and the double arches between the pillars of the nave are architecturally notable; the chapel of the Jesuit college (built about 1625), in which are the tombs of Henry, third duke of Guise, and his wife, Katherine of Cleves; and the château. The latter was begun by Henry of Guise in 1578, in place of an older château burnt by Louis XI. in 1475 to prevent its capture by the English. It was continued by Mademoiselle de Montpensier in the latter half of the 17th century, and restored by Louis Philippe who, in 1843 and 1845, received Queen Victoria within its walls. In 1902 the greater part of the building was destroyed by fire. The town has a tribunal of commerce and a communal college, flour-mills, manufactories of earthenware, biscuits, furniture, casks, and glass and brick works; the port has trade in grain, timber, hemp, flax, etc.

Eu (Augusta) was in existence under the Romans. The first line of its counts, supposed to be descended from the dukes of Normandy, had as heiress Alix (died 1227), who married Raoul (Ralph) de Lusignan, known as the Sire d'Issoudun from his lordship of that name. Through their grand-daughter Marie, the countship of Eu passed by marriage to the house of Brienne, two members of which, both named Raoul, were constables of France. King John confiscated the countship in 1350, and gave it to John of Artois (1352). His great-grandson, Charles, son of Philip of Artois, count of Eu, and Marie of Berry, played a conspicuous part in the Hundred Years' War. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt (1415), and remained in England twenty-three years, in accordance with the dying injunctions of Henry V. that he was not to be let go until his son, Henry VI., was of age to govern his dominions. He accompanied Charles VII. on his campaigns in Normandy and Guyenne, and was made lieutenant-general of these two provinces. It was he who effected a reconciliation between the king and the dauphin after the revolt of the latter. He was created a peer of France in 1458, and made governor of Paris during the war of the League of the Public Weal (1465). He died on the 15th of July 1472 at the age of about seventy-eight, leaving no children. His sister's son, John of Burgundy, count of Nevers, now received the countship, which passed through heiresses, in the 15th century, to the house of Cleves, and to that of Lorraine-Guise. In 1660 Henry II. of Lorraine, duke of Guise, sold it to "Mademoiselle," Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, duchesse de Montpensier (q.v.), who made it over (1682) to the duke of Maine, bastard son of Louis XIV., as part of the price of the release of her lover Lauzun. The second son of the duke of Maine, Louis Charles de Bourbon (1701-1775), bore the title of count of Eu. In 1755 he inherited from his elder brother, Louis Auguste de Bourbon (1700-1755), prince de Dombes, great estates, part of which he sold to the king. The remainder, which was still considerable, passed to his cousin the duke of Penthièvre. These estates were confiscated at the Revolution; but at the Restoration they were bestowed by Louis XVII. on the duchess-dowager of Orléans who, in 1821, bequeathed them to her son, afterwards King Louis Philippe. They were again confiscated in 1852, but were restored to the Orleans family by the National Assembly after the Franco-German War. The title of count of Eu was revived in the 19th century in favour of the eldest son of the duke of Nemours, second son of King Louis Philippe.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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