The lost documents of Perillos
The unfortunate loss of the documents of a village
archives of the church of Perillos appeared to have been lost, the likely
result from the attachment of the Roussillon to the French crown in the
17th century. And what little that could be saved, was subsequently mostly
lost in the fires that were lit at the time of the French Revolution.
Nevertheless, at the time when the Roussillon was submitted to the French crown, the lands, titles and rights of Perillos were in the possession of the lord of Durban. As a consequence, a third set of documents existed, which informed the lords of Durban about the new territories that was under their control.
Recovering the religious archives of Durban
is possible that the religious documents of Perillos were thus preserved
at Durban. But throughout our extensive searches, we never discovered any
evidence of this. Even worse: the resident priest told us that all ancient
archives of Durban had disappeared, without anyone knowing when and for
what purpose. The written history of the parish only dates back to the beginning
of the 20th century.
This hiatus meant that we had to ask the bishop for confirmation that Gelis and Boudet, two well-known figures in the mystery of Rennes-le-Château, had indeed been vicars to the priest of Durban. That authority confirmed that they actually had been; and perhaps they had – unlike us – an opportunity to consult the religious archives of Perillos, which – by sheer coincidence? – disappeared from the public record shortly after their stay in Durban…
Dr. Paul Courrent takes an interest
Courrent’s manuscript on the history of the lords of Durban
document does list the titles and properties of Perillos passing to the
lords of Durban. This is a document written by Doctor Paul Courrent. Courrent
had come to pass the last years of his life in the region of Durban. Before,
Courrent had also been involved in the affair of Rennes-le-Château,
as he had been called in during the last days of the life of Saunière.
The story goes that Saunière, on his deathbed, imparted a major secret
to the priest who came to deliver the last rites. It is said that it left
the man shaken. Did Saunière impart the same information to his doctor,
who, later in life, decided to follow up on it? Is it a coincidence that
Gelis and Boudet, both of whom have been implicated in the mystery of Rennes-le-Château,
and Courrent had a specific involvement with Durban… and Perillos?
Furthermore, the history of the lords of Durban is a genealogical treatise. But though it is known to be accurate, it is “unscientific” from the standpoint that it does not list its sources. It is clear that Courrent’s document is a major piece of work – unless if he copied it from some other document. But in both scenario, the question remains what lay at the origin of Courrent’s conclusions.
However, in recent months, we announced that we were about to recover a large trove of documents, originating from Perillos. When we received this material, we clearly saw that it contained a large part of the archives of the parish of Perillos, from the 17th until the end of the 18th century.
Where the name “Bigou” is mentioned
present, we will limit our exposure of these historical documents to a mere
two pages. Still, we note that this document holds the official seal of
the bishop of the era. It is a detail that is in itself rare and important.
Upon verification, we were told it is indeed rare to see the stamp of the
bishop on papers that were the everyday bailiwick of the local priest.
Furthermore, this document informs us, in detail, the sites where the processions occurred beyond the perimeter of the village of Perillos itself. It furthermore lists the participants, the dates, etc. But, specifically, there is also a list of the names of the visiting priests. Intriguingly, there is one “abbé Bigou de Reynes”, even though we do not know which Bigou is referred to, who participated in at least one of these processions. Is this the same Bigou that many have seen as a key player in the mystery of Rennes-le-Château? If so, then we have another player from the mystery who makes a “guest appearance” in the life of Durban and Perillos. But can one continue to conclude that all these visits and interests are purely the result of chance… or do they reveal a concerted effort to discover something of importance in the history of Perillos?