Mirecourt - History


Mirecourt was founded during the first millennium. Mercuri Curtis was dedicated by the Romans to the cult of the god Mercury. Early on, the town was part of the property of the Counts of Toul.

The first surviving written record of Mirecourt dates from 960. This is the text of a donation made by a man called Urson who transferred his domain of Mirecourt (two farmsteads and environs) to the Abbey of Bouxières-aux-Dames.

The heirs to the Counts of Toul were the Dukes of Lorraine who owned the little town during the thirteenth century. An act of 1284, during the time of Duke Frederick III, confirms the annexation of Mirecourt and its lands to the Duchy of Lorraine. Mirecourt, the main town in the important Vôge Bailiwick, was above all a great trading centre. A European focus of economic and commercial energy during the sixteenth century was Lombardy from where the Dukes of Lorraine introduced to Mirecourt the manufacture of string instruments, a tradition which continues to flourish. At the same time Mirecourt became a centre of organ building.

The last Duke of Lorraine to rule the territory was the former Polish king, Stanisław Leszczyński. He died early in 1766 and Lorraine passed to his grandson, by now King of France. In this way the long struggle to control the territories between France and the Rhine was settled in a manner which no doubt would have pleased Le Grand Monarque. Ten years later, in 1776, the office of Lieutenant-General of the Bailiwick was sold to the young François de Neufchâteau.

Under the secular regime established in the wake of the French Revolution, Mirecourt became the administrative centre of the district and then of the entire arrondissement. This last distinction was lost in 1926, and today Mirecourt falls within the Arrondissement of Neufchâteau.

One of the first boys' primary schools in France was founded at Mirecourt in 1828.

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