Pastoureaux

(French: "shepherds") Participants in two outbreaks of mob violence in medieval France.

The first Pastoureaux were peasants in northeastern France aroused by news in 1251 of the reverses suffered by King Louis IX while on his Crusade. Accusing the nobles, clergy, and bourgeoisie of indifference to the king's fate, they began pillaging churches and towns and attacking clerics, the rich, and Jews. The second Pastoureaux converged on Paris in 1320 to punish Philip V for failing to undertake a Crusade he had called. They sacked the city, opened the prisons, and marched into the countryside, where they carried out pogroms against Jews and lepers before being suppressed.

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▪ French history
      (French: “Shepherds”), the participants in two popular outbreaks of mystico-political enthusiasm in France in 1251 and 1320. The first Pastoureaux were peasants in northeastern France who were aroused in 1251 by news of reverses suffered by King Louis IX in his first crusade against the Muslims. Accusing the nobles, clergy, and bourgeoisie of indifference to the king's fate, they began pillaging churches and towns. The regent of France, Blanche of Castile, who initially supported the movement, easily had the Pastoureaux put down and dispersed.

      More serious was the mass rising of the Pastoureaux in 1320, directed against Philip V, whom they blamed for not undertaking a crusade. Led on by unfrocked priests and charlatans, the Pastoureaux converged on Paris. There they held the king besieged and helpless while they sacked the city and expanded their ranks with convicts released from the prisons. Still clamouring for a crusade, they marched, about 40,000 strong, southwestward into the Garonne Valley, indulging in pogroms against Jews and lepers on the way. They were finally routed by the seneschal of Carcassonne; scattered bands still roamed through southern France in 1322.

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Universalium. 2010.

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