Castle of Rochechinard

History  of  Rochechinard
The name Rochechinard appears for the first time in the list of deeds of Léoncel Abbey in 1174.
The place belonged at that time to a family member of the Lords of Royans : Guidelin being a descendant of "Prince" Ismidon.
Arnaud Guélin, his grandson, Lord of Rochechinard and Beauregard, sold his land in life annuity to the Dauphin Guigues VII in 1250 which turned out to be a bad business transaction as in 1275 Arnaud was still alive... By 1280 and until 1318 the Rochechinard land was annexed to the command of Saint-Nazaire.
At the beginning of the XIVth century the dauphin Jean II gave the seigniory of Rochechinard to Girin Curtet, his brother's horseman for his good and loyal service.
The latter relinquished his rights to the castle in 1340 in favour of Aymar Ist Allemand de Beauvoir.
Thanks to an exemplary career as a delphinal feudal lord Aymar Allemand managed to raise his family from the rank of simple knight to that of lord high upholder of the law.
It is to them that we owe most of the castle developments and the arrival of an Ottoman prince.
The Allemand de Rochechinard belonged to one of the most prolific Dauphiné families. In 1455 the various branches of the family met to take an oath of mutual aid with 26 lords and clerics bearing the Allemand name gathered together by Siboud Allemand de Séchilienne, bishop of Grenoble. Among the representatives of the Rochechinard branch, two brothers had an uncommon fate in the second half of the XVth century : Charles (c1435 - 1512), knight of the order of Saint John of Jerusalem, prior of Provence and Antoine (c1435 - 1493) bishop of Cahors (Lot).
The Allemand de Rochechinard lost their power at the end of the XVth century, with various problems of inheritance including the death of Barachin in the seige of Novare ( Italy) in 1495. The Allemand family kept Rochechinard until 1547, the year in which Gabriel Allemand, Lord of Éclose and Demptézieu sold his land to Claude Mosnier, head of the Mint in Romans.
The purchase of noble land gave a title of nobility to this family of commoners, natives of Lyon, and they would henceforth bear the name of "Mosnier de Rochechinard". During the wars of religion the family remained faithful to the king and to the catholic religion by maintaining a garrison in the castle from 1572 to 1590 which saw its numbers rise from 4 to 40 men with some financial difficulty.
Claude Mosnier and his sons fought a series of skirmishes from their lookout.
In 1586 the enemy tried to take the castle by surprise by setting off an explosive charge against the entrance, but the assault was driven off. For his zeal Roman Mosnier was appointed consul of Romans in 1588.
From the XVIIth century onwards the Mosnier family lived less in Rochechinard.
History falters and the Mosnier family disappeared with the death of Alphonse Mosnier, Lord of Rochechinard, captain of the Villepion regiment, in the seige of Huningue in 1690, leaving no direct heir and problems of inheritance.
Then came the end of feudalism and the birth of a commune.
At the beginning of the XVIIIth century, the commune numbered a mere 300 or so inhabitants.
After the demographic boom of the XIXth century the commune faced the rural exodus and today numbers 118 inhabitants involved in tourism as well as in their rural activities.
The creation of a museum, self-catering accomodation and cultural and sporting activities have allowed the commune of Rochechinard.

Josselin Derbier :
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