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The life of the small parish of St Antonin – clustered around the castle, with its barracks for invalid soldiers and its prisoners of war – is an instance of the connections between military and town life. Of the twenty two events recorded in the parish register in 1764, nine involved the army or navy: five baptisms of the children of invalid soldiers; the marriage of a soldier to the daughter of a gardener in the castle; the burial of the two-year-old son of an invalid solider; the burial of the seventy-five-year-old widow of a naval officer. Over the entire period of the Seven Years War, about a quarter of all the events recorded in the parish were connected to the armed forces. There were soldiers known by their "noms de guerre:" "la jeunesse," "sans quartier," "la montagne." An English prisoner of war, captured on the warship King of Prussia, was buried in 1757; so was an Irish priest, aged thirty-five, the "confessor of the English prisoners." Even in peacetime, the castle loomed over the parish: in 1769, with the record of an unknown woman, "buried in the cemetery, after a judicial inquiry, the body of a woman found dead in the castle of this town." 

AM-A, GG54/24, 44-47, 64. On the parishes of the town, see Emile Biais, "Notes sur les anciennes paroisses d'Angoulême," BSAHC, vol. 4 (1881), 171-215, vol 5 (1882), 247-284.

The social map, below, depicts the individuals who appeared in the nine St Antonin records connected to the military. Nodes are sized based on their number of connections.

St Antonin in Context



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