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Between 1579 and 1586 the castle received repairs from the Bernese Government, these works being executed under direction of the Maire and Châtelain of Lucens, which hereditary offices the de Lojs family had received from the de Villarzels, who had held them from at least the early thirteenth century.
Villardin-or Villardens, as the patois has it—was an ancient seigniory, which at one time formed a single seigniory with that of Montet in Morlens parish, prefecture of Rue, canton of Freiburg. The Château of Villardin was built on the borders of a precipice near the Broie, where are still remains of a wall and gateway.
In the sixteenth century, the de Loys of Moudon having done homage on their knees for the Seigniory of Villardin and Montet, the Council of Freiburg permitted them to erect a gallows and establish a tribunal, from whose jurisdiction only the right of appeal was reserved.
This seigniory, in the middle of the seventeenth century, was in the possession of the descendant of Aubert de Loys, Noble Jean Philippe de Loys, Vidame of Moudon.
The latter also purchased, in 1652, from Noble Louis de Roll of Soleure, who possessed it through his wife (née Vallier), the seigniory of Chanez, and the co-seigniories of Donnelove and Mézery, in the district of Yverdon, for 9,000 petits écus of 20 batz, equal to 27,000 francs. In 1670 it appears, however, that the widow of Noble Joseph Masset held a portion of the seigniory of Mézery. Her maiden name was Jeanne Rolaz du Rosay. Her brother was Noble Matthew Rolaz du Rosay, Châtelain of Rolle, and both were related to the family of that name at Lausanne.
Jean Philippe de Lojs gave the name of Loïs to a tower in the domain of Donneloye. He was also Seignior of Chavannessur-Moudon; he inherited a third of Moudon as Vidame of that place, the remainder being given him by their Excellencies in 1663, and of Lavigny and Aubonne. The last two formed the dot of his daughter Gabrielle Judith, who married a de Metral, whose descendant, Seignior of Pampigny and Lavigny, rebuilt the castle, with its dovecot and prisons, early in the last century.
| Martignier and de Crousaz, p. 563 ; Vevey et ses environs au Moyen Age,
The seigniory of Prahins (district of Yverdon), inherited from the family of de Glane, was also in the possession of Jean Philippe de Loïs, and that of Orzens was re-united to it by his heirs by purchase in 1685.
In conjunction with his nephew and cousin, Jean Philippe de Loïs, Seignior of Cheseaux, who afterwards became his sonin-law, he obtained leave from their Excellencies of Berne, in the year 1670, to create an inalienable fund in favour of the De Loys family. (This Act is still preserved in the De Loys muniment room.) He was a member of the Council in 1645, Banneret of Lausanne, and the first captain of the Noble Fusileers, having been elected immediately upon the foundation of this society, May 29, 1654, on which day his three sons were also received into the same company.
This corps presented to him a silver vase, on which were engraved the arms of the noble company with his own; and they also presented to him an engrossed Act of April 28, 1658, which contains the following passage : “And in memory of the fact that he is their first captain, they bestow upon him and upon his successors of his name and arms the right to bear the centaurs as crests or as supporters, which are the arms of the aforesaid noble company.' This relic is still religiously preserved.
In a curious genealogical tree, prepared in 1665, under the directions of noble and generous Jean Philippe de Loys, a centaur with an arquebuse over its shoulder figures as one of the supporters, the other being a griffin, the ordinary supporters of the de Loys arms. This tree includes all the genealogies of the families intermarrying with the de Loys. It begins with the arms of the de Lojs quartering those of the de Glanes and surmounted by the coronet of a marquis. From the shield issues on the left the name and arms of Jean Philippe de Lojs; next, his father, Philippe de Loïs, and his wife, Jeanne de Crousaz, daughter of Isbrand de Crousaz by Guillemaz Grand, and so on. From the right of the shield issues the name and arms of Jean Philippe de Loys' wife, Etienne de Lavigny, whose genealogy is carried out in the male and female lines.
The De Loys line continues through eight generations, that of Lavigny two generations further, while that of De Crousaz stops at the same point as the De Lojs'. The nineteenth generation—the last—includes Etienne de Villars, Seignior of Villars.
Jean Philippe de Lojs' portrait shows a strong face, with aquiline features, a pointed, dimpled chin, dark eyes, flowing locks, and a moustache en brosse and imperial of the style of Charles II. His costume is a dark, rich velvet doublet, to which his lace cravat lends its delicate lines, while a broad embroidered shoulder-belt supports a stately sword. He is represented at the age of fifty. His arms and the date 1673 appear in the upper right-hand corner of the painting.
Like several of his ancestors, he had antiquarian tastes, which descended to his son, Jean Louis de Loys, born November 6, 1665, who, when under twenty years of age, succeeded his father as Lord of Villardin and other places, and Vidom of Moudon.
He married his relative, Esther, daughter of Sebastian de Lavigny and Esther de Martines, Dame de Warens, widow of M. de Joffrey, by whom he had eight children. He espoused, secondly, Suzanne, daughter of Noble George Polier, Professor of Theology at the Academy, by whom he had fourteen children.
JEAN LOUIS DE Loïs inherited, also from his father, the seigniorial mansion in the Palud (corner of the Rue de St. Laurent), which had been in the family three hundred years.
In the MS. genealogy of the De Loïs family, in the possession of M. Charles de Steiguer, it is mentioned that Mermet de Loïs, Syndic of Lausanne in 1438, acquired the seigniory of Ecublens in 1401, and in 1404 purchased of Jean de St. Cierge a house in the Palud for 182 livres.
Martignier and De Crousaz state that Mermet de Loys acquired this fief at Ecublens from Antoine Renivier, Donzel of Yverdon, and from his daughter Margaret, wife of Pierre Metral de Rue, and that it then passed to Noble Pierre de Loys, Seignior of St. George, whose daughter Françoise married Jacques Polier, and that in 1674 the co-seigniory of Ecublens was in the possession of the heirs of his son Jean Pierre Polier, Burgomaster of Lausanne, Banneret of Bourg, and Seignior of Bottens.
Count Frederick de Mulinen possesses several valuable manuscript volumes, entitled “La Noblesse Vaudoise.' In one of these is the following extract taken from the archives of Corsaux, near Vevey: ‘1404. Jean de St. Cierge, son of Perrod de St. Cierge, clerk at Lausanne, sold to Mermet de Loys a house in the Palud, with the consent of Johannet, his sister, and of Isabella, the widow of his brother Aymon de St. Cierge.'
The grandfather of Jean de St. Cierge was Châtelain of Estavayer in 1379. Their descendant, Esther, daughter of Michael de St. Cierge, Burgomaster of Lausanne, 1579–1587, married Etienne de Loys, Seignior of Denens, and the families of St. Cierge and de Loys thus were allied for a brief period; but, as they had no children, the seigniory of Denens passed into the de Tavel family.
The de Loys' house in the Palud, still standing, has additional historical interest in connection with the de la Pottrie family (friends of Gibbon), who inhabited it in the latter part of the eighteenth century; but for the moment its interest for us is as the birthplace of M. de Loïs de Warens, and the town residence of his father, Jean Louis.
The main building looked south upon the Rue de St. Laurent, and east upon the Palud. A stately marble gateway, adorned with machicoulis and surmounted by a tower, gave entrance to an inner court, around which were outbuildings and offices, and on the other side of which another tower contained the main staircase, with the date 1650 cut in the keystone.
Gardens and grounds ran thence to the city walls to the point now occupied by the Musée Arlaud. The river Louve then swept before it unobstructed and unconcealed, but has now disappeared beneath archways, and a stranger would not suspect its presence.
· Letter of Madame Olivier to the author, November 16, 1881; coloured plan of 1678; Cadastre of 1722.