Bérenger Saunière and the Comtesse de Chambord

Paul Smith

Bérenger Saunière first claimed that he received some money from the Comtesse de Chambord during his Ecclesiastical Trial of 1910-1911, a sum of 3,000 francs: Item 8 from his "List of Donors":

Since this "List of Donors" was his "explanation" given for his source of wealth within the context of being Tried for Simony, it can be dismissed as an evasion tactic since we have the proof of Saunière’s mass-trafficking activities spanning literally thousands of pages, because he kept meticulous records and this material has survived first through Marie Dénarnaud and is now kept in the possession of Antoine Captier, Noël Corbu’s son-in-law: but there is another collection kept on Microfilm in the Archives Départementales of the Aude, Carcassonne that is 820 pages long, representing a staggering amount of money – this material had been borrowed by someone from Antoine Captier but not returned, and had eventually found its way onto Microfilm.

Correspondence record of letters sent and receved by the curé of
Rennes-le-Château 1896-1915

File numbers 1Mi8l/l and IMi8l/2
Photocopies of this material can be purchased from Copie Gestion Couleur,
26 rue Barbès, 11000 Carcassonne.

Of course, Saunière could not have produced these records at his Ecclesiastical Trial because that would have revealed his guilt, so the "List of Donors" had to be presented instead as his "evidence". The sum that he claimed to have received from the Comtesse de Chambord is part of this "evidence".

There is no evidence to show that Bérenger Saunière ever received any money from the Comtesse de Chambord – or that he applied for any money from funds offered by the Chambords designed to assist religious communities and parishes.

Had Saunière ever made such an application the evidence would have survived alongside his other substantial existing material.

Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este
Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Countess of Chambord,
Duchess of Bordeaux