Pierre Maury

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Pierre Maury (1282 or 1283 – after 1324) was a shepherd in the Comté de Foix. He life is known through his deposition, and the depositions of his friends and associates, to Bishop Jacques Fournier who was hunting for Cathar heretics. He plays a prominent role in Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie's Montaillou and in some ways is that book's protagonist.

Early life

Maury was born in the small town of Montaillou one of eight known children of Raymond Maury, a weaver. Pierre Maury became a shepherd caring for the sheep of a number of the villagers. During his youth he was converted from Catholicism to Albigensianism by his brother Guillaume, and neighbour Guillaume Belot.

Cathar links

At age 18 Maury left home for the Val d'Arques where he worked as a shepherd for his cousin Raymond Maulen. While living with and working for his cousin, Maury fell in love with Bernadette d'Esquinath, a girl from the village. This passionate relationship persisted for two years, but his fellow Cathars disapproved as she was a Catholic. Pierre abandoned Bernadette when he was hired as a shepherd by Raymond Pierre, and became involved with his employer's daughter, another Bernadette. The Pierres were dedicated Cathars and since Raymond was without sons, he hoped to make Maury his heir. Pierre became closely involved in the Cathar community, helping guide parfaits from village to village. Through this duty he developed a much envied collection: pieces of bread, each blessed by a different Cathar...
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