17th-Century French Noble Couple Were Buried With Each Other’s Hearts
Historically speaking, marriage has been a far less romantic institution than we conceive of it now. Until relatively recently, people married less for love and more for practical reasons having to do with things like lineage, social mobility, and property.
While the vast majority of marriages in the past could be attributed to these pragmatic concerns, we shouldn’t assume that romance simply didn’t exist between husbands and wives — just look at this 17th century French couple!
An archaeological dig at a convent in Rennes, France unearthed the burial spot of a noble lady named Louise de Quengo. She was buried with a number of possessions, but one small box in particular lead researchers to uncover a historical romance unlike any other!
A recent archaeological excavation at a convent in Rennes, France turned up a 450-year-old lead coffin containing the body and some assorted possessions of noblewoman Louise de Quengo.
Among the items researchers found was a small lead box that contained the heart of her husband, a knight named Toussaint de Perrien who died seven years before her and was buried 125 miles away. Reliquary boxes like this weren’t unheard of, but were usually used for religious or political reasons…
Then, when they performed a CT scan of her body, they came to another realization: her heart had been cut out as well, and was likely at Toussaint’s grave. This is the first instance scholars have ever come across where a couple chose to buried with each other’s hearts for purely romantic reasons! What a truly remarkable find!
Louise and Toussaint must have have loved each other very much to go to such an extraordinary effort! It’s a little morbid but ultimately very sweet!