December, 1917, to January, 1918.
GENEALOGY OF GEORGES GUYNEMER
In Huon de Bordeaux, a chanson de geste with fairy and romantic elements, Huon leaves for Babylon on a mission confided to him by the Emperor, which he was told to fulfil with the aid of the dwarf sorcerer, Oberon. At the chateau of Dunotre, in Palestine, where he must destroy a giant, he meets a young girl of great beauty named Sebile, who guides him through the palace. As he is astonished to hear her speak French, she replies: “I was born in France, and I felt pity for you because I saw the cross you wear.” “In what part of France?” “In the town of Saint-Omer,” replied Sebile; “I am the daughter of Count Guinemer.” Her father had lately come on a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre, bringing her with him. A tempest had cast them on shore near the town of the giant, who had killed her father and kept her prisoner. “For more than seven years,” she added, “I have not been to mass.” Naturally Huon kills the giant, and delivers the daughter of Count Guinemer.
In an article by the learned M. Longnon on L’Element historique de Huon de Bordeaux, a note is given on the name of Guinemer:
“In Huon de Bordeaux,” writes M. Longnon, “the author of the Prologue des Lorrains makes Guinemer the son of Saint Bertin, second Abbot of Sithieu, an abbey which took the name of this blessed man and was the foundation of the city of Saint-Omer, which the poem of Huon de Bordeaux makes the birthplace of Count Guinemer’s daughter. It is possible that this Guinemer was borrowed by our trouveres from some ancient Walloon tradition; for his name, which in Latin is Winemarus, appears to have occurred chiefly in those countries forming part, from the ninth to the twelfth century, of the County of Flanders. The chartulary of Saint Vertin alone introduces us to: 1st, a deacon named Winidmarus, who in 723 wrote a deed of sale at Saint-Omer itself (Guerard, p. 50); 2d, a knight of the County of Flanders, Winemarus, who assassinated the Archbishop of Rheims, Foulques, who was then Abbot of Saint-Bertin (Guerard, p. 135); 3d, Winemarus, a vassal of the Abbey, mentioned in an act dated 1075 (ib., p. 195); 4th, Winemarus, Lord of Gand, witness to a charter of Count Baudouin VII in 1114 (ib., p. 255). The personage in Huon de Bordeaux might also be connected with Guimer, Lord of Saint-Omer, who appears in the beginning of Ogier le Danios, if the form, Guimer, did not seem rather to derive from Withmarus."
[Footnote 33: Romania, 1879, p. 4.]
[Footnote 34: With this note may be connected the following page of the Wauters, a chronological table of Charters and printed Acts, Vol. II, p. 16, 1103: “Balderic, Bishop of the Tournaisiens and the Noyonnais, confirms the cession of the tithe and patronage of Templeuve, which was made to the Abbey of Saint-Martin de Tournai by two knights of that town, Arnoul and Guinemer, and by the canon Geric. Actum Tornaci, anno domenice incarnationis M.C. III, regnante rege Philippo, episcopante domo Baldrico pontifice. Extracts for use in the ecclesiastic history of Belgium, 2d year, p. 10.”]