The next day, we went somewhat out of the way to see the town of Bourbon l’Archambaut, from whose ancient and rugged castle is derived the name of the present Royal Family of France. The castle stands on a flinty rock, overlooking the town.

“Vue de Bourbon l’Archambault (Allier), vue du château des ducs de Bourbon” by Israël
Silvestre. 17th century. Source: photo.rmn.fr

In the midst of the streets are some baths of medicinal waters, some of them excessive hot, but nothing so neatly walled and adorned as ours in Somersetshire; and indeed they are chiefly used to drink of, our Queen being then lodged there for that purpose1.

“Veue des bains de Bourbon l ‘ Archambault ” (View of the baths) by Levesque. Pub 1690. Source: BnF

After dinner, I went to see the St. Chapelle, a prime place of devotion, where is kept one of the thorns of our Savior’s crown, and a piece of the real cross; excellent paintings on glass, and some few statues of stone and wood, which they show for curiosities. Hence, we went forward to La Palise, a village that lodged us that night.

“Veüe de la Saincte Chapelle de Bourbon l’Archambaut.” by Israel Silvestre. 17th century. Source: http://israel.silvestre.fr


  1. Henrietta Maria (see ante). She passed some three months at Bourbon, “arriving there in so crippled a condition that she could not walk without being supported on either side, and so weakened in nerves that she was almost always in tears.” At the conclusion of the treatment she began “to hope she should not die” (1905, ii. 311).  James II. also came to Bourbon shortly before his death. But the visitor most associated with the place is Mme. de Montespan.  –AD