I think there is some evidence that the phrase Penitence, Penitence on the Visigothic pillar that Sauniere removed (or perhaps that he engraved on it) may have priginally been spelt Penitence, Penitense. Im not sure how accurate this information is. However, there was a village called Penitense in the Middle Ages. I found this evidence in a medieval document detailing the sale of some properties. I thought it interesting to mention here.
It is a sales letter that Ermengarda signed on behalf of her son Albert, who receives all properties that the family has - the tower Dela, an area that is enclosed in the document which corresponds to the limits of the present Villefranche. The properties would have been transferred and were located between the present church of Santa Maria and the intersection of Constitution Square and Parellada that is the highest place of Villefranche.
Around one thousand years, what is now Villefranche was housed in a borderland, a land located & consolidated in a settlement
between the counts of Barcelona (north of the river Llobregat) and domination of the Saracens (south of the river Francolí). The
population here lived well on all the resources of the territory and were proteced by the strength of Olèrdola.
The town was founded in the middle of the 12th century as a result of the decline of Olèrdola, which had been until then the main
local centre. It was established as the seat of a vegueria in 1304. The Corts were held in the town in 1218 under King James I of Aragon, and again in 1358–59 and in 1367. King Peter III of Aragon died while staying at the royal palace in Vilafranca in 1285.
The document in question:
"In nomine Domini. Ego Ermengardis, vinditrice sum tibi filio meo
Arberto, emptore. Per hanc scriptura vindicionis mee, vendo
tibi ipsum meam terram quod haveo in ipsa turre de Dela, vel in eius termines, in domibus, in chasas, in curtis, in pratis, in
terras, in vineis, in omnia vel omnibus sive in ipsa turre, quantum ibi (h)abeo vel (h)abere debeo per iillas quacumque voces.
Et est hec omnia supra nominata in comitatu Barchinonese, in Penitense, infra termine chastro Olerdola. Quod mihi advenit per decimam quod mihi donavit Berengario, viro meo. Et afrontat omnia supra nominata, de parte orientis in via calciata quod vadit a Terragona; et meridie in rio de Vitrano; de occiduo in cacumine monte Guixaria; et parte vero circi in castro Mucio vel eius terminis".
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.