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The New International Encyclopædia/Beauvais

BEAUVAIS, bō̇vā̇′ (from Bellovacum). The capital of the Department of Oise, in the old Province of Ile de France, France, situated in the Valley of the Thérain (a tributary of the Oise), 41 miles north-northwest of Paris, and surrounded by rising woodlands (Map: France, H 2). It is the seat of a bishop, and contains a public library of 20,000 volumes, a museum, etc. Among its several fine buildings, the most noteworthy is its uncompleted Cathedral of Saint Pierre, which consists of nothing but a choir and transept of amazing proportions, built in the decorated Gothic style. It was begun in 1225 and was intended to rival that of Amiens. The Basse Œuvre is the former cathedral, a Romanesque building of great antiquity. The manufactures of Beauvais include woolen cloth, shawls, carpets, Gobelin tapestry, etc. Beauvais carries on a brisk trade in grain and wine. Population, in 1890, 19,900. It was included in the country of the powerful Bellovaci, in Gallia Belgica, and was known by the Romans as Cæsaromagus, afterwards as Bellovacum. The Jacquerie, or Peasants' War, broke out in the neighborhood of Beauvais, March 21, 1358. In 1472 the town was besieged by Charles the Bold of Burgundy, with an army of 80,000 men, when the women of Beauvais, under the leadership of the heroine, Jeanne Lainé, surnamed La Hachette for her daring, joined in the defense. Consult Labande, Histoire de Beauvais (Paris, 1892).