Brennus Place

From Chesterwiki


Historic

Brennus - with the Asterix helmet.

Who Was Brennus

Brennus (or Brennos) was a chieftain of the Senones. He defeated the Romans at the Battle of the Allia. In 387 BC he led an army of Cisalpine Gauls in their attack on Rome and captured most of the city, holding it for several months. Brennus's sack of Rome was the only time in 800 years the city was occupied by a non-Roman army before the fall of the city to the Goths in 410 AD. The Senones were a Gaulish tribe originating from the part of France at present known as Seine-et-Marne, Loiret, and Yonne. In the Battle of the Allia, Brennus defeated the Romans, and entered the city itself. The Senones captured the entire city of Rome except for the Capitoline Hill, which was successfully held against them.

From John McGahey's "Balloon View" of Chester (1855) - the road to the right is King Street. The building on the croft at the top right is the almshouses. It may formerly have been the Abbot's Grange.

According to legend Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was alerted to the Gallic attack by the sacred geese of Juno. However, seeing their city devastated, the Romans attempted to buy their salvation from Brennus. The Romans agreed to pay one thousand pounds weight of gold. According to Livy, during a dispute over the weights used to measure the gold (the Gauls had brought their own, heavier-than-standard), Brennus threw his sword onto the scales and uttered the famous words "Vae victis!", which translates to "woe to the conquered!".

One version of the story states that the argument about the weights had so delayed matters that the exiled dictator Marcus Furius Camillus had extra time to muster an army, return to Rome and expel the Gauls, saving both the city and the treasury and said to Brennus "Non auro, sed ferro, recuperanda est patria" which translates to "not by gold, but by iron, is the nation to be recovered".

According to Plutarch, following initial combat through Rome's streets, the Gauls were first ejected from the city, then utterly annihilated in a regular engagement eight miles outside of town on the road to Gabbi.

Almshouses

Robert Fletcher of Cork (Irel.) by deed of 1674 gave four cottages at Lady Barrow's Hay in the Crofts to be used as almshouses for four aged widows, together with a rent-charge (on a house in Bridge Street) of £4 4s. to pay each of them 20s. a year and for repairs. Robert was the son of William Fletcher, draper, of Chester.

By 1850 the repair fund was no longer being kept up, and under a Scheme of 1874 the churchwardens of Holy Trinity were permitted to sell the almshouses and apply the income instead to benefit four poor widows.

Connect

City Walls Road

Sources and Links