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Manage (Municipality, Province of Hainaut, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-06-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: manage | bellecourt | la hestre | fayt-lez-manage | bois-d'haine |
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[Flag of Manage]

Municipal flag of Manage - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 26 November 2005

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Presentation of Manage

The municipality of Manage (22,382 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 1,969 ha) is located 25 km north-west of Charleroi and 6 kilometers north-east of La Louvière. The municipality of Manage is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Manage, Bois-d'Haine, Fayt-lez-Manage and La Hestre (including Bellecourt since 1970).

The territory of Manage was initially covered with forests, as reflected by the toponymy: Bois-d'Haine refers to a wood (in French, bois), whereas Fayt and La Hestre refer to the beech (in Latin, fagus; in French, hêtre; in some regions of France, fayard). The first Celtic settlements were probably set up in clearings. In 1904, Raoul Warocqué supervized archeological excavations in Fayt-les-Manage. A Gallo-Roman necropolis yielded a lot of artifacts, such as funerary urns, bowls, glassware, fibula and coins, shown today in the Royal Museum of Mariemont. Another Gallo-Roman site was found in 1997.
In the Middle Ages, the villages of Fayt, Bois-d'Haine, La Hestre and Bellecourt belonged to the County of Hainaut, whereas Manage belonged to the Duchy of Brabant. Being on the border, the villages were often sacked during wars, especially in the XVIIth century. On 11 August 1674, a bloody fighting opposed in Manage and Fayt Louis XIV's troops (50,000) commanded by the Prince of Condé to a coalition of Spanish, Dutch and Imperial troops (65,000) commanded by the Prince of Orange. The fighting is known as the battle of Seneffe since it started in the morning near that village; it spread later to the St. Nicolas Priory and the village of Feyt, and ended at sundown in the ravine of Escaille. The two camps claimed the victory; between 14,000 and 28,000 were killed and the villages located on the battlefield were completely destroyed.
In 1795, the municipalities of Bellecourt, La Hestre (seceded from Haine-Saint-Pierre), Bois-d'Haine and Fayt (then called Fayt-lez-Seneffe) were set up. Manage was then a hamlet of Seneffe.

Coal mining started in 1755 in La Hestre with the founding of the Société des charbonnages d'Haine-Saint-Pierre et La Hestre. The coal industry was boosted by the building of the road Nivelles-Bray, achieved in 1764. In the beginning of the XIXth century, several villagers from Manage abandoned agriculture to work in the neighbouring collieries of Mariemont, Bascoup, Haine-Saint-Pierre, Haine-Saint-Paul, La Louvière, etc.. In Manage, coal was exploited only in Haine-Saint-Pierre and La Hestre; attemps of digging mines in Bois-d'Haine, Fayt and Manage failed.
In 1821, the manufacturer François-Isidore Dupont (1780-1838) built in Fayt an industrial complex with forges and rolling mills. The complex produced, among others, some of the rails used to build the Brussels-Mechelen railway, which was the first railway built in continental Europe. Thanks to Adolphe Dechamps (1807-1875), Minister in the 1840-1850s, who settled in the castle of Scailmont in 1815, Manage became a main rail junction. The section Braine-le-Comte-Manage of the Brussels-Charleroi line was inuagurated in 1842; the first station was built in Manage the next year. After the building of the Mons-Manage (1849), Manage-Wavre (1854) and Manage-Piéton (1865) lines, the station was isolated in the middle of the ways, which caused several accidents. It was decided to build a new station, inaugurated in 1901 and then one of the biggest stations in Belgium. The station was demolished in 1973.
The railway station boosted the local economy. In 1849, Apollinaire-Adrien Bougard opened a glassworks. A dozen of other glassworks was founded from 1880 onwards by famous master glaziers' dynasties such as Wauty, Michotte, Hirsch and Castelain. The parish of Manage seceded from Seneffe in 1854 and Manage was eventually made an independent municipality in July 1880.
In Bois-d'Haine, Augustin Gilson founded at the end of the XIXth century the world famous bolt factory Boulonneries Gilson and the Ateliers du Thiriau.

Industrialization caused a dramatic increase in the population of the villages and Manage became a main center of the struggle for workers' emancipation. A first socialist workers' cooperative called La solidarité was founded in the colliery of Basse-Hestre in 1869. Some of his members set up a few years later the Maison du Peuple et du Progrès in Jolimont and the cooperative Le Progrès (1886), directed by Théophile Massart (1840-1904). In 1887, Émile Herman in Fayt and Ferdinand Cavrot in La Hestre were among the first socialists elected Municipal Councillors in Belgium.
In 1911, the old Société des charbonnages de Haine-Saint-Pierre et La Hestre was suppressed and its remains were absorbed by the colliery of Mariemont, which closed the colliery of La Hestre.

In 1942, the municipalities forming now Manage were incorporated into the municipality of La Louvière; they became independent again after the liberation in September 1944. The big industries closed in the 1960s, for instance Gilson in Bois-d'Haine and Anglo-Germain in La Croyère (1967).

Source: Municipal website, text by Joseph Strale

Ivan Sache, 26 November 2005

Municipal flag of Manage

The municipal flag of Manage is quartered yellow-blue-red-white.
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the flag follows the proposal made by the Heraldry and Vexillological Council of the French Community as Écartelé de jaune, bleu, rouge et blanc.
The flag is based on the municipal arms of Manage.

On the municipal website, Joseph Strale quotes an article by Jacques Lefèbvre (Le Peuple, 11 January 1982) on the municipal arms of Manage (blazons of the former municipalities from Armorial du Hainaut, available on the Heraldus website.
Before the municipal reform of 1976, four out of the five merged villages (including Bellecourt, incorporated into La Hestre in 1970) had a coat of arms. Only Manage had no arms. The arms of the four villages were based on the seals of the feudal families owning them during the Ancient Regime:
- Bellecourt belonged to the family of Le Rœulx, vassal of the Counts of Hainaut, and used the arms of the Counts as its seal. On 26 July 1926, the municipality of Bellecourt was granted by Royal Decree the quartered arms of Hainaut as its municipal arms, Écartelé, au I et IV au lion de sable, armé et lampassé de gueules; au II et III d'or au lion de gueules, armé et lampassé d'azur ("Quarterly, I and IV a lion sable armed and langued gules, II and III or a lion gules armed and langued azure");
- Bois-d'Haine also belonged to the Counts of Hainaut, but was granted Charles V's Imperial eagle as its municipal arms by Royal Decree of 3 July 1925, D'or à l'aigle bicéphale éployée de sable couronnée du champ, qui est d'Empire ("Or a double-headed eagle sable crowned of the field, that is Empire");
- Fayt was owned by the family of Gongnies from the XVth century onwards. The municipality was granted the former arms of this family as its municipal arms by Royal Decree of 23 March 1935, D'azur à la croix ancrée d'argent ("Azure a cross moline argent");
- La Hestre was owned by the Montigny and was granted the arms of this family as its municipal arms by Royal Decree of 8 April 1929, Burelé d'argent et d'azur de douze pièces ("Barully argent and azure of twelve pieces").

On 30 June 1977, the Municipal Council of the new municipality of Manage applied for municipal arms. The proposal was accepted by the Heraldry Council of the General Directorate of Regional and Local Institutions on 16 November 1981. Manage was one of the first Walloon municipalities to have new municipal arms, described as:
Écartelé au 1, écartelé au premier et au quatrième d'or au lion de sable, armé: et lampassé de gueules, au deuxième et troisième, d'or au lion de gueules, arméet lampassé d'azur, qui est de Hainaut; au 2, burelé d'argent et d'azur de douze pièces qui est de Montigny; au 3, d'azur à la croix ancrée d'argent, qui est de Gongnies; au 4, d'or à l'aigle bicéphale éployée de sable, qui est de l'Empire.
"Quartered: 1, quartered one and four or a lion sable armed and langued gules two and three or a lion gules armed and langued azure, that is Hainaut; 2, barruly argent and azure twelve pieces, that is Montigny; 3, azur a cross anchored argent, that is Gongnies; 4, or a double-headed eagle sable, that is Empire".
That is the former municipal arms of Bellecourt, La Hestre, Fayt and Bois d'Haine quartered.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 11 November 2005