The family of Solages did not create a glass factory ex—nihilo. There was in the Tarn a long tradition of glass since the 15th century in particular what we name la Verrerie Forestière tarnaise with two main production sites: the Grésigne and the Black Mountain.
It was during the 13th century that appeared the organization of the glass-making Gentlemen of Languedoc as the presence of the forest glass factories. The tradition placed the "privilege to exercise the art and the science of glass-making without breaking" granted by Louis IX, from return of the 7th Crusade in 1254, to the noble persons having served the King.
Placed under the protection of the King, they were under the authority of the lieutenant of the King’s armies, captain Viguier of the city and of the Viguerie de Sommières (Hérault), who was a judge and a conservative of their titles of nobilities and their privileges.
The noble art of the glass factory was regulated by numerous royal acts. First in 1312 Philip le Bel, authorized the "glassworkers of Champagne to blow the Glass without breaking”. Then in 1727 the letters of patent of August, then the letters of Louis XV, about ten kings codified the activities of the glass-making gentlemen over the centuries.
The first Charter of the Glassworkers of Languedoc of Sommière was established by letters license of Charles VII in 1445. It regulated in 17 paragraphs their duties and their rights.
Three centuries later, from 7 till 11th October 1753, in the term of the general assembly of the glass-making Gentlemen gathered to Sommières under the authority of Lieutenant-general of the King’s armies, captain Viguier and governor of the city and the Viguerie de Sommières, were drafted the last Statuses which regulated their activities.
7 departments, under the jurisdiction of captain Viguier, situated from East to West by the right bank of the Rhône in the region of Bordeaux and from North to South the first Southern foothills of Cantal in Pyrenees were also enumerated there.
On a territory so vast, the Gentlemen named some Syndics agents in every department as well as three general Syndic agents. "Sindics who both generaux and private individuals will be recognized in said qualities in all the department of the aforementioned Lord Viguier and Gouverneur, by all other Gentlemen exercising the aforementioned Art and Science of Glass-making".
In 1789 the abolition of the privileges of the Nobility act the end of the Body of the glass-making Gentlemen.
> Download Article Alain Riols