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Hoeselt (Municipality, Province of Limburg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-12-02 by ivan sache
Keywords: hoeselt | moffarts |
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[Flag of Hoeselt]

Municipal flag of Hoeselt - Image by Mark Sensen, 24 July 2004

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Presentation of Hoeselt and its villages

The municipality of Hoeselt (9,343 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,002 ha) is located in Vocht (Wet) Haspengouw, south-east of Hasselt and bordering Tongeren. The municipality of Hoeselt is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Hoeselt (including Romershoven and Werm since 1971), Schalkhoven and Sint-Huibrechts-Hern.

Hoeselt was mentioned for the first time, as Housle, in 1066, the name of the town being later Hurle (1155), Husle (1155), Hurlo (1280) and Huselt (1293); this name is derived from "hus - lo", "a settlement near a wood". Remains of Romain villae have been found, proving that Hoeselt was then part of the big colony of Tongeren, or at least connected to it. After the evangelization of the region in the Merovingian times, Hoeselt became the mother parish of the seven churches of Sint-Huibrechts-Hern, Vliermaal, Beverst, Romershoven, Schalkhoven, Werm and Althoeselt. In 1066, the parish was transferred by Prince-Bishop of Liège Theoduin to the Notre-Dame chapter of Huy while the Notre-Dame chapter of Tongeren received some parts of Hoeselt, too.
Vliermaal and Sint-Huibrechts-Hern were granted limited autonomy around 1250. The woods alluded to in the name of the town were cleared in the XII-XIIIth century and transformed into arable lands. In 1619, Prince-Bishop Ferdinand of Bayern transferred Hoeselt to the Knights Templars of Alden Biesen; further lords of Hoeselt were Edmond Huyn van Amstenraedt, Godfried Huyn van Amstenraedt van Geelen and Edmond Godfried von Bocholtz. The domain of Hoeselt was transferred back to the St. Lambert chapter of Liège in 1683 and eventually sold in 1706 to Willem-Gerard Moffarts, whose descenders kept it until the French Revolution.
Located along the brook Winterbeek, Romershoven was mentioned for the first time in 1147, as Romercurt. In the XIIth century, the Prince-Bishop of Liège transferred the village to the St. John the Evangelist Chapter. The oldest known manager (voogd) representing the chapter is Henricus of Rumershoven (1220), while its last manager was Baron Louis Gerard de Moffarts, also the last lord of Hoeselt.
Also located along a brook, Werm was mentioned for the first time in 1146, as Werme, later changed to Waremme (1333) and Waremia (1367), lit. "waternaam", that is, "located not far from a brook". In the XIVth century, Hendrik and Godfried of Werm ruled the domain, which was transferred in 1341 to Louis Marteal, also manager of the neighbouring domain of Hardelingen. The domain was later transferred to the Bernar, van den Bosch and Duras family.

Schalkhoven, mentioned for the first time, as Scalckoven, in 1256, later Scauchoven (1280), Sclacoven (1282) and Schachoven (1364), is the smallest component of Hoeselt. Excavations made by Knight Camille of Borman in 1865 around the castle of Schalkhoven yielded remains of a Roman villa and cemetary. Together with Sint-Huibrechts-Hern, Schalkhoven formed a single domain transferred in 1256 to the lords of Diepenbeek and later to the Counts of Hamal.

Sint-Huibrechts-Hern was mentioned for the first time in 1256 as Herne, "herne" being most probably a Middle Dutch form of "nerder", "a shepherd". In 1256, the church of Hern, thanks to its dedication to St. Hubert, was given the status of "median church", including the right to give the last sacraments of the Church. The ritual involving St. Hubert's key to cure men and animals suffering from rabies was still practiced there in the XXth century. Together with Schalkhoven, Sint-Huibrechts-Hern formed a domain allocated to the Counts of Hamal. Frescoes from the late XIIIth century found in the village church are the oldest known representation of St. Hubert's legend; they were probably ordered by Jan of Eldern, lord of Hern, who later took the coat and became Prior of the Saint-Hubert abbey.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 21 July 2007

Municipal flag of Hoeselt

Hoeselt is located in the arrondissement of Tongeren.

The municipal flag of Hoeselt is horizontally divided yellow-white-yellow, the white stripe being fimbriated and fretty in black.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 13 April 1989, confirmed by the Exectuive of Flanders on 21 November 1989 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 December 1990.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

The arms of Hoeselt are the former arms of the Moffarts family, as shown on the de Moffarts Foundation website. Located in the Hamel castle (Lummen), the Foundation was set up in 1997 after the death of Baroness Marie-Louise de Moffarts. Her brother, Baron André de Moffarts (d. 2004), lord of Hamel also bequeathed his fortune to the Foundation. Among its activities, the Foundation funds the International Heraldry Award "Baron André de Moffarts", to be granted every three years. The Moffarts family is of remote Westfalian origin.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 21 July 2007