A conspirator in Otway's Venice Preserved. He is described as a patriot of the bluntest manners, and a stoical heart.
Uglier than Pierre du Coignet
(French). Coignèes was an advocate-general in the reign of Philippe de Valois, who stoutly opposed the encroachments of the Church. The monks, in revenge, called, by way of pun, those grotesque monkey-like figures carved in stone, used in church architecture, pierres du Coignet
or pierres du Coignères.
At Notre Dame de Paris they used to extinguish their torches in the mouths and nostrils of these figures, which thus acquired a superadded ugliness. (See Recherches de Pasquier
, iii. chap. xxvii.)
“You may associate them with Master Peter du Coignet ... in the middle of the porch ... to perform the office of extinguishers, and with their noses put out the lighted candles, torches, tapers, and flambeaux.” —Rabelais.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894