During the Middle-Ages, Cambrai's bishops helped "Le Cateau" to flourish, despite its numerous invasions involving looting and mass-destruction, each tIme ensuring the town's reconstruction.
(The city is the culmination of Vendelgies and Péronne, two villages having joined together, and developed around Saint André abbey.)
Until 1678, the city belonged to the Spanish Netherlands (now called Belgium).
France officially conquered the city at the signing of the treaty of Nijmegen in 1678.
On 28 March 1794, allied forces under the control of the prince of Coburg, defeated French forces at Le Cateau.
Le Cateau formed the right wing of the front of II Royal Corps of the British Expeditionary Force at the Battle of Le Cateau on 26 August 1914, immediately after their departure from the Battle of Mons.
After the war, the textile trade flourished however the success was short lived and the factory closed in 1981.
Currently, the town is famed for its museum (Matisse Museum) and the brewery, recently restored, of the former abbey.