Intensity assignments for 33 calibration earthquakes were used to develop intensity attenuation models for the Alps, Armorican, Provence, Pyrenees and Rhine regions of France. Intensity decreases with ?? most rapidly in the French Alps, Provence and Pyrenees regions, and least rapidly in the Armorican and Rhine regions. The comparable Armorican and Rhine region attenuation models are aggregated into a French stable continental region model and the comparable Provence and Pyrenees region models are aggregated into a Southern France model. We analyse MSK intensity assignments using the technique of Bakun & Wentworth, which provides an objective method for estimating epicentral location and intensity magnitude MI. MI for the 1356 October 18 earthquake in the French stable continental region is 6.6 for a location near Basle, Switzerland, and moment magnitude M is 5.9-7.2 at the 95 per cent (??2??) confidence level. MI for the 1909 June 11 Trevaresse (Lambesc) earthquake near Marseilles in the Southern France region is 5.5, and M is 4.9-6.0 at the 95 per cent confidence level. Bootstrap resampling techniques are used to calculate objective, reproducible 67 per cent and 95 per cent confidence regions for the locations of historical earthquakes. These confidence regions for location provide an attractive alternative to the macroseismic epicentre and qualitative location uncertainties used heretofore. ?? 2006 The Authors Journal compilation ?? 2006 RAS.