Thursday, 17 October 2013

Francois Adhémar de Monteil, Comte de Grignan

François Adhémar de Monteil was born in 1632 and was so fortunate to be the eldest son in a family of no less than eleven children - his parents were Louis Gaucher de Grignan and Marguerite d'Ornano. This meant that upon his father's death in 1668 he became the Comte de Grignan. Before he assumed the fine title François did what many other young aristocratic men did and began a career in the military. During his time in the military he served in the Household Cavalry of Queen Anne of Austria where he held the title of Captain-Lieutenant.

François was married three times. His first marriage was to Angélique-Claire d'Angennes and he had two daughters with her before she died in 1665. In 1666 he married Marie-Angélique du Puy-du-Fou but that marriage was short-lived too since she tragically died while giving birth to a son who never lived past infancy. François' last marriage was to the the 23-year old Françoise-Marguerite de Sévigné, the daughter of Madame de Sévigné. This is thought to be a love match whereas the other two marriages were most likely arranged.
François' new mother-in-law thought highly of her daughter's husband and describes him in a letter as the most honest man in France but not necessarily the prettiest. Actually, François' attractiveness - or the lack thereof - was widely known and even made the basis for a family joke. Despite this, François is reputed to have been both elegant, charming and athletic. The same year that he married Françoise-Marguerite he was named Lieutenant General to in Provence by Louis XIV. This meant that he had to leave his bride to live at the family château in South France.

At some point the couple reunited and lived a very extravagant life. François' lived almost like a King; every year he would sit at the opening of the Etats flanked by the Archbishop of Aix and the Intendant of Provence. Francois must have learned something from his time in the army because in 1673 he regained Orange for France and gained fondness of none other than Louis XIV who public remarked that he was happy with him. Francois lived to be 83 years old and died while staying on an inn between Lambesc and Marseilles on 30 December 1714.

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