Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Louis-Marie-Athanase de Loménie, Comte de Brienne

Louis-Marie-Athanase was born on 20 September 1730 into a noble family from Limousin. He was a younger son, so it was quickly decided that he was to join the military. His elder brother became a minister to Louis XVI.
In the army he was made Lieutenant General of the King's armies and had command over the Artois regiment from 1747 to 1762. Here he impressed the King and was promoted to Colonel within the same regiment.

Louis must have wanted to acquire a title for himself for he married Etienette Fizeau de Clérmont who brought him the title of Marquis de Moy. However, at court he would still be known as the Comte de Brienne. The couple had adopted the three sons of his cousin but had none of their own. Sadly, all of his sons were guillotined during the revolution.

Billedresultat for Athanase de Loménie

When he was not away with the army Louis enjoyed improving his estates. One of these were the Brienne hôtel in the middle of Paris but he also purchased another house. Today, the hôtel de Brienne is the office of the Minister of the Army. He is also responsible for constructing one of the last castles built by the aristocracy before the revolution: the château de Brienne.

Here he established a "little court" for himself and his friends where they would enjoy theatres, hunting parties and discussions on philosophy. Louis also established quite an impressive collection of minerals and was often visited by natural scientists.

In 1787 he followed his brother's footsteps and became a secretary of state to Louis XVI - he remained in this position only for a year before he resigned. His appointment raised a few eyebrows but not because of his character. Instead, people wondered that he only joined the council after his brother -the Archbishop of Sens - had left it.

During the revolution the Loménie family was widely recognised as having embraced the new world order. Louis was rather popular and his success with the military only heightened that. However, Robespierre soon came to view his popularity as a threat and had him and his adopted sons arrested.
Louis was guillotined on 10 May 1794 alongside Madame Élisabeth, sister of Louis XVI.

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