Friday, 2 February 2018

The House of de Sade

The family name of de Sade appears around the 12th century with the mention of Louis de Sade as governor of Avignon. From his son two branches were formed: de Mazan and d'Eygières. In the 17th century the main family was headed by the Marquis de Sade.

The branch of de Mazan was headed by the Comte - and later Marquis - de Sade. The branch of d'Eygières was headed by the Seigneur d'Eygières.

The Marquis de Sade 

1. Jean Baptiste de Sade, Seigneur de Sade and Diane de Simiane

Jean Baptiste held the hereditary title of captain of the guards of the Château de Vaison.

Diane was the daughter of the Baron de Châteauneuf. 

The couple had two children:
  • Cosme de Sade
  • Isabeau de Sade 

2. Cosme de Sade, Seigneur de Sade and Elisabeth de Louet de Calvisson

Gaspard inherited the lordship of both de Sade and de Mazan. Elisabeth was the eleventh child of the Comte de Calvisson

They had one child:
  • Gaspard François de Sade 

3. Gaspard François de Sade and Louise d'Aldonce d'Astoaud

Gaspard was appointed ambassador to the papal town of Avignon in 1700 where he would act as an envoy to pope Clement XI; the year after he would hosts the Ducs de Bourgogne and de Berry.

Their children:
  • Jean Baptiste de Sade, Comte de Sade
  • Richard Jean Louis de Sade, Knight of Malta
  • Jacques-François-Paul-Adonce de Sade, Seigneur de Saumaune 
  • Henriette de Sade, Dame de Martignan
  • Four other daughters who all became nuns

4. Jean Baptiste de Sade, Comte de Sade and Marie Eléonore de Maillé

Jean Baptiste served as a captain of dragoons in the Condé regiment before being sent to Russia as a special envoy; in 1733 he would fulfill the same office to Great Britain. He was later sent to Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor whom he managed to secure as an ally of France and Spain, thus sparking the War of the Austrian Succession. He fell out of favour with Louis XV after having bad-mouthed the Duchesse de Châteauroux, the royal mistress and his situation certainly was not aided by a stint in prison.

Jean Baptiste

Marie Eléonore was a Bourbon by blood since her ancestors included the Princesse de Bourbon-Condé. While her pedigree was undoubtedly better than Jean Baptiste's, she came from a family with few means which meant that her dowry was limited.

Marie Eléonore

The couple had two children:
  • Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, Marquis de Sade
  • Marie-Françoise de Sade

5. Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, Marquis de Sade and Renée-Pélagie Cordier de Launay de Montreuil

Donatien was the infamous Marquis de Sade whose very explicit books on sexual bondage was named after him: sado-masochism. Also, the word "sadist" was derived from his name since his books involved quite painful - but imaginative - intimate encounters. These books were enough to bring him to public attention but it was his crimes against women in the villages around his château that earned him several prison sentences as well as stays in asylums.

Marquis de Sade portrait.jpg

Renée-Pélagie remained remarkably faithful to her husband despite his bouts of cruelty and frankly rather unstable mental behaviour. She would continuously attempt to plead his case when he was imprisoned. When Donatien was sentenced to death for torture of five prostitutes she used her influence at court to have the sentence changed to an asylum sentence.


The couple had two children:
  • Louis Marie de Sade, Comte de Sade during the restoration
  • Madeleine Laure de Sade 

The Seigneurs d'Eygières

1. Pierre de Sade, Seigneur d'Eygières and Louise de Porcelet

Pierre was charged with defending the city of Salon from the League but it eventually fell into the hands of the Duke of Savoy

2. Jean Valentin de Sade and Marie Anne Françoise de Calvière

Marie Anne was a Protestant and she allowed a Protestant cemetery to be built on their lands which caused quite an uproar in the local community.

Their children:
  • Guillaume de Sade, Seigneur de Sade
  • Élisabeth de Sade
  • Louise de Sade
  • Jean de Sade
  • Magdaleine de Sade, nun
  • Anne de Sade, nun
  • Françoise de Sade

3. Guillaume de Sade and Isabeau d'Abeille 

Guillaume was awarded the title Defender of the Faith for his distinguished military service which lasted for 26 years. He was sentenced to death for refusing to permit non-Catholic religions on his Eygières-land but avoided this dire fate when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes.

The couple had six children:
  • Three daughters - all nuns
  • Joseph de Sade, Seigneur de Sade
  • Antoine de Sade, knight of Malta
  • Jacques de Sade, knight of Malta

4. Joseph de Sade and Anne Suzanne de Roux d'Arbaud

Their children:
  • Jaume de Sade
  • Louis Elzéar de Sade, Seigneur de Sade
  • Joseph David de Sade, Seigneur de Sade
  • Mathilde Henriette de Sade
  • Hippolyte de Sade 

5. Louis Elzéar de Sade and Geneviève de Thoran d'Artignocs

Louis served as a musketeer in the king's second regiment before inheriting the title. Geneviève was the daughter of a member of the Parliament d'Aix. 

They had no children and the title passed to Joseph David de Sade.

6. Joseph David de Sade and Marguerite Marie Thérèse Le Gouche de Saint-Étienne

They had two children:
  • Jean Baptiste Joseph David de Sade, Seigneur de Sade
  • Louis Philippe Henri Isabeau de Sade

7. Jean Baptiste Joseph David de Sade and Marie Françoise Amélie de Bimard

Jean inherited the title at the age of twelve years and relied on his mother to guide him in governing his lands. Their children spent the revolution in London so it is quite likely that Jean and Marie also emigrated. They did return to France later, though.

They had four children
  • Louise Gabrielle Laure de Sade
  • Généreuse Amélie de Sade
  • François Xavier Joseph David de Sade
  • An unnamed boy 

The ruins of the family estate: Château de Lacoste

Interesting facts and anecdotes:
  • Charlotte de Beaune-Semblançay (mistress of Henri IV) was a member of the Sade-Mazan branch through her mother, Gabrielle.
  • The Sade-Mazan branch attained the Honours of the Court
  • Jacques François Paul Adonce de Sade translated Petrarch 
  • Françoise de Sade was born a few months after her father - Jean Valentin - died 
  • Jacques de Sade was killed during the Siege of Caron where he was shot four times
  • Louis Philippe Henri Isabeau was the godson of the Infante of Spain

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