Monday, 22 April 2013

Claude de Vin des Oeillets

Claude de Vin des Oeillets was born in Provence in 1637 to Nicholas de Vin and Louise Faviot. Her parents were comedians to King Louis XIV and eventually opened their own theatre company. Madame de Montespan soon noticed the pretty little comedian and Claude was made her official companion in 1667. But the King had noticed Claude as well and their relationship resulted in at least one intimate evening because Claude gave birth to a girl, Louise de Maisonblanche. Louise was never acknowledged by her royal father and was raised by completely different parents than her biological ones - Claude could not raise a child while following Madame de Montespan on her tours with the King. Claude apparently enjoyed personal favour from the King - but nothing near that of Madame de Montespan - and Louis XIV granted Claude her own property.

However, Claude's name was tainted when the infamous Affair of the Poisons swept through the French court. She was accused of having attended a so-called Black Mass (as a replacement of Madame de Montespan) and visited known poisoners fifty times. Allegedly, Madame de Montespan had send Claude to La Voison for the powders that should keep the King's interest fixed on Madame de Montespan. Claude's friendly relationship with the King saved her from punishment but she still retired from court in 1678.

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