Claude de Bourdeille, comte de Montresor - Encyclopedia




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CLAUDE DE BOURDEILLE MONTRESOR, COMTE DE (c. 1606-1663), French intriguer and memoir-writer, was the grandnephew of Pierre de Brantome. He was the second favourite of Gaston, duke of Orleans, the weak brother of Louis XIII., succeeding Antoine de Laage, duc de Puylaurens, in this position in 1635. He planned the assassination of Cardinal Richelieu at the camp of Amiens in 1636, a plan which failed through the cowardice of Orleans. Montresor was obliged to spend the next six years on his estate, but in 1642 he entered into the plot of Cinq Mars against Richelieu. On its failure he escaped to England, but his estates were confiscated. Returning after Richelieu's death, he entered into the intrigues of the period just preceding the Fronde, and was imprisoned in the Bastille, then in Vincennes, having risked his safety by coming back from exile in Holland to aid the duchess of Chevreuse. Mazarin attempted to win him over in vain, but in 1653 he made his submission to the victorious minister, and from that time on played no part in public life. He had three children by Mlle de Guise, with whom he had a lasting liaison.

His Memoires have preserved his name from the oblivion otherwise awaiting such intriguers; they are written with naive frankness and are extremely interesting. They are printed by A. Petitot and Monmerque in Collection des memoires relatifs a l'histoire de France (Paris, 1876).

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