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Andrews, R. M., Law, Magistracy, and Crime in Old Regime Paris, 1735-1789, vol. 1, The System of Criminal Justice, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Bayard, F., Les Chambres de Justice de la première moitié du XVIIe siècle, Cahiers d’Histoire, 1974, 19, 2, pp. 121-140.
Bayard, F., Le monde des financiers au XVIIe siècle, Paris, Flammarion, 1988.
Beik, W., Absolutism and Society in Seventeenth-Century France : State Power and Provincial Aristocracy in Languedoc, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Beik, W., The Absolutism of Louis XIV as Social Collaboration, Past & Present, 2005, 188, pp. 195-224.
Bluche, F., Les magistrats du Parlement de Paris au XVIIIe siècle, 1715-1771, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1960.
Bluche, F. (dir.), Dictionnaire du Grand Siècle, rev. ed., Paris, Fayard, 2005.
Boislisle, A. de (dir.), Mémoires de Saint-Simon, vol. 3, Paris, Hachette, 1881.
Boislisle, A. de, Brotonne, P. de, (dir.), Correspondance des contrôleurs généraux des finances avec les intendants des provinces, vol. 3, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1874.
Bonney, R., Le secret de leurs familles : The Fiscal and Social Limits of Louis XIV’s dixième, French History, 1993, 7, 4, pp. 383-416.
Bosher, J. F., French Finances 1770-1795 : From Business to Bureaucracy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1970.
Bosher, J. F., Chambres de Justice in the French Monarchy, in Bosher, J. F. (ed.), French Government and Society 1500-1850 : Essays in Memory of Alfred Cobban, London, Athlone Press, 1973, pp. 19-40.
Breen, M., Law, Society, and the State in Early Modern France, Journal of Modern History, 2011, 83, pp. 346-386.
Buvat, J., Journal de la Régence (1715–1723), vol. 1, Paris, Henri Plon, 1865.
Carbasse, J.-M., Histoire du droit pénal et de la justice criminelle, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2000.
Carré, H., Le règne de Louis XV (1715-1774), vol. 8, book. II of Lavisse, E. (dir.), Histoire de France depuis les origines jusqu’à la Révolution, Paris, Hachette, 1909.
Chapman, S., Private Ambition and Political Alliances : The Phélypeaux de Pontchartrain Family and Louis XIV’s Government, 1650-1715, Rochester, NY, University of Rochester Press, 2004.
Chaussinand-Nogaret, G., Gens de finances au XVIIIe siècle, Brussels, Éditions Complexe, 1993.
Cheype, R., Recherches sur le procès des inspecteurs de police, 1716-1720, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1975.
Cosandey, F., Descimon, R., L’absolutisme en France : histoire et historiographie, Paris, Seuil, 2002.
Crawford, K., Perilous Performances : Gender and Regency in Early Modern France, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2004.
Dangeau, P., Journal du marquis de Dangeau, Paris, Firmin Didot frères, 1854-1860.
Dessert, D., Finances et société au XVIIe siècle : à propos de la Chambre de Justice de 1661, Annales : Économies, sociétés, civilisations, 1974, 29, 4, pp. 847-881.
Dessert, D., Le “laquais-financier” au Grand Siècle : Mythe ou réalité ?, XVIIe siècle, 1979, 122, pp. 21-36.
Dessert, D., Argent, pouvoir et société au Grand Siècle, Paris, Fayard, 1984.
Dessert, D., Fouquet, Paris, Fayard, 1987.
Dupilet, A., La Régence absolue : Philippe d’Orléans et la polysynodie (1715-1718), Seyssel, Champ Vallon, 2011.
Durand, Y., Les fermiers généraux au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Maisonneuve et Larose, 1996.
Faure, E., La banqueroute de Law : 17 juillet 1720, Paris, Gallimard, 1977.
Félix, J., Les dettes de l’État à la mort de Louis XIV, Études et Documents (Comité pour l’histoire économique et financière de la France), 1994, 6, pp. 603-608.
Génaux, M., Les mots de la corruption : la déviance publique dans les dictionnaires de l’Ancien Régime, Histoire, économie et société, 2002, 21, 4, pp. 513-530.
Génaux, M., La corruption avant la lettre : le vocabulaire de la déviance publique dans l’ancien droit pénal, Revue historique de droit français et étranger, 2003, 81, 1, pp. 15-32.
Gleeson, J., Millionaire : The Philanderer, Gambler, and Duelist Who Invented Modern France, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Goldner, E., Public Thieves : French Financiers, Corruption, and the Public in the Chamber of Justice of 1716-1717, PhD diss., Columbia University, 2008.
Höfer, A., Agioteur, Agiotage, in Reichhardt, R., Lüsebrink, H.-J. (Eds), Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich 1680-1820, vol. 12, Munich, Oldenbourg, 1992.
Hoffman, P., Postel-Vinay, G., Rosenthal, J.-L., Priceless Markets : The Political Economy of Credit in Paris, 1660-1870, Chicago, University of Chicago, 2000.
Isambert, Decrusy, Jourdan (dir.), Recueil général des anciennes lois françaises, depuis l’an 420 jusqu’à la Révolution de 1789, Paris, Berlin-le-Prieur, 1821-1833.
Kettering, S., Patrons, Brokers, and Clients in Seventeenth-Century France, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1986.
Kettering, S., Patronage in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century France, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2002.
Krynen, J., L’état de justice : France, XIIIe-XXe siècles, vol. 1, L’idéologie de l’ancienne magistrature, Paris, Gallimard, 2009.
Lémontey, P.-E., Histoire de la Régence et de la minorité de Louis XV jusqu’au ministère du cardinal de Fleury, vol. 1, Paris, Paulin, 1832.
Le Roy Ladurie, E., Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2001.
Marion, M., Histoire financière de la France depuis 1715, vol.1, Paris, Rousseau, 1914.
Martin, H., Catalogue des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, vol. 3, Paris, Plon, 1887.
Mettam, R., Power and Faction in Louis XIV’s France, Oxford, Blackwell, 1988.
Mongrédien, G., L’affaire Foucquet, Paris, Hachette, 1956.
Murphy, A., John Law : Economic Theorist and Policy-maker, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1997.
Parker, D., The Making of French Absolutism, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1983.
Parker, D., Class and State in Ancien Régime France : The Road to Modernity ?, London, Routledge, 1996.
Pernot, J.-F., L’activité de la Chambre des Comptes de Paris à l’époque moderne : Premiers résultats d’une enquête par sondage, Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, 1979, 26, pp. 612-637.
Ravel, P., La Chambre de justice de 1716, Paris, Boccard, 1928.
Richou, J., Histoire des commissions extraordinaires sous l’Ancien Régime, Paris, Rousseau, 1905.
Shennan, J. H., Philippe, Duke of Orléans : Regent of France, 1715-1723, London, Thames & Hudson, 1979.
Villain, J., Naissance de la Chambre de justice de 1716, Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, 1988, 35, pp. 544-576.
Bibliothèque nationale de France (hereafter BN), manuscrits français (hereafter MF) 7586,fols. 1r-3r.
On the Chamber of Justice of 1716-1717, see Dessert (1984, pp. 238-276) ; Goldner (2008) ; Ravel (1928) ; Villain (1988).
The best introduction to the Chamber as an institution remains Bosher (1973). For Chambers of Justice before 1716, see especially Bayard (1974, 1988, pp. 311-334) ; Dessert (1974, 1984).
Dessert (1984, pp. 238-239).
Bosher (1970, p. 4).
For French financiers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, see, besides the works of Bayard, Bosher, and Dessert noted above, Chaussinand-Nogaret (1993) ; Dessert (1979) ; Durand (1996).
The state of the evidence from the sixteenth century makes it impossible to definitively list the investigations held in that period, but inquiries certainly took place in 1523, 1524, 1527-1536, 1561-1562, 1581, 1583-1584, 1584-1587, 1596, 1601-1602, 1605-1607, 1607, 1624-1625, and 1661-1669, though the latter effectively ceased operation in 1665. Bayard (1974, pp. 139-140) ; Bosher (1970, p. 17, 1973, pp. 20-21) ; Dessert (1984, p. 239).
Dessert (1984, pp. 240, 259, 262 & 272).
Bosher (1970, pp. 4 & 19-20) ; Dessert (1984, pp. 287 & 292).
Bosher (1970, pp. 111-122) ; Pernot (1979).
Bosher (1970, p. 120).
Villain (1988, pp. 545-546).
The total royal debt in 1715, which may have been as high as 3.5 billion livres, was in real terms as large as that of the late 1780s, but it was borne by a poorer, less populous kingdom. Félix (1994, p. 603) ; Hoffman, Postel-Vinay, Rosenthal (2000, pp. 69-71).
For the distinctive political issues involved in early modern French regencies, see Crawford (2004).
For more on the challenges Orléans confronted at the beginning of his regency, see Dupilet (2011, pp. 79-122) ; Shennan (1979, pp. 9-32).
Bosher (1973, p. 31).
Bosher (1973, pp. 31-32) ; Bayard (1974, pp. 134-135) ; Dessert (1974, pp. 868-869).
Marion (1914, pp. 73-74).
Richou (1905, p. 97).
Lémontey (1832, p. 65).
Carré (1909, p. 12) ; Gleeson (1999, pp. 111-112).
Dessert (1984, p. 242).
Bosher (1970, p. 18).
Bayard (1974, pp. 129-130) ; Bosher (1973, pp. 27-28) ; Dessert (1984, p. 251) ; Marion (1914, p. 74).
Bayard (1974, p. 132).
See the establishing royal edict of March 1716 in BN, Collection Clairambault (hereafter CL) 767, fols. 84-90 ; the royal declaration of 17 March 1716 in BN, CL 767, fols. 103r-113r ; and the declaration of 1 April 1716 in BN, CL 767, fols. 128-131.
BN, CL 767, fols. 106r-109r. The submission of financial declarations for the purpose of royal taxation was not altogether novel in this period. Bonney (1993, pp. 392-396 & 400-405). But it was certainly a break from past practice as far as Chambers of Justice were concerned. BN, MF 7769, p. 253.
BN, CL 767, fols. 88v & 87r.
BN, nouvelles acquisitions françaises (hereafter NAF) 8442, pp. 11-12.
BN, NAF 8442, p. 20.
Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (hereafter BA), MS 2650, especially the avertissement. After the Chamber’s demise, Fréteau (1663-1751/2) continued to pursue a distinguished legal and administrative career. An avocat in the Parlement of Paris from 1682, he served in the Chancellerie from 1723 to 1741, and he was for some time Chancellor d’Aguesseau’s chief secretary. At the time of his death, he held the honor of doyen of the ordre des avocats. Boislisle (1881, p. 94) ; Martin (1887, p. 61).
For his praise of Fourqueux, see for instance BN, NAF 8442, pp. 11, 28-29 & 43. For his criticisms of Lamoignon, see for example BA MS 2650, pp. 6-7 (second series) ; BN, NAF 8442, pp. 12 & 20-21.
Fréteau’s journal currently exists in five versions held in four Parisian archives. The original is BA, MS 2650. In the present article, due to the varying accessibility and legibility of the versions, I have tended to use Lamoignon’s copy (BN, NAF 8442) or Fourqueux’s copy (Bibliothèque Mazarine (hereafter BM), MS 2347). The principal difference between the original and its copies lies in the diverse ways in which the latter are organized. For a more detailed discussion of the journal and its copies, see Goldner (2008, pp. 551-555).
BM, MS 2347, endnote 1, pp. 7-8 ; and BN, NAF 8442, p. 13.
Nearly one-third of the members of the two previous Chambers of 1624-1625 and 1661-1665 had been selected from provincial courts. A useful chart of the judicial composition of these and other Chambers can be found in Bosher (1973, pp. 20-21).
BN, MF 7769, p. 30.
BN, NAF 8442, p. 13.
Twelve men were selected from the Parlement of Paris and eight from the Chamber of Accounts. They were joined by six maîtres des requêtes and four judges from the Court of Aids. For the names of the Chamber’s judges and the courts from which they came, see the printed royal commission in BN, CL 767, fols. 95-98.
BN, NAF 8442, pp. 19-25.
BN, NAF 8442, pp. 79-84 ; BM, MS 2347, endnote 6, p. 29 ; Cheype (1975, p. 94).
For the mandate on criminal procedure, see Article XXVII of the royal declaration of 17 March 1716, reprinted in Isambert, Decrusy, Jourdan (1821-1833, 21, pp. 98-99). For the Ordinance of 1670 itself, see Isambert, Decrusy, Jourdan (1821-1833, 18, pp. 71-423).
This practical example is based in part on general discussions of the criminal procedure of the Ordinance of 1670 in Andrews (1994, pp. 422-435 & 473-479) ; Carbasse (2000, pp. 179-186).
BM, MS 2347, p. 432.
BN, CL 768, fol. 86.
BN, NAF 8442, p. 25.
BN, MF 10962, p. 522.
BN, MF 10962, pp. 521-522, 526, 528, 530-531, 534, 543-545 & 547.
BM, MS 2347, pp. 432-450.
BM, MS 2347, pp. 454-457 ; BN, MF 10962, pp. 553-557.
Andrews (1994, pp. 420-421 & 428).
The case concerned Claude François Paparel, a trésorier de l’ordinaire des guerres or military financial officer. BM, MS 2347, endnote 7, p. 33 ; BA, MS 2650, fol. 4r.
Charles Michel Bouvard de Fourqueux, procureur général (prosecutor general) of the Chamber of Justice, to his substituts (provincial deputy prosecutors), October 1716, BM, MS 2348, no.108 (first series), pp. 2-3.
BN, NAF 8442, p. 42.
Fourqueux to the Chamber’s subdélégués, 30 June 1716, BN, CL 767, fols. 204v-205r.
The three men whom the Chamber sentenced to death were Claude François Paparel, Henri Chartier, and Jean Penot. The first was pardoned by Orléans. The second escaped his sentence on a technicality. For the third, see BM, MS 2347, pp. 387-391.
BN, NAF 8442, pp. 66-67.
Adrien Maurice, duc de Noailles to Chrétien II de Lamoignon, marquis de Basville, premier président (chief judge) of the Chamber of Justice, 29 May 1716. BN, MF 6935, fol. 45v.
For the summary list of completed cases, see BN, NAF 8446, fols. 16v-19r.
The actual number of sentenced defendants remains unclear, because at least one case involved a group only identified collectively – the officiers jurés of the corporation of Paris’s porteurs de grain. BN, NAF 8444, fols. 31v-33v. For purposes of analysis, I am excluding from the tables below a group of military provisioners called étapiers from Metz, who – unlike the other defendants – came before the Chamber because they had turned themselves in. As prescribed by royal edict, they were eligible to receive an amnesty, but the sources are silent about their actual fate. BN, CL 767, fols. 89r ;
BN, NAF 8446, fol. 44v.
A sentence is defined here as ‘heavy’ when it involved a punishment more severe than banishment for five years (for instance, sending a defendant to the galleys), and/or a fine of more than 5,000 livres. A ‘medium’ sentence involved banishment for less than five years, and/or a fine of less than 5,000 livres. A ‘light’ sentence refers to being censured (admonêté or blâmé), sometimes accompanied by a small fine. ‘Pending further inquiry’ refers to sentences where final judgement was postponed until investigators could be plus amplement informé. The defendant who received an amnesty – Victor Fournier, an entrepreneur général de la fourniture des armées in Charlesville accused of fraud in his arms deliveries to the crown – did so after fleeing and being judged by the Chamber in absentia. He returned only after an amnesty was offered by royal declaration in September 1716 to financial wrongdoers in return for paying a taxe or special fine. Fournier paid 50,000 livres. BN, NAF 8445, fol. 29lr.
BN, CL 767, fols. 247-248.
For instance, the Chamber found the accusations against the trésorier Pierre Haguelon “calumnious” and ordered his release. BN, CL 770, fols. 35-36.
In 1736, the earliest year for which data is available, the Parlement of Paris dismissed 21 percent of its cases. In that same year, little more than 6 percent of cases were dismissed in provincial courts, and none in the Châtelet. Later in the century, the Parlement dismissed cases at an even lower rate. In 1787, less than 10 percent of cases there were dismissed. Andrews (1994, pp. 482 & 484).
The literature is vast, but see in particular Beik (1985) ; Chapman (2004) ; Kettering (1986) ; Kettering (2002) ; Le Roy Ladurie (2001) ; Mettam (1988).
Dessert (1984, pp. 279-310, 1987, pp. 231-262) ; Mongrédien (1956).
Buvat (1865, pp. 129-130 & 144) ; Dangeau (1854-1860, 17, p. 36).
BA, MS 2650, p.15 (second series).
Goldner (2008, pp. 155-156).
Dessert (1984, pp. 199-201).
BM, MS 2347, pp. 387-391.
The Chamber-ordered auction of Paparel’s carriages, paintings, and fine wines, as well as a subsequent sale of assets at his grand country estate, are indications of his fortune. Buvat (1865, pp. 141-142 & 163).
BM, MS 2347, p. 432.
Marion (1914, p. 74).
Sources identify a number of these defendants with multiple professions or occupations, so there is some degree of overlap in the table’s categories.
Dessert (1984, pp. 59-65 & 82-107) ; Goldner (2008, pp. 263-350).
Dessert (1984, p. 526) ; BN, CL 767, fols. 198-203.
BN, CL 767, fols. 199r.
Dessert (1984, p. 526).
Andrews (1994, pp. 432 & 427).
Over one hundred witnesses, for example, gave testimony in the investigation of Jean Lempereur’s alleged misdeeds in his administration of the Amiens militia. BM, MS 2347, p. 376.
As in Table 2, there is some overlap in the categories, as many cases involved more than one area in which wrongful activity was alleged to have taken place.
On agiotage, see Höfer (1992, pp. 2-8).
Due to the state of the evidence, the findings of Table 4 are approximate. The Chamber’s arrêst do not always indicate the charges that individual defendants faced. I have based this table on explicit references to particular crimes in the Chamber’s rulings, though I have supplemented this when certain crimes are clearly implied in the arrêst or related sources. Defendants were often accused of more than one crime ; there is thus a degree of overlap in the enumeration of the charges here.
For more on the terms contemporaries used for wrongdoing in royal finance – terms like concussion, malversation, and the like – see Génaux (2002, 2003).
BA, MS 2650, p. 15.
For this and other examples of royal interference in previous Chambers, see Bayard (1988, pp. 329-330).
Guillaume de Lamoignon (1617-1677) was removed in December 1662 and replaced with the reputedly more pliable Chancellor Séguier. Bluche (1960, p. 123, 2005, pp. 291-292 & 823).
BM, MS 2347, endnote 1, p. 6 ; BN, NAF 8442, p. 33 ; BN, CL 767, fol. 111r.
Noailles to the archbishop of Tours, 22 March 1716, BN, MF 6929, fol. 194r ; and the same to Françoise d’Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon, 23 March 1716, BN, MF 6929, fol. 194v.
Noailles to Fourqueux, 24 October 1716, BN, MF 6938, 16r ; the same to Fourqueux, 8 December 1716, BN, MF 6939, fols. 5v-6r ; Noailles’ registres des renvois for 1716–1717 in Archives nationales, G7 745-746.
BN, NAF 8442, pp. 12 & 20.
BN, MF 13684, fol. 124r ; BM, MS 2347, endnote 7, pp. 32-33.
BN, CL 767, fols. 224-225 ; BM, MS 2347, p.188 ; Noailles to Fourqueux, 20 May 1716, BN, MF 6935, fol. 33r.
Marion (1914, p. 64).
BM, MS 2347, p. 212.
BN, CL 767, fols. 257v-58r & 259v.
BN, CL 767, fol. 258.
Bayard (1974, pp. 126-129) ; Dessert (1984, p. 255).
BN, MF 7769, p. 255.
BN, CL 767, fol. 257v.
For manuscript copies of the rolls of financiers and their fines, see BN, CL 768-770.
BN, MF 7769, pp. 258-259.
BM, MS 2347, pp. 320–321 ; Cheype (1975, pp.181-182) ; BN, MF 10962, pp. 351-352 & 357 ; BN, CL 767, fol. 263r.
BM, MS 2347, pp. 322–323, 335, 340-341 & 343-359 ; BN, CL 767, fols. 265v–266v, 267v ; BN, MF 10962, pp. 357-358 & 361-368 ; Dangeau (1854-1860, 16, p. 460).
BN, MF 10962, pp. 456-457.
BN, MF 13779, fol. 163.
BA, MS 2650, p. 4.
BN, CL 770, fols. 114-116.
BN, MF 7586, fols. 361v-362v.
The conviction of Gruet in December 1716 is one prominent example.
BA, MS 2650, p. 4.
Buvat (1865, p. 139).
Boislisle, Brotonne (1874, pp. 684-687).
BA, MS 2650, p. 3.
Goldner (2008, pp. 42-114).
For the sense that French high-court judges had of their own importance and mission, see especially Krynen (2009).
For the revisionist or collaborationist view of French absolute monarchy, see especially Beik (1985) ; Parker (1983, 1996). For a recent restatement, see Beik (2005). For a survey of the historiography, see Cosandey, Descimon (2002). For indications of where the literature is currently headed, particularly in its intersection with legal and social history, see Breen (2011).
BN, NAF 8442, p. 62.
BM, MS 2347, endnote 14, p. 104.
Goldner (2008, pp. 430-466).
On Law, see especially Faure (1977) ; Murphy (1997). See also Goldner (2008, pp. 471-489).
Bosher (1970, pp. 304-305) ; Chaussinand-Nogaret (1993) ; Durand (1996) ; Goldner (2008, pp. 490-517).Haut de page