Tuesday, January 24, 2012

François de Broglie

Charles François de Broglie, marquis de Ruffec (19 August 1719 – Saint-Jean-d'Angély, 16 August 1781), second son of François-Marie de Broglie, 1st duc de Broglie, was a French soldier and diplomat from a distinguished French military family.

He served for some years in the army, and afterwards became one of the foremost diplomats in the service of Louis XV. He served as ambassador extraordinary to Poland (1752–56), was recalled at the outbreak of the Seven Years War, was made a Chevalier des Ordres du Roi (1757), a lieutenant général (1760), commandant in Franche-Comté (1761–62), then after the peace, Governor of Saumurois (1770). He is chiefly remembered in connection with the secret du Roi, the private—as distinct from the official—diplomatic service of Louis XV, of which he was the ablest and most important member. He held the post of premier colonel of grenadiers.

The marquis de Ruffec organized the famous diner de Metz (8 August 1775), when the young marquis de La Fayette was convinced by the guest of honour, the visiting Duke of Gloucester, George III's brother, that the insurgents' revolt in America was in some measure justified. Broglie-Ruffec was involved with Beaumarchais in devising a scheme to offer secret support to the American Revolution in its early stages.
His funeral monument is in the cathedral of Angoulême. His portrait, painted by the Norman Michel Hubert Descours in 1762, is at the château of Bourdeilles.

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