Antoinette Poisson Pompadour

Pompadour, Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de

mistress of Louis XV (1721-1764). Autograph letter signed ("La M. de Pompadour"). N. p. 4to. 1½ pp. In French.
$ 13,315 / 12.500 € (91345/BN60377)

Highly interesting letter that is part of an affair surrounding the admission of a member of the House of Hénin and courtier of the Marquise de Pompadour to the Order of Malta. Apparently, the bailiff of Saint-Simon, a cousin of the Duc de Saint-Simon and unquestionably a political enemy of the Marquise, tried to prevent the desired admission of Hénin. The Marquise immediately put pen to paper and intervened on behalf of her courtier, casting doubt on the credibility of the detractor. The letter contains "two reflections" on the matter; it accompanied a further letter to a high-ranking Knight Hospitaller, most likely Louis Gabriel de Froulay, ambassador of the Order of Malta to Louis XV: "The 1st, his having been my gentleman, cannot disadvantage Mr.

d'Hennin to enter the Order of Malta, since there is more than one example of dear ones who are admitted, whose fathers had belonged to ladies of the court, and even to titled names. The 2nd, that to serve the King at the table is a very great honour, and that it is usually the governors of the royal houses who are in possession of it, Monsieur the Bailiff of St Simon cannot say what he saw at my table, since he has never been there" (transl.). In closing, she asks the recipient to inform the Grand Master before he makes any decision and announces that M. Rouillé, probably the Secretary of State Antoine Louis Rouillé, will give him "an exact account of the affair". - The intervention appears to have been successful: the Marquise's protégé was probably François-Joseph de Hénin-Liétard (b. 1729), who was received into the Order of Malta on 16 March 1755. - Well preserved..

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