State of the French Government: Louis XVI attempts Reform, 1776-8

Etat des gouvernemens tant généraux que particuliers et des Etats Majors du Royaume déterminés par le Roi Louis XVI suivant l’Ordonnance de sa Majesté du 18 mars 1776.


Price: $12,500.00

About the item

Manuscript book. Pages ruled in green and brown borders. [5], 101, [3] ff. 1 vols. 8vo. State of the French Government: Louis XVI attempts Reform, 1776-8. Contemporary dark brown morocco gilt, arms of Louis XVI on upper and lower covers within gilt ruled borders with fleurs-de-lys at corners, spine gilt with fleurs-de-lys, morocco label, a.e.g. Short start in foot of upper joint, else fine. Bookplates of Mortimer L. Schiff, Henry du Rosnel, and three others.

Item #247863

In a law dated 18 March 1776, Louis XVI attempted to rationalize the organization of provincial governments, and the present manuscript is the resulting report on the actual ranks and classes of the various provincial government officials. The principal governors are listed by name, with emoluments, and the ranks and numbers of subordinate officials are also noted. The principality of Monaco, a French protectorate, gives genealogical information in addition to the names and fiscal details. The government of Corsica is described as the last of the second class provinces (ff. 99-101). The manuscript includes a table of contents for the provinces and concludes with six pages of financial summaries.
This volume is of particular interest as it documents the French military and civil hierarchy on the eve of French involvement in the American Revolution. Notable figures with connections to the French participation include the Maréchal le Duc de Broglie, governor of Metz, who refused Lafayette’s request to join. The Duc de Broglie was also patron of the Baron de Kalb. The Duc de Noailles, governor of the royal house at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, was the grandfather of Lafayette’s wife. The comte de Rochambeau, not named here, was appointed in 1776 as governor of Villefranche; his rank is given as Major-Commandant, 2,600 livres.
Rare and beautiful and dense with information on French administrative practice under the ancien régime.