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Q: The Household of Marie-Antionette 1789 ;Dames du Palais ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: The Household of Marie-Antionette 1789 ;Dames du Palais
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: dutch38-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 11 Nov 2004 04:15 PST
Expires: 11 Dec 2004 04:15 PST
Question ID: 427494
In Google's `alt.royalty` sites if you put `Duchesse de Beauvilliers`
into the search facility it will produce a few listings one of which
discusses the staff & pensions paid to `dames du Palais` employed
during the reign of king Louis XVI.It lists those employed in 1784 for
example .I am trying to locate info of those employed at the time of
October 1789 when Versailles ceased to be the home of the court.The
author of this reply indicates a source of information held on the
internet of staff etc & mentions a hope to produce a thesis upon that
subject .I have tried unsucessfully to locate this & hence,the staff
employed .I am interested in knowing who was in employment in Oct 1789
,in residence and if they accompanied & continued to serve when the
monarchs were transported to the Palace of the Tuilleries
thereafter.Some of this I have supported with a map of the interior of
Versailles citing suites occupied etc.

Liking history is nagging curiosity to learn more ,especially the
finer points & the less popular details.

Any list of names etc

Request for Question Clarification by leli-ga on 12 Nov 2004 06:37 PST
Dear dutch38

I've had a look at the volumes of parliamentary archives mentioned in
the alt.royalty discussion, and found they are full of information
which isn't really relevant to your interests. I'm afraid it would be
a huge job to work through them looking for dames de palais in one
particular year. The information is mainly about the money paid to
various royal servants, soldiers, sailors etc. during the reign of
Louis XVI and there would only be scraps of information about their
duties. One example, taken at random, says that Jean-Baptiste Tenaille
was paid 100 livres (pounds) in 1770 for his services as bodyguard to
the king.

The lists are divided into seven pension levels, with names in
alphabetical order, which doesn't help find anything by year or by job
title. Unfortunately, this means we couldn't give you any interesting
information about what was going on in 1789, or offer a list of names
of dames du palais. All I could offer would be to help you locate the
right volumes, give advice about navigating the rather unusual, and
sometimes frustrating, website, and perhaps help with some key terms
in French.

If by any chance this would be of use to you, and you would like an
answer which would just help you to get started, please let me know.

Thanks - Leli

Clarification of Question by dutch38-ga on 16 Nov 2004 11:50 PST
FAO Leli -Ga,

Thank you for your reply .If you could send the directions to find the
info that would be appreciated.

Once received, I think this will suffice my question & provide plenty
more info on the forgotton incidental persons of thie era & then I
will be happy to notify `google` so you can claim the `fee` offered .

Subject: Re: The Household of Marie-Antionette 1789 ;Dames du Palais
Answered By: leli-ga on 17 Nov 2004 05:56 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello again Dutch - and thank you for your message.

I used the information in this royalty newsgroup discussion:
to lead me to three volumes of French Parliamentary Archives listing
pensions paid during Louis XVI's reign, and a book by Guyot, published
between 1786 and 1788, which includes some description of the royal
household. These are all available through the Gallica section of the
French National Library website.

I hope the links I give will take you directly to the volumes you
want, but if not, there are instructions further down the page for
getting there by a slower method.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer to read these
books. If by any chance you don't have it, it is available here free:          

Parliamentary Archives Vol. 13 - Archives Parlementaires Tome XIII

Parliamentary Archives Vol. 14 - Archives Parlementaires Tome XIV

Parliamentary Archives Vol. 15 - Archives Parlementaires Tome XV

Guyot's "Traité des droits, fonctions, franchises, exemptions,
prérogatives et privilèges annexés en France à chaque dignité à chaque
office et à chaque état."

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

It is quite tedious trying to browse through the parliamentary
archives online and I would strongly recommend downloading them to
your own computer. This is the advice given in the newsgroup too. To
do this you must click on "Télécharger". You will then see a page
which offers you the book in PDF format, from the first page to the
last. Just click on "OK".

Next you will see a promise that they are preparing your document
("Votre document est en cours de préparation.") and some yellow dots
acting as a progress indicator. Eventually you will be told it's ready
for download. (" Le document que vous avez demandé est prêt.")
Click on the blue "en cliquant ici" and now comes the REALLY slow
part. It may take as much as an hour to download just one volume, even
with a broadband connection.

With Guyot's book in four volumes you may choose to download again, or
if you only want his chapter on the Queen's Household you can navigate
fairly easily online, using the table of contents shown beside the
text. Just choose volume 2, "Maison de la Reine", page 241.

If you have problems with the direct links to the books above, this is
the way to perform the initial search yourself.

Go to:

Click on "recherche" (search)

In the search box by "Mots du titre" (title), type "Archives
parlementaires " and then click on "Rechercher"

This will bring up a long list of volumes of parliamentary archives.
The volumes recommended in the newsgroup message are numbered 50, 51
and 52, even though they were originally volumes 15, 14 and 13. In
French this is Tome XV, Tome XIV and Tome XIII.

To reach them, click on the little book symbol beside the title.

For Guyot just put his name by "auteur", and "Traité des droits" for the "titre".

To see the library's troubleshooting suggestions for problems with
using the website click on "Aide" and scroll down to click on

Once you have overcome the awkwardness of accessing these materials, I
hope you will find they are rich historical resources. They seem to be
full of interesting details of palace life before the revolution.

As it says towards the end of the royalty newsgroup discussion:

"The Archives Parlementaires are a good documentary resource on the Old Regime,
as much was discussed and published in the process of reforming or destroying."

You may also want to note the way the pensions material is organised:

"On the pensions, they were published in volumes 13, 14 and 15 of the Archives 
Parlementaires, sorted in 7 groups (and alphabetical within group) by size of
total pensions; there is no index, so if one is looking for a name one must
check all 7 classes."

Please let me know if I can clarify anything for you. 

Enjoy the books and I hope you make many interesting discoveries!

Best Wishes - Leli

PS The payment system is automatic now I have answered. You won't need
to do anything, thank you.
dutch38-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Although the researcher felt she had not fully answered the question,
they had directed me to a source where the answers -if they exist -
are most likely to be found.The result was greater stimulation on the
sphere of my interest.

Subject: Re: The Household of Marie-Antionette 1789 ;Dames du Palais
From: amber00-ga on 13 Nov 2004 14:30 PST
The memoirs of Madame du Campan might be useful. she was a lady in
waiting to Marie Antoinette, and later started a school. She also
advised Napoleon on matters of protocol.

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