Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Royal bodyguard on 6th October - the two who died

Of the two guardsmen killed on 6th October 1789 Jean-François PAGÈS des UTTES ("DESHUTTES") is little more than a name. The genealogical website "Geneanet" gives his date of birth as 1753 and tells us he was one of four brothers who served in the guards. He was seigneur of Neyrestang, a small fief in the parish of Jussieu, near Aurillac in the Auvergne. This may possibly have been his ancestral home.


François ROUPH de VARICOURT, born at Gex in 1760, is much better known, largely because, by coincidence, he was the brother of  Reine-Philiberte Rouph de Varicourt, marquise de Villette (1757-1822), Voltaire's "Belle-et-Bonne". The Varicourts had a strong family tradition of service in the guards: two of the marquise's brothers joined the gardes-du-corps de Beauveau - Claude Gabriel on 28 June 1778 and François on 28 March 1779.  The marquis de Villette, disciple of Voltaire, supported the Revolution and  was elected to the Convention in 1792 but opposed the execution of Louis XVI.   Reine-Philiberte herself was imprisoned for several months during the Terror, suspected of trying to communicate with Marie-Antoinette.

The Villette estate at Pont-Sainte-Maxence was later extensively renovated by the marquise's brother Claude Gabriel. He, or possibly her son Charles-Voltaire, constructed the Orangery - today  a smart restaurant - which still bears a memorial to their brother/uncle François "Sauvez la Reine!" Varicourt.


Notice for the Rouph de Varicourt family on Wikipedia: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famille_Rouph_de_Varicourt

Entry on "geneanet"

Reine-Philiberte Rouph de Varicourt Marquise de Villette,surnommee "Belle et Bonne" par Voltaire (1757-1822).  Brochure prepared by Rene Blanchon (Ville de .Pont-Sainte-Maxence. 20 pgs.) pdf.

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