Hercule-Louis Turinetti, marquis of Prié
The Italian Marquis de Prié was deputy for the absent governor-general, Prince Eugene of Savoy. Prié ruled in a highly despotic manner, which eventually turned the entire country against him. He overhauled the structure of the Brussels central government, replacing the former Council of State, Council of Finance and the Secret Council by one all encompassing Council of State under his own supervision. Because the reluctance of especially the Brabantine elite to cooperate with Prié's new form of government the entire central administration was paralysed for several years, until in 1725 Emperor Charles VI recalled Prié to Vienna upon the resignation of Prié's supporter, Prince Eugene.
Prié also upset the political elites in several towns in the Southern Netherlands. When the labour guilds of Antwerp and Brussels protested vigorously against the government taxes and tried to assert their ancient privileges, Prié caused the aged Frans Anneessens, syndic or chairman of one of these guilds, to be arrested and put to death (1719).
Prié also clashed with Claude Alexandre de Bonneval, the Austrian Master of the ordnance to the Low Countries and had him arrested and imprisoned pending his court martial at which he was convicted and condemned to death. The Emperor commuted the sentence to one year's imprisonment and banishment. De Bonneval then offered his services to the Turkish government, and was appointed to organize and command the Turkish artillery, eventually contributing to the Austrian defeat in the Austrian-Ottoman war.
In the autumn of 1724 Prince Eugene resigned his governorship of the Netherlands, which caused Prié to lose his only support. The Emperor intervened and relieved Prié of his duties. A commission was appointed to examine his rule, but Prié died only a year later, before the commission reached its final conclusions. The Emperor left the office of governor general to his sister Maria-Elisabeth.
- Ghislaine De Boom (1932), Les ministres plénipotentiaires dans les Pays-Bas autrichiens, principalement Cobenzl, Brussels: Académie Royale de Belgique, pp. 17-23
M. Huisman, “Prié, Hercule-Joseph Turinetti, marquis de”, Biographie Nationale, XVIII (1905), pp. 231–243.
Ghislaine De Boom, Les ministres plénipotentaires dans les Pays-Bas autrichiens, principalement Cobenzl, Brussels: Académie Royale de Belgique (1932).
R. Zedinger, Die Verwaltung der Österreichischen Niederlande in Wien (1714 - 1795), Vienna-Cologne-Weimar, Böhlau Verlag (2000).