List of Naval Ministers of France

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One of France's Secretaries of State under the ancien régime was entrusted with control of the French Navy (Secretary of State of the Navy (France). In 1791, this title was changed to Minister of the Navy. Before the 1890s, this position also usually had responsibility for France's colonies, and was usually known as Minister of the Navy and Colonies. In 1947 the naval ministry was absorbed into the Ministry of Defence and reports to the Prime Minister of France and the President of the French Republic at the Elysee Palace.

History[edit]

The two French royal fleets (the Ponant fleet and Levant fleet) were put under the control of Colbert from 1662, whilst he was "intendant des finances" and "minister of state" -- but not "secretary of state" : he only became secretary of state in 1669 after having bought his way into the post. From then on, right up to the French Revolution, a secretary of state had responsibility for the fleet.

The secretary of state was responsible for the administration of both the navy (the "marine royale") and civilian (merchant marine) fleets, and for all France's ports, arsenals, consulates, and colonies, as well as the guardianship for all her commercial companies.

To his two original offices (the bureau du Ponant and bureau du Levant) other services were added over time:

  • archives department, 1669 ;
  • office of the Ponant consulates, 1709 ;
  • office of the colonies, 1710 ;
  • bureau des classes, 1711 ;
  • department of maps and plans, 1720 ;
  • Office of the Levant Consulates, 1738, which was in 1743 merged with the Office of the Ponant Consulates under the name of Office of Commerce and Consulates

These different offices and departments were regrouped into four super-departments by marshal de Castries in 1786.

Secretaries of State for the Navy, 1547-1790[edit]

Secretary Began Ended
Côme Clausse, seigneur de Marchaumont 14 September 1547 1558
Florimond II Robertet, seigneur de Fresnes 1558 October 1567
Claude de l’Aubespine, seigneur d’Hauterive 1 April 1547 1567
Jacques Bourdin, seigneur de Villeines 1558 1567
Martin Ruze, seigneur de Beaulieu 15 September 1588 6 November 1613
Antoine de Loménie, seigneur de la Ville aux Clercs 7 November 1613 10 August 1615 (he left the post on this date, but retained the precedence and the functions)
Henri Auguste de Loménie, seigneur de la Ville aux Clercs 13 July 1615 February 1643
Henry de Guénegaud, marquis de Plancy 23 March 1643 1662
Hugues de Lionne, marquis de Fresne 4 February 1662 1669
Jean-Baptiste Colbert 7 March 1669 1683
Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay September 1683 3 November 1690
Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain 7 November 1683 6 September 1699
Jérôme Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain 6 September 1699 1 October 1715
Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse and Victor Marie d'Estrées (Presidents of the Council of Marine) 1 October 1715 24 September 1718
Joseph Jean Baptiste Fleuriau d'Armenonville 24 September 1718 28 February 1722
Charles Jean-Baptiste Fleuriau, comte de Morville 28 February 1722 16 August 1723
Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux, comte de Maurepas 16 August 1723 23 April 1749
Antoine Louis Rouillé 30 April 1749 24 July 1754
Jean Baptiste de Machault D'Arnouville 24 July 1754 1 February 1757
François Marie Peyrenc de Moras 1 February 1757 31 May 1758
Claude Louis d'Espinchal, marquis de Massiac 31 May 1758 31 October 1758
Nicolas René Berryer 31 October 1758 13 October 1761
Étienne François, duc de Choiseul 13 October 1761 10 April 1766
César Gabriel de Choiseul-Chevigny, duc de Praslin 10 April 1766 24 December 1770
Joseph Marie Terray 24 December 1770 9 April 1771
Pierre Étienne Bourgeois de Boynes 9 April 1771 20 July 1774
Anne Robert Jacques Turgot 20 July 1774 24 August 1774
Antoine de Sartine 24 August 1774 13 October 1780
Charles Eugène Gabriel de La Croix, marquis de Castries 13 October 1780 24 August 1787
Armand Marc, comte de Montmorin Saint-Hérem 25 August 1787 24 December 1787
César Henri, comte de La Luzerne 24 December 1787 13 July 1789
Arnaud de Laporte 13 July 1789 16 July 1789
César Henri, comte de La Luzerne 16 July 1789 26 October 1790

Ministers of the Navy and the Colonies, 1790-1893[edit]

Minister Began Ended
Charles Pierre Claret de Fleuriau 26 October 1790 17 May 1791
Antoine Jean Marie Thévenard 17 May 1791 18 September 1791
Claude Antoine Valdec de Lessart 18 September 1791 7 October 1791
Antoine François, comte Bertrand de Molleville 7 October 1791 16 March 1792
Jean de Lacoste 16 March 1792 21 July 1792
François Joseph de Gratet, vicomte Dubouchage 21 July 1792 10 August 1792
Gaspard Monge 10 August 1792 10 April 1793
Jean Dalbarade (commissioner from 20 April 1794) 10 April 1793 2 July 1795
Jean-Claude Redon de Beaupréau (commissioner) 2 July 1795 4 November 1795
Laurent Jean François Truguet 4 November 1795 15 July 1797
Georges René Le Peley de Pléville 15 July 1797 27 April 1798
Eustache Bruix 27 April 1798 4 March 1799
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord 7 March 1799 2 July 1799
Marc Antoine Bourdon de Vatry 2 July 1799 22 November 1799
Pierre Alexandre Laurent Forfait 22 November 1799 3 October 1801
Denis Decrès 3 October 1801 1 April 1814
Pierre Victor, baron Malouet 3 April 1814 7 September 1814
Jacques, comte Beugnot 7 September 1814 20 March 1815
Denis, duc Decrès 20 March 1815 7 July 1815
François Arnail, comte de Jaucourt 9 July 1815 26 September 1815
François Joseph de Gratet, vicomte Dubouchage 26 September 1815 23 June 1817
Laurent, Marquis de Gouvion Saint-Cyr 23 June 1817 12 September 1817
Mathieu Louis, comte Molé 12 September 1817 29 December 1818
Pierre Barthélemy, baron Portal 29 December 1818 14 December 1821
Aimé, duc de Clermont-Tonnerre 14 December 1821 4 August 1824
Christophe, comte de Chabrol de Crouzol 4 August 1824 3 March 1828
Jean-Guillaume, baron Hyde de Neuville 3 March 1828 8 August 1829
Henri Gauthier, comte de Rigny 8 August 1829 23 August 1829
Charles Lemercier de Longpré, baron d'Haussez 23 August 1829 31 July 1830
Henri Gauthier, comte de Rigny 31 July 1830 11 August 1830
Horace François Bastien, baron Sébastiani 11 August 1830 17 November 1830
Antoine, comte d'Argout 17 November 1830 13 March 1831
Henri Gauthier, comte de Rigny 13 March 1831 4 April 1834
Albin Reine, baron Roussin 4 April 1834 19 May 1834
Louis Léon, comte Jacob 19 May 1834 10 November 1834
Charles, baron Dupin 10 November 1834 18 November 1834
Victor Guy, baron Duperré 18 November 1834 6 September 1836
Claude Charles Marie du Campe de Rosamel 6 September 1836 31 March 1839
Jean Marguerite Tupinier 31 March 1839 12 May 1839
Victor Guy, baron Duperré 12 May 1839 1 March 1840
Albin Reine, baron Roussin 1 March 1840 29 October 1840
Victor Guy, baron Duperré 29 October 1840 7 February 1843
Albin Reine, baron Roussin 7 February 1843 24 July 1843
Ange René Armand, baron de Mackau 24 July 1843 9 May 1847
Louis Napoléon Lannes, duc de Montebello 9 May 1847 24 February 1848
François Arago 24 February 1848 11 May 1848
Joseph Grégoire Cazy 11 May 1848 28 June 1848
Jules Bastide 28 June 1848 17 July 1848
Raymond-Jean-Baptiste de Verninac Saint-Maur 17 July 1848 20 December 1848
Alexandre César Victor Charles Destutt de Tracy 20 December 1848 31 October 1849
Joseph Romain-Desfossés 31 October 1849 9 January 1851
Théodore Ducos 9 January 1851 24 January 1851
Auguste Nicolas Vaillant 24 January 1851 10 April 1851
Justin de Chasseloup-Laubat 10 April 1851 26 October 1851
Hippolyte Fortoul 26 October 1851 3 December 1851
Théodore Ducos 3 December 1851 17 April 1855
Ferdinand Hamelin 19 April 1855 24 November 1860
Justin de Chasseloup-Laubat 24 November 1860 20 January 1867
Charles Rigault de Genouilly 20 January 1867 4 September 1870
Léon Martin Fourichon 4 September 1870 19 February 1871
Louis Marie Alexis Pothuau 19 February 1871 25 May 1873
Charles Dompierre d'Hormoy 25 May 1873 22 May 1874
Louis Raymond de Montaignac de Chauvance 22 May 1874 9 March 1876
Léon Martin Fourichon 9 March 1876 17 May 1877
Albert Gicquel des Touches 17 May 1877 23 November 1877
Albert Roussin 23 November 1877 13 December 1877
Louis Marie Alexis Pothuau 13 December 1877 4 February 1879
Jean Bernard Jauréguiberry 4 February 1879 29 January 1880
Georges Charles Cloué 29 January 1880 14 November 1881
Auguste Gougeard (Marine only) 14 November 1881 30 January 1882
Jean Bernard Jauréguiberry 30 January 1882 29 January 1883
François de Mahy 31 January 1883 31 February 1883
Charles Brun 31 February 1883 9 August 1883
Alexandre Louis François Peyron 9 August 1883 6 April 1885
Charles Eugène Galiber 6 April 1885 7 January 1886
Théophile Aube 7 January 1886 30 May 1887
Édouard Barbey 30 May 1887 12 December 1887
François de Mahy 12 December 1887 5 January 1888
Jules-François-Émile Krantz 5 January 1888 22 February 1889
Benjamin Jaurès 22 February 1889 13 March 1889
Jules François Émile Krantz (Marine only) 19 March 1889 10 November 1889
Édouard Barbey (Marine only) 10 November 1889 27 February 1892
Godefroy Cavaignac (Marine only to 8 March 1892) 27 February 1892 8 March 1892
Auguste Burdeau 8 March 1892 11 January 1893

Naval Ministers, 1893-1947[edit]

Minister Began Ended
Adrien, Barthélemy, Louis, Henri Rieunier 12 January 1893 3 December 1893
Auguste Alfred Lefèvre 3 December 1893 30 May 1894
Félix Faure 30 May 1894 17 January 1895
Armand Louis Charles Gustave Besnard 17 January 1895 1 November 1895
Édouard Locroy 1 November 1895 29 April 1896
Armand Louis Charles Gustave Besnard 29 April 1896 28 June 1898
Édouard Locroy 28 June 1898 22 June 1899
Jean-Marie de Lanessan 22 June 1899 7 June 1902
Charles Camille Pelletan 7 June 1902 24 January 1905
Gaston Thomson 24 January 1905 22 October 1908
Alfred Picard 22 October 1908 24 July 1909
Augustin Boué de Lapeyrère 24 July 1909 2 March 1911
Théophile Delcassé 2 March 1911 21 January 1913
Pierre Baudin 21 January 1913 9 December 1913
Ernest Monis 9 December 1913 20 March 1914
Armand Gauthier de l'Aude 20 March 1914 9 June 1914
Émile Chautemps 9 June 1914 13 June 1914
Armand Gauthier de l'Aude 13 June 1914 3 August 1914
Victor Augagneur 3 August 1914 29 October 1915
Lucien Lacaze 29 October 1915 2 August 1917
Charles Chaumet 2 August 1917 16 November 1917
Georges Leygues 16 November 1917 20 January 1920
Adolphe Landry 20 January 1920 16 January 1921
Gabriel Guist'hau 16 January 1921 15 January 1922
Flaminius Raiberti 15 January 1922 29 March 1924
Maurice Bokanowski 29 March 1924 9 June 1924
Désiré Ferry 9 June 1924 14 June 1924
Jacques-Louis Dumesnil 14 June 1924 17 April 1925
Émile Borel 17 April 1925 28 November 1925
Georges Leygues 28 November 1925 19 July 1926
René Renoult 19 July 1926 23 July 1926
Georges Leygues 23 July 1926 21 February 1930
Albert Sarraut 21 February 1930 2 March 1930
Jacques-Louis Dumesnil 2 March 1930 13 December 1930
Albert Sarraut 13 December 1930 27 January 1931
Charles Dumont 27 January 1931 20 February 1932
Georges Leygues 3 June 1932 2 September 1933
Albert Sarraut 6 September 1933 30 January 1934
Louis de Chappedelaine 30 January 1934 9 February 1934
François Piétri 9 February 1934 1 June 1936
Alphonse Gasnier-Duparc 1 June 1936 22 June 1937
César Campinchi 22 June 1937 18 January 1938
William Bertrand 18 January 1938 13 March 1938
César Campinchi 13 March 1938 16 June 1940
François Darlan 16 June 1940 18 April 1942
Gabriel Auphan 18 April 1942 18 November 1942
Jean-Marie Charles Abrial 18 November 1942 26 March 1943
Henri Bléhaut 26 March 1943 19 August 1944
Louis Jacquinot 9 November 1943 21 November 1945