Marc-Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson

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Not to be confused with Pierre de Voyer d'Argenson, Governor of New France [1]
Marc-Pierre d'Argenson
Marc-Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson

Marc-Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy, comte d'Argenson (August 16, 1696, Paris – August 22, 1764, Paris) was a French politician, son of the 1st Marquis d'Argenson and the younger brother of René Louis d’Argenson. d'Argenson became general lieutenant of the Paris police in 1720, 1737 Intendand of Paris and 1743 secretary of state for war. He successfully helped Maurice de Saxe reorganizing the army, contributing to the victories of 1744 and 1745. After the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, he was active in improving military training and founded the École Militaire in 1751. The Champs Élysées and the Place de la Concorde were planned by him.

D'Argenson supported the Encyclopedists of d'Alembert and Diderot, whose first volumes were dedicated to him and provided his friend Voltaire with material for his Siècle de Louis XIV. A letter written by the booksellers associated with the endeavor appealing for his help in releasing Diderot from prison in 1749 can be found on the ARTFL Encyclopédie Project. [2] He was named an honorary member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1726 and the Academy of Inscriptions in 1748.

He had to resign due the influence of Madame de Pompadour in 1757, was confined to his country seat Ormes and returned to Paris only after the death of his powerful enemy.

Political offices
Preceded by
François Victor le Tonnelier de Breteuil
Secretary of State for War
1743–1757
Succeeded by
Marc-René de Voyer, marquis de Paulmy