Marc-René de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson (1652–1721)
|Marc-René de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson|
4 November 1652|
|Died||8 May 1721
Argenson was born in Venice where his father, also Marc-René, was ambassador. According to tradition, he was declared a godson of the Venetian Republic which accounted for the name Marc (Saint Mark being the patron saint of Venice).
He was minister and lieutenant-general of police for 21 years, from 1697 to 1718. His name is closely linked with the post of Lieutenant General of Police of Paris, which he largely defined, although his predecessor, Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie, was the first to hold that office and many of the innovations attributed to d'Argenson actually originated with de la Reynie. He played a significant role in the attacks on Jansenism in the latter years of Louis XIV, and it was he who expelled the nuns from Port-Royal-des-Champs in 1709.
Under the Régence he served as Garde des Sceaux, a post corresponding with the English Lord Privy Seal, from 1718 to 1720, when he was named president of the Council of Finances by the regent, Philippe, Duke of Orléans. He unsuccessfully tried to save John Law's Mississippi Company scheme from bankruptcy and collapse. As a result, he resigned.
The diarist Saint-Simon described Argenson as a terrifying figure.
- This article incorporates information from the revision as of 2006 of the equivalent article on the French Wikipedia.