Anne Nompar de Caumont

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caricature from 1791

Anne Jacobée Nompar de Caumont de La Force, Countess of Balbi (19 August 1753 – 3 April 1842), was a mistress of the Count of Provence, who later became Louis XVIII.

Life[edit]

Family[edit]

Anne was born in the Chateau La Force, the daughter of the Marquis de Caumont de la Force, an official at the court of King Louis XV and First Gentleman of the Bedchamber for the Count of Provence, and Adelaide-Luce-Madeleine Galard Brassac, governess of the children of the Count of Artois. She was married to the Count of Balbi, with whom she had four daughters.


Mistress of the Count of Provence[edit]

Anne was described as a witty and humorous beauty, but also attracted enemies with her relentlessness. She became the lady-in-waiting of the Countess of Provence, allegedly because she wanted to become the Count's lover. It is alleged that the Count made Anne his mistress because of his anger over his wife's love for Marguerite de Gourbillon. Anne's husband, who protested against their relationship, was declared insane and imprisoned in a mental asylum by the Count. He created a garden at Versailles in 1785, named Balbi after her.


Separation and final years[edit]

The Countess of Balbi left France together with the count and his consort in 1791. She is said to have participated in planning their escape. When the count and the countess split their travel routes in Mons, she was forced to follow the latter to Savoy, since she was her courtier. During the separation, she gave birth to twins: because of the time chronology, they could not have been the children of the Count of Provence, which made him end the relationship. She lived in England until 1802, when her name was removed from the list of émigrées. She returned to France, where she laid claims on the fortune of her spouse, and lived with her brother in the countryside until her death.

She died in Paris in 1842 three years before her husband.