Geneviève Petau de Maulette

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Madame Geneviève Pétau de Maulette, Lady Glenluce (c. 1563–1643) was a French noblewoman, tutor to Elizabeth of Bohemia, author and the second wife of John Gordon, D.D., Dean of Salisbury and Lord Glenluce and Longormes.


Pétau was born in Brittany, France. Her parentage is not known for sure, but she was probably the daughter of François Pétau, seigneur de Maulette.[1][2]

Pétau was raised a Protestant, and in 1594 she married Dr. John Gordon, a prominent Scottish reverend who was Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the French king.[1]

Family tradition holds that Lady Glenluce served as the French instructor to the eldest daughter of King James I and Queen Anne of Denmark, Princess Elizabeth.[1]

lady Geneviève died on 6 December 1643 at Gourdonstoun [sic], Moray, and was buried at the Michael Kirk in the old churchyard of Oggston in the parish of Drainie, Moray.[1]


Lady Geneviève is remembered for her work in French entitled, Devoreux, Vertues Teares for the Losse of King Henry III of Fraunce, by a learned gentlewoman, Madame Geneviève Petau. The poem praises Henry III of France and an English nobleman, Walter Devereux.[3] The work was written some time after the end of the siege of Rouen in late 1591 and before it was translated into English in 1597 by Gervase Markham.[4][5]


Lady Geneviève and her husband had one child, Lucie or Louise (1597–1680), who married Sir Robert Gordon, 1st Baronet of Gordonstoun,[1] fourth son of 12th Earl of Sutherland;[6] they had a daughter Katherine, who was mother of the Quaker Robert Barclay.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mullan 2008, Gordon, John.
  2. ^ But she may have been the daughter of Gideon Pétau, sieur de Maule and "first president" of the Parlement of Brittany (Mullan 2008, Gordon, John).
  3. ^ Cox 2004, p. [page needed].
  4. ^ Prescott 2008, Mary Sidney's Antonius ....
  5. ^ Cox 2004, p. [page needed].
  6. ^ Stevenson, David. "Gordon, Sir Robert, of Gordonstoun". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11075.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)