Henriette Anne Louise d'Aguesseau

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Vigée Le Brun: Madame d'Aguesseau, 1789

Henriette Anne Louise d'Aguesseau, Duchess of Noailles, Princess of Tingry (12 February 1737 – 22 July 1794), was the heiress of her grandfather, Henri François d'Aguesseau, and wife of Jean Paul François de Noailles, Count and Duke of Ayen.

Family[edit]

Château de la Grange-Bléneau, her mother's ancestral home

She was the daughter of Jean Baptiste Paulin d'Aguesseau de Fresne, Count of Compans and of Maligny, who married, on 29 February 1736, Anne Louise Françoise du Pré, Dame of la Grange-Bleneau, daughter of Louis Francis du Pré, Lord of La Grange-Bleneau, and Anne Louise Robert de Septeuil.

Her father was successively adviser to the Parliament, Commissioner of the Second Chamber of the Palais Queries, Master of Requests, State Councilor regular in 1734, Dean's Council, and Provost Master of Ceremonies of the Order of the Holy Spirit. Her mother died the day after she was born, on 13 February 1737.[1]

Her paternal grandfather Henri François d'Aguesseau (November 27, 1668 – February 5, 1751) was Chancellor of France three times between 1717 and 1750.

Early life[edit]

Her mother died in childbirth, and after her father remarried, she was educated at the Convent of the Visitation at Saint-Denis, by Mme d'Héricourt.[2] At the age of fourteen, she was educated by her stepmother, Mme d'Aguesseau de Fresnes:

She preferred reading and gardening--into which latter skill she had been initiated, in the park at Fresnes, by her grandfather the chancellor. His death in 1750 came as a dreadful shock to her. She had adored the courteous and attentive old gentleman.[3]

After the death of her grandfather, Henri François d'Aguesseau, she became an heiress. She was married to Jean-Paul-François de Noailles on 25 February 1755. The arranged marriage had been worked out by Adrien-Maurice, 3rd duc de Noailles, who had worked with Chancellor d'Aguesseau.

Hôtel de Noailles[edit]

Hôtel de Noailles in Paris

She maintained a salon at the Hôtel de Noailles, the family residence in Paris.[4] She disapproved of the arranged marriage of her daughter Adrienne with Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, in view of their youth.[5] So after a year's delay while she managed their courtship, they were married at the Hôtel de Noailles.

At the death of her father-in-law, Louis, 4th duc de Noailles, she returned to France. In May 1794, during the Reign of Terror, she was arrested at Hôtel de Noailles and imprisoned in Luxembourg Prison (see Prison du Luxembourg) in Paris. Along with her mother-in-law, Catherine de Cossé-Brissac duchesse de Noailles, and daughter, Anne Jeanne Baptiste Louise vicomtesse d'Ayen, she was guillotined, on 22 July 1794.[6] She was buried in a mass grave of Picpus Cemetery.

The Château de la Grange-Bléneau passed from her maternal grandfather, through her, to her daughter, Adrienne de La Fayette.

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