Louis-Camus Destouches

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Louis-Camus Destouches (1668 – 11 March 1726), usually called Destouches-Canon, was an artillery officer in the French Royal Army.

Military career[edit]

Destouches was a lieutenant-general of the artillery in the Royal Army.[1] He served under Kings Louis XIV and Louis XV, gaining the nickname Canon. He became a chevalier of the ordre de Saint-Lazare in 1690, and a chevalier of the ordre de Saint-Louis in 1720, then commandeur in 1725.


From an affair with his mistress Claudine Guérin de Tencin, Destouches fathered a child in 1717. In later life, would become famous as Jean le Rond d'Alembert, mathematician, philosophe, and co-editor of the Encyclopédie. At first, the child was abandoned to the Church by its mother, but Destouches arranged to have him raised privately by a family of the artisanal class.[2] Destouches then secretly funded his illegitimate son's education, and when he died in Paris in 1726, he left d'Alembert a healthy income of 1,200 livres a year.[3][3]


  1. ^ Davidson, Ian (2012). Voltaire: A Life. New York: Open Road. p. 259. ISBN 9781453226315.
  2. ^ Wilson, Ellen Judy; Reill, Peter Hanns (2004). Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 9780816053353.
  3. ^ Rosenblum, Joseph (2013). Magill, Frank N. (ed.). The 17th and 18th Centuries: Dictionary of World Biography. 4. London: Routledge. p. 30. ISBN 9781135924140.