Louis-Georges de Bréquigny

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Louis-Georges-Oudard-Feudrix de Bréquigny (22 February 1714 – 3 July 1795), French scholar, was born at Granville, Manche in Normandy.

His first publications were anonymous: an Histoire des revolutions de Genes jusqu'à la paix de 1748 (750), and a series of Vies des orateurs grecs (1752). In 1754 he was given the task of completing the work of Eusèbe de Laurière, later continued by Denis-François Secousse, on the Ordonnances des Rois de France de la 3e Race. Secousse had published nine volumes and Bréquigny published five more up to 1790. In 1811, Emmanuel de Pastoret published the last eleven volumes. Elected a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres in 1759, he contributed an Histoire de Posthume empereur des Gaules (vol. XXX., 1760) to the collected works of that illustrious society, and also a Mémoire sur l'établissement de la religion et de l'empire de Mahomet (vol. XXXii., 1761–1763).

After the close of the Seven Years' War he was sent to search in the archives of England for documents bearing upon the history of France, more particularly upon that of the French provinces which once belonged to England. This mission (1764–1766) was very fruitful in results; Bréquigny brought back from it copies of about 7000 documents, which are now in the Bibliothèque Nationale. A useful selection of these documents was published (unfortunately without adequate critical treatment) by Jacques Joseph Champollion-Figeac, under the title Lettres de rois, reines et autres personages des cours de France et d'Angleterre, depuis Louis VII. jusqu'à Henri IV., tires des archives de Londres par Bréquigny (collection of Documents inédits relatifs a l'histoire de France, 2 vols., 1839, 1847).

Bréquigny himself drew the material for many important studies from the rich mine which he had thus exploited. These were included in the collection of the Académie des Inscriptions:

  • Mémoire sur les differends entre la France et Angleterre sous le règne de Charles le Bel (vol. xli.)
  • Mémoire sur la vie de Marie, reine de France, sœur de Henri VIII., roi d'Angleterre (vol. xlii.)
  • four Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de la ville de Calais (vols. xliii. and L)
  • touchant les projets de mariage d’Elisabeth, reine d’Angleterre, d'abord avec le duc d'Anjou, ensuite avec le duc d'Alençon, tous deux frères de Charles IX, roi de France (vol. 1.)

This last was read to the Academy on 22 January 1793, the morrow of Louis XVI's execution. Meanwhile, Bréquigny had taken part in three great and erudite works.

To the Table chronologique des diplômes, chartes, lettres, et actes imprimés concernant l'histoire de France he contributed three volumes in collaboration with Mouchet (1769–1783). Charged with the supervision of a large collection of documents bearing on French history, analogous to Rymer's Foedera, he published the first volume (Diplomata, chartae, epistolae, et alia documenta, ad res Francicas spectantia, etc., 1791). The Revolution interrupted him in his collection of Mémoires concernant l'histoire, les sciences, les lettres, et les arts des Chinois, begun in 1776 at the instance of the minister Bertin, when fifteen volumes had appeared.

See the note on Bréquigny at the end of vol. i. of the Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions (1808); the Introduction to vol. iv. of the Table chronologique des diplômes (1836); Champollion-Figeac's preface to the Lettres des rois et reines; the Comité des travaux historiques, by X Charmes, vol. i. passim; N Oursel, Nouvelle biographie normande (1886); and the Catalogue des manuscrits des collections Duchesne et Bréquigny (in the Bibliothèque Nationale), by René Poupardin (1905).


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bréquigny, Louis Georges Oudard Feudrix de". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.