Dames de la cour

Better and lesser known ladies of Louis XIV's court.

  • Anne-Madeleine de Conty d’Argencourt

    Before Marie Mancini and Louise de La Vallière, Louis XIV, aged tender sixteen, had a fling for a certain Mademoiselle de la Motte-Argencourt. Born in 1637 or 1638 to Pierre de Conty d’Argencourt and Madeleine de Chaumont de Bertichères, Anne-Madeleine de Conty d’Argencourt was around the same age as Louis XIV. She was baptised on September 20 in 1641 and entered the household of Anne d’Autriche later…

  • Bonne de Pons, Marquise d’Heudicourt

    Bonne de Pons was born between 1641 and 1644 in Poitou to Pons de Pons, Seigneur de Bourg-Charente, and his wife Elisabeth de Puyrigaud. Bonne is the youngest of the couple’s three children, having an older brother, Renaud de Pons, and an older sister, Marie Elisabeth de Pons. Bonne’s family was of old nobility and related to many great names, among them César…

  • Marie Mancini, Princesse Colonna

    Anna Maria Mancini, adopted, like her sisters and cousins, the French version of her name, Marie, as she came to France. Born on August 28, 1639, to the Italian aristocrat and necromancer Lorenzo Mancini and Geronima Mazzarini, sister of Cardinal de Mazarin, Marie was the sister of Laure, Olympe, Hortense, Marie Anne and the first love of Louis XIV. Marie spent…

  • Laure Martinozzi, Duchesse de Modène

    Born as Laura Martinozzi on May 27, 1639, Laura adopted the French version of her name, Laure, when setting foot on French soil. She was the oldest daughter of Laura Margherita Mazzarini, sister of Cardinal de Mazarin, and the Italian noble Girolamo Martinozzi da Fano, majordomo to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, nephew of Pope Urban VIII.   Laure came to France…

  • Laure Mancini, Duchesse de Mercœur

    Laure Mancini was the oldest of the five Mancini sisters. Born on May 6, 1636, she was called to France by Cardinal de Mazarin, along with her sister Olympe and cousin Anne-Marie Martinozzi, in 1647.   Upon arriving in France, Laure adopted, like the rest, the French spelling of her name, Laure-Victoire Mancini. Due to the influence of their uncle, Cardinal…

  • Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite d’Aubray, Marquise de Brinvilliers

    Marie-Madeleine Marguerite d’Aubray was born on July 2 in 1630, into a wealthy and well-known noble family. Her father, Antoine Dreux d’Aubray, was a civil lieutenant of the Châtelet during the Fronde. Her mother died in childbirth and, according to reports, Marie Madeleine was sexually abused by three servants as she was seven, then had a incestuous relationship with one of her brothers at the…

  • Claude de Vin des Œillets

    Claude de Vin des Œillets, dite Mademoiselle des Œillets, was born in the Provence in 1637, as daughter of Nicholas de Vin and Alix de Faviot, better known by their stage name des Œillets, both being actors and country comedians, leading a nomadic life.   This lifestyle full of privations came to an end as Nicolas fell ill and died,…

  • Catherine Monvoisin, fortune teller, sorceress and poisoner

    France was shaken by a scandal of enormous proportions in the late 1670’s, l’affaire des poisons, in its center the King, various women of the best noble families of France and a woman called La Voisin.   Catherine Deshayes was born around 1640 and married Antoine Monvoisin, sometimes spelled Montvoison. He was a jeweller with a shop at Pont-Marie, in…

  • Anne-Marie Martinozzi, Princesse de Conti

    Born in 1637, as youngest daughter of Comte Girolamo Martinozzi and Laura Margherita Mazzarini, sister of Cardinal de Mazarin, Anne-Marie came to France in 1648 together with her mother and sister Laura.  Mother and daughters lived first at Aix-en-Provence, then in the Palace of her brother and finally settled at the court of Anne d’Autriche, in the apartment of the…

  • Olympe Mancini, Comtesse de Soissons

    Born on July 11 in 1638, as Olimpia and third child of Lorenzo Mancini and Geronima Mazzarini, sister of Cardinal de Mazarin, Olimpia adopted the French version of her name, Olympe, as she came to France along with her sister Laura Mancini, her brother Paul and cousin Anne Marie Martinozzi. The first set of Marazin relatives in France, which quickly…

  • Hortense Mancini, Duchesse Mazarin

    Born on June 6 in 1646, Ortensia was the second youngest of the Mancini sisters, who along with their Martinozzi cousins were known as les Mazarinettes.   Ortensia was six years old as she arrived in France with her sisters and like them, swiftly adopted the French style of her name, Hortense. She was part of the second group of…

  • Marie-Anne Mancini, Duchesse de Bouillon

    Born in 1649, to Girolama Mazzarini, sister of Cardinal de Mazarin, and Lorenzo Mancini, a Baron and necromancer, Marie-Anne Mancini was the youngest of the five famous Mancini sisters, who along with their Martinozzi cousins became known as the Mazarinettes.   Marie-Anne Mancini was the last to join her sisters, brothers and cousins in France. Aged only 6 upon her…

  • Louise de Kérouaille

    Born on 6 September in 1649, into a noble but relatively poor Breton family, Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kérouaille, was the daughter of Guillaume de Penancoët, Seigneur de Kérouaille, and Marie de Ploeuc de Timeur.   Louise was introduced, at an young age, into the household of Henriette d’Angleterre, Duchesse d’Orléans, sister of Charles II of England, and sister-in-law…

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