Count de Maurepas – French Crown Minister – 1701

Count de Maurepas – French Crown Minister – 1701

The ministers were his father, grandfather and several relatives, and from a young age he was prepared to succeed his father in a high political position.

On July 9, 1701, Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux, Count de Maurepas, a powerful French minister, was born. His Phélypeaux family had previously played an important role in French politics for decades. Namely, his father Jérôme Phélypeaux (Count de Pontchartrain) was also a minister, and his grandfather Louis Phélypeaux was a minister, chief financial officer and French chancellor. It was an interesting case in which the ministerial position (the position of Secretary of State) was hereditary. Thus Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux was prepared from a young age to succeed his father in a high political position.

Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux was born in Versailles, and at the age of 17 he became Secretary of State in charge of the Royal Household (French: Secrétaire d’État à la Maison du Roi). He later became Secretary of State for the Navy (French: Secrétaire d’État à la Marine). At a more mature age, he even became a kind of first minister (prime minister) of King Louis XVI of France, although such a position did not formally exist.

In addition to the title of Count de Maurepas, Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux inherited his father’s former title of Count de Pontchartrain. Both of these titles referred to estates near Versailles (Maurepas is about 14 kilometers from Versailles and Pontchartrain about 16). Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux lived until 1781, and died at the age of 81 in his native Versailles, at the time of the famous Queen Marie Antoinette.

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