Boys! Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duc de Lauzun | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Boys! Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duc de Lauzun

March 30, 2009

Boys! Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duc de Lauzun

Armand Louis de Gontaut was born April 13, 1747 in Paris. He was born into the title of duc de Lauzun. Later he inherited the title of duc de Biron. He was 'noticed' after writing a intelligent essay on Great Britain's military defenses and after several successful military efforts he became maréchal de camp. But before he was a successful military leader in Connecticut, aiding George Washington, he did a lot of travel and spent a lot of money. Ah the life of the well-to-do!

He found himself betrothed to Amélie de Boufflers when he was just 16. The pairing was an ideal match for the family, as she was incredibly wealthy, and of old noble blood. Being told who he was to marry didn't sit well with the stubborn teen, who had 'promised' himself he would not marry against his will. Did teens always cause drama?

Truth was, he was already popular among the ladies at 16! He had both charisma and good looks, and no boy would want to settle down when he had the world in his hands...

He agreed to go see his bride-to-be while incognito at a ball put on by Madame de Mirepoix. The ball was to begin at 5 and end at 10. The hours were early because all the guest were youths or newly weds, and could not stay out late. Society rules you know! So the duc arrived promptly at five and to his delight he was just fascinated by the beauty of the girl whom he just met. She was charming with a nice figure, and pleasant.

The dismay he felt can probably only really be known to a teenage boy when he found out the lady he had thought was Madamoiselle de Boufflers was not her at all! Instead he was introduced to his future wife, and only saw before him, an undeveloped, polite child, the 13 year old Amélie. Although she was sweet and innocent, he saw her as just what she was, a child. In comparison to the voluptuous tart he had been chatting with, his opinion had been formed and he did not care for Amelie at all.

Of course she grew up and developed, her looks were remarkable! Her elegance only grew with her. The duc spent the 2 years of the engagement playing the fields, keeping lady after lady - only the pretty ones, and was no stranger to dirty reading. It did not take long after the marriage that he tired of his pure and poised wife, and continued to have mistresses.

He was away at war for several periods during the marriage, and placed a lot of importance on his public image. Unfortunately his efforts seemed in vain when, the Reign of Terror began, and he was arrested for lack of civic virtue. He was guillotined when he was 46, December 31, 1793.


  1. Like reading a really good novel! A rich story!


  2. He's such a Enlightenment stereotype! Making "promises" to himself, hitting on random women, reading dirty books, joining the American army, and not meeting the approval of Robespierre et al.

  3. @Joanna - YES. I think the men had just as much drama as the ladies!

    @Eliza - ... OK you have totally nailed it! I am will have to write up some more of these boys...