Duc de Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy

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duc de Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy Gender: M
born on 16 January 1675 (greg.) at 00:00 (= 12:00 midnight )
Place Paris, France, 48n52, 2e20
Timezone LMT m2e20 (is local mean time)
Data source
Rectified from approx. time
Rodden Rating C
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 26°04' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 22°06 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 18°30'

Louis de Rouvroy duc de Saint-Simon


French soldier, statesman, and writer: his Mémoires are an outstanding account of the period 1694-1723, during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV.

As a young aristocrat, he studied horsemanship and fencing as much as letters and entered the elite King's Musketeers at the age of 16. Three years later, apparently inspired by the memoirs of Marshal Bassompierre and others, which he read in the field, he began making notes for memoirs of his own.

Passed over for promotion in 1702, Saint-Simon abandoned his military career and went to live at the court of Versailles. He apparently continued to make notes and read extensively in the works of other memorialists and historians, to the point that his fellow courtiers often consulted him on questions of history, genealogy, and courtetiquette. However, both his resignation from the army and his sometimes unwelcome knowledge of court traditions irritated Louis XIV, who excluded him from any official post for the rest of his reign.

After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, Saint-Simon played an important role as public and private counselor to the regent, Philippe II d'Orléans, retiring upon the death of the latter in 1723. After spending several years on such other historical projects as his Notes on the Dukedoms and Peer-ages and his Additions to the Marquis of Dangeau's Journal, he began revising and writing out his Memoirs in 1739.

In the Memoirs, Saint-Simon's observations allowed him to describe vividly both the elegance and the corruption of the court of Versailles. Despite some errors of fact and interpretation, his knowledge of history made him aware of the breakdown of traditional checks and balances that underlay Louis XIV's royal absolutism and which was to lead, in the next century, to the French Revolution. Saint-Simon's intensely written accounts of court intrigues and such events as the deaths of the Grand Dauphin, the Duke of Burgundy, and Louis XIV himself - as well as his incisive word portraits of his fellow courtiers - make him perhaps the world's greatest writer on the prestige, the ambitions, the uncertainties, and the ironies of public life. He completed his Memoirsin 1752.

Saint-Simon died on 2 March 1755, in Paris.

Link to Wikipedia biography



Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes his memoirs: "Mémoires complets et authentiques du Duc de Saint-Simon sur le siècle de Louis XIV et la régence, Volume 1" (Delloye, 1840), p. 19: "Je suis né dans la nuit du 15 au 16 janvier 1675 de Claude, duc de Saint-Simon, pair de France, et de sa seconde femme Charlotte de L'Aubépine, unique de ce lit." [Translation: I was born on the night of January 15-16, 1675, to Claude, Duke of Saint-Simon, a peer of France, and his second wife de L'Aubépine].

Original source notes: Taeger quotes Penfield quoting Barbault [for 16 January 1675 at 12:10 AM]. Lescaut has the time 23.55 for 15 January 1675, source unknown.


  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political
  • Vocation : Writers : Biographer
  • Notable : Famous : Socialite