The Secret of Kings: A Monograph

^159:2 This is the Society mentioned by the Minister Wurmb in the letter quoted.

The Comte de St. Germain, by Isabel Cooper-Oakley, [1912], at

[p. 161]


[p. 162] [p. 163]





Letter from M. Collet, Manager of the Castles of Chambord and of Blois, to the Marquis de Marigny, Director general of the Buildings.

“Chambord, May 10th, 1758.


“I take advantage of the opportunity kindly offered me by the Comte de St. Germain to accompany him to Paris in order to make some arrangements concerning him as well as to transact some business which must be finished by the end of next week. I hope that during those few days you will allow me to wait upon you. . . .

M. de Marigny to M. Collet.

“Marigny, May 19th, 1758.


“I willingly give you permission to profit by the opportunity you have in accompanying the Comte de St. Germain to come to Paris and stay here. . . .”

[p. 164]

M. Collet to the Marquis de Marigny.

“Chambord, Dec. 4th, 1758.


“. . . the Comte de St. Germain arrived at Chambord on Saturday last with two gentlemen. He will stay for five or six days and then goes to Paris, having the kindness to take me with him. I hope as soon as I arrive to have the honour, Sir. . . .”

M. Collet to the Marquis de Marigny.

“Chambord, May 8th, 1758.


“. . . the Comte de St. Germain arrived here on Saturday last, this being his second visit to Chambord: I had two rooms prepared for some of his people as well as three more with kitchens and offices on the ground floor for his accommodation. I have had no alterations made in this part of the Castle but only urgent repairs.”

The Abbe de la Pagerie to M. de Marigny.

“Blois, Aug. 12th, 1758.


“Not being fortunate enough to live sufficiently near to you to pay my respects, I make up for it by writing in order that I may recall myself to your memory. I am most grateful for the civilities with which you have honoured me which will ever remain dear in my memory. I fully appreciate them and none can be more devoted to you than myself.

“I often see M. Begon who has the honour to be known to you, he is quite engrossed in his building operations which are very fine. M. de St. Germain who arouses the curiosity of the whole country is constantly expected: I have met him twice at dinner parties. He seems to

[p. 165]

be a man of great knowledge and guided by principle. . . . Poor M. de Saumery, the Governor of Chambord cannot last much longer, his leg is in a terrible state. . . .

Answer of M. de Marigny to the Abbe de la Pagerie.

“Versailles, Sept. 2nd, 1758.

“I have received, Sir, the letter of the 12th inst. which you did me the honour of writing to me. It is a fact that the King has granted to M. de St. Germain lodgings in the Castle of Chambord, and you are right in saying that he is a man of worth. I had the opportunity of convincing myself of the fact in various interviews which I have had with him, and real benefits are to be derived from his superior knowledge. . . .

The following correspondence took place with regard to some dwellings round the Castle of Chambord.

M. de Saumery, Governor of the Castle, to the Marquis de Marigny.

“Paris, April 15th, 1759.

” . . . I consider that these out-houses will do as lodgings for the use of the workmen that the Comte de St. Germain will bring here for the establishment of his Manufactory.”

(On April 5th, 1759, an order had been given that the said outhouses were to be rented for the benefit of the King, it therefore does not seem that M. de St. Germain had the use of them.)

The Marquis de Marigny to the Comte de St. Florentin.

“Versailles, Sept. 8th, 1760.


“I have the honour to inform you of an affair which took place in the Court of Chambord Castle at half past

[p. 166]

ten p.m. on the 26th ult., the principal actor in it being Sieur Barberet (or Barberes), who is lodging there in the service of M. de St. Germain. This latter has spent the year in Holland and went from thence to England. . . .”

(It was an attempt by this man to stab M. Collet with his sword.)

The Comte de St. Florentin to the Marquis de Marigny.

“Versailles, Sept. 15th, 1760.

“I am writing to M. de Saumery, Governor of Chambord, to know why Sieur Barberes who is in the service of M. de St. Germain remains in the Castle?”

(The Sieur de Barberes appears to have tried to reserve for his own use two gardens to which he had no title. M. de Saumery seems to have secretly supported him in opposition to M. Collet.)

M. Collet to the Marquis de Marigny.

(Still with regard to the Barberes affair.)

“Chambord, June 16th, 1760.

“The Sieur Barberes is still here. He is causing his followers to spread a report that M. de St. Germain is in Paris and may be here within the fortnight, and that what has been said about him will not be forgotten and that the Gazette has purposely said what it has. . . .

The Comte de St. Germain, by Isabel Cooper-Oakley, [1912], at

[p. 167]





No. 557.

Folio 153.

The Hague, Feb. 22nd, 1760.

(Received Feb. 26th, answered March 10th.)

“Your Grace

“M. d’Astier writes to say that there is at Amsterdam a certain Comte St. Germain whom I believe once spent a long time in England and who affects many peculiarities.

“He speaks in an extraordinary way of our finances and of our Ministry, and affects to be entrusted with an important Mission with respect to the financial position of the Country. . . .” D’AFFRY.

D’Affry to the Duc de Choiseul.–In cipher.

No. 562.

Folio 200.


March 7th, 1760.

“People who came here from Amsterdam for the festivities (the wedding of Princess Caroline with the Prince of Nassau-Dillenburg) as well as a letter from

[p. 168] [paragraph continues] M. D’Astier which I received to-day, go to prove that M. de St. Germain continues to make the most extraordinary assertions in that town.”

No. 563.

Folio 212-214.

The Hague, March 10th, 1760.

“M. le Duc.

“M. le Comte de St. Germain came here to see me the day before yesterday; he held much the same language to me as I was told that he held in Amsterdam. He has just left my house and his conversation has been on the same subject: he told me in the first place that he could not give me a sad enough picture of the state of our finances: that he entertained a certain scheme (the marriage of the Princess Clementine Caroline) for recruiting them, and, in a word, that he would save the kingdom. I let him say as much as he would, and when he left off talking I asked him if the Controller General knew of his scheme. He said ‘no’ and he took the opportunity of telling me much evil of the predecessor of M. Bertin. He seemed to me to be especially inimical to Messrs. Paris de Montmartel and Du Verney. He told me that he was closely connected with M. the Marechal de Belleisle and he showed me two letters from him that he has received since he came to Holland, in which M. de Belleisle speaks graciously to him of the ardour of his zeal, but they contained mere generalities and no particulars.

“I confessed to M. de St. Germain that I did not altogether understand his scheme, and he owned on his side that he explained it badly and said he would bring me the plan of it to-morrow. I asked him what his journey to Holland had to do with this scheme; he did

[p. 169]

not answer me very clearly to the point, but told me that his object in general was to secure the credit of the principal bankers there for us.

“I shall have the honour of reporting to you next Friday, M. le Duc, what M. de St. Germain may have said and communicated during the day, to-morrow. I do not know whether all that he gives out is founded on the most exact truth, but he certainly holds very extraordinary notions.”

March 11th.

“M. de St. Germain has communicated to me his scheme, which is known and even recommended by M. Bertin. I will send you a report next Friday of our conversation on this matter. . . .” D’AFFRY.

No. 564.

Folio 217.

The Hague, March 14th, 1760.

(Received March 18th. Answered the 20th.)

“M. le Duc,

“I have seen the scheme of which M. de St. Germain had informed me. I have sent it back to him, and I shall take the first opportunity of telling him that affairs of this kind have nothing to do with the Ministry with which I am honoured. I could not meddle with them unless so commanded, and desired to exert myself to find credit for His Majesty’s funds in Amsterdam or in other towns in Holland. I think I have discovered the cause of M. de St. Germain’s antipathy towards Messrs. Paris de Montmartel and Du Verney, in article 11 or 12 of the draft of the Edict, which states that there will be a ‘cash account.’ As this article struck me on first reading it, I remarked to M. de St. Germain that this ‘cash’ might prove an immense treasure to those who

[p. 170]

managed it. He replied briskly that if Messrs. Paris were allowed to become masters of it, they would soon become so of the whole finances of the kingdom, and that he had come to Holland solely to complete the formation of a Company adequate to the responsibility of this Fund; in which case I think he would be annoyed to see it pass into other hands than those of his associates, if this scheme were adopted.

“M. de St. Germain told me that M. Bentinck de Rhoone had complained to him of my reserve towards him, and that I never spoke to him on matters of business. He added that M. Bentinck had assured him that no-one was less English than himself, that he was a true Patriot and more French than I believed. I replied to M. de St. Germain with general common-places, so as to make him feel, however, that I thought it strange that M. de Bentinck should have given him this commission, and still more strange that he should have undertaken it. I have considered it my duty to report to you all that has taken place between this man and myself.” D’AFFRY.

Folio 239.

Versailles, March 19th, 1760.


“I send you a letter from M. de St. Germain to the Marquise de Pompadour which in itself will suffice to expose the absurdity of the personage; he is an adventurer of the first order, who is moreover, so far as I have seen, exceedingly foolish. I beg you immediately on receiving my letter to summon him to your house, and to tell him from me that I do not know how the King’s Minister in charge of the Finance Depart. will look on his conduct with regard to this object, but that–as to myself–you are ordered to warn him that if I learn

[p. 171]

that far or near, in much or little, he chooses to meddle with Politics, I assure him that I shall obtain an order from the King that on his return to France he shall be placed for the rest of his days in an underground dungeon!

“You will add that he may be quite sure that these intentions of mine concerning him are as sincere as they will surely be executed, if he give me the opportunity of keeping my word.

“After this declaration you will request him never again to set foot in your house, and it will be well for you to make public and known to all the foreign Ministers, as well as to the Bankers of Amsterdam, the compliment that you have been commanded to pay to this insufferable adventurer.”

Folio 215.

Letter from the Comte de St. Germain to the Marquise de Pompadour.

March 11th, 1760.


“My pure and sincere affection for the welfare of your esteemed Nation and for yourself, not only are unchanged in whatever part of Europe I may be, but I will not remain there without making it apparent to you in all its purity, sincerity and strength.

“I am just now at the Hague, staying with M. le Comte de Bentinck, Seigneur of Rhoone, with whom I am closely connected. I have been so successful that I do not think France has any friend more judicious, sincere and steadfast. Be assured of this, Madame, whatever you may hear to the contrary.

“This gentleman is all-powerful here as well as in England, a great Statesman and a perfectly honest man.

[p. 172] [paragraph continues] He is absolutely frank with me. I have spoken to him of the charming Marquise de Pompadour from the fulness of a heart whose sentiments towards you, Madame, have long been known to you and are surely worthy of the kindness of heart and the beauty of soul which have given rise to them. He was so charmed with them that he is quite enraptured: in a word, you may rely on him as on myself.

“I think with good reason that the King may expect great services from him, considering his power, his uprightness and sincerity. If the King thinks that my relations with him can be of any help, I will not spare my zeal in any way for his service, and my voluntary and disinterested attachment to his sacred person must be known to him. You know the loyalty that I have sworn to you, Madame: command, and you shall be obeyed. You can give Peace to Europe without the tediousness and the difficulties of a Congress; your commands will reach me in perfect safety if you address them to the care of M. le Comte de Rhoone at the Hague, or if you think better, to the care of Messrs. Thomas and Adrian Hope, with whom I reside at Amsterdam. What I have the honour of writing to you appears to me so interesting, that I should greatly reproach myself if I kept silence on it towards you, Madame, from whom I have never hidden and will never hide anything. If you have not time to reply to me yourself, I entreat you to do so thro’ some safe and trustworthy person; but do not lose a moment, I implore you, by all the affection, all the love you bear to the best and worthiest of Kings. . . .

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Methinks I am a conspiracy theorist. Art thou? Thou block, thou stone, thou worse than senseless thing, for whilst thou slept didst this become a badge of honor. Informed dissent shall always prevail, wherefore art thou worthy, or art thou this unwholesome fool in the group conformity experiment herein?

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