Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Princesse de Chimay, [before 22 July 1783]

From the Princesse de Chimay1

L: American Philosophical Society

[before July 22, 1783]

Made. la Psse. de Chimay prie monsieur Francklin de diner au traitement que la Reine donne à Madame l’Ambassadrice d’Angleterre, chez Mr. le Marquis de Talaru Premier Maitre d’hôtel de Sa Majesté, mardi 22 juillet2

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Francklin, ministre Plénipotentiaire / des Etats unis de L’Amérique Septentrionale / A Passy

1Laure-Auguste de Fitz-James (b. 1744) was the wife of the prince de Chimay et d’Empire and Grand d’Espagne. As dame d’honneur to Marie-Antoinette her duties included sending out invitations for the queen and presenting the guests to her on these occasions: Dictionnaire de la noblesse, I, 388; VIII, 73; Marie Cornaz, Les Princes de Chimay et la musique: une famille de mélomanes … (Brussels and Tournai, 2002), p. 36.

2The Duke of Manchester had presented his credentials at court on May 6: XXXIX, 568. Elizabeth Dashwood, his wife, was presented to the queen and royal princesses on July 22, with the king himself making a brief appearance. The traitement, a dinner of high ceremony which followed, was overseen by César-Marie de Talaru, marquis de Chalmazel, the queen’s premier maître d’hôtel (Dictionnaire de la noblesse, XVIII, 763–4). It was served in the salle des ambassadeurs at Versailles, and was attended by all the court officers, ladies-in-waiting to the queen and royal princesses, ministers of state, and foreign ambassadors: Marc-Marie, marquis de Bombelles, Journal, ed. Jean Grassion and Frans Durif (7 vols. to date, Geneva, 1977– ), I, 245–6; Gaz. de Leyde, Aug. 1. For the Duke and Duchess of Manchester see the ODNB, under Montagu.

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