BOUND FOR LOUIS XIII
Extrait des Descendans & Ascendans de Andre de Laval, Chevalier
n.p., n.p., 1630.
FIRST EDITON. 4to. 28 unnumbered pages A-C4, D2. Roman letter, some Italic. ‘Ce livre apartient a m’r Turgot du Baugouet’ in a slightly later hand at head of pastedown, engraved armorial bookplates of Turgot on front pastedown and Turgot des Tourailles on rear. Very light marginal age yellowing. A fine copy, crisp and clean with excellant margins, in contemporary polished limp vellum, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, outer panel with large Fleur de lys gilt to corners, arms of Louis XIII at centres, three fleur de lys with crown above, within finely worked gilt wreath, spine with fine gilt roll, in long, of alternate lozenge and circles gilt, all edges gilt, lacking ties, lower cover with some minor stains.
First edition of this extremely rare piece of trial evidence, beautifully bound in very fine limp vellum with the arms of Louis XIII, probably made for presentation to the king by the author. The work details the descendants of André de Laval who go back as far as Louis de Débonaire, the son of Charlemagne. This work was made as evidence gathered in reply to the defamation, by Jean Barbotin, made against Jaques Brossin, that he was not of noble decent. Brossin in reply to these accusations made this impressive genealogy, consulting the Royal historian Duchene, which assembles evidence of his lineage through the descent of his Grandfather, the knight Andre de Laval. Andre de Laval’s first son was revealed to be one of the ascendants of the royal family and other major figures of the Aristocracy; related to Henry IV, to Louis XIII, Marie De Bourbon, and Duc of Guise and Mary Stuart. The second son of Andre de Laval, Guy, was the ascendant in the seventh degree to the Cardinal de Richelieu and to Jacques Brossin, the author of this work. Brossin then produces further documentary evidence, which he transcribes in its entirety including; the letter from Catherine de Medicis recommending his father for marriage with one of the descendants of Andre de Laval; the letter of Henry II asking his grandfather to raise arms on his behalf; letters from Kings and Queens recommending the Brossin family, and the Brossin family genealogy. The work terminates with the genealogy of the family of Andre de Laval as far back as Charlemagne.
Jean Barbotin and his accomplices, who had accused Brossin of not being of noble descent, undoubtedly did not realise that he would thus be accusing the Royal family, by proxy, of the same thing, and that the charge of defamation would then be transformed to that of lèse Majesté. Jean Barbotin, on the strength of the evidence gathered in this work, was found guilty of this crime and executed along with his two accomplices. It would have been unusual for such a personal family document to be printed or to be so finely bound, however, Brossin, as a result of the court case for lèse Majesté, probably had a small quantity privately printed of which he had this copy finely bound with the arms of Louis XIII, who may have required a copy as it was a matter that concerned him personally. The quality of the materials used and the gilding of this binding are particularly fine.
Not in BM STC C17th Fr. Saffroy, Bibliographie généalogique héraldique et nobiliaire de la France, III, n°43777.