The Financial Officiers during the Fronde

  • Roland Mousnier


The Fronde began by what we are all agreed to call the ‘Fronde parlementaire’, and the role of the Parlements† in this great attempted revolution is known, although less thoroughly perhaps than we commonly think. In contrast, the part played by other royal officiers,† important as it was, remains even now virtually unknown. The Fronde was, in one sense, a revolt on the part of what we may perhaps term the ‘public service’ of France; although, of course, the ancien régime used only the officier and the commissaire† and only came to know the civil servant as such toward the middle of the eighteenth century. Two of the corporations of royal officiers in fact played a considerable role, the Trésoriers généraux de France†, who were the principal financial officiers in the provinces, and the élus†. They were both grouped into syndicates and the papers emanating from these constitute valuable documentary sources. One of these sources, although its existence has been known for a long time, has been curiously neglected until now; namely, the correspondence of one of the two syndicates, consisting of 239 letters sent by the Trésoriers de France from the various généralités† to the office of their syndicate in Paris, between 22 May 1648 and 5 September 1653. These letters are the surviving element of a more extended correspondence kept by the secretary-general of the syndicate, Simon Fournival.


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  1. 2.
    [Editor’s note:] For details, see p. 77, footnote 2, of the original French edition of this article in XVIIe Siècle, Nos. 42–3 (1959). On both the Trésoriers and élus, the author refers the reader especially to E. Esmonin, La taille en Normandie au temps de Colbert (Paris, 1913) pp. 38–66 and 107–33.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    R. Mousnier, ‘Etat et commissaire. Recherches sur la création des intendants des provinces (1634–1648)’, in Forschungen zu Staat und Verfassung: Festgabe für Fritz Hartung (Berlin, 1958).Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    L. Romier, Lettres et chevauchées du Bureau des Finances de Caen (1910) Nos. XXXIII, LIX, LXV, CVII.Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    B.N.msir. 7686, No. 99. Also, R. Mousnier, ‘Le Conseil du Roi de la mort de Henri IV’, in Société d’histoire moderne, I (1947) passim. [Editor’s note:] Except where otherwise indicated, all subsequent manuscript references given by the author are from 7686, and may be referred to in footnotes 17–30, 34, 36–7 and 42–6 of the original French edition of this article.Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    R. Mousnier, ‘Etat et commissaire’, in Festgabe für Fritz Hartung (1958).Google Scholar
  6. 21.
    R. Mousnier, La Vénalité des offices sous Henri IV et Louis XIII (Paris, 1945).Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Mousnier

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