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Panat Times

Volume 1, redone Dec. 2014


Volume 1


Orest's Pages

Patricia's Musings



Musical Rhetoric

Transcribed Sources


A Manuscript about French Secretaries of State, 1300-1647

BnF ms. Cinq Cents Colbert 136/Ms. Fr. 18236,

Mémoires sur l'Établissement des Secrétaires d'Estat et des Clercs Notaires et Secrétaires du roy et Secrétaires des Finances


A typescript of this manuscript has lain in our files for over forty years. We want to make it available to other scholars.

(Click here for Orest's Presentation of the manuscript.)

NOTE: This transcription is not copyrighted. You may make as many copies as you wish and distribute them to scholars, students, libraries. In fact, if you would like the entire file sent to you via an attachment, please send us an e-mail.

The manuscript begins with an account of the origins of the secretaries of state, from the early fourteenth century on.  To facilitate consultation, we have divided it into a number of parts

The first three parts are chronological:

The 14th century 
The 15th century
The 16th century

The biographies of the secretaries are subdivided into 5 more or less chronological files.

Secretaries 1 
discusses Guillaume Bochetel; Claude de l'Aubespine le père  (d. 1567); Cosme Clausse; Jean du Thier; Jacques Bourdin; Jean Robertet; Claude Robertet; Claude de l'Aubespine le fils (d. 1570); Simon Fizes; Nicolas de Neufville le père; Nicolas de Neufville le fils
Secretaries 2
discusses Pierre Brulard; Claude Pinart le père; Claude Pinart le fils; Gilles Brulard; Claude de l'Aubespine, fils de Gilles; Louis Revol; Martin Ruzé; Louis Potier de Gesvres
Secretaries 3
discusses Pierre Forget; Nicolas Neufville de Villeroy; Antoine de Loménie; Pierre Brulard de Puisieux
Secretaries 4
discusses Henri-Auguste de Loménie de la Ville-aux-Clercs; Claude Mangot; Armand-Jean de Richelieu; Raymond Phélyppeaux d'Herbault; Nicolas Potier d'Ocquerre; Charles de Beauclerc
Secretaries 5
discusses Abel Servien; François Sublet des Noyers; Louis Phélyppeaux de la Vrillière; Michel Le Tellier; Henri-Auguste de Loménie de Brienne


A note from Patricia Ranum about the transcription of the Mémoires sur l'Établissement des Secrétaires d'Estat

Circa 1960 I transcribed Ms. Fr. 18236 by hand, then made a typed copy that I checked with the original. That done, Orest and I apparently decided that the version in Cinq Cents Colbert 136 was slightly more accurate as far as facts were concerned. I therefore went back and marked the entire transcript of Ms. Fr. 18236 in red pencil, to show how it differed from CCC 136. I also checked the transcript with the other versions of the Mémoire, especially Cangé 4591, with its supplementary information. Finally, I retyped a goodly part of the transcript; but for some reason, I stopped at fol. 469. (And as I typed, I either discarded the first version, or we lost it somewhere along the way.)
Therefore, when I began to retype the remaining pages for this edition, for each line I had to decode the layers of colors — red pencil changes (CCC 136) versus the original typescript with its corrections in black ballpoint (Ms. Fr. 18236). Owing to the fact that the first half of the surviving transcript reproduces CCC 136 (fols. 347-469), I decided to privilege the red markings and to use the folio numbers of CCC 136. A word of caution, however. On several sheets of my old transcript, I neglected to mark the folio numbers for CCC 136: in the current transcription I therefore briefly resort to the foliotation of Ms. Fr. 18236, underlined.

In sum, although Orest discusses "Ms. Fr. 18236" throughout his Presentation, the foliotation and the spelling of these Mémoires are, in the main, those of the version preserved in Cinq Cents Colbert 136.

More than forty years later, I realize that the absence of capitalization and accent marks smacks of the 1960s — indeed, conflicts with the editing practices set forth by Barbiche and his colleagues. However, I dared not stray from the transcription made over four decades ago, for fear I create a monster that is one step more hybrid than this final, patently hybrid transcription.