Bernard-Francoise Chauvelin

Bernard-François, marquis de Chauvelin (b. Nov. 29, 1766--d. April 9, 1832), succeeded his father as an attendant to Louis XVI. Raised with strong liberal ideals,  Chauvelin welcomed the Revolution and fought with Rochambeau's army.In 1792 he was made ambassador (or Ambassador's-Cloak under Talleyrand) to London, where he succeeded in obtaining British neutrality. After the execution of Louis XVI, the English government, ready to declare war, informed Citizen Chauvelin that he must quit the country in eight days. Ambassador's-Cloak and Ambassador, Chauvelin and Talleyrand, depart accordingly. In spite of his efforts in its behalf, when he returned to Paris in the midst of the Terror the government imprisoned him, although he was later released. He was elected to the Tribunal in 1800 and the legislature in 1804, when Napoleon, recognizing his talents, appointed him prefect of Lys. Chauvelin carried out his duties well, instituting a great number of public works. With the Bourbon restoration, he sought to retire to private life; under the second restoration, however, he was again active in liberal politics, and in 1816 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. He was an outstanding orator, known for his originality and eloquence, and proved to be one of the great defenders of liberalism and freedom of the press. Although reelected in 1827, he resigned in 1829. (Britannica.com)


excerpts from

Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon

From Chapter 2

The marquis de Chauvelin was equally skilful as a warrior and diplomatist. Gentle, graceful, and witty, he joined to the most extreme versatility of talent the utmost simplicity of character. Once known, he could not fail of being valued and esteemed, and the king entertained the most lively regard for him. The noble minded marquis was far from taking advantage of his sovereign's favor, far from it; he neither boasted of it, nor presumed upon it. This truly wonderful man died, unhappily, too soon for me, for the king on whom he bestowed the sagest counsels, and for foreign courts who knew and appreciated his worth. I shall have occasion to speak of him hereafter; he had a brother, a wicked little hump-backed creature, brave as Caesar, and a bitter enemy to the Jesuits, whom he did not a little contribute to overturn in the parliament of Paris, to which he belonged. The king detested this man as much as he loved and cherished the brother, and that is saying not a little.