Elisabeth Berkover (elisaberk) wrote in little_details,
Elisabeth Berkover

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Maison Militaire du Roi de France

I'm currently writing something set at the court of Louis XIV and am running into some unexpected snags along the way. The latest involves the king's military household and his personal bodyguard. Though I've found some information on the topic, most of the really informative (and therefore useful) stuff seems to be in French and unfortunately, I don't speak the language. I've done google searches, looked through google books, read wikipedia and the articles on heraldica.org, and discovered a little bit of (confusing) info on a site on European heraldry. And thus, I've found my way here with the hope that someone can help.

Basically, my question is how was the military household organized? In books that I've read about Louis XIV, there are references to a certain Brissac who held the post of major of the king's bodyguard. From my research into the maison militaire, however, they only talk about guards companies and captains.

Was the Garde Écossaise still the premier guard in 1670? And what is the "Compagnie de Cent Gentilshommes"? All I know is it's definitely distinct from the 100 Swiss but I can't find any more information on it. It seems to be listed as the premier company of guards though ahead of the Scottish Guard even though the Scottish Guard provided the 24 "gardes de la manche" who were supposed to escort the king at all times.

I know I'm probably asking for a lot here but if anyone could explain to me in a concise way how the military household of the king of France was organized in 1670: who performed what tasks and which guards had precedence over others - also, whether the "major of the king's bodyguard" controlled the entire bodyguard and all its disparate companies or if he was simply a major who controlled one battalion of guards - I'd be greatly, greatly appreciative.

Thank you in advance.
Tags: 1600-1699, france: history

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