Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Michel Le Tellier (2)

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 14
Michel Le Tellier

by Pierre-Louis-Théophile-Georges Goyau


Born 19 April, 1603; died at Paris, 30 Oct., 1685. He was commissioned by Cardinal Mazarin to organize the royal army, and having helped to appease the troubles of the Fronde, he left to his son Louvois in 1666 his duties as secretary of war. After his appointment as chancellor by Louis XIV in 1677 he had a decisive share in the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which he signed, 2 Oct., 1685, a few days before his death. Before expiring he sang the canticle of Simon "Nunc dimittis", he shared Louis XIV's illusion that there were almost no Protestants left in France, and that the act suppressing the liberty of Protestant worship was no more than the public recognition of an accomplished fact, the disappearance of Protestantism. His eldest son, Michel Le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois (b. at Paris, 18 Jan., 1641; d. 16 July, 1691), noted for the remarkable expedition with which he organized the armies for the wars of Louis XIV, was partly responsible for this false idea, for he led the king to believe that the dragonades, military expedition which Louvois sent into Protestant villages, had finally overcome all resistance. The youngest son of Michel Le Tellier was Charles-Maurice Le Tellier. Michel's funeral oration was delivered by Boussuet and Fléchier.

ANDRE, Michel Le Tellier et l'organisation de l'armee monarchique (Paris, 1906); ROUSSET, Hist. de Louvois (4 vols., Paris, 1861-1863).

GEORGES GOYAU