1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hozier, Pierre d'

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HOZIER, PIERRE D’, Seigneur de la Garde (1592–1660), French genealogist, was born at Marseilles on the 10th of July 1592. In 1616 he entered upon some very extensive researches into the genealogy of the noble families of the kingdom, in which work he was aided by his prodigious memory for dates, names and family relationships, as well as by his profound knowledge of heraldry. In 1634 he was appointed historiographer and genealogist of France, and in 1641 juge d’armes of France, an officer corresponding nearly to the Garter king-of-arms in England. In 1643 he was employed to verify the claims to nobility of the pages and equerries of the king’s household. He accumulated a large number of documents, but published comparatively little, his principal works being Recueil armorial des anciennes maisons de Bretagne (1638); Les noms, surnoms, qualitez, armes et blasons des chevaliers et officiers de l’ordre du Saint-Esprit (1634); and the genealogies of the houses of La Rochefoucauld (1654), Bournonville (1657) and Amanzé (1659). He was renowned as much for his uprightness as for his knowledge, no slight praise in a profession exposed to so many temptations to fraud. He died in Paris on the 1st of December 1660. At his death his collections comprised more than 150 volumes or portfolios of documents and papers relating to the genealogy of the principal families in France. Of his six sons, only two survived him. His eldest son, Louis Roger d’Hozier (1634–1708), succeeded him as juge d’armes, but became blind in 1675, and was obliged to surrender his office to his brother.

Charles René d’Hozier (1640–1732), younger son of Pierre, was the true continuator of his father. In addition to his commentary appended to Antoine Varillas’s history of King Charles IX. (1686 ed.), he published Recherches sur la noblesse de Champagne (1673). On the promulgation in 1696 of an edict directing all who had armorial bearings to register them on payment of 20 livres, he was employed to collect the declarations returned in the various généralités, and established the Armorial général de France. This work, which contained not only the armorial bearings of noble families, but also of those commoners who were entitled to bear arms, is not complete, inasmuch as many refused to register their arms, either from vanity or from a desire to evade the fee.

The collection (now in the Bibliothèque Nationale) consists of 34 volumes of text and 35 of coloured armorial bearings, and in spite of its deficiencies is a useful store of information for the history of the old French families. It contains 60,000 names, grouped according to provinces and provincial subdivisions. The sections relating to Burgundy and Franche-Comté were published by Henri Bouchot (1875–1876): those relating to the généralité of Limoges, by Moreau de Pravieux (1895); and those for the élection of Reims, by P. Gosset (1903).

In 1717, in consequence of a quarrel with his nephew Louis Pierre, son of Louis Roger, Charles sold his collection to the king. It then comprised 160 portfolios of genealogical papers arranged alphabetically, 175 volumes of documents, and numerous printed books profusely annotated. In 1720 it was inventoried by P. de Clairambault, who added a certain number of genealogies taken from the papers of F. R. de Gaignières, increasing the total to 217 boxes and portfolios. Thus originated the Cabinet des titres of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Charles subsequently became reconciled to his nephew, to whom he left all the papers he had accumulated from the date of the quarrel until his death, which occurred in Paris on the 13th of February 1732.

Louis Pierre d’Hozier (1685–1767), son of Louis Roger, succeeded his uncle Charles as juge d’armes. He published the Armorial général, ou registre de la noblesse de France (10 vols., 1738–1768), which must not be confounded with the publication mentioned above, inasmuch as it related solely to noble families and was not an official collection. Complete copies of this work, which should contain six registres, are comparatively rare. A seventh registre, forming vol. xi., prepared by Ambroise Louis Marie, nephew of Louis Pierre, was published in 1847 by comte Charles d’Hozier. Louis Pierre died on the 25th of September 1767. His eldest son, Antoine Marie d’Hozier de Sérigny (1721–c. 1810), was his father’s collaborator and continuator; and his fourth son, Jean François Louis, wrote an account of the knights of St Michael in the province of Poitou, which was published in 1896 by the vicomte P. de Chabot.

His nephew, Ambroise Louis Marie d’Hozier (1764–1846), was the last of the juges d’armes of France. He held the position of president of the cour des comptes, aides et finances of Normandy, and was therefore generally known as President d’Hozier, to distinguish him from the other members of the family. After the Restoration he was employed to verify French armorial bearings for the conseil du sceau des titres. He died in obscurity. His collection, which was purchased in 1851 by the Bibliothèque Nationale, comprised 136 volumes, 165 portfolios of documents and 200 packets of extracts from title-deeds, known as the Carrés d’Hozier.

Abraham Charles Auguste d’Hozier (1775–1846), who also belonged to his family, was implicated in the conspiracy of Georges Cadoudal, and was condemned to death, but Bonaparte spared his life. He did not, however, recover his liberty until after the fall of the emperor, and died at Versailles on the 24th of August 1846.  (C. B.*)