1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Saint Priest, François Emmanuel Guignard
SAINT PRIEST, FRANÇOIS EMMANUEL GUIGNARD, CHEVALIER, then COMTE DE (1735-1821), French statesman, was born at Grenoble on the 12th of March 1735. He was admitted a knight (chevalier) of the Order of Malta at five years of age, and at fifteen entered the army. He left active service in 1763 with the grade of colonel, and for the next four years represented the court of France at Lisbon. He was sent in 1768 to Constantinople, where he' remained with one short interval till 1785, and married Wilhelmina von Ludolf, daughter of the Neapolitan ambassador. His Mémoires sur Vambassade de France en Turquie et le commerce des Français dans le Levant, prepared during a visit to France, were only published in 1877, when they were edited by C. Schefer. After a few months spent at the court of the Hague, he joined the ministry of Necker as minister without a portfolio, and in Necker's second cabinet in 1789 was secretary of the royal household and minister of the interior. He became a special object of the popular hatred because he was alleged to have replied to women begging for bread, " You had enough while you had only one king; demand bread of your twelve hundred sovereigns." Nevertheless he held office until December 1790. Shortly after his resignation he went to Stockholm, where his brother-in-law was Austrian ambassador. In 1795 he joined the comte de Provence at Verona as minister of the household.. He accompanied the exiled court to Blankenburg and Mittau, retiring in 1808 to Switzerland. After vainly seeking permission to return to France he was expelled from Switzerland, and wandered about Europe until the Restoration. Besides the memoirs already mentioned he wrote an Examen des assembles prorvinciales (1787).
His eldest son, Guillaume Emmanuel.(1776-1814), became major general in the Russian service, and served in the campaigns of Alexander I. against Napoleon. He died at Laon in 1814. The second, Armand Emmanuel Charles (1782-1853), became civil governor of Odessa, and married Princess Sophie Galitzin. The third, Emmanuel Louis Marie Guignard, vicomte de Saint Priest (1789-1881), was a godson of Marie Antoinette. Like his elder brother he took part in the invasion of France in 1814. At the Restoration he was attached to the service of the duke of Angouleme, and during the Hundred Days tried to raise Dauphiné in the royal cause. He served with distinction in Spain in 1823, when he was romoted lieutenant-general. After two years at Berlin he became French ambassador at Madrid, where he negotiated in 1828 the settlement of the Spanish debt. When the revolution of July compelled his retirement, Frederick VII. made him a grandee of Spain, with the title of duke of Almazan, in recognition of his services. He then oined the circle of the duchess of Berry at Naples, and arranged her escapade in Provence in 1832. Saint Priest was arrested, and was only released after ten months' imprisonment. Having arranged for an asylum in Austria for the duchess, he returned to Paris, where he was one of the leaders of legitimise society until his death, which occurred at Saint Priest, near Lyons, on the 26th of February 1881.
Alexis Guignard, comte de Saint Priest (1805-1851), was the son of Armand de Saint Priest and Princess Galitzin. Educated in Russia, he returned to France with his father in 1822, and soon made his mark in literary circles. His most important works were Histoire de la royauté considérée dans ses origiines jusqu'd la formation des principal es monarchies de l'Europe (2 vols., 1842); Histoire de la chute des Jésuites (1844); Histoire de la conquéte de Naples (4 vols., 1847-1848). He was elected to the Academy in January 1849. Meanwhile he had departed from the legitimist tradition of his family to become a warm friend to the Orleans monarchy, which he served between 1833 and 1838 as ambassador in Brazil, at Lisbon and at Copenhagen. He died, while on a visit to Moscow, on the 29th of September 1851.