1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Servien, Abel

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SERVIEN, ABEL, marquis de Sablé and de Boisdauphin, comte de la Roche-Servien (1593-1659), French diplomat, was born at Grenoble, the son of Antoine Servien, procurator-general of the estates of Dauphiné. He succeeded his father in that office in 1616, and in the following year attended the assembly of notables at Rouen. In 1618 he was named councillor of state and in 1624 was called to Paris, where he found favour with Richelieu. He displayed administrative ability and great loyalty to the central government as intendant in Guienne in 1627, and in 1628 negotiated the boundary delimitation with Spain. Appointed president of the parlement of Bordeaux in 1630, he soon resigned to accept an embassy to Italy, where he was one of the signatories of the treaty of Cherasco and of the treaties with the duke of Savoy (1631-1632). In 1634 he was admitted to the French Academy. Two years later he retired from public life as the result of court intrigue. Servien lived at Angers or on his estates at Sablé until the death of Louis XIII., when Mazarin entrusted him with the conduct, conjointly with the comte d'Avaux, of French diplomatic affairs in Germany. After five years' negotiations, and a bitter quarrel with the comte d'Avaux, which ended in the latter's recall, Servien signed the two treaties of the 24th of October 1648 which were part of the general peace of Westphalia. He received the title of minister of state on his return to France in April 1649, remained loyal to Mazarin during the Fronde, and was made superintendent of finances in 1653. He was an adviser to Mazarin in the negotiations which terminated in the treaty of the Pyrenees (1659). He amassed a considerable fortune, and was unpopular, even in court circles. He died at the château of Meudon on the 17th of February 1659.

Servien left an important and voluminous correspondence. See R. Kerviler, A. Servien, étude sur sa vie politique et littéraire, (Mamers, 1879).