Angélique Fauré

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Angélique Fauré
Spouses Claude de Bullion de Bonelles
Also known as Angélique de Bullion
Birth date 1593
Death 1662
Biographical entries in old dictionaries

Entry by Julie Roy, 2006

Daughter of Guichard Fauré, baron of Thiry Dorman, sieur of Berlize, secretary and maître ordinaire to the King, and of Madeleine Brûlart de Sillery (sister of Nicolas, chancellor of France and niece of Noël, founder of the St Joseph Mission in Canada in 1637), Angélique was born in Bullion in the Ile-de-France in 1593. On the 21st of January 1612, she married Claude de Bullion de Bonelles, son of Jean and Jeanne de Lamoignon, with whom she would have five children. Claude de Bullion was a member of the nobility in the King's entourage and his titles and possessions grew. Initially maître des requêtes under Henry IV, he joined the Conseil as chancellor in 1624. In 1632, under Louis XIII, he became surintendant général des finances. He was the keeper of the seals of the Order of the Holy Spirit from 1633 to 1636 and president à mortier at the Parlement in Paris from 1636. The family lived in Paris in a sumptuous residence on the rue Platrière, the lower gallery of which had been decorated by the painters Jacques Blanchard and Simon Vouet. Patrons of the arts and literature, the couple were courted by writers and poets in search of generosity. Tommaso Campanella dedicated his Métaphysiques to Claude de Bullion in 1638.

At the death of her husband, on the 23rd of December 1640, Angélique de Bullion inherited an immense fortune, which she used to support charitable works. In 1641, the priest Rapine de Boivert, former provincial of the Récollets and director of Saint Denis, put her in contact with Jeanne Mance, a nurse from Champagne and a member of the «Société des messieurs et dames pour la conversion des Sauvages de la Nouvelle-France», founded by Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière. She intended to accompany Paul Chomedy de Maisonneuve to New France, where he was preparing to establish the town Ville-Marie (Montréal). Bullion’s widow and her friend Mme de Villesasin (Isabelle Blondeau), benefactresses of the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris, joined the Society and secretly offered Jeanne Mance 1200 livres for the building of the planned hospital in Ville-Marie and 48000 livres to run it. Mme de Bullion, until then an “unknown benefactress”, left the administration of the hospital to Jeanne, which officially opened its doors on 8th August 1645. In 1651, she gave another 20000 livres to the governor of Montréal to help settlers establish themselves. Jeanne Mance went back to France three times to seek out the moral and financial support of Mme de Bullion. A friend of Vincent de Paul, the latter also financed many Parisian hospitals. She offered 60000 livres for the founding of La Salpêtrière in 1656 and helped start the Convalescents Hospice in 1658. The following year, she established an organisation in Montréal in the name of the St Joseph Hospitalists, and financed the journey of three religious women from La Flèche (Judith Moreau de Brésoles, Catherine Macé et Marie Maillet) to go and help Jeanne Mance. In November of the same year, following the death of Jérôme Le Royer de la Dauversière, prosecutor for the hospitals of Montréal, the establishment found itself bankrupt. The capital offered by Mme de Bullion had disappeared, squandered by the creditors. Jeanne Mance was accused of embezzlement and François de Laval, bishop of Quebec, took advantage of the situation to take control of the hospital away from her, wishing to give it to the Hôtel-Dieu hospitalists in Quebec. Jeanne succeeded, however, in asserting her rights, thanks to the help of a midwife, Marie Pournin, and the support of her generous benefactress. The amount of money gifted to the Hôtel-Dieu in Montreal by Mme de Bullion exceeded 74000 livres.

Madame de Bullion belongs without a doubt to that generation of wealthy female aristocrats who actively, yet quietly, participated in the reform and expansion of overseas ecclesiastical institutions in order to help the least fortunate. It was only after her death, in 1662, that she was identified as the confidant of Jeanne Mance. The Muséé de l’Assistance publique in Paris holds her portrait, while in Montréal and in Quebec, roads and parks bear the name Bullion in memory of the lay woman who founded the Hôtel-Dieu of Montréal as well as an important annexe to this foundation.

(Translated by Elizabeth L'Estrange)

Selected bibliography

- Daveluy, Marie-Claire, Jeanne Mance. Suivie d'un essai généalogique sur les Mance, par J. Jacques Laurent, Montréal, Éditions Lévesque, 1934.
- Daveluy, Marie-Claire, La Société de Notre-Dame de Montréal, 1639-1663, son histoire, ses membres, son manifeste, Montréal, Fidès, coll. «Fleur de lys, études historiques canadiennes», 1965.
- [Dezallier d'Argenville, A. N.], Voyage pittoresque de Paris, ou Indication de tout ce qu'il y a de plus beau dans cette grande ville en peinture, sculpture et architecture par M. D***, Paris, De Bure l'aîné, 1749.
- Faillon, Étienne Michel, Vie de Mademoiselle Mance et histoire de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Villemarie en Canada. Paris, Poussielgue-Rusand, 1854, 2 vol.
- Lanctôt, Gustave, Images et figures de Montréal sous la France: [1642-1763], Toronto, La Société Royale du Canada, 1943.


- XVIIe s.: Anonyme, Angélique Fauré de Bullion(huile sur toile), Paris, Archives du Musée de l'Assistance publique de Paris.

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