Suzanne de Lezay

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Suzanne de Lezay
Spouses Agrippa d'Aubigné
Birth date After 1550
Death 1595
Biographical entries in old dictionaries

Entry by Gilbert Schrenck, 2005

The date of birth of Suzanne de Lezay, daughter of Ambroise de Lezay and Renée de Vivonne, remains unknown. Her parents came from families related to the Lusignans (on her father's side) and the Retz (on her mother's side). Nothing is known of her childhood except that she was living in the chateau of Bougouin, near Saint-Maixent, when she met Agrippa d'Aubigné. The young pair became fond of one another, but Suzanne's family violently opposed their desire to marry because of their doubts about the suitor's nobility. Only the personal intervention of the king of Navarre in favor of his riding master dispelled their distrust (Sa vie à ses enfants, Gilbert Schrenck, ed., Paris, STFM, 1986, p.124-128). The marriage took place on June 6, 1583.

Suzanne de Lezay's dowry included the estates of Surimeau and Mursay, near Niort. She gave birth to five children: Constant d'Aubigné, father of the future Mme de Maintenon (1584); Marie, who married Josué de Caumont d'Adde on 5 December 1613; Louise, who married Benjamin de Valois, sire of Villette, later responsible for raising his niece; and two sons who died in 1599 at an early age. She herself died suddenly at the beginning of 1595, leaving an inconsolable husband behind her. D'Aubigné wrote that after her death "three years passed with hardly a night that he didn't cry" (Sa vie..., p.157.) He waited thirty years before remarrying.

Suzanne de Lezay can be traced solely through her husband's autobiography. Madame de Maintenon says nothing of her grandmother, although de Maintenon's biographers do mention her from time to time.

(translated by Michelle Sommers)

Selected bibliography

- Merle, Louis, Constant d'Aubigné, Paris/Fontenay-le-Comte, Beauchesne/Lussaud, 1971.

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