L'évêque-duc et pair de France : titre honorifique ou puissance effective ? : l'exemple de Langres : 1655-1791

Abstract : Langres, a town in Eastern France has long been the seat of a dukedom comprising one hundred and eighty-three seignories grouped into thirteen fiefs extending between the town of Tonnerre and Vosges mountains, between the towns of Chaumont and Dijon. This grouping enabled the bishop-dukes to enjoy strong regional recognition combined with a high income, ranging indeed from forty thousand and one hundred and thirty-five thousand livres between 1655 and 1791. Kings oftentimes added the income provided by the benefices of abbeys so that the prelates might enjoy a higher lifestyle. They were thus part of a wealthy and wellheeled elite and therefore had to give themselves a government to manage their affairs. Furthermore, the prelates were entitled to it (Reims, Laon, Langres, Châlons, Beauvais and Noyon). This title made it possible for the bishop-dukes to turn to the parliament for their affairs and to be able to deal directly with the king or parliament. Enven though the most symbolic privilege which ensued was their participation in royal coronations, they were granted far more tangible concessions such as the bestowal of the office of Lieutenant général de police created in every French town by Louis XIV in 1699. Their power also manifested itself by discreet but actual interventions in the political affaires of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, culminating with the appointment of the last bishop Monsignor de La Luzerne as President of the assemblée constituante. However, this was in no way unusual as the prelates who were chosen to hold ecclesiastical peerages were in most cases among the most influential ones in Court circles.
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Theses
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 3:55:56 PM
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Stéphane Douillot. L'évêque-duc et pair de France : titre honorifique ou puissance effective ? : l'exemple de Langres : 1655-1791. Histoire. Université Nancy 2, 2000. Français. ⟨NNT : 2000NAN21018⟩. ⟨tel-01776265⟩

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