The will of Madame, the Marchioness of Pompadour

The will of Madame, the Marchioness of Pompadour

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
I, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Marchioness of Pompadour, separated wife of Charles-Guillaume le Normant, wrote this present testament to have my last will executed.
I recommend my soul to God, begging Him for mercy and for His forgiveness to die in His Holy grace, hoping to satisfy His justice for the rewards of the precious blood of Christ, my Saviour, and for intervention of the Blessed Virgin and all the Saints in Heaven.
I wish my body to be carried to the Capuchin Friars in Place Vendome in Paris, without ceremonies in order to be buried in the crypt of the chapel that has been given to me in this church.

To Mr. Collin I leave a pension of 6000 livres, in acknowledgement of his affection towards me.
To Mr. Quesnay 4000 livres.
To Mr. Nesmes 3000 livres.
To Mr. Lefévre, surveyor, 1200 livres.
To my three chambermaids, to Ms. Jeanneton, to my three pages, to my cooks, assistants, my first surveyor, butler and doorkeeper I leave an income of 10% on 500 livres each.

In order to make my intention clear I will mention an example.
Madame Labbatv has been at my service for twelve years, therefore she will have an income of 600 livres for her entire life, as this sum is the multiplication to twelve of the income of 500 livres at 10%, as every year of service will be calculated in fifty livres.
To my valets, my coachmen, doormen, ushers, gardeners and cloakroom attendants I leave the sum of 300 livres to pay an income each as I previously explained.

I leave to all of my servants who I haven’t mentioned before the sum of 500 livres to pay a pension each as I previously explained.

Besides I wish that every pensions and incomes that have been creating through these years of service would be paid without any reduction.

I give to my chambermaids my dresses, underwear, skirts and laces. To my third chambermaid I leave a legacy of 3.000 livres plus her income; and to my cloak-assistant for her daily service a legacy of 1.200 livres plus her income.

To my three valets a legacy of 3.000 livres.
I ask the King to accept as a gift my hotel in Paris, to be transformed as a palace for one of his nephews.
I wish to assign to the Prelate the Count of Provence (1)
I ask His Majesty to accept the gift of all my precious stones embossed by Guay (bracelets, rings or seals), to enrich His collection.
I leave my estates and possessions to Abel-François Poisson, Marquees of Marigny, my brother, who I now name as my heir, in case of his death, I name Mr. Poisson de Malvoisin, Quartermaster of the Army and Sergeant of the Carabineers and his children.(2)

I name the Prince of Soubise as executor of my will, to whom I confer power to act and take any proper decision according to his own will, especially to set aside the funds and the incomes that belong to my patrimony to pay the incomes that I have prearranged and to decide to sell my properties in case the money wouldn’t be enough to pay all the pensions. I confer to my executor the faculty to employ a trusty person and to pay a wage to him: this person will cash any income coming from the funds previously set aside in order to pay a pension to each of the people that I previously named, who as designated, won’t claim for any further right on my estates.

On working at this fastidious task I ask Mr. De Soubise to take my trust and affection towards him into consideration.
I beg him to accept two of my rings, the one with the big diamond with the colour of a Blue Stone and the one embossed by Guay showing The Friendship.
I hope that he won’t sell the two rings but will keep them as a memory of my person and of my affection and friendship.

Drawn-up in Versailles, 15 November 1757.
Marchioness of Pompadour

To Mr. Abel-François Poisson, Marquees of Marigny, my brother, I leave the land of my marquisate in Menars and every property that belongs to it, and to his children and male nephews afterwards. The legacy will go to his first son. In case of daughters he should divide the land and give a piece to each of them. If my brother died without heirs, Mr. Poisson de Malvoisin Sergeant of the Carabineers would inherit the estate. 30 March 1761.

I wish to give legacies as a sign of friendship and memory to the following people: to Madame du Roure I leave the portrait of my daughter, even though she didn’t know her, but the portrait will always remember Madame du Roure my friendship.
To Madame de Mirepoix my new watch with diamonds.
To Madame de Chateau de Renaud I leave silver small-box containing a portrait of the King and decorated with diamonds.
To the Duchess of Choiseul silver small-box decorated with diamonds.
To the Duchess of Grammont (sister of Choiseul) a small-box decorated with a butterfly made of diamonds.
To the Duke of Gontaut a wedding ring with pink and white diamonds, bound with a green knot; a casket made of cornelian that he has always liked.
To the Duke of Choiseul a diamond, the colour of a blue stone, a black, pierced casket and a cup.
To Mr. De Soubise, Sergeant of the Carabineers, an embossed ring, made by Guay, showing The Friendship: this is the portrait of the friendship that we enjoyed through the past twenty years.
To Madame d’Amblimont I leave my emerald jewels.
If anybody has been forgotten I ask my brother to take the proper steps and I confirm my will right now. Having only the strength to sign this document, I hope he will approve this codicil suggested me by friendship, that I begged Collin to write down.

Versailles 15 April 1764.

(1)The forthcoming Louis XVIII
(2) Marigny died without heirs, so the estates went to her cousin, Poisson de Malvoisin. When his daughter died at the beginning of the 19th century, the Poisson family died out with her.
(3)This codicil has been drawn up the same day of her death.