Henri Evrard, marquis de Dreux-Brézé

Henri Evrard, marquis de Dreux-Brézé

Henri Evrard, marquis de Dreux-Brézé (1762-1829), succeeded his father Thomas as master of the ceremonies to Louis XVI in 1781.

On the meeting of the states-general in 1789 it fell to him to regulate the questions of etiquette and precedence between the three estates. That as the immediate representative of the crown he should wound the susceptibilities of the deputies was perhaps inevitable, but little attempt was made to adapt traditional etiquette to changed circumstances. Brézé did not formally intimate to President Bailly the proclamation of the royal séance until the 20th of June, when the carpenters were about to enter the hall to prepare for the event, thus provoking the session in the tennis court. After the royal séance Brézé was sent to reiterate Louis's orders that the estates should meet separately, when Mirabeau replied that the hall could not be cleared except by force.

After the fall of the Tuileries Brézé emigrated for a short time, but though he returned to France he was spared during the Terror. At the Restoration he was made a peer of France, and resumed his functions as guardian of an antiquated ceremonial. He died on the 27th of January 1829, when he was succeeded in the peerage and at court by his son Scipion (1793-1845).

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