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Polignac

france, re, french, prince, court and return

POLIGNAC, pi'llt.'nyitkl. An ancient French family, several of whose members played a prominent part at court after the time of Louis XI V. MELCHIOR DE POLIGNAC ( 1(161 -17421 was horn at in the Department of Haute-Loire. He was destined by his parents for an ecclesiastical 'career, and received an excel lent education. In 1693 he was sent to Poland as ambassador. and intrigued so successfully in favor of the Prince de Conti that the latter was actually elected .Tohn Sobieski's successor in 1697. Augustus the Strong, however, proved the suc cessful aspirant to the throne, and both Conti and Polignac had to leave Poland. in consequence of which the latter retired to his abbey at Bon port. In 1702 he was recalled to Versailles, and rose higher than ever in the royal favor. In 1712 he was appointed French plenipotentiary at the Congress of Utrecht. and after his return ob tained the abbeys of Corbie and Anchin. During the Regency Polignac took part in the conspiracy of Cellamare, and was banished to his abbey of Anchin. in 1725 he was sent to Route, charged with the conduct of French affairs, and signal ized his mission by healing the quarrel that was dividing the Gallivan Church on the subject of the famous bull Vnigcnitus. (See dAxst:NIsm.) In 1725 he was raised to the Archbishopric of Audi, and on hi. return to France spent the re mainder of his days in retirement. Polignac succeeded Bossuct at the Academic Franeaise iu 1104, and was also a member in the des Sciences and of the Academie des Belles-Let tres. For his life see the Memoirs of the time. notably those of Saint Simon and D'Argenson.

The other members of the Polignac family who deserve mention are connected with the last phases of the Bourbon monarchy in France. In the reign of Louis XVI., Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastrou Duchess de Polignac (1749-93), and her husband, Jules, Duke de Polignac (died ) , were among the most intimate and fa vored advisers of Marie Antoinette. They ob

tained vast sums of the public money from their connection with the Court, and were largely if not mainly responsible for the extravagance which marked the eve of the Revolution. The Polignaes—knowing the deep hatred felt toward them by the French people—were the first of the noblesse to emigrate (-July 16, 1759). From the Empress Catharine H. of Russia, the Duke re ceived an estate in the Ukraine, and did not re turn to France at the Restoration. He left three sons, of whom only one deserves notice—di:Les ARMAND MARIE, Prince de Polignac, born at Versailles, Slay 14, 1750. In 1504 he entered with his brother into a conspiracy against Napoleon, and both were imprisoned, but they escaped when the Allies entered France, in 1814. After his return to Paris Polifmae became in timate with the Count of Artois, afterwards Charles X.. showed an ardent attachment to the Roman Catholic Church, and, in consequence, re ceived from the Pope. in 1520, the title of a Roman prince. He was appointed ambassador at the English Court in •1523: and finally, in 1529, became head of the last Ministry. in which capacity he promulgated the fatal ordi nances of duly, 1830, that called to arms, and drove Charles X. from the throne. (See Jutv REvoLunox.) Ile then attempted to flee from the country, hut was captured at Granville. tried. and condemned to imprisonment life in the Castle of Ham. but was afterwards set at liberty by the amnesty of November 29, 1536. He took up his residence in England. He died at Saint Germain, March 2. 1547.