Abbé Théru declared that “a man given over to the infamous passion for boys is most unworthy of being placed among the body of magistrates” (AB 10815, f. 19), but Nicolas Talan, 20, son of a lawyer and law student himself, claimed that “the majority of magistrates in the Châtelet are of this taste, and many in the Parlement” (AB 10858, f. 40). He surely exaggerated, but police records include allegations about members of both courts as well as servants in their households, not to mention barristers, attorneys, clerks, and others from the world of the law. How did the education and experience of men of the law who desired men influence the ways in which they fulfilled their duties, especially in cases involving sexual deviance?
Several magistrates are mentioned in multiple documents, most notably Monet, who joined the Châtelet in 1720 and was compelled (by whom?) to resign his office in 1726 (AB 10935, f. 43v) . Talan denounced him in 1724. On 1 May 1725 Monet informed a “young man” in the Tuileries that he “hated” women “with horror,” although he had married one, and advised him not to love them (AB 10895, ff. 78-79). He advised his companion to embrace his own “taste,” tried shoved his hand into his breeches, and suggested that they penetrate each other. Officer Haimier arrested Monet but let him go. By 1726, the year of the prosecution and execution of Deschauffours, the police noted that there had been many complaints about his “abominable life.”
He not only often has parties of debauchery with folks of rank who are given over to the infamous passion for boys but has the indignity to commit the worst horrors with lackeys, and several have left his service to escape his brutality. . . . A man of this sort should at least be confined in the Bastille as an example. Perhaps it will constrain a number of men of rank who should be expelled from court (AB 10895, f. 43).
Several former servants confirmed these charges, and the unknown author of the “grand mémore” named him twenty-seven times. One Picard left his service because “he is a trollop who wishes to fool around with me and does not pay. In the beginning, to seduce me and make me consent to what he wished, he promised me every day to make me his personal valet and have me wear a sword, but she doesn’t have a cent” (AB 10258, ff. 364-364v). A button vendor informed a decoy that he amused himself every day”with Monet and his lackey Saint-Louis (AB 10258, f. 383).
Pierre Alexis Dubois de Courval, married with children, magistrate in the Parlement from 1747 to 1785, paid one workingman for sex, several times over several months, and maintained another for an unknown length of time (AB 10260, f. 323; 11232, f. 68). A sodomite assured a decoy that his brother had served Dubois for seven or eight years as a lackey and bardache (AB 11174, f. 183v). The author of an anonymous letter addressed to lieutenant general Hérault’s head clerk informed him that two of the président’s lackeys had attended an assembly of sodomites and inferred that this news “will perhaps make this magistrate return to his senses” (AB 10698, f. 51). One of his former lackeys conducted “trade in men” in his room on rue du Roule (AB 10258, ff. 74v-75). Servants of magistrates and other notables experienced dependence, but they also exhibited agency.
Grand Châtelet & Palais de Justice
Working list of magistrates and servants
GC Grand Conseil
P Parlement (Paris unless noted otherwise)
carton page date name
Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, Archives de la Bastille
10255 38 Joisel, P (1690-1735)
136 Phélypeaux, P
Ruelle, former personal valet of Novion
10256 32 Levy, C
202 Dubois and Monet
267 Desbaux, P of Toulouse
10257 185 Godet, lackey of Rosette, C
189 Dumont, lackey of président Poncet
261 Desjardins, former lackey of président Portail, “of this taste”
339 Gallé, lackey of président Ricard
351v Bressan, lackey of président Rieux
10258 62 Pomaot, lackey of Lajade, P
74 Roussel, lackey of président Villeneuve
74v Moreau, former lackey of président Dubois,
301, 364-65, 383 Monet, C
303 Goblet, cook of présidente de Lamoignon
530 Amelot, P, then GC [see Men of Rank or Means]
10259 62 Dupré, valet of Lamoignon
140 Marteau, valet of président du Moy
268 Comtois, domestic of Messac, P
282 La Rose, lackey of président de Noinville
424 Delacroix, C
10260 49 Gabilot, domestic of président Tourmont
93 Huchenot, in service of président du Mazes
191 Tessier, P (1743)
198 La Houssaye, cook of Monet
430 Duparguot, P de Bretagne
10698 51 two lackeys of président Dubois
10741 127v Joisel
10764 223 Auger, in service of Bullion
10782 310v Grattepin pursued valet de chamber of premier prêsident
10795 66 Philippe, président à mortier, P de Besançon
68 présidente Berbizy
71 présidente Bouhier
74 présidente de Nesmond
10815 19-40 Chenille, C d’Orléans
10821 52 Halay, GC
10850 41 Monet
Vougny, P (1720)
55 Ruel lived with the son of président Novion.
10873 47 Racine, P (1710)
10895 43, 78, 84-85, 154 Monet
45 Delpech, P de Toulouse
164 Renouard, P, then Cour des aides
10901 42v Dubois
10909 102 Monet
10935 43v Monet (forced to resign his office)
11038 31 Monet
11046 8 lackey of Dubois
11058 23v Ricard, lackey of président Soyer
11134 41 Chapelas, P de Bordeaux
11174 183v servant and bardache of Dubois
11232 68 Malisset, maintained by président Dubois
 Compare AB 11134, f. 49.
 Pierre Joisel (aka Chiverny, Choiseul, La Neuville, Saulne), mentioned in many police reports. AB 10255, f. 55; 10741, ff. 126-27; 10761, f. 43; 10812, ff. 176-77; 10821, f. 68; 10850, f. 51.
 Jean Louis Phélypeaux de Montlhéry (1688-1763).
 Nicolas Potier de Novion (1685-1720). His son is mentioned in AB 108509, f. 55.
 Antoine de Rosset (1659-1727)?
 Pierre Poncet de la Rivière (1666-1728).
 Antoine Portail (1674-1736) married and had children.
 Gabriel Bernard, comte de Rieux (1687-1745)
 Guignace de Villeneuve.
 Pierre Alexis Dubois de Courval (1690-1754) married and had children.
 Louise Henriette Madeleine Bernard, wife of Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon (1712-59), président in the P de Paris,
 Jacques Bernard Durey de Noinville (1683-1768).
 Jean Baptiste Pierre Tessier.
 Jean Louis de Bullion (-1736).
 Claude Ambroise Bruno Philippe (-1724).
 Jeanne Françoise Bourée (1679-1717), wife (1702) of Jean Bouhier (1673-1746), présidant à mortier in the P de Dijon.
 Marie Marguerite de Beauharnais-de-Miramion (-1725), wife (1660) of Guillaume de Nesmond (1628-93), président à mortier in the P de Paris
 Claude François Pinsonneau.
 Jean Simon de Vougny (1700-47) married but had no children.
 Nicolas Joseph Racine (1676-1735).
 Charles Claude Renouard (-1769) married.
Author: Jeffrey Merrick