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),[1] 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

C         Châtelet

GC      Grand Conseil

P          Parlement (Paris unless noted otherwise)


carton  page     date                 name

Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, Archives de la Bastille

10255  38                                Joisel,[2] P (1690-1735)

136                                           Phélypeaux,[3] P

Ruelle, former personal valet of Novion[4]

10256  32                                Levy, C

202                                          Dubois and Monet

267                                          Desbaux, P of Toulouse

10257  185                              Godet, lackey of Rosette,[5] C

189                                           Dumont, lackey of président Poncet[6]

261                                           Desjardins, former lackey of président Portail,[7] “of this taste”

339                                          Gallé, lackey of président Ricard

351v                                         Bressan, lackey of président Rieux[8]

10258  62                                Pomaot, lackey of Lajade, P

74                                             Roussel, lackey of président Villeneuve[9]

74v                                           Moreau, former lackey of président Dubois,[10]

301, 364-65, 383                   Monet, C

303                                           Goblet, cook of présidente de Lamoignon[11]

530                                           Amelot, P, then GC [see Men of Rank or Means]

10259  62                                Dupré, valet of Lamoignon

140                                           Marteau, valet of président du Moy

182                                           Amelot

268                                           Comtois, domestic of Messac, P

282                                           La Rose, lackey of président de Noinville[12]

424                                           Delacroix, C

10260  49                                Gabilot, domestic of président Tourmont

93                                             Huchenot, in service of président du Mazes

191                                            Tessier,[13] P (1743)

198                                           La Houssaye, cook of Monet

323                                          Dubois

373                                          Delacroix

430                                         Duparguot, P de Bretagne

10698  51                               two lackeys of président Dubois

10741  127v                           Joisel

10764  223                            Auger, in service of Bullion[14]

10782  310v                          Grattepin pursued valet de chamber of premier prêsident

10795  66                              Philippe,[15] président à mortier, P de Besançon

68                                           présidente Berbizy

71                                            présidente Bouhier[16]

74                                           présidente de Nesmond[17]

10815  19-40                        Chenille, C d’Orléans

10821  52                              Halay, GC

10850  41                              Monet

Pinsonneau, C[18]

Vougny,[19] P (1720)

55                                           Ruel lived with the son of président Novion.

10873  47                              Racine,[20] P (1710)

10895  43, 78, 84-85, 154  Monet

45                                           Delpech, P de Toulouse

164                                         Renouard,[21] 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


[1] Compare AB 11134, f. 49.

[2] 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.

[3] Jean Louis Phélypeaux de Montlhéry (1688-1763).

[4] Nicolas Potier de Novion (1685-1720). His son is mentioned in AB 108509, f. 55.

[5] Antoine de Rosset (1659-1727)?

[6] Pierre Poncet de la Rivière (1666-1728).

[7] Antoine Portail (1674-1736) married and had children.

[8] Gabriel Bernard, comte de Rieux (1687-1745)

[9] Guignace de Villeneuve.

[10] Pierre Alexis Dubois de Courval (1690-1754) married and had children.

[11] Louise Henriette Madeleine Bernard, wife of Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon (1712-59), président in the P de Paris,

[12] Jacques Bernard Durey de Noinville (1683-1768).

[13] Jean Baptiste Pierre Tessier.

[14] Jean Louis de Bullion (-1736).

[15] Claude Ambroise Bruno Philippe (-1724).

[16] Jeanne Françoise Bourée (1679-1717), wife (1702) of Jean Bouhier (1673-1746), présidant à mortier in the P de Dijon.

[17] Marie Marguerite de Beauharnais-de-Miramion (-1725), wife (1660) of Guillaume de Nesmond (1628-93), président à mortier in the P de Paris

[18] Claude François Pinsonneau.

[19] Jean Simon de Vougny (1700-47) married but had no children.

[20] Nicolas Joseph Racine (1676-1735).

[21] Charles Claude Renouard (-1769) married.


Author: Jeffrey Merrick