Louis XIV and the Parlements: The Assertion of Royal Authority

By John J. Hurt | Go to book overview

7
Sequels

The regent’s victory in the lit de justice came opportunely, as his government still faced two troublesome, leftover issues. The first involved the Parlement of Rennes. Lethargic in the first half of 1718, the Breton tribunal roused itself that summer in sympathy with the Parlement of Paris and opened another political front, so to speak. Had the Bretons prevailed, they might have cancelled the advantages accruing to the government from the lit de justice, setting a bad example for other provincial tribunals and possibly inspiring the Parisian magistrates to try again. To prevent this, d’Argenson had to reach quickly into a far corner of the realm and silence the Bretons once and for all.

The second problem was how to deal with the national debt and, more specifically, what to do about the augmentations de gages of the judges. John Law inherited this problem, as after the lit de justice he set about reconstructing the economy and finances of the realm. The foreigner whom the magistrates of Paris had so grievously antagonized ended up with the power to pay, or not to pay, their augmentations de gages. On the other hand, Law did not yet know whether he could impose his idea of a financial settlement on the tribunals or whether he would have to compromise with them. It remained to be seen whether the benefits of the lit de justice would carry over into these additional areas of controversy.


D’Argenson and the Parlement of Rennes, 1718–1720

Six deputies from the Parlement of Rennes stayed in Paris from January to April 1718 and, beyond a doubt, contacted judges in the Parlement of Paris, exchanging information, sharing views and establishing personal ties. Once the deputies returned to Rennes, the whole Parlement closely followed the struggle waged by the Parisian judges against the recoinage edict. That episode led to the idea, which apparently originated with the Bretons, of joining forces with the senior tribunal, another ‘association’ for d’Argenson to apprehend and to disapprove.

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Louis XIV and the Parlements: The Assertion of Royal Authority
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Tables viii
  • Preface and Acknowledgements ix
  • List of Abbreviations xvii
  • Introduction- Sovereignty and Registration of the Laws 1
  • 1 - Compulsory Registration and Its Limits, 1665–1671 17
  • 2 - Victory over the Parlements, 1671–1675 38
  • 3 - Venal Office and the Royal Breakthrough 67
  • 4 - The Ordeal of the Parlementaires 95
  • 5 - The Regent and the Parlements- The Bid for Cooperation 125
  • 6 - Confronting the Parlement of Paris, 1718 149
  • 7 - Sequels 173
  • Conclusion 195
  • Select Bibliography 200
  • Index 216
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