Although few people had ever seen the prisoner, the public had already begun to speculate on the man’s identity. Alexandre Dumas used this theory in his book The Vicomte de Bragelonne, but made the prisoner an identical twin of Louis XIV. And if he didn’t know, why keep him alive or even imprison him at all? Eustache de Cavoye Selon Maurice Duvivier, Dauger serait Eustache de Cavoye, incarcéré pour avoir été le chirurgien Auger, l'un des acteurs de l'affaire des poisons. In 1685, two years before the move to Sainte-Marguerite, Charles II died and was succeeded by his Roman Catholic brother, James, and in 1688 the year after the move to Sainte-Marguerite, James was driven out of England and replaced by the Protestant couple William and Mary. The scandal engulfed many people, among them was the mistress of King Louis XVI who was reported to take part in the sacrifices. The prison’s second-in-command, de Rosarges, was to feed him. Eustache Dauger de Cavoye was a wealthy man born to a good family and his mother had worked for the queen of France. For instance, Voltaire mentions him in his work, Le siècle de Louis XIV. Eustache Dauger: The Man in the Iron Mask. There is, however, a twist. Nabo the Moor was real enough, and the crime he committed was certainly of sufficient gravity to merit the fate of the Iron Mask. Theories about his identity made at the time included that he was a Marshal of France; or the English Henry Cromwell, son of Oliver Cromwell; or François, Duke of Beaufort. The King himself endowed the girl with 20,000 crowns and she took the name of Sister Louis-Marie-Thérèse. This could explain the secrecy surrounding the prisoner and the reason for his luxurious treatment. The prisoner was also to be told that if he spoke of anything other than his immediate needs, he would be killed, but, as stated by Louvois, the prisoner should not require much since he was “only a valet”. To support our blog and writers we put affiliate links and advertising on our page. The absence of a prime minister under Louis XIV caused fierce rivalry amongst his ministers, chief of whom were Colbert, the Controller of Finance, and Le Tellier, the Minister of War. Records indicate that he was born on 30 August 1637, the son of François Dauger, a captain in Cardinal Richelieu's guards. For Louvois it is a great relief to know that the agent of his crime is safely locked up and silenced for ever. In 1664, moreover, the Queen was well aware of her husband’s affair with Madame de La Vallière. The problem with the de Cavoye theory is that he was being held in Saint-Lazare when the man in the iron mask was in Pignerol. Other sources, however, claim that Bulonde's arrest was no secret and was actually published in a newspaper at the time and that he was released after just a few months. Apparently he had kept the secret to himself, because Saint-Mars trusted him enough to go on keeping him informed. All his furniture and clothing were reportedly destroyed afterwards, the walls of his cell scraped and whitewashed, and everything made of metal that the man had possessed was melted down”. 1992: "The Iron Mask" - A CD by gothic rock band Christian Death. According to La Fare, he was ‘savage and bloody’, a man ‘whose sole aim was to be master’ and who was capable of destroying everything around him by his extreme ‘ferocity, pride and rashness’. Over time, however, the story became legend, and the legend faded into myth, retold dozens of times in children’s books, novels, and movies throughout the world. It is possible that the Man in the Iron Mask was just an ordinary citizen named Eustache Dauger, who angered the king, but not enough to have him killed. Louvois does not reply to Lauzun directly. Who his master had been was evidently an important part of the secret, and leads one to suppose that if that had been revealed, the crime itself would have been exposed. If Danger had fallen into the hands of La Reynie and had been made to talk, Louvois would certainly have been incriminated. Read more. In 1668, for instance, when he wanted to make Sidonia de Courcelles his mistress, he had her husband and Louis de Cavoye, who was her lover, held in prison on a charge for which they had been acquitted. According to records, Eustache Dauger really did serve as valet to another guest of the prison, Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis of Belle-Île, a former superintendent of finances who had been jailed by Louis XIV on the charge of embezzlement. His full name was Eustache Dauger de Cavoye. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Also, there does not seem to be any reason as to why they would want to have kept his identity secret. ], among other things, that a black mass was enacted, and that a pig was baptized as "carp" in order to allow them to eat pork on Good Friday. On November 19, 1703, a tomb in the Bastille’s Saint Paul Cemetery welcomed the corpse of a man who had spent almost the last four decades of his life in various prisons of France. Since when she died in 1683 her black daughter was nineteen years of age and no doubt already convinced that she was the daugher of the Queen, it is also logical to suppose that the King thought it wise to continue the imprisonment and the secrecy. No doubt he would have discovered eventually that she was pregnant and later that a child had been born in secret. Afraid that if the boy were allowed to remain he would meet the Queen again, the minister had him arrested and taken off to Pignerol. The story by Alexander Dumas is fantastic, And strange as it may aeemvif I remember rightly the mask was velvet. At least we know he was one of two persons – either Ercole Mattioli, a traitorous Italian diplomat, or Eustache Dauger (or the spelling may be d’Auger/d’Anger – depending on how you read the Louvois written material). According to this theory, the "miraculous" birth of Louis XIV in 1638 would have come after Louis XIII had been estranged from his wife for 14 years. At that time poisoning was thought to be rare in France, the work of foreigners, especially Italians. At the Siege of Cuneo in 1691, Bulonde was concerned about enemy troops arriving from Austria and ordered a hasty withdrawal, leaving behind his munitions and wounded men. For that matter, if he had a big secret, why was he allowed to come in contact regularly with Fouquet who he might have slipped the secret too and who, in turn, might have revealed it to others via letters? His service in the military has been well documented but little is known about him afterwards. Since La Rivière was often ill, Saint-Mars applied for permission for Dauger to act as servant for Fouquet. Guided Tour of the Eiffel Tower + Summit access, Arc de Triomphe: Skip The Line + Rooftop Access, Beautiful Paris by night: Discover Paris’ most iconic view at night, Things to do in Paris on Christmas Day (2019). It is well-known that a man named Eustache Dauger de Cavoye, the son of a captain in Cardinal Richelieu’s guards, was born in 1637. Then, unexpectedly, the wind turned. In his letters to Louvois, Saint-Mars describes Dauger as a quiet man, giving no trouble, "disposed to the will of God and to the king", compared to his other prisoners who were either always complaining, constantly trying to escape, or simply mad.. I was absolutely spellbound from the first chapters of each book until the last. After three years Bazeries managed to read some messages in the Great Cipher of Louis XIV. ( Public Domain ). Someone of the royal blood imprisoned for life on dubious charges? Gage A. asks: Was the man in the iron mask a real person? Writer and philosopher Voltaire claimed (in the second edition of his Questions sur l'Encyclopédie, published in 1771) that the prisoner wore an iron mask and was the older, illegitimate brother of Louis XIV. The have timeless fascination, carrying me from my current reality on the wings of words when I was 10 yrs old and just as well when I was 40 yrs old. If you go see a movie in Paris, odds are that he will be there. There were no visitors and the child’s death was announced on 26 December.  Dumas also presented a review of the ideas about the prisoner extant in his time (circa 1840) in the chapter "L'homme au masque de fer" of the sixth volume of his Crimes Célèbres.. Vardes composed the letter and Guiche translated it into Spanish. Towards the end of 1665, when Madame de La Vallière became pregnant, the King was alarmed about the possibility of La Rivière changing the colour of her baby’s skin so he rid himself of the man by packing him off to Pignerol with the son of his godmother. Louvois, who with or without his knowledge has followed his movements closely, has him arrested and bundled off to prison the moment he lands in Dunkirk. Supposedly the father then left for the Americas but in the 1660s returned to France with the aim of extorting money for keeping his secret and was promptly imprisoned. After his master's execution in 1669 the valet was taken to France, possibly by capture or subterfuge, and imprisoned because he might have known too much about his master's affairs. Why was Fouquet granted such access? His full name was Eustache Dauger de Cavoye.. Dauger was also to be told that if he, Dauger, spoke of anything other than his immediate needs he would be killed, but, according to Louvois, the prisoner should not require much since he was "only a valet". Aide et soutien aux familles dont un enfant a disparu (enlèvement ou fugue). Check Amazon’s best-seller list for the most popular travel accessories. Perfectly fine (often given servants and many of the perks of nobility while there). Since Fouquet was imprisoned more than seven years before the attempt on Colbert’s life, he is not likely to know anything about a valet who was under suspicion and, since he was imprisoned by Colbert, he is not likely to feel much concern for Colbert if Danger tells him about it. If Eustache Dauger was not Eustache Dauger de Cavoye, then who was he? He was forbidden to speak about his past, not because it contained some terrible secret, but precisely because it contained nothing of any consequence; such a disclosure would have raised suspicions about the motives of those responsible for the pretence. Madame de Maintenon visited her regularly thereafter, taking various members of the royal family along with her, and everyone at the convent, including her superiors, treated her with the greatest respect. Neither Barbezieux before the move to the Bastille, nor Pontchartrain after it, ever showed the kind of obsessive concern that Louvois had always shown. In The Man of the Mask (1908), Arthur Barnes presents James de la Cloche, the alleged illegitimate son of the reluctant Protestant Charles II of England, who would have been his father's secret intermediary with the Catholic court of France. Anonymous print (etching and mezzotint, hand-colored) from 1789. Furthermore, the king was old, weak, ill, and not expected to live much longer, and may have been impotent, which implies that Louis XIII was not the father. Eight months after his arrival, everyone is so curious to know who he is that Saint-Mars has taken to inventing preposterous stories about him. According to the genealogy of the French Kings, there were many twins born in the family, sparking even more speculation into the twin theory. Presumably the crime was known, and the perpetrator thought to be a valet in the service of someone in particular. She was the last of the Desgranges family, descended from the father-in-law of the youngest son of Saint-Mars, who apparently on his own death-bed had, for some mysterious reason, confided the secret of his mysterious prisoner to the in-laws of his dead son. He is rude to everyone who speaks to him.’. The same change of attitude can be found in all matters relating to the prisoner’s day-to-day life. Saint-Mars must have been surprised to receive a black prisoner since, so Dijol claims, he already had a black man locked up in his prison. Your email address will not be published. L’Homme au Masque de Fer ( The Man in the Iron Mask ) is the name given to a prisoner arrested in c. 1669, and condemned to the cruel fate of having his head clamped within an iron mask, or so the story goes. Dumas, Alexandre, Celebrated Crimes, volume 6, p. 2008, George Agar Ellis, The true history of the State Prisoner commonly called the Iron Mask, here identified with Count E. A. Mattioli, extracted from documents in the French archives (London, J. Murray, 1826), https://archive.org/details/crimesclbres02dumagoog, https://archive.org/details/celebratedcrimes06duma, The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later, The Secret of Queen Anne or Musketeers Thirty Years After, The Return of the Musketeers, or The Treasures of Cardinal Mazarin, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Touché: The Adventures of the Fifth Musketeer, https://infogalactic.com/w/index.php?title=Man_in_the_Iron_Mask&oldid=177404, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2010, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from July 2010, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, About Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core, 2014: "The Musketeers" (BBC 2014 adaptation) – series 1, episode 6, 1983: "The man in the iron mask" - A track on. It has been said that The Man in the Iron Mask was the son of Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarin, and therefore an illegitimate half-brother of King Louis XIV , an idea transformed into a book by Alexandre Dumas called “The Vicomte de Bragelonne.”. What they discuss is not known and no one can possibly imagine. Such an identification of Eustache Danger would also explain why in the course of his stay at Exiles and even more noticeably on Sainte-Marguerite Island he lost importance in the eyes of the authorities in Paris. Quand a-t-on commencé à parler du Masque de fer comme étant directement lié à Louis XIV et dans quel but? When Jung wrote about ‘Eustache Dauger, Danger or d’Augers’, he stated flatly that after all his researches he was sure that ‘there exists no trace of this person anywhere.’ Then he went on to give what little he had turned up that might be relevant, including a story he claimed to have had from the historian Pierre Clement that there was ‘a valet of Colbert who ran away, totally disappeared, and who was accused of having wished to poison his master in 1669.’ In fact Clement’s reference, which was given in a book entitled La Police sous Louis XIV, derives from a note made in 1679 by La Reynie about a possible conspiracy to poison Colbert in 1676. Eustache Dauger de Cavoye was the brother of Louis Oger de Cavoye, who was King Louis XIV's Chief Marshall of Lodgings in 1677. Mistress of the king who dabbled in satanic mass with Eustache Dauger – Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Something unpleasant is sure to happen to one or the other. He drove up to Saint-Germain in a hearse with stag’s horns on the roof instead of plumes and denounced the King as an adulterer. When François and his two eldest sons were killed in battle, Eustache became the nominal head of the family. Change ). His tactics were only too successful at first. There is some evidence to support this theory. The point of Dijol’s story is that the Moor was the father of the Queen’s black daughter, something which fortunately for his argument can be accepted without his story. Other stories say that the prisoner was indeed the king’s brother, but not his twin. The French public had been made aware of the anonymous prisoner thanks to a series of short, handwritten notes published in a local Gazette. There is no record as to what happened to Dauger, but in 1665, near the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, he allegedly killed a young page boy in a drunken brawl involving the Duc de Foix. Historians have noted that the name Eustache Dauger was written in a handwriting different from the rest of the text, suggesting that a clerk wrote the letter under Louvois' dictation, while a third party, very likely the minister himself, added the name afterwards. His full name was Eustache Dauger de Cavoye. The letter was written by Lieutenant Étienne du Junca, explaining that a little after 10 O’clock the prisoner, still wearing his black velvet mask, was found dead in his cell and was promptly buried in the cemeterySaint-Paul. ( Log Out / The difference in treatment of the prisoner before and after Sainte-Marguerite is particularly noticeable in the way he was transported from one prison to another. De Bulonde was accused of cowardice during the siege of Cuneo in 1691. One of the letters written by Louvois made specific reference to de Bulonde’s crime. Mazarin may have been related to the mystery. On 16 November 1664, Queen Maria-Teresa, the wife of Louis XIV, gave birth to a black daughter. His true identity has been widely debated among professionals. Other popular suspects have included men known to have been held at Pignerol at the same time as Dauger. Nicolas Fouquet was a French Superintendent of Finance who had been tried for corruption, leading to his banishment. The possible identity of this man has been thoroughly discussed and has been the subject of many books, as no one ever saw his face because it was hidden by a mask of black velvet cloth. Eli is a Parisian musician and writer. So in the end, while we know quite a bit about the “man in the iron mask,” whether he was actually guilty of a legitimate crime, who he really was, or even whether he truly was forced to wear an iron mask all the time may never be known. ( Public Domain ). Evidence has been produced to suggest that the arrest was actually made in Calais and that not even the local governor was informed of the event – Vauroy's absence being explained away by his hunting for Spanish soldiers who had strayed into France via the Spanish Netherlands.. The child was said to be a month premature and so the usual witnesses were not present. , Since that time, letters purportedly sent by Saint-Mars, which earlier historians missed, indicate that Mattioli was only held at Pignerol and Sainte-Marguerite and was not at Exiles or the Bastille and, therefore, it is argued that he can be discounted. It is an important point that the man in the mask served as a valet. There are some historians who reject this thesis by invoking the circumstances of the birth. However, the book introduced a substantial change: he made the prisoner an identical twin of Louis XIV. More on this in the Bonus Facts below.). Historians were eventually able to obtain these letters that detailed the way in which the prisoner was to be treated. From here we have numerous references of the man, some more credible than others. Listen to the audio pronunciation of Eustache Dauger de Cavoye on pronouncekiwi. Eustache was restricted in the amount of money to which he had access, having built up considerable debts, and left with barely enough for "food and upkeep." The earliest record of the masked prisoner dates to 1669 AD and was a letter sent from the Marquis de Louvois, King Louis XIV’s minister, to Bénigne Dauvergne de Saint-Mars, governor of the Pignerol prison in Pinerolo, Piedmont, then part of France. The Man in the Iron Mask by Michel Moniquet, 1948. It is generally agreed, however, that Matthioli died in the Îles Sainte-Marguerite in April 1694 and that the prisoner in the mask was indeed Eustache Dauger. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. If Eustache Dauger was not Eustache Dauger de Cavoye, then who was he? She had known about it as early as November 1662 when she is reported to have pointed out her husband’s mistress wearing diamond earrings in a crowd of court ladies. Danger adds the poison to Colbert’s medicine on 27 December 1668, but the dose is not strong enough and Colbert survives. Subjected to becoming a servant by fellow royalty? In any event, as mentioned, the order for Dauger’s imprisonment was given by the Marquis de Louvois, Louis XIV’s Secretary of State for War. It has been speculated that it is because Fouquet was expected to spend the rest of his life in prison, though of course this wouldn’t preclude him writing letters or meeting with others, making the whole lifting of the supposed restrictions even more curious. For other uses, see, "Iron Mask" redirects here. Your email address will not be published. If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as: There was a real man in the iron mask. His troops were little better than brigands and, riding at their head with a shapely peasant-girl wearing breeches and a sword beside him, he terrorized French and Spanish alike, bullying and brawling, drinking and looting. The Frenchman’s novels were often inspired by real people’s stories which he then created fictional stories around. The mystery has baffled historians since the 17th century. Some were presented after the existence of the letters was widely known. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. But, as soon as the agreement was signed, Mattioli nullified its effect by betraying the secret to several foreign courts. As with the other theories, there is little in the way of actual evidence to back it, but at the least it would explain why the prisoner would be so fond of the king despite that same king having had him imprisoned for life.
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