Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilActes de colloques, journées d’ét...23Confrontations et ambiguïtésVersailles in England: Culture, C...

Confrontations et ambiguïtés

Versailles in England: Culture, Commerce and Diplomacy, from Charles II to Louis XVI

Versailles en Angleterre : culture, commerce et diplomatie, de Charles II à Louis XVI
Philip Mansel

Résumés

La fascination que les Anglais ont pour Versailles et la cour de France se reflète à travers la présence de nombreux visiteurs britanniques au château. Cette fascination s’observe aussi en Angleterre à travers l’art des jardins, l’architecture, la décoration intérieure et même dans les mœurs. Parmi les voyageurs qui ont rapporté dans leur pays le fruit de leur expérience à Versailles, se distinguent des diplomates comme Ralph Montagu, qui deviendra grand maître de la Garde-Robe en Angleterre, des artisans tel Daniel Marot, réfugié huguenot ayant travaillé pour Louis XIV. Versailles fut l’un des modèles (mais pas le seul) qui servit pour les résidences de Hampton Court, Boughton et Chatsworth, entre autres, en particulier avec les décors peints sur le thème de la monarchie et avec l’ameublement de l’imposante chambre du Roi. Les travaux récents d’Anna Keay, Simon Thurley et d’autres confirment que certains rituels et usages à Versailles ont influencé la cour d’Angleterre. Ainsi Charles II fut le premier roi anglais à instaurer le lever et le coucher. Guillaume III, quant à lui, projeta de faire édifier son propre Trianon à côté de Hampton Court, tandis que le futur George IV aménagea Carlton House avec du mobilier inspiré de celui de Versailles. L’influence de Versailles en Angleterre montre comment la culture de cour a pu l’emporter sur les guerres et les rivalités entre les deux pays.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

  • 1 For comparisons between the English and other European courts, see Baillie 2014; and Schaich 2017.

1The impact of Versailles in England challenges stereotypes of rivalry and hostility between France and England. England was at least as receptive as other European states to the architecture, decoration, manners and dress of Versailles, and at least as much part of European court culture and networks of monarchy.1

  • 2 Greville 1938, vol. 2, 28 November 1831.

2France and England were frequently at war. Nevertheless, they remained connected by geographical proximity, and monarchical, cultural and commercial synergy – what the diarist Charles Greville called, when riots in France in 1831 triggered similar riots in England, ‘a constant sort of electrical reciprocity of effort between us and France’.2 Both were monarchies with powerful nobilities, and luxury- and novelty-loving capitals only two days’ journey apart. In an age of difficult and expensive travel, England was closer to France than any other country in Europe except the Low Countries. English people could revisit Versailles with relative ease. The long periods of peace between the two kingdoms (before 1689, 1697−1702, 1713−42, 1748−56, 1763−78, 1783−93, and after 1814) were as significant as the shorter periods of war (1689−97, 1702−13, 1742−48, 1756−63, 1778−83, 1793−1802, 1803−14, and 1815). Each country became a natural model and customer for, and alternative to and refuge from, the other. The royal family, diplomats, travellers, artists and craftsmen, and objects such as clothes and furniture, helped spread the influence and message of Versailles in England.

  • 3 Her father, Henri IV, had been so closely allied with Elizabeth I against Spain that he mourned her (...)
  • 4 Hamilton 1962, p. 10. Hamilton’s sister, Elizabeth, comtesse de Gramont, was a lady in waiting (dam (...)

3The marriage, in 1625, of Charles I and Henrietta Maria,3 and the installation of her large French household in Somerset House, her palace in London, marked the beginning of the shuttle between the two capitals, which has since been suspended only by war or plague. During the reigns of their sons Charles II and James II, cousins, allies and pensioners of Louis XIV, the two courts resembled each other so closely that Anthony Hamilton claimed that when his brother-in-law the comte de Gramont (whose memoirs he was writing) lived in London in the 1660s, he could hardly believe he had left France.4

  • 5 Mansel 2020a, pp. 255−6.

4Charles II embodied French influence in England. Although often unreliable, he usually followed Louis XIV’s policies, particularly after the arrival in 1670 of his French mistress Louise de Kéroualle, a former maid of honour (fille d’honneur) of his sister Henriette, duchesse d’Orléans, who had married Louis XIV’s brother in 1661. Following the secret Treaty of Dover of 1670, in preparation for the joint Anglo-French attack on the Netherlands in 1672, he began to receive a pension from Louis XIV, although it was suspended when their policies differed. Louise de Kéroualle’s magnificent apartment in Whitehall Palace became the true centre of government in England. As a reward for her services, she was made Duchess of Portsmouth by Charles II in 1673, and duchesse d’Aubigny by Louis XIV in 1684 – the only woman to have been created a duchess in her own right in two countries.5

  • 6 Cf. Hartmann 1954, p. 225, Charles II to the duchesse d’Orléans, 6 July 1668: ‘we are in great expe (...)

5Even Charles II’s acts of defiance of Louis XIV strengthened the impact of Versailles in England. In 1681 he issued a proclamation welcoming Protestant refugees from France, who, while rejecting the Catholic religion, spread the taste and fashions of Versailles (where some, such as the decorator Daniel Marot, had worked) almost as effectively as the books, prints and journals sponsored by Louis XIV.6

  • 7 Mansel 2020c.
  • 8 See https://architrave.eu/, ‘Art and Architecture in Paris and Versailles in Accounts by Baroque-Er (...)
  • 9 Lister 1699, p. 202.
  • 10 Cf. Mansel 2020c, p. 20.
  • 11 See Mansel 2020c, passim. There are many other English accounts of Versailles, in addition to those (...)

6As I have described in a previous article,7 most English visitors admired Versailles, in contrast to the rejection by visitors from the Holy Roman Empire recounted by Hendrik Ziegler in the project ‘Architrave’.8 Louis XIV’s palaces were seen as synonyms for splendour, luxury and elegance, even by Whigs who disliked his absolute monarchy and persecution of Protestants. In 1698, for example, the English doctor Martin Lister came to France in the household of William III’s ambassador the Earl of Portland, who had spent much of his life fighting Louis XIV. He described Versailles as ‘the most magnificent [palace] of any in Europe […] The Splanade towards the Gardens and Parterres are the noblest things that can be seen’.9 Detractors, of whom the most famous were Matthew Prior and Horace Walpole, were in a minority, and did not subsequently remain entirely hostile.10 The question of the impact of Versailles in England shows the supremacy of fashion over politics, of soft power over hard power, and the importance, in influencing the taste of groups and nations, of individuals such as Charles II, William III and the future George IV. Versailles, because of its size, its novelty and the number of entertainments given there, greatly increased the traditional influence in England of the French court and the Paris luxury trades. It was visited and described more often than earlier French royal palaces such as the Louvre, Fontainebleau, and Compiègne.11

Royal palaces

  • 12 Starkey 1987, p. 82.
  • 13 Chatenet 2002, pp. 112−32.
  • 14 Mansel 2020a, pp. 201−2, 241−2.

7English admiration for Versailles was expressed in deeds as well as words: in buildings, rooms, furniture and ceremonies, as well as in travel accounts. Far from remaining a myth, Versailles in England became a reality. Its impact continued the tradition of French influence since the Norman Conquest, which had been regularly reinforced. Henry VIII, for example, had introduced Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber in England, modelled on the Gentilshommes de la Chambre of his rival François I, in time for the arrival of a French embassy in 1518.12 Such ceremonies as the lever and coucher, and the prominence of the King's Bedchamber in French royal palaces, were formalised under François I and Henri III.13 They long antedate Louis XIV’s frequent visits to Versailles after 1661 and his choice of this palace as his principal residence in 1682. Thereafter, however, since Versailles became the most famous, most discussed and most visited French royal palace, and these ceremonies were most often seen there, they were associated with it. For many foreigners, in both their imagination and their experience, Versailles and the French court became almost synonymous. Nor can Versailles be dissociated from the Paris luxury trades, which the French crown did so much to encourage, and which had so many products on display in Versailles. Paris still housed some court departments. Members of the royal family, ministers, courtiers and artists moved frequently between Paris and Versailles, even several times a day.14

  • 15 Keay 2008, pp. 52, 98, 194−201, 284, quoting Bedchamber ordinances of 1678 and contemporary diaries
  • 16 Edwards 2018, p. 84, quoting Huygens and James Vernon. The king’s lever in England evolved into a r (...)
  • 17 See Baillie 2014, passim and Schaich 2017, passim, especially pp. 657−9. However, the king of Engla (...)

8Charles II, who knew Louis XIV and the French court well during his exile (when he lived in an apartment in the Louvre) in 1646−48 and 1650−54, was the first English king to have a State Bedchamber with alcove and railing like the King of France and to hold a lever and a coucher. He was dressed and undressed by the Master of the Robes while talking to, for example, the Spanish or French ambassador, the diarist John Evelyn, peers or members of Parliament. The King’s Great Bedchamber, as at Versailles, became increasingly important both as a court department and as a room in which to pay court. In 1678 the royalist hero the Duke of Ormonde advised his son to pay his court not ‘in the drawing room only when everybody is there but at the King’s and Duke’s rising’.15 After 1689, William III’s levers in his Bedchamber also became convenient occasions on which to meet his ministers.16 Thus, Hugh Murray Baillie’s assertion that France exported its fashions, not its ceremonial, is not entirely correct.17

  • 18 Thurley 2018a, p. 239. Almost all the Verrio frescoes were destroyed in George IV’s redecoration in (...)

9The influence of the French court and Versailles was evident in material culture as well as in ceremonies. Two Masters of the Great Wardrobe, the official responsible for furnishing English royal palaces – Ralph Montagu (1671−85, 1689−1709) and James Graham, Viscount Preston (1685−89) – had also previously been Charles II’s ambassadors to Louis XIV: Montagu in 1666, 1669−72, 1676 and 1677−78; Preston in 1682−85. Their visits to Versailles may have influenced their orders as Master of the Great Wardrobe. For example, in 1676−84, while Louis XIV was expanding Versailles into a modern classical-style palace to rival Rome, Charles II – more concerned for his security than even his French cousin – was transforming the interior of his medieval royal castle at Windsor into a modern palace. Inside Windsor, the twenty ceiling frescoes by Antonio Verrio, a Parisian protégé of Ralph Montagu, glorifying Charles II as Neptune, Hercules or ‘Perseus giving peace to Europe’, and the Apotheosis of Queen Catherine of Braganza, were similar in themes and style to the frescoes being painted by Charles Le Brun at Versailles, glorifying Louis XIV as Jupiter. Windsor and Versailles were completely different externally, but similar in interior decoration.18

  • 19 Mansel 2019, pp. 120−1.
  • 20 Fryman 2017, pp. 213−6, 223−4 and 235; Jackson-Stops 1986, p. 48. Louis XIV-style state beds, often (...)

10In addition, on the orders of Montagu or Preston, state beds, chairs, stools (the English court, like the French, used tabourets) and hangings were ordered before 1688 from Paris, or made in England by French craftsmen, for the King’s Great Bedchamber in Whitehall and other palaces.19 One of the most impressive of all English court artefacts is French: the state bed now at Knole in Kent, finished for James II in August 1688 by Jean Peyrard, a French upholsterer. Gervase Jackson-Stops calls it ‘the most magnificent example of a Louis XIV state bed of the Louis XIV period to have survived anywhere in the world’.20 More than any other aspects of palace decoration, in England frescoes glorifying the monarchy or the gods of Olympus, and furniture for the King’s Bedchamber such as stools and state beds, were inspired by Versailles.

  • 21 Weiser 2003, pp. 48−53.
  • 22 Thurley 2000, pp. 227−8, quoting a letter from Charles Lyttelton to Viscount Hatton, September 1683 (...)
  • 23 Thurley 2003, pp. 141, 153, 189 and 205.

11Versailles was, however, also a model as a building. Charles II started Winchester Palace after 1682, with two royal chapels (Anglican and Catholic), a Council Chamber, and accommodation for the Privy Council and one hundred courtiers and officials. Driven by a love of hunting, desire to visit the nearby naval base of Portsmouth, and perhaps fear of London crowds, he may have intended Winchester, a traditionally royalist city, to become a seat of government outside the capital, like Versailles, and his principal country residence.21 One courtier reported: ‘the King is mightily pleased at Winchester […] ’tis neere ye forest for hunting.’ According to the diarist John Evelyn, it was ‘infinitely indeede preferable to New Market [the King’s hunting lodge north of London] for prospect, aire, pleasure and provisions’. The Earl of Sunderland, a secretary of state, wrote: ‘we are likely to be here twice a year, the King growing fonder of his building and the country every day’.22 However, for reasons unknown, the palace was abandoned by his successor, James II. Charles II also used Hampton Court as another palace outside the capital, where he regularly held council meetings and receptions, and dined in public.23

  • 24 Ronnes and Haverman 2020; Thurley 2003, pp. 151−209.
  • 25 Jacobsen, 2012, pp. 106, 195−7, 202; Beard 1997, pp. 95, 126: ‘five French bedsteads’ were bought f (...)

12As the extension of Hampton Court by Christopher Wren in 1689−1702 suggests, James II’s nephew and rival William III also had a taste for splendour. Despite William III’s unsociable nature, his household was larger and more expensive than James II’s. Perhaps to show that, unlike his enemy Louis XIV in 1689, the King of England did not need to melt down his silver furniture, in 1698 William III commissioned a silver-plated table and mirror, now at Windsor Castle.24 William III’s ambassadors and agents shopped in Paris, buying him the state bed now in Hampton Court, chairs, cushions, wall lights, tables and mirrors.25

  • 26 Raaij and Spies 1988, pp. 66, 71, 101; Jacques and Horst 1988, p. 81; Thurley 2003, pp. 190, 199.
  • 27 Other French painters and craftsmen working in England at this time included Louis Laguerre, Jean P (...)

13The State Apartments at Hampton Court, lined with wood rather than marble, are neither as elegant nor as rich as those at Versailles. Nevertheless, their size, the prominence of the King’s Great Bedchamber, the frescoed glorifications of the monarch on the walls, the long, regular classical facade, and the plans for lakes, canals and grottoes around the palace, are reminiscent of Versailles. Kneller’s giant 1701 portrait of William III at Hampton Court resembles portraits of Louis XIV by Le Brun, also riding a white horse.26 Like other English patrons, William III would also employ Huguenot decorators and cabinet-makers − such as the designer Daniel Marot, cabinet-maker John Pelletier, iron-worker Jean Tijou (whose screens and staircase railings survive at Hampton Court), and silversmith Adam Loofs − some of whom had previously worked for Louis XIV.27

  • 28 Harris 1960.

14After the peace of Ryswick, in 1698−99 William III wanted to build a Trianon of his own, beside his palace at Hampton Court. The Comptroller of Works, William Talman, was provided with plans of Versailles, Trianon and Marly, with Louis XIV’s approval, by his premier architecte Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Marly was the main influence on his son John Talman’s drawings for an English Trianon, but, owing to the outbreak of war and the King’s death in 1702, the project was never realised.28

  • 29 Thurley 2018b, p. 249.
  • 30 Although Vanbrugh drew a plan for a new Kensington Palace for George I, opposite some curved royal (...)
  • 31 Thurley 2003, pp. 255, 282.
  • 32 Burney 1904-1905, t. II, p. 406 (Diary, 28 July 1786).

15Just as the construction and expansion of Versailles reflected the personal tastes of Louis XIV, as well as the needs of the French court and monarchy, so its impact abroad could depend on individual monarchs and patrons, as well as on national tastes and attitudes. Such was Queen Anne’s distaste for splendour, and her bad health, that at her accession she abandoned part of her income from the civil list. When not at Hampton Court or St James’s Palace, she chose to live simply in Kensington Palace, diminutive by royal standards, or in a garden house next to Windsor Castle rather than in the castle itself.29 Her successor George I also lived, when possible, more simply than his English predecessors or the kings of France.30 The King’s lever and coucher were discontinued. Hampton Court was abandoned by George II and his successors after Queen Caroline’s death in 1737.31 George III preferred to reside at the Queen’s House (which was later developed into Buckingham Palace) than at St James’s Palace. At Kew, he and the royal family lived like ‘the simplest country gentlefolks’.32

  • 33 Hervey 1953, pp. 87, 88, 90, 107, entries for 1749, 1750.

16In contrast to the simplicity of the English court, Augustus Hervey, a naval officer who had recently been fighting against France, wrote after a visit in 1749−1750 to Versailles of ‘that pile of magnificence and grandeur’, and ‘scene of uninterrupted pleasures’, and how he had ‘received such an idea of the grandeur of the French court that I had a very pitiful opinion of our own at St James’s, nor have I ever altered my opinion, though late so much in it and so long of it [as a Groom of the Bedchamber]’. He equates the ‘grandeur’ of Versailles with the ‘grandeur’ of the French court, but he also visited the duc d’Orléans’s palace at Saint-Cloud, which he called ‘beyond description for magnificence, taste and elegance’.33

  • 34 Hartmann 1954, p. 225, Charles II to the duchesse d’Orléans, 6 July 1668.
  • 35il n’y a rien au monde plus beau ni plus agréable que ce qu’on y voit. Les illuminations, les déco (...)
  • 36 Mansel 2020c, § 21−5.
  • 37 Mulgrave Mss., Mulgrave Castle, Yorkshire, Mr to Mrs Dillon-Lee, 28 July 1781.

17The ‘uninterrupted pleasures’ of Versailles, which Hervey admired, were as much part of its appeal and image in England as its ‘grandeur’, as had been suggested by Charles II’s remark in 1668 to his sister – that ‘we are in great expectation of the relation of the entertainment at Versailles’.34 In the 1680s Charles II’s ambassador Lord Preston also praised Versailles as a source of entertainments: ‘There is nothing in the world finer or more agreeable than what you see there. The illuminations, the decorations, the music , the comedy, the opera, the parties, in fact everything conspires to delight and surprise the senses’.35 In 1770−75 English visitors came to Versailles to enjoy the entertainments given for, as well as the magnificence displayed at, the weddings of Louis XV’s grandchildren.36 Their popularity was increased by the English court’s reputation for dullness, partly due to the age, ill-health and personal tastes of the English monarchs. In 1781, for example, Mr Dillon-Lee, descendant of the Jacobite Dillon and Lee families (which explains his presence at Versailles during a war between France and England), wrote to his wife to express his fear that when courtiers left Versailles during the summer, ‘the Court will be as dull as that at St James’s’.37

Country houses

  • 38 Murdoch 1992, esp. Cornforth, ‘Impressions and People’, pp. 12−31; Hughes, ‘The French furniture’, (...)

18Versailles influenced certain English country houses, both Whig and Tory, as well as royal palaces. Maintaining a grandiose household with many French Protestant staff at Montagu House in London and at his country seat, Boughton in Northamptonshire, after 1688 the Whig Ralph Montagu made them – as he had tried to make English royal palaces, as Master of the Great Wardrobe – islands of French taste. The north wing of Boughton has an enfilade of five state rooms, with ceilings showing mythological subjects (Venus and Aeneas, or Vulcan catching Mars and Venus) by the French painters Louis Chéron (a pupil of Charles Le Brun) and Charles de La Fosse, and parquet floors in the manner of Versailles. They were created in 1693−95, probably with the help of Daniel Marot, in time for a visit by William III during the hunting season in October 1695. Boughton is also filled with furniture by French royal cabinet-makers (cabinets, clocks, tables), including a 1669 Pierre Golé writing desk, perhaps a present from Louis XIV, and flower paintings by Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, who had worked for the same king. It was also surrounded by a system of canals and a Grand Étang inspired by Versailles.38

  • 39 Hirst 2012, passim. Since the frescoes also show the assassination of Julius Caesar, they may conta (...)
  • 40 Hirst et al. 2016, passim; Devonshire 1999, p. 14. Chatsworth also contains one of the few survivin (...)

19For its part, Marly, probably through prints and craftsmen’s personal knowledge, influenced the architecture, gardens and fountains of another English ducal palace, Chatsworth in Derbyshire. The facade resembles that of the King's Pavilion at Marly. Construction and decoration were supervised for the first Duke of Devonshire by the Frenchman Nicolas Huet in 1687−1707. Louis Laguerre, also a pupil of Le Brun, frescoed scenes of the life of Caesar, flattering William III, and of Semele honouring Mary II, in the enfilade of five rooms − including a Great Bedchamber and a Cabinet − that composed the State Apartment. Another Frenchman, M. Grilliet, who had worked at Marly, helped design the fountains, cascade and gardens.39 Chatsworth also contains Boulle furniture and a bust of Louis XIV – although it is not known if they were bought in his reign, or subsequently as antiques.40

  • 41 Wellington 2016. Much later, around 1900, Blenheim, like Chatsworth, would be filled by another duk (...)

20To celebrate royal favour, and the Duke of Marlborough’s title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, as well as his victories over France, Blenheim Palace was started, at government expense, in Oxfordshire in 1705. Vanbrugh’s extravagant exterior shows little influence of Versailles. Inside, however, Louis Laguerre frescoed an enfilade of nine French-style state rooms, one of which was called the Grand Cabinet, partly in the manner of Charles Le Brun. In the Saloon, the central room at Blenheim Palace used for public dining, Laguerre borrowed the balcony device and the theme of the four continents watching spectators from the Ambassadors’ Staircase at Versailles.41 Versailles, which the Duke had visited in 1685 to announce James II’s accession to Louis XIV, triumphed aesthetically inside the palace which, externally, celebrated the military defeat of France. Echoing, or perhaps deliberately answering, the destruction of Louis XIV’s enemies depicted on the ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, the roof of Blenheim Palace is decorated with sculptures showing the English lion devouring the French cock, chained French captives, and a bust of Louis XIV taken by Marlborough from the main gate of Tournai.

  • 42 Jacques 2017, pp. 133, 137, 173, 204; cf. Roberts 2000, for the influence of Versailles on English (...)
  • 43 Jacques 2017, p. 173; personal communication, John Phibbs, 23 January 2022.

21Versailles influenced other English gardens, in addition to those at Chatsworth and Boughton.42 John Evelyn translated Instructions pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers, by Louis XIV’s chief fruit and vegetable gardener La Quintinie, as The Compleat Gard’ner (1693). The famous English gardener George London, who had visited Versailles with Lord Portland’s embassy in 1698, and had met Le Nôtre, translated with Henry Wise Le jardinier solitaire (1704) by Francois Gentil, as The Retir’d Gardener (1706), which praises the serpentine walks and bosquets of Marly and Versailles: ‘The most valuable Labyrinths are always those that wind most, as that of Versailles, the Contrivance of which has been wonderfully lik’d by all that have seen it.’ Wise later worked at Blenheim, among other places.43

‘Her arts victorious’

  • 44 Sizergh Castle in Westmoreland contains portraits by Alexis Bell, Peintre de Sa Majesté Britannique(...)
  • 45Les anciens et irréconciliables ennemis de la France, naturellement mal disposés envers les França (...)
  • 46Deux nations descendues du même sang, et qui ne sont ennemies que par necessité’ (Legg 1921, p. 16 (...)
  • 47 Legg 1921, ibid. and p. 68, letter from Prior to Charles Montagu, 18 February 1698.

22After 1710, repelled by the ambition of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, by the continuing bloodshed, and by the realisation that the forces of Louis XIV and Philip V were more resilient than anticipated, Queen Anne and her new Tory ministry, behind their allies’ backs, began secret negotiations with Louis XIV.44 Contradicting his earlier assertion in his memoirs that the English were ‘the ancient and irreconcilable enemies of France’,45 on 3 August 1711 Louis XIV told Matthew Prior that France and England were ‘two nations descended from the same blood’, fighting due only to ‘necessity’46. Changing attitudes, Prior, who had once called Louis XIV ‘the vainest creature alive’, now assured the King of his ‘great veneration for his person’.47

  • 48La cour de France ne lui fut pas étrangère comme lui-même ne parut pas étranger’ (Torcy 1828, p. 2 (...)
  • 49 Sichel 1901−1902, vol. 1, p. 407.

23The Tory leader Henry St John, later Viscount Bolingbroke, was helped in his diplomatic negotiations by his knowledge of French acquired during visits to Paris and Versailles in 1698−99. He even stayed with the Foreign Minister, the marquis de Torcy, who wrote that, with his excellent French, ‘the court of France did not seem foreign to him, as he himself did not appear foreign’.48 Bibulous dinners ended with toasts to Queen Anne and Louis XIV. Louis XIV gave Bolingbroke a diamond once worn by the Dauphin, and promised Prior a pension.49 Bolingbroke’s desire to end the war with France was more popular in England than Marlborough’s desire to continue it. Peace was finally signed at Utrecht in 1713. English travellers returned to Paris and Versailles.

  • 50 Wyndham 1950, p. 217, Lord Egremont to Lord Holland, [c. 1772].
  • 51 Thorp 2010, pp. 172−3.
  • 52 See, for example, the portrait of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford and Lord High Treasurer, in the Nat (...)

24Throughout the eighteenth century in England, wrote Lord Egremont, ‘everything in fashionable life, dress, food, amusements, morals and manners, all must be French’.50 George I communicated with members of his cabinet, both in writing and in conversation, in French. Dancing masters like Louis Labbé in London or Monsieur Nivelon in Stamford taught French dance steps despite frequent wars with France.51 The influence of France and Paris reinforced that of Versailles. On special occasions like the King’s birthday, English courtiers dressed according to the latest fashions of Versailles, and with similar magnificence: enemies of Louis XIV wore the red heels that, at least by 1673, he had reserved for male nobles presented at court.52

25A later group of Anglo-French houses confirms its owners’ appreciation of French royal splendour. Although its exterior is English, the interior of Goodwood House is a memorial to the periods of peace between France and England under Louis XIV and Louis XV. It contains portraits of the mother of the first Duke of Richmond, Louis XIV’s agent and Charles II’s mistress Louise de Kéroualle, and of Madame de Montespan as a repentant Magdalene. The original Rigaud portrait of Louis XV’s chief minister Cardinal Fleury, given by him to the second Duke of Richmond, dominates the Tapestry Drawing Room, hung with Gobelins tapestries made for Marly presented by Louis XV, and filled with furniture by Louis Delannois, upholstered in Lyon silk.

  • 53 Tillyard 1994, pp. 89−95, 167.
  • 54 Richmond 1911, vol. 1, p. 184, Duke of Richmond to M. Labbé, August 1729.
  • 55 Although there were no Gobelins tapestries in the State Apartments of Versailles, they could be see (...)
  • 56 Its owner Lord Coventry, a Lord of the Bedchamber from 1752 to 1770, went six times to Paris, partl (...)
  • 57 There are also Gobelins tapestries in other British houses, e.g., Floors Castle, Moor Park, Temple (...)
  • 58 Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore 2012, p. 186; cf. Eagles 2011, passim and p. 9: ‘France was everywher (...)

26Such royal gifts did not stop members of the Richmond family serving in Britain’s wars with France. Nevertheless, in times of peace they continued to visit Versailles and France, where they retained property at Aubigny, and the title duc d’Aubigny inherited from Louise de Kéroualle, until the nineteenth century.53 In 1729, for example, the Duke of Richmond wrote that at Versailles his wife took ‘her seat [i.e., tabouret] with all the other honours of a duchess, which are very fine, but which cost devilish dear, for I have paid 70 Louis d’or in fees’.54 In 1748, his son the third Duke of Richmond was sent as ambassador to Louis XV, to celebrate peace between France and Britain at the end of the War of the Austrian Succession. Reflecting the continued appeal of French royal splendour, Englishmen acquired Gobelins tapestries as eagerly as French furniture.55 There are ‘Gobelins rooms’ at Goodwood (1730s); Newby (1769); Croome Court56 (1771, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York); Weston Park (1766−71); and Osterley (1776), to name only a few.57 The popularity of French dress, dance and furniture, and French language and literature (including Molière plays performed at Versailles), in England shows the truth of Pope’s lines in Imitations of Horace (1733): ‘We conquer’d France, but felt our captive’s charms; Her arts victorious triumph’d o’er our arms.’58

The Prince of Wales

  • 59 Orléans 1993, p. 136; Rush 1987, pp. 34, 66: 20 January 1818, 1 March 1818.

27George III patronised English furniture makers and decorators, and lived relatively simply. The redecoration and use of Carlton House by his son the Prince of Wales after his coming of age in 1783 confirms the importance of particular individuals in extending the impact of Versailles. The wars between France and England before 1783 and after 1793 prevented him visiting Versailles. But if the Prince could not go to Versailles, Versailles came to him – despite, or perhaps encouraged by, France’s victory over Britain in the War of American Independence in 1783. Friends who could describe Versailles for him included the duc d’Orléans, who between 1782 and 1790 lived part of the year in London. The Prince of Wales commissioned his portrait from Reynolds in 1785 and placed it in Carlton House. No foreigner, Orléans’s grandson later wrote, spoke better French than George IV, and French was frequently heard at his court.59

  • 60 Oakey 2020. I am grateful to David Oakey for his comments on this section.
  • 61 Pradère 1989, pp. 38−9.
  • 62 Eagles 2011, p. 168.

28The Prince began to extend, furnish and redecorate Carlton House in the same style as Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the comte d’Artois were then redecorating their apartments at Versailles and elsewhere: he commissioned sets of chairs and a bed (now at Windsor Castle) for his State Bedchamber at Carlton House from Georges Jacob, Cabinet Maker to the King (menuisier ordinaire du roi).60 The Paris marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, who also supplied the French royal family, entered the Prince’s service in 1787 as ‘Decorator and Superintendant of Furniture’, and opened a shop in Sloane Street.61 Other French upper servants employed by the Prince included François Benois, confectioner and art adviser, and Jean-Baptiste Watier, Clerk-Comptroller of the Kitchen.62

  • 63 Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore 2012, pp. 184, 187; Carlton House 1991, passim.
  • 64 Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore 2012, pp. 167, 189.

29Spurred by the sales of the contents of Versailles after 1793, and by revulsion for the Revolution, the Prince of Wales’s tastes soon extended from the reign of Louis XVI to those of Louis XIV and Louis XV. His purchases, arranged through Benois, Daguerre and others, included models of Girardon’s equestrian statue of Louis XIV and Bouchardon’s of Louis XV; Van der Meulen’s 1680 picture of the building of Versailles; many Petitot miniatures of Louis XIV; the jewellery cabinet of the comtesse de Provence from Versailles; the gilt bronze candelabra of the comte d’Artois (a frequent dinner guest at Carlton House after he arrived in London in 1799); part of the elaborate Sèvres service Louis XVI had commissioned after his victory in the War of American Independence; and one of his desks.63 Other English collectors, such as the Prince’s friend the Marquess of Hertford, grandson of one of George III’s ambassadors to Louis XV, also purchased objects from Versailles and the royal factories at this time. They form the core of the Wallace Collection, which brings the taste of Versailles to the heart of London.64

Conclusion

  • 65 See Mansel 2020c, especially for the number of English visitors to Versailles for the entertainment (...)

30The impact of Versailles in England shows that the appeal of monarchy, and of fashion in clothes, furniture and gardens, could outweigh or ignore national rivalries, even in wartime. Moreover, Versailles’s influence was increased by its role as a source of entertainment and ‘pleasures’, such as balls, hunts and concerts. It could have as much influence as Rome, Florence or Venice, even on Englishmen who never visited it, such as the Prince of Wales, later George IV. The impact of Versailles was not consistent. It depended on individuals, particularly on patrons such as Charles II, William III, the future George IV, or the first dukes of Devonshire and Montagu, and on events such as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, which encouraged French Protestant artists and craftsmen to move to England. It reflected both the size, magnetism and novelty of the palace itself and the continuous impact of Paris and the French court in England, dating from long before the installation of the court at Versailles. Far more magnetic than other French palaces such as Fontainebleau, Compiègne or Saint-Cloud, Versailles increased the number of English visitors to the French court and the appeal of the Parisian luxury products displayed in its apartments.65

  • 66 Mansel 2015, passim.

31After 1789, as I hope to show in a future article, helped by English hostility to the French Revolution, both objects from Versailles and the Bourbons themselves became more popular in England. Louis XVIII brought a reduced King’s household to England in 1807, received English visitors at his court at Hartwell House outside Aylesbury, dined in public there, and in 1810 arranged according to French royal ceremonial, as far as circumstances allowed, the funeral of his Queen, Marie-Joséphine, at the French Chapel Royal and Westminster Abbey in London. For his part, in 1811−14 the Regent frequently entertained Louis XVIII at Carlton House in rooms filled with objects from Versailles, and made a rare personal intervention in foreign policy in January 1814 with both the British and Russian governments (and probably in other, unrecorded, conversations with ministers and ambassadors) to support his restoration.66 Encouraged by the Regent, the British taste for objects from Versailles, or given that label in order to increase their appeal, reached its apogee after 1814, at the same time as Britain and France began to act as allies. Queen Victoria’s account of her visit in 1855, during the Crimean War uniting Britain and France against Russia, expresses enthusiasm for both the Palace of Versailles and the alliance with France.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Printed sources

Burney Fanny, 1904-1905, Diary and Letters of Madame d’Arblay, London, Macmillan and Co., 6 vol.

Genlis Stéphanie-Félicité Du Crest, comtesse de, 1825, Mémoires inédits de Madame la comtesse de Genlis, sur le dix-huitième siècle et la Révolution française, depuis 1756 jusqu’à nos jours, Bruxelles, P. J. De Mat, 8 vols.

Greville Charles, 1938, The Greville memoirs, London, Macmillan, 8 vols.

Hamilton Anthony, 1962, Count Gramont at the Court of Charles II, ed. and trans. by N. Deakin, London, Barrie & Jenkins.

Hervey Augustus, 1953, Journal, ed. by D. Erskine, London, William Kimber.

Lister Martin, 1699, A Journey to Paris in the Year 1698, London, Jacob Tonson.

Louis XIV, 2007, Mémoires; suivis de Manière de visiter les jardins de Versailles, ed. by J. Cornette, Paris, Tallandier.

Orléans Ferdinand-Philippe, duc d’, 1993, Souvenirs, Geneva, Droz.

Rush Richard, 1987, A Residence at the Court of London, introd. by Philip Ziegler, London, Century.

Richmond Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, Duke of, 1911, A Duke and his Friends: The Life and Letters of Charles, Second Duke of Richmond, London, Hutchinson & Co., 2 vols.

Torcy Jean-Baptiste Colbert, marquis de, 1828, Mémoires du marquis de Torcy pour servir à l’histoire des négociations depuis le traité de Riswick jusqu’à la Paix d’Utrecht, ed. by A. Petitot and Monmerqué (Collection des mémoires relatifs à l’histoire de France), Paris, Foucault, 2 vol.

Studies

Babelon Jean-Pierre, 1982, Henri IV, Paris, Fayard.

Baillie Hugh Murray, 2014, ‘L’étiquette et la distribution des appartements officiels dans les palais baroques’, Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles [Online], published online 22 December 2014. https://journals.openedition.org/crcv/12137; https://doi.org/10.4000/crcv.12137 (French translation of ‘Etiquette and the Planning of State Apartments in Baroque Palaces’, Archeologia, second series, Jan. 1967, vol. 101, pp. 169−99).

Beard Geoffrey, 1997, Upholstery and Interior Furnishings in England, 1530−1840, New Haven, Yale University Press.

Carlton House: The Past Glories of George IV’s Palace, 1991, exh. cat. (The Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace), London, Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Gallery.

Chatenet Monique, 2002, La cour de France au xvie siècle. Vie sociale et architecture, Paris, C. Picard.

Davis Diana, 2020, The Tastemakers: British Dealers and the Anglo-Gallic Interior, 1785–1865, Los Angeles, The Getty Research Institute.

Devonshire Deborah, 1999, The Garden at Chatsworth, London, Frances Lincoln.

Eagles Robin, 2011, Francophilia in English Society, 1748–1815, London, Macmillan.

Edwards Sebastian, 2018, ‘Very Noble tho’ Not Greate: The Making of a New Court for William, Mary and Anne’, in Fryman O. (ed.), Kensington Palace: Art, Architecture and Society, New Haven, Yale University Press, pp. 65−91.

Fryman Olivia, 2017, ‘Palace Furnishings’, in Bird R. and Clayton M. (eds.), Charles II: Art and Power, London, Royal Collection Trust, pp. 213−46.

Fryman Olivia (ed.), 2018, Kensington Palace: Art, Architecture and Society, New Haven, Yale University Press.

Harris John, 1960, ‘The Hampton Court Trianon Designs of William and John Talman’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. 23, no. 1/2 (Jan.−Jun., 1960), pp. 139−49.

Hartmann Cyril Hughes, 1954, The King my Brother, London, William Heinemann.

Hirst Matthew, 2012, ‘The Influence of the French Court on the 1st Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth’, Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles [Online], published online 20 December 2013. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/crcv/11943; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/crcv.11943.

Hirst Matthew et al., 2016, Your Guide to Chatsworth, Bakewell, Chatsworth House Trust.

Jacobsen Helen, 2012, Luxury and Power: The Material World of the Stuart Diplomat, 1660–1714, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Jacques David, 2017, Gardens of Court and Country: English Design 1630–1730, New Haven, Yale University Press.

Jacques David and Horst Arend Jan van der, 1988, The Gardens of William and Mary, London, Croom Helm.

Keay Anna, 2008, The Magnificent Monarch: Charles II and the Ceremonies of Power, London, Continuum.

Jackson-Stops Gervase, 1976, Petworth House, West Sussex, London, National Trust.

Jackson-Stops Gervase, 1986, Knole, Kent, London, National Trust.

Legg Leopold George Wickham, 1921, Matthew Prior, a study of his public career and correspondence, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Mansel Philip, 1981, Louis XVIII, London, Blond and Briggs.

Mansel Philip, 2001, Paris between Empires, 1814–1852, London, John Murray.

Mansel Philip, 2005, Dressed to Rule: Royal and Court Costume from Louis XVI to Elizabeth II, New Haven, Yale University Press.

Mansel Philip, 2015, ‘Bordelais, Bourbons et Britanniques en 1814’, in Waresquiel E. de (ed.), Les lys et la République: Henri, comte de Chambord, 1820-1883, Paris, Tallandier, pp. 25−42.

Mansel Philip, 2019, King of the world: the life of Louis XIV, London, Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books.

Mansel Philip, 2020a, Louis XIV: roi du Monde, Paris, Passés Composés.

Mansel Philip, 2020b, Paris, capitale de l’Europe, 1814-1852, Paris, Perrin.

Mansel Philip, 2020c, ‘Admiration to Intimacy: Versailles and the English, from Louis XIV to Louis XVI’, Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles, [Online], published online 8 December 2020. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/crcv/18708; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/crcv.18708.

Medlam Sarah, 2018, ‘French Chairs and Other Fashions: Chippendale’s Debts to Paris’, Furniture History, vol. LIV, pp. 69−88.

Munby Julian, 1996, ‘Signor Verrio and Monsieur Beaumont, Gardeners to King James II’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, vol. 149, no. 1, pp. 55−71.

Murdoch Tessa (ed.), 1992, Boughton House: the English Versailles, London, Faber and Faber.

Oakey David, 2020, ‘George Jacob, Menuisier du Prince de Galles?’, Furniture History Society Newsletter 217, Febr. 2020, pp. 2−8.

Pradère Alexandre, 1989, French furniture makers: The Art of the Ébéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution, translated by P. Wood, Malibu (Ca.), The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Roberts Judith, 2000, ‘Stephen Switzer and Water Gardens’, in Ridgway C. and Williams R. (eds.), Sir John Vanbrugh and Landscape Architecture in Baroque England 16901730, Stroud, Sutton, pp. 154−71.

Ronnes Hanneke and Haverman Merel, 2020, ‘A Reappraisal of the Architectural Legacy of King-Stadholder William III and Queen Mary II: Taste, Passion and Frenzy’, The Court Historian, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 158−77.

Schaich Michael 2017, ‘La Chambre de Parade sous la monarchie anglaise autour de 1700’, in Gaehtgens T. W., Bussmann F., Castor M. A. and Henry C. (dir.), Versailles et l’Europe. L’appartement monarchique et princier. Architecture, décor, cérémonial, Heidelberg, Arthistoricum.net (Passages online, 1), pp. 649−67. URL: https://books.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/arthistoricum/catalog/book/234; DOI: https://doi.org/10.11588/arthistoricum.234.309. https://books.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/arthistoricum/reader/download/234/234-17-78341-1-10-20170629.pdf.

Sichel Walter Sydney, 1901−1902, Bolingbroke and his times, London, J. Nisbet, 2 vols.

Starkey David, 1987, ‘Intimacy and Innovation: the Rise of the Privy Chamber 1485-1547’, in Starkey D. (ed.), The English Court: from the Wars of the Roses to the Civil War, London, Longman, pp. 71−118.

Stourton James and Sebag-Montefiore Charles, 2012, The British as art collectors: From the Tudors to the present, London, Scala.

Sykes Christopher Simon, 1985, Private Palaces: Life in the Great London Houses, London, Chatto and Windus.

Thorp Jennifer, 2010, ‘Anthony l’Abbé and the Court of St James’s: Dances to Honour the Hanoverian Royal Family’, The Court Historian, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 189−206.

Thurley Simon, 2000, ‘A Country seat fit for a King: Charles II, Greenwich and Winchester’, in Cruickshanks E. (ed.), The Stuart Courts, Sutton, Stroud, pp. 214−39.

Thurley Simon, 2003, Hampton Court: a Social and Architectural History, New Haven, Yale University Press.

Thurley Simon, 2018a, ‘The Baroque Castle 1660-1685’, in Brindle S. (ed.), Windsor Castle: a Thousand Years of a Royal Palace, London, Royal Collection Trust, pp. 230−9.

Thurley Simon, 2018b, ‘The Later Stuarts 1685-1714’, in Brindle S. (ed.), Windsor Castle: a Thousand Years of a Royal Palace, London, Royal Collection Trust, pp. 240−9.

Tillyard Stella, 1994, Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox, 1740−1832, London, Chatto and Windus.

Raaij Stefan van and Spies Paul, 1988, The Royal Progress of William and Mary, Amsterdam, D’Arts.

Rowell Christopher, 2012, Petworth, the People and the Place, London, National Trust.

Weiser Brian, 2003, Charles II and the Politics of Access, Woodbridge, Boydell Press.

Wellington Robert, 2016, ‘A Reflection of the Sun: The Duke of Marlborough in the Image of Louis XIV’, The Court Historian, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 125−39.

Wyndham H. A., 1950, A Family History, 1688−1837: The Wyndhams of Somerset, Sussex and Wiltshire, London, Oxford University Press.

Haut de page

Notes

1 For comparisons between the English and other European courts, see Baillie 2014; and Schaich 2017.

2 Greville 1938, vol. 2, 28 November 1831.

3 Her father, Henri IV, had been so closely allied with Elizabeth I against Spain that he mourned her death, in 1603, as the loss of ‘un second moi-même’: Babelon 1982, p. 929, Henri IV to Sully, 10 April 1603.

4 Hamilton 1962, p. 10. Hamilton’s sister, Elizabeth, comtesse de Gramont, was a lady in waiting (dame du palais) to the queen at Versailles. Hamilton wrote after 1689, when he was a Jacobite living in France.

5 Mansel 2020a, pp. 255−6.

6 Cf. Hartmann 1954, p. 225, Charles II to the duchesse d’Orléans, 6 July 1668: ‘we are in great expectation of the relation of the entertainment at Versailles’.

7 Mansel 2020c.

8 See https://architrave.eu/, ‘Art and Architecture in Paris and Versailles in Accounts by Baroque-Era German Travellers’.

9 Lister 1699, p. 202.

10 Cf. Mansel 2020c, p. 20.

11 See Mansel 2020c, passim. There are many other English accounts of Versailles, in addition to those quoted in this article.

12 Starkey 1987, p. 82.

13 Chatenet 2002, pp. 112−32.

14 Mansel 2020a, pp. 201−2, 241−2.

15 Keay 2008, pp. 52, 98, 194−201, 284, quoting Bedchamber ordinances of 1678 and contemporary diaries.

16 Edwards 2018, p. 84, quoting Huygens and James Vernon. The king’s lever in England evolved into a regular afternoon reception, held until 1939, called the levée.

17 See Baillie 2014, passim and Schaich 2017, passim, especially pp. 657−9. However, the king of England, unlike Louis XIV, slept in a private bedroom, not in the State Bedchamber.

18 Thurley 2018a, p. 239. Almost all the Verrio frescoes were destroyed in George IV’s redecoration in 1823−30.

19 Mansel 2019, pp. 120−1.

20 Fryman 2017, pp. 213−6, 223−4 and 235; Jackson-Stops 1986, p. 48. Louis XIV-style state beds, often removed from royal palaces as court officials’ perquisites, can also be seen at Dyrham, Boughton, Burghley, Belvoir and Hardwick Hall, usually designed by Daniel Marot or Francois Lapierre: cf. Beard 1997, pp. 82−95, on ‘the French upholsterers’.

21 Weiser 2003, pp. 48−53.

22 Thurley 2000, pp. 227−8, quoting a letter from Charles Lyttelton to Viscount Hatton, September 1683, John Evelyn’s diary 1683, and a letter from the Earl of Sunderland, September 1683.

23 Thurley 2003, pp. 141, 153, 189 and 205.

24 Ronnes and Haverman 2020; Thurley 2003, pp. 151−209.

25 Jacobsen, 2012, pp. 106, 195−7, 202; Beard 1997, pp. 95, 126: ‘five French bedsteads’ were bought for the ‘Grooms and Gentlemen of our Bedchamber’ in 1695, while France and England were at war.

26 Raaij and Spies 1988, pp. 66, 71, 101; Jacques and Horst 1988, p. 81; Thurley 2003, pp. 190, 199.

27 Other French painters and craftsmen working in England at this time included Louis Laguerre, Jean Poidevin, Jacob Rambour, Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, Gerrit Jensen ‘the English Boulle’, David Willaume, and many more.

28 Harris 1960.

29 Thurley 2018b, p. 249.

30 Although Vanbrugh drew a plan for a new Kensington Palace for George I, opposite some curved royal stables like those at Versailles: see https://library.asc.ox.ac.uk/wren/kensington_palace.html#design_for_new_palace.

31 Thurley 2003, pp. 255, 282.

32 Burney 1904-1905, t. II, p. 406 (Diary, 28 July 1786).

33 Hervey 1953, pp. 87, 88, 90, 107, entries for 1749, 1750.

34 Hartmann 1954, p. 225, Charles II to the duchesse d’Orléans, 6 July 1668.

35il n’y a rien au monde plus beau ni plus agréable que ce qu’on y voit. Les illuminations, les décorations, la musique, la comédie, l’opéra, les festins, enfin tout conspire à régaler et à surprendre les sens’, Munby 1996, p. 59, undated note by Preston. English translation of French quote is by the author.

36 Mansel 2020c, § 21−5.

37 Mulgrave Mss., Mulgrave Castle, Yorkshire, Mr to Mrs Dillon-Lee, 28 July 1781.

38 Murdoch 1992, esp. Cornforth, ‘Impressions and People’, pp. 12−31; Hughes, ‘The French furniture’, pp. 118−27; Murdoch, ‘The Decorative Paintings of Louis Chéron’, pp. 66−73; Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore 2012, pp. 79−81.

39 Hirst 2012, passim. Since the frescoes also show the assassination of Julius Caesar, they may contain a warning to William III to avoid tyranny.

40 Hirst et al. 2016, passim; Devonshire 1999, p. 14. Chatsworth also contains one of the few surviving silver-gilt French toilet services of Louis XIV’s reign, made before 1688 by Ferry Provost for Mary, Princess of Orange, and probably given by her to a lady in waiting.

41 Wellington 2016. Much later, around 1900, Blenheim, like Chatsworth, would be filled by another duke with Bourbon busts, including one of Louis XIV himself, and Boulle furniture.

42 Jacques 2017, pp. 133, 137, 173, 204; cf. Roberts 2000, for the influence of Versailles on English gardens at Chatsworth, Spotbrough Hall, Yorkshire and elsewhere, through A.-J. Dezallier d’Argenville’s La Theorie et la Pratique du Jardinage (1709), translated by John James as The Theory and Practice of Gardening wherein is fully handled all that relates to Fine Gardens … and General Rules in all that concerns the Art of Gardening (1712), with prints of Versailles, Marly and Trianon.

43 Jacques 2017, p. 173; personal communication, John Phibbs, 23 January 2022.

44 Sizergh Castle in Westmoreland contains portraits by Alexis Bell, Peintre de Sa Majesté Britannique at Saint-Germain, of the Stricklands, court officials of the exiled Mary of Modena and James III, and of their friend the Abbé Gautier, a vital negotiator between Westminster, Versailles and Saint-Germain in 1710−13.

45Les anciens et irréconciliables ennemis de la France, naturellement mal disposés envers les Français (Louis XIV 2007, pp. 125, 131, 156).

46Deux nations descendues du même sang, et qui ne sont ennemies que par necessité’ (Legg 1921, p. 160, Prior account, August 1711). ‘The same blood’ is a reference to the conquest of England by French-speaking Normans after 1066.

47 Legg 1921, ibid. and p. 68, letter from Prior to Charles Montagu, 18 February 1698.

48La cour de France ne lui fut pas étrangère comme lui-même ne parut pas étranger’ (Torcy 1828, p. 210).

49 Sichel 1901−1902, vol. 1, p. 407.

50 Wyndham 1950, p. 217, Lord Egremont to Lord Holland, [c. 1772].

51 Thorp 2010, pp. 172−3.

52 See, for example, the portrait of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford and Lord High Treasurer, in the National Portrait Gallery: https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw04810/Robert-Harley-1st-Earl-of-Oxford. Monmouth, William III and George I were also painted wearing red heels: Mansel 2005, pp. 14−15 and p. 166, quoting Genlis 1825, vol. 2, p. 341, ‘tous les hommes présentés avaient des talons rouges’.

53 Tillyard 1994, pp. 89−95, 167.

54 Richmond 1911, vol. 1, p. 184, Duke of Richmond to M. Labbé, August 1729.

55 Although there were no Gobelins tapestries in the State Apartments of Versailles, they could be seen in apartments of members of the royal family, and at Marly.

56 Its owner Lord Coventry, a Lord of the Bedchamber from 1752 to 1770, went six times to Paris, partly to buy furniture, between 1763 and 1768: Medlam 2018.

57 There are also Gobelins tapestries in other British houses, e.g., Floors Castle, Moor Park, Temple Newsam, Weston Park, Welbeck, Burghley, Belvoir and Arundel.

58 Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore 2012, p. 186; cf. Eagles 2011, passim and p. 9: ‘France was everywhere’, and p. 176: ‘French culture and society must be seen as a central, dominant force in English cultural life’.

59 Orléans 1993, p. 136; Rush 1987, pp. 34, 66: 20 January 1818, 1 March 1818.

60 Oakey 2020. I am grateful to David Oakey for his comments on this section.

61 Pradère 1989, pp. 38−9.

62 Eagles 2011, p. 168.

63 Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore 2012, pp. 184, 187; Carlton House 1991, passim.

64 Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore 2012, pp. 167, 189.

65 See Mansel 2020c, especially for the number of English visitors to Versailles for the entertainments for the royal weddings in 1770−75, and after the peace of 1783.

66 Mansel 2015, passim.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Philip Mansel, « Versailles in England: Culture, Commerce and Diplomacy, from Charles II to Louis XVI »Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles [En ligne], 23 | 2023, mis en ligne le 03 mai 2023, consulté le 19 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/crcv/27090 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/crcv.27090

Haut de page

Auteur

Philip Mansel

Born in 1951, a student of Balliol College, Oxford, Philip Mansel obtained his doctorate at University College London in 1978 with a thesis on the court of France, 1814−1830. He has written biographies of Louis XVIII, the Prince of Ligne, and Louis XIV − King of the World (2019); studies of the monarchies of the Middle East and the court of France from 1789 to 1830; and histories of Ottoman Constantinople and nineteenth-century Paris. All these books have been translated into French. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of Historical Research, London, and edited for twenty years The Court Historian, journal of the Society for Court Studies (https://www.courtstudies.org/), which he co-founded in 1995. He is President of the Scientific Committee of the Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles.
Né en 1951, élève du Balliol College (Oxford), Philip Mansel a obtenu son doctorat à l’université de Londres en 1978 avec une thèse sur la cour de France de 1814 à 1830. On lui doit des biographies sur Louis XVIII, le prince de Ligne et Louis XIV (King of the World, 2019) ; des publications sur les monarchies du Moyen-Orient et sur la cour de France de 1789 à 1830, sur la Constantinople ottomane et sur Paris au XIXe siècle. Tous ces travaux ont été traduits en français. Il est Fellow de la Royal Historical Society et de l’Institute of Historical Research de Londres et était pendant vingt ans rédacteur en chef de The Court Historian, revue de la Society for Court Studies (https://www.courtstudies.org/) qu’il a cofondée en 1995. Il est président du conseil scientifique du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles. http://www.philipmansel.com/.
philipmansel[at]gmail.com

Articles du même auteur

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0

Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search