montagnarde1793: (la douce melancolie)
[personal profile] montagnarde1793

I know I promised to post on Simon Duplay, but due to transcibing issues, that post isn't ready yet. Instead, I present you with a curious little article. Now, you will observe that this article makes a number of mistakes: Éléonore was the eldest of Duplay's children; Jacques-Maurice did indeed marry and have children; Sophie's husband was called Auzat, not Augat; Victoire existed (really!); Jacques Duplay and Marie Bontemps had other children; etc.

However, one thing in particular struck me as odd. I knew that Philippe Le Bas fils married his cousin Edmée-Clémence Duplay, but I wasn't entirely sure how they were related. Now, if this short article is correct and Mathieu Duplay was her father, the very latest she could have been born is 1783 (and that's assuming she was born after his death, so it's even likely that she was born before that). This would make her at least eleven years older than Philippe and thus at least 34 to his 23 at their marriage in 1817. Now, stranger things have been known to happen (and obviously I have no problem with men marrying women more than ten years their senior if that's what they want to do, but if it's unusual now, it's doubly so for the 19th century), but I'm somewhat surprised that no one else has remarked upon this... Which makes me think it might be another error on the part of this account. However, for the moment I don't have any sources that would permit me to determine one way or the other....

This has been your daily portion of random. I would say more, but I have a concert to go to (Monteverdi's madrigals, if you must know).

Update: According to wikipedia, Edmée-Louise-Clémence Duplay was born 27 floréal an VII, which would make more sense. However, no source is cited and that still doesn't tell us who her parents were. Simon Duplay, perhaps? I know he had a son who became a doctor, but I don't know when (or if) he married. All I can find for certain is that she died in May of 1875.

Interesting to note as well, while it seems that Philippe Le Bas fils didn't have any children with his wife, he did have two illegitimate children (whom he apparently never officially recognized), which gives some ironic perspective to his insistance that his aunt, Éléonore, couldn't have possibly been sleeping with Robespierre, which information he of course implies comes from his mother - when he says that "we" have known Éléonore for over fifty years, he can't possibly be speaking for himself, since he was not yet forty at her death - but it will be noted that Élisabeth herself never thought this noteworthy enough to mention. Meanwhile, all the writers (Esquiros, Lamartine, etc.) who talked to Élisabeth Le Bas confirm that her son never left them alone with her and seemed to police what she told them in order to make sure they didn't publish anything contrary to what he conceived of as his family's honor. Which is not to imply that if he had let her say what she wanted she would have said that Éléonore was sleeping with Robespierre. Assuming she knew or cared, that's not necessarily the kind of thing she would broadcast either. In any case, Philippe obviously didn't know first hand and it's unlikely his mother or Éléonore herself would have discussed it with him, which makes me think he doth protest too much.

Also, while we're on the subject of Philippe Le Bas fils's children, the author of TOBALB (Paul Coutant) was married to his son Léon Grujon Le Bas (1834-1907)'s daughter Élisabeth-Clémence Grujon Le Bas (same source as above).

...One of these days I may construct a family tree to keep track of all the Duplays and Le Bas. >.>

(no subject)

Date: Tuesday, 12 April 2011 05:34 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What an interesting article (despite its few mistakes), I'm a passionate of genealogy science. However, I didn't know almost anything about "what happened to the Duplays" after Philippe's death. I know that his son was future Napoleon III teacher, and that his wife, Elisabeth Duplay, later married one of Philippe's brothers, but not much more. I admit it (Shame on me).

However, the story of Edmée-Clémence Duplay marrying a cousin Lebas would not be so unusual back then. Marrying close relatives was quite common at those times. Double weddings (two sisters with two brothers) were a common thing to see. I have two cases of it in my own family, and not in the 1700s but in 1900s.

What a disagreeable person Philippe son seemed to have been! Why wouldn't he let his mommy and aunty to tell us ALL what they know about Robespierre? If he would, we must not be bothering doing all this research right now...(I'm kidding! He was a nice boy! ;D)


(no subject)

Date: Tuesday, 12 April 2011 11:01 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not that it's so unusual for people to marry their cousins - especially in this period - but that it's unusual - especially in this period - for men to marry women more than a decade their senior. If the date of birth wikipedia gives is correct this wouldn't be the case, but then I don't know how precisely Édmée-Clémence Duplay was related to the rest of the family, because she could not have been Mathieu Duplay's daughter and still be born in the Year VII (he was long dead by then).

Lol, I didn't mean to cast aspersions on Philippe fils's character, merely to suggest that when it came to his family, his conception of honor seems to have mattered more to him than the truth. Which just means that we should take his assertions with a grain of salt. (Which we should have been doing anyway, of course.)

(no subject)

Date: Tuesday, 12 April 2011 17:00 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think it was that unusual. In Argentina, in this very period it was quite common that a man would marry a woman even ten years his senior. However, what they couldn't do was to marry someone who was above or below their social class. This could be a great scandal. :)

But I suppose that in the case of Edmée-Clémence Duplay could be a mistake in her date of birth. In my case, when studying Hanriot's family I cannot discover his real date of birth. Some saids 1759, but others 1761...It seems that the real record could never be found. I don't know if this was the case of Mme. Edmée Lebas. Sometimes, when records are not found, they writes down a date that their heard by their ancestors. Oral tradition...But this must not be a surprise for anyone, since even the names uses to be badly recorded. The first time I was searching material for Hanriot, I've found (at the "Larousse" , that it's supposed to be a good source of historical data) that his name was "Nicolas", and of course, it wasn't.

Of course all family keeps secrets, even the Duplay-Lebas, and I never takes "Memories" and family rememebrances literally. In the cases of most credible personal memories, we could always said that what it is written down there is the truth, but "not all the truth". In the case of some of them (like the Duchess of Abrantes ones), we could always green and said simply: "Howash!"

(no subject)

Date: Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:41 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Anecdotally, I haven't come accross too many cases of men marrying much older women in this period, but I haven't made a demographic study of it, so you could well be right.

I think in this case it's less a question of a mistake regarding her date of birth and more a question of who her parents were - which might in part clear up the question of when she was born.

Well, some memoirs are more useless than others, it's true. And of course in Le Bas fils's case, he's not even directly transmitting his own memories, but those of his mother (and theoretically of the rest of his family as well).

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 17 April 2011 23:09 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hello, I'm the girl that asked you about Sophie. As you can see, I have created my LJ account.
Mmm, interesting article. Maybe is more common that a women marry an older man, but a man marrying an older women? Who knows? Shame we can't find her birth certificate, or Mathieu's death certificate.
I didn't knew the illegitimate children thing :O we know their names? who is their mother? he was married then? Sorry, but I like these private life facts >.>
So bad he never let his mother say more details about Robespierre/Éléonore romance. Élisabeth say in her memoirs very little about the engagement. And Éléonore say something? Shame she didn't write memoirs... ó_ò

(no subject)

Date: Monday, 18 April 2011 10:08 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not sure where Mathieu Duplay died, which might make finding his death certificate tricky, but at any rate, all the sources I've ever read say that he died before the Revolution, which by definition would make any children of his older than Philippe Le Bas fils. The real issue would be to find Edmée-Clémence's birth certificate. Unfortunately, I don't know where she was born either and there's the added complication that if by chance she was born in Paris, it's likely that her birth certificate was destroyed.

If you follow the links I've provided, you'll see that Philippe Le Bas fils's children were Léon Grujon Le Bas (1834-1907) and Clémence-Charlotte-Élisabeth Grujon Le Bas (b. 1836). Their mother was Marie-Madeleine-Adèle Grujon. And since I haven't heard that Philippe divorced his wife and since we know that she lived until 1875, I think it's fair to assume that they were still married at the time.

I'm not sure Élisabeth would have said any more than she did about Robespierre and Éléonore or about anything else, for that matter, but who knows? I think the mere fact that her son was monitoring what she said probably indicates more about his own preoccupations than anything else. It is a shame that Éléonore didn't write her memoirs. On the other hand, if she had that wouldn't settle the question either, because it would still be another source to be read critically and compared with other accounts.

(no subject)

Date: Monday, 18 April 2011 13:31 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
First, I apologize for confuse the terms. I had to write "pity" and not "shame". That usually happen to me when I learn a new word -I fail in vocabulary very often-. Sorry if I you misinterpreted my comment in any way.

I know that we have to resign to the fact that we will never find the certificate, unless we have a stroke of luck. It's not a very important question, but it can be very useful if we want to know about the destine of Duplay family.
Poor Edmée! I would be very angry if my husband is having children with other woman. Maybe she never knew, or she was sterile, or Philippe was just horny, that seen very unlikely to me, and hundred of theories more. But as you say, is a irony that he never let his mother and aunt talk about Éléonore relation with Robespierre. But I think that was just the sexist society where women were blame for extramarital relations, and men passed unpunished. And yes, is a pity (again, sorry for confuse the terms) that Éléonore never wrote her memories, it can confirm or refute a lot of things, like the bad relation with Charlotte, if she was or not Regnault's art student (as you pointed in other post), and surely, her relation with Robespierre. I don't want to sound pessimistic, but without her testimony our knowledge will be incomplete :(
And yes, I would be another source to analyze meticulously. We know we can trust the Duplays and the robespierrist, but you have reason, we must be on alert when it comes to first hand sources.

(no subject)

Date: Monday, 18 April 2011 17:12 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No, you're quite right: "shame" and "pity" can be used interchangeably in this context.

I do feel sorry for Le Bas fils's wife. I imagine that if she knew about his affair she might have felt that she didn't have a right to complain because she hadn't given him any children. Which is terrible, but would be in keeping with the conventional wisdom of the time.

Unfortunately, with history, our knowledge of any given topic is always incomplete to a greater or lesser extent.


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