. The members of the Noailles family bore so many different titles and offices, and
's allusions to them are so casual and at times inaccurate, that it may be well to
list and briefly identify in one place those whom JA
knew or frequently mentioned. (This information is drawn from Dict. de la noblesse
, Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale
, and La Grande Encyclopédie
, which, however, vary slightly from one another in giving the forenames of some of
At this time there were two branches of the Noailles family powerful at court and
in the military and diplomatic affairs of France. They were headed by two brothers:
(I) Louis, Due de Noailles, and (II) Philippe de Noailles, Duc de Mouchy.
I: Louis, Due de Noailles (1713–1793), known until his father's death in 1766 as the Due d'Ayen, was a general and from
1775 a marshal of France; he was grandfather of Adrienne de Noailles, Lafayette's wife, and died of grief after the execution of Louis XVI.
His son was Jean Louis Francois Paul de Noailles (1739–1824), Due d'Ayen from 1766 and Due de Noailles after his father's death in 1793; like
most of his family he had a military career, but he was also known as a wit and an
amateur of science; during the Revolution he was an émigré in Switzerland, returning to France with the restoration of 1814. By his wife, Henriette Anne Louise (d'Aguesseau) de Noailles, he had five daughters, one of whom, Adrienne, married Lafayette. His wife died by
the guillotine in July 1794, together with her mother-in-law and her daughter Anne, Vicomtesse de Noailles (see below).
A younger brother of the preceding was Emmanuel Marie Louis, Marquis de Noailles (1743–1822), successively French ambassador at The Hague, London (1776–1778), and Vienna.
Anne de Noailles (1758–1794), niece of the preceding, daughter of the Due d'Ayen and sister of the Marquise de
Lafayette, married in 1773 the Vicomte de Noailles (see under II, below), her first cousin once removed. Her death by the guillotine
is mentioned above.
Her sister Adrienne (1759–1807) married in 1774 the Marquis de Lafayette.
II: Philippe de Noailles (1715–1794), long known as the Comte de Noailles and then as the Due de Mouchy, in 1775 became
a marshal of France; he was guillotined in June 1794.
The elder son of the Due de Mouchy was Philippe Louis Marc Antoine de Noailles (1752–1819), Prince de Poix, soldier and émigré.
The younger son of the Duc de Mouchy was Louis Marie, Vicomte de Noailles (1756–1804), who served under Rochambeau in America, 1780–1782, became a member of the Constitutional
Assembly in 1789, took the popular side, and later continued his military career under
Napoleon, being mortally wounded in a sea fight off Cuba. In 1773 he had married his
first cousin once removed, Anne de Noailles, sister of Adrienne, who the following
year married Lafayette.