Genevieve, Louis, Auguste, André, Thimothée d' Eon de Beaumont
was born in Tonnerre on November 5th
at Hôtel d’Uzès, son of a lawyer at the Parliament and legal adviser to the
king, he was also the owner of the Tonnerre vineyards, and Dame Françoise de
At the age of 13, he was sent to school in Paris.
Holder of a doctorate
in Civil and Canon Law, he entered the Paris Parliament as an attorney.
He starts writing, and publishes successively several books that makes him rank among the most brilliant minds in Paris. His degrees –as well as strong family acquaintances- give him the opportunity to be, at 21 years old, the Censor of the King for History and literature, a very important job as it allows him to grant –or refuse- the Privilege of the King.
The legend says that the king noticed him and thought he was a woman as he was wearing a dress during a ball. He was then recruited in the “Secret du Roi” Secret of the King (a parallel government of Louis XV) and sent to Russia in 1755 under the name -and the dress- of Mademoiselle Lia de Beaumont, where he became the reader of the Czar Elisabeth. The reward for his first successful mission was the trust of the king and a second official mission, in man outfits ! He was designated Captain of the Dragons, and was enrolled in the Rhin army during the 7 year war where he had several successes.
In 1763, he was sent
to England holding the title of “French Embassy Secretary for the Conclusion of
the General Peace”. He brought to Versailles the peace treaty. He was only 35
when he went back to London with the title of Minister Plenipotentiary.
After the nomination of M. de Guerchy at the head of the Embassy, he finds himself torn apart between the contradictory orders of his hierarchy from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and those secretly forwarded to him by the king ; he is exposed to strong criticism due to his behavior. Meanwhile, in London where he lives a very bustling life, rumors began to arise about the doubts on his gender.
Louis XVI, king since
1774, was convinced that he was a woman and required from him to be dressed as
woman for ever, upon his return to France. The person who was be called from
then, “Mademoiselle la Chevalière d’Eon” returns to Tonnerre in 1778. For more
than 8 years our hero will focus on the grapevine culture…
He went back to London in order to get his things back and especially his books (to sell them). While he was hoping to come back to France thanks to the Revolution, he looses his royal allowance as well as his properties in Burgundy as he was considered as an emigrant.
He starts selling his collections and his books to make a living and begins to make fencing combats for money. He was winning these combats most of the times. At the age of 68, he is seriously hurt by a rotten foil, and lived poorly for several years.
He dies in London, in
1810 : on October 18th, Georges III the surgeon, Copeland and father
Elysée, Louis XVIII’s doctor wh was in exile at that time, helped by some French
and English aristocrats could testify according to post mortem examination that
Eon was a man !
He was buried in England in the Middlesex…
For the English version, thanks to Zeina KANDALAFT, Translator - Interpreter.
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