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Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay

Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay

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Jean-Baptiste Antoine Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay (1 November 1651 – 3 November 1690) was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

. He was the eldest son of Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1665 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. His relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing...

, nephew of Charles Colbert de Croissy and cousin of Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Torcy.

In 1679 Seignelay married twice; firstly to Marie Marguerite d'Alegre, who died in 1678. Secondly he married Catherine Thérèse de Goyon de Matignon Thorigny (1662–1699). Catherine was a daughter of Henri Goyon and Marie Françoise Le Tellier, herself a sister of François Michel Le Tellier de Louvois. Their four children included:
  • Marie Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Seignelay (known as Jean-Baptiste) (1683–1712)
  • Théodore Alexandre Colbert de Seignelay (known as Théodore) (1690?–1695?)

Catherine later married again to Charles de Lorraine, Count of Marsan a member of the powerful (and more noble) house of Lorraine
House of Lorraine
The House of Lorraine, the main and now only remaining line known as Habsburg-Lorraine, is one of the most important and was one of the longest-reigning royal houses in the history of Europe...

. She died in childbirth in December 1699.

On the death of his father in 1683, Seignelay was named Navy Secretary by Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 and held the post until his death. He accompanied Abraham Duquesne
Abraham Duquesne
Other topics that could fall under Duquesne can be found at Marquis Duquesne Abraham Duquesne, marquis du Bouchet was a French naval officer, who also saw service as an admiral in the Royal Swedish Navy. He was born in Dieppe, a seaport, in 1610, and was a Huguenot...

 at the bombardment of Genoa
Bombardment of Genoa
The Bombardment of Genoa was a military event during the War of the Reunions when France bombarded the city of Genoa from the sea between May 18 and May 28 1684.- Background :...

 in May 1684. He completed the Code Noir
Code Noir
The Code noir was a decree originally passed by France's King Louis XIV in 1685. The Code Noir defined the conditions of slavery in the French colonial empire, restricted the activities of free Negroes, forbade the exercise of any religion other than Roman Catholicism , and ordered...

 begun by his father. He was named Minister in 1689.

Seignelay continued his father's work of expanding the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

; between 1660 and 1690 the Navy increased under their control from 18 sailing vessels to some 125. While the arsenals too were reconstructed, modern studies criticise the Colberts, father and son, for concentrating on ships rather than infrastructure.

In 1675 Nicolas Boileau dedicated his ninth epistle, Nothing is beautiful but the truth, to Siegnelay and he was named Grand Treasurer of the Order of the Holy Spirit
Order of the Holy Spirit
The Order of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit, was an Order of Chivalry under the French Monarchy. It should not be confused with the Congregation of the Holy Ghost or with the Order of the Holy Ghost...

. In 1683 he inherited the Château de Sceaux
Château de Sceaux
The Château de Sceaux is a grand country house in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, not far from Paris, France. Located in a park laid out by André Le Nôtre, it houses the Musée de l’Île-de-France, a museum of local history. The former château was built for Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV's minister of...

, which he improved, employing the services of Jules Hardouin Mansart
Jules Hardouin Mansart
Jules Hardouin-Mansart was a French architect whose work is generally considered to be the apex of French Baroque architecture, representing the power and grandeur of Louis XIV...


He was succeeded as Navy Minister by the unfortunate Phélypeaux
Louis Phélypeaux (1643-1727)
Louis Phélypeaux , marquis de Phélypeaux , comte de Maurepas , comte de Pontchartrain , known as the chancellor de Pontchartrain, was a French politician....