François Dorval-Langlois de Fancan

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François Dorval-Langlois, sieur de Fancan (* around 1576, † 1628 ) was a canon of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois and one of Cardinal Richelieu's most important French secret agents .

Since 1617 Fancan was in relations with the Bishop of Luçon. Between 1621 and 1626 Fancon wrote at least ten political pamphlets or writings, the content of which was either given by Richelieu or indirectly inspired by him. Among these writings were:

  • 1621 Discours salutaire et avis de la France mourante au roi (English salutary speech and advice of dying France to the king)
  • 1623 La France mourante (dt. France)
  • 1625 Miroir du temps passé, à l'usage du présent (German mirror of past times for use in the present)
  • 1625 Discours sur les affaires de la Valteline et des Grisons, dédié au tout-puissant et catholique roi d'Espagne (German treatise on the affair of the Valtellina and the Grisons, dedicated to the almighty and catholic king of Spain)
  • 1626 Le Discours salutaire sur l'état présent des affaires d'Allemagne (German greeting about the current situation in Germany)

According to contemporary reports, Fancan is said to have been commissioned by Richelieu with the preparation of diplomatic dispatches, memoranda and instructions.

In addition, Fancan dealt with poetry . In 1626 he published the volume Le Tombeau des romans (Eng. The tomb of the Romans).

Fancan was agitated on June 4, 1627 on charges of agitation against the siege of the Huguenot fortress of La Rochelle (which did not begin until September 12, 1627) and was held captive in the Bastille in Paris . Since Richelieu also accused him of spying for foreign powers, incriminating papers were seized showing that he had corresponded with leading Protestants in Germany, Switzerland , the United Netherlands and England . This should have indicated that Fancan had received large amounts of money from the Archbishop of Cologne Ferdinand of Bavaria or his brother Maximilian I of Bavaria or both. He is also said to have given the British supporting the Protestants in La Rochelle militarily relevant information.

Richelieu is said to have been so outraged by the betrayal of one of his closest political associates because he himself had sent him on numerous secret missions at home and abroad and had placed great confidence in him in this regard. To what extent such an experienced agent kept extensive correspondence, which proved his betrayal, or whether it was a matter of a manufacture from the vicinity of Père Joseph, cannot be clarified with absolute certainty.

The French historian Gabriel Hanotaux considered Fancan a " typical secret agent, endowed with skill, boldness, cold-bloodedness, duplicity and a strong tendency to intrigue ". Fancan spent a year in the darkness and seclusion of the Bastille before he died there.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gabriel Hanotaux: La Genèse des idées politiques de Richelieu . In: Revue des Deux Mondes . 1902, p. 834 ( s: fr: La Genèse des idées politiques de Richelieu ).