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The Affair of the Poisons

2011-01-19 | 🔗

From hemlock to cyanide, poison has unfortunately played an integral part in many of history's great sagas, But in 17th-century France, the scandal over poisoning reached an unprecedented level. Tune in and learn more.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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welcome to the past i'm fair dowdy and i'm the lantern avoiding and when we left off with a verbal series last lui the thirteenth and his chief adviser cardinal richelieu whose also known as the red eminence had passed away just within a few months of each other in one thousand six hundred and forty two and one thousand six hundred and forty three making louis xiv much like greasy lu lu the fourteenth whose also known as the sun king or the grand monarch you can we do in entire series just about him his wars as expansion of french territory and of course has mistresses but the truth is since he's france's most famous monarchs you ve probably come across at least some and so before i mean is probably is not something that you must industry class any are probably not that as we mentioned in the last upset you can't do theories on the bourbon family and leave out louis the fourteenth because we hear things
defines the family so in this episode we're gonna focused on his court at first sight during the very height of his reign in how it reflects some of his contributions to french society but we are also going to focus on a dark scandal which because sort of shows the your side of his reign of power and a mystery of sorts called the affair of the poison that doesn't make you and trade i don't know what well and this little mystery completely shocked and disturbed at the french court at this time and i am often marked a turning point for the king though before we get there as usual we're gonna start getting just give a little bit of background on only the fourteenth even though you may know some of those who just want a kind of set the scene for this affair of pay and so that you know maybe what led up to and what was going on at the time so just a little recap from last episode lui the fourteenth was born
september theft the sixteen thirty eight and at the time he was called god given it was a really deal at the time because it came after a pretty big drives for his mother who is anne of austria and lose the thirteenth they haven't had any children up to that point so people considered lui the fourteen visible divinity almost they thought that his his birth was on miracle and since he was five on his father died though and ruled as regent alongside prime minister cardinal jewels mazarin who she had and pack to advise her so it's interesting it's kind of the same set up that louis the thirteenth he became king coming to the throne boy with his mother serving as regions with an adviser who had a lot of power the big difference here though
that unlike richelieu mazarin wasn't falling in and out of favour with the queen he did have a lot of enemies though and namely those enemies were the french nobles we know noble there always stirring up trouble here and a lot of this trouble started under richelieu whose policies of the monarchy reduce the influence that melody you know i mean he was all about the absolute power the king so exactly through some of the nobility and the judicial bodies such as the party were feeling a little bit disenfranchise like they sort of lost out in theory to get a little somethin back so they decided do something about it and they staged a series of civil war is known as the france against the crown and though the fund ultimately unsuccessful louis grow up in the midst of all this he grew up in the midst of noble
rebelling against term and this atmosphere definitely made an impression on em and by most accounts he was neglected also as a child brought it mostly by servants so colored his vision i think of the future and how he wanted to rule he wanted to be secure and powerful and its future and that's definitely gonna come into play but mother continue to rule even after lui the fourteenth came of age but after a measure and died in sixteen sixty one really shocked the country by telling everybody all of his ministers everyone that he intended to rule for himself this is unheard of the king is thus to maybe dabble in rolling or have certain strong suits if it's like economic stuff military stuff but then spend a lot this time enjoying being king so decided take it on himself founded ridiculous right but from this perspective
louis the fourteenth saw himself as gods representative here on earth and meta maybe because here similar things set out from a young age bet he basically thought that this gave him the right to rule as a dictator essentially an absolute mark and from point on he really set out to control every aspect of what was going on in france the military decisions the economy the cultural life and he does obviously has some advisers he has a few ministers around him to help him out but he really work thirty be works at it like a full time job spending eight hours a day just devoting himself too the little details of what's going on in the kingdom right end really every little detail so as we mention to lower the fourteenth was known for a lot of things including going to war alot especially with the netherlands in his hand expand its territories on his death bed in fact he was remember saying i have loved war too much but he's also crow
with bringing a contemporary conception of luxury probably a lot of how we think of france especially paris today i think too the country i thought rather than one source as the elevating lifestyle to fine arts which i thought was a nice way to put it so she brought some fancy listen to it the others that there is a sore down the road on peach tree that fell like lifestyle goods and i just i'm somebody our conception of what that even i think louis interesting though you know this this you mentioned heap he thought he could rule like a dictator that its extended all sorts of things not just control of the country but he imposed his artistic taste on all of france he nurtured talents of the writer moliere and made him right all this stuff that was
supporting the monarchy in supporting the king he supported the painter vigo and in doing this a lot of people say that louis helped french culture attain the same level of respect that italian had it it it elevated the country true and it seems that he wasn't just dilatory and doing all this either he seems to have actually had a true love for the arts fun fact he himself was an pushed ballet dancer and even performed at court in costume and everything we i mean just imagine this king who participates in wars and fights and on the site is also a very elegant artists have actually seen a picture of him ass a teenager dressed in his son king costume which is like a gold flaming costume with points radiating out from it wonder if it was the ballet costume could have been so again he had control over every little detail he decides
not only when they go to war and economic things but he decides what beautiful and what etiquette should be and he imposes these tests on everybody and he also you sit in a way to get what he wants politically vs our go back to those nobles who rose up and with a young boy against the monarchy and louis didn't forget these guys and he didn't forget the circumstances that created a problem that though he drew the noblemen and cord and he tried to keep them there any try to keep them occupied with frivolous thing that gambling and he really took note careful note of who with their and who was so if you were usually there and then one day you were missing lily to me did you know why you have been gone if you were in and out all the time he needed a good exe from you and if you weren't around at all you're in trouble that was really really bad there
probably no good excuse for being constantly absent from court yeah and if you were one of those people who has never there you would really hard time getting what you wanted because that's kind of how the key decided things he would or if you approach for example and he said i need more land or something but if you want people who are around a lot he was known to say things like he is a man i never see and that we were to be the end of it you wouldn't get what you wanted because he hadn't been in favour of the king midas i'll just stay or castle at that point the being at corps sticking to the kings roles of etiquette became really essential for nobles who wanted anywhere in life you you couldn't essentially be your own king anymore with your own vassals in your ethel in your land in your army you had to be poor watching lui eat right so it just a basis one king anymore with your own vassals politics your castle in your life
and in your army you had from paris to be a core say it was easier for him to keep track of people there and it made the court more isolated two years he started going to force i originally to carry out a love affair with his mistress mademoiselle de la valliere and i mean he was quite the womanizer think one thing we even though he was already married he was married to the daughter of the king of spain at that point when he was visiting versailles the structure was basically a hunting lodge that sounds more rustic than it is it's still a fabulous country house but still it's not like that i saw you make a visit and so in the sixteenth louis starts transforming it into this enormous palace and architectural wonder and thank you no part of it is to bring the nobles there but authors though he has his own stronghold he's not endanger like he was a child in paris gagged
a bit uncomfortable there so versailles is sort of an escape for him but he's often critic as for this because versailles so extravagant the palace it received letters and it cost so credibly much some say that it clay ruins the nation was somewhere the price of a modern airports are just imagine that for a second but actually nobody knows for sure how much it costs because the king is rumoured to have destroyed the bill after he saw how much it was and is the only guy says that way too much on a thing like that something blondie you a deal but even even though you think if it costs as much as a modern airport all of the nobles we're staying there would be a pretty nice quarters at least that wasn't the case i mean it was the lap of luxury for the royal family but the other gas and sometimes there are as many as one thousand people there were put in he's really small cramped rooms that were too high or to called for the seas and i mean this is not the servant
talking about these are people who are used to living in palaces themselves yeah seems i'm sure it wasn't bad it almost seems like a slum live right on top of each other remember your place definitely so this is it all to set up the scene for the king at the height of his role by the six seventies round sixteen eighty or so he's been doing well in wars he's adored by his cord and he's just generally living large out in versailles but we're going about practice a little back to explain sort of his situation with his mistress isn't everything that's going on so back in sixteen sixty seven he taken on a new mistress the marquis de martyrs far and they together for years and they even had seven can together one of whom died so the remaining six kids they are legitimized and she had been a lady in waiting to the queen and she was married to the marquis de malta's pon with whom she had two kids also her
didn't really like what was going on between her and the king and apparently express that somehow because he was exiled to guy on in sixteen sixty eight and legally separated from her a shortly after that the key and the marquis de la to spank go on to be together for about thirteen years but it doesnt last one want to spanish implicated in a scandal one of the most noted criminal cases of the seventeenth century in fact the affair of the poisons fill this whole scandalous episode actually starts back in sixteen seventy three when the contest foresaw who's the husband of olympic monsignor who's the former favorite of louie the fourteenth and if you're really gonna keep track of everything the knees of cardinal mazur so when the contest dies in these strange circumstance circumstances that suggested poisoning people start talking in our interesting news the writer
the same time as this contest was sad story another big case was going down in paris the marquise dhahran vizier who was an aristocrat had been found her poisoned her father and her brothers and who have made attempts on other members of a family including her husband eventually it seem like she was trying to kill every mail family member and gather money and there was a lover who left behind evidence incriminating both of them and round the eight had also knocked off a few inmates in the charity hospital testing out her poisons opposing as they do gutter noble woman walked through that really walls of the charity hospital i really seeing if her ever stop was potan enough to kill her own family so those are too big stories guy even imagine today that beyond the cover of all the tablet the way people are obsessed with at the time
just so you understand the situation although better there a couple things that are going on around time also that sort of set up the scene a little bit poisons for one or more readily available especially arsenic and these points also very hearts detect because there's no really there's no pathology around at the time there's no csi there's no bones so nobody really am very easy to both use it as a way to kill somebody and also just use it possible accusation against somebody for example somebody dies and you could just say oh i think they were poisoned because there's no really way to prove whether or not they were so there is a lot of us going on it's an upgrade from the tutor pushing them down the stairs method and also the other thing going on is that these nobles we mentioned whose fates were so closely tied to the kings favor these started turning to fortune tellers magicians renegade priests conjurers basically the occult in general to try to improve their fortune
and also thwart their enemies at court and this was we especially true for women at the time just because for a lot this was the only way for them to be free and wealthy and becoming a widow yeah so getting rid of your husband or male family members though the aim is caught in sixteen seventy six then she's tried and executed but before she died she said to have said something kind of shifting and kind of skin to a lot of people in france she said quote the nobility are added as well if i wanted to speak out i could destroy don't i'm down near exactly so suddenly people are suspicious who is she talking about who else of added right so a couple of sort of shady situations happen in the meantime i think that after that there's an attempt on the king and nothing really comes of it but then this
situation the affair of the poisons erupts into a full blown scandal in sixteen seventy nine when the police apprehend of working class women who claimed to have been selling poisons to duchesses marquise is princes and lords and they immediately began to implicate other people in their class including a fortune teller known as love or saw she was a fortune some of the most illustrious names and france so this was a problem yeah in these three ladys start mentioning some other very important namely the story keep spreading so basically we people decided to do something about it so with louis approval hasn't ministers sets up a secret investigative tribunal known as the commission of the arsenal goal there is to look into and try some of the cases involving the more important names involved and this was both you preserve discretion in these situations and also to prevent the guilty from escaping justice because they were so close to the king so essentially
don't want to get out too everybody in their brother in paris because it's just going to cause a lot of commotion and terribly and bear thing right so they want keep it on a download they set up this tribunal and start trying people i also don't want somebody to get away with poisoning their whole family just cause they happen to be the kings friend true but then in september sixteen seventy nine the marquise dumont fancy name starts being thrown around in connection with this whole affair so this was gone syria saw the sudden very close citing tail yeah the woman who is just about the closest person in the world to the king is linked to this shady underworld of poisons alchemy in all sorts of things in her accusations go pretty deep she's accused of four things she's accused of buying
of potions from love us all to retain her hold over the king she's also accused four things she's accused of buying love potions from love us all formed by say ten calls and in those black masses she was accused of having a priest if children over her basically using her naked belly as an altar and the purpose was this to retain the kings favour the accusation was that she had attempted to kill one of her rivals using a pair of poisoned gloves some reports also reported that it was with poisoned milk that she attempted to poison arrival and the fourth accusation was that she had attempted to kill the king himself so that was kind of the most serious one and i still can't get over the black man with a firm he s pretty girls any serious and growth but now i suspect that they accusers
picked up a lot of this because they knew that louie wouldn't let anything happen to the mother of his kids this woman who is so publicly linked to him and i mean they might have been right to a certain extent he he didn't want her name to get out so much with say a public execution of some of these in class women who are involved the i guess they play their part they definitely didn't and i think you are right i think they are absolutely correct on what they did louis had everything covered up he had no from interrogations that were captain effort sheets instead of a ledger he specifically ordered for that to be that way and of course most people suspect him this actually happened are supposed to happen he destroyed the sheets later on destroy the evidence and on october first sixteen eighty following the execution of madame philosopher louie decided to
ben sessions of the commission of the arsenal and many believe this is because philosopher made damaging allegations against malta spar failure just stop love without talking about her anymore it was of a woman and things are getting out of louis troll re by and the commission of the arsenal had already judged a hundred and four cases and thirty four if they accuse were executed too condemned in absentia and four were sent to the galleys thirty four sentences i'll banishment or financial demands and thirty were acquitted so pretty serious results from this tribunal but it takes a couple years to wind down it takes a while to finish up all the executions and the sentencing of people who were guilty and send them to their various prisons in places that they need to go but by sixteen eighty two there was also a sort of positive result of this affair of the poisons
two the first legal restrictions on the sale of poisons in france so some guy got to come out of it anyway yeah i couldn't go poisoned the people in the poor hospital anymore quite so easily it's still a mystery how guilty the marquise demand spar the wise i mean most people now think that she probably didn't have any designs on killing the king that found dreamily reactionary emmy she would have nothing to gain from killing the king in fact she would probably lose most of what she had as mr says often dead but probably did shrink love potions and participate in some of these black masses alot of people think that a lot of you inga but either way her relationship with a king definitely ended shortly after this whole thing boy lastly i guess he couldn't trust her anymore or he lost interest after finding out about all of the
an altar full i think he just seen the changes image a little back he's getting away from the bad reputation and he was a devout com i can really needed to kind of rain it back in july in his reputation definitely did change in fact the way court ran started change a lot to gambling and entertainment still took place but they took place underneath this veneer of propriety it's a little hypocritical but louis himself with getting older to and yeah just trying to change his imagine reform publicly i've seen it described actually pronounces pleasure but kind of funny if you think about it and he took up a new mistress so i don't know how that works kidding i talked about her in an earlier epithet madame damn out now and it's interesting
you're not quite sure if it if he took up a mistress or if they were secretly married before anything started happening but anyways they they live together until until his death but he dies in seventeen fifteen at the age of seventy seven and he actually lives so long has been on the throne for so long that he's outlived his son and his grandson so leaving the question of who will become air and that takes us and come to a good stopping yes i think for our next instalment which may or may not have something to do with lui the fifteenth his air keep going on these numbers are just keep truck and along i mean there's so much you can do it we could probably turnus until your long series don't worry we probably won't that they're just seems to be a lot of good ideas like given the royal than the winter for some reason it just feels right knowing their leo cold in versailles
shivering in their rooms without he recalled in only one of them be overclouded as noted by yeah i guess about wrap it up for the sun king we recommended how royalty work seventy times now so i don't know you can just happened the french revolution or that's gonna get that about rhapsody the fat king in the affair of the poison but you can only suggest morning lui topics are more bourbon topics to earth on twitter it must in history on facebook
emily that history pied hasta has to work stuck com and if you want to jump ahead fee what happened but we do have an article told how the french revolution work you can find it by searching for a french revolution on our home page w w w hasta works duck or more on this than dozens of other topics for the house to work that come to learn more about the pocket book on the pod cast icon in the upper right corner of the house of lords that i and other rights download it today and i do i am only subversion man escargot coralie and this is the peat and sebastian pod catches is a show just you guys
a comedian p coralie and i believe this is comedy gold right pleasant repeated sebastian show on iheart radio at apple podcast wherever you eat your path i dont think america has ever gone back to the way that it was before the dc sniper the gunman most likely a skilled marksman fired six times in sixteen hours the police say they have never had a crime quite like this it is quite a mystery and then as the dc sniper case unfolded that terror boldly ruth this was the most intense me hunt in american law enforcement history listen to monster dc sniper on the eye hard radioactive apple podcast or wherever you get your pockets
Transcript generated on 2020-02-06.