This post is also available in: French
Family Bonneval – Then! – a summary of the lives of some of the main characters from history
“….Des Cars richesse, Bonneval noblesse”.
Family Bonneval is one of the most ancient aristocratic houses of France, dating its documented origins in the Limousin from the early 11th century. It has long been considered one of the most prestigious and honourable of families, giving rise to the proverb of the title; translated as: “Family Des Cars for Wealth, Family Bonneval for Nobility”
Throughout its history members of the Family Bonneval contracted numerous alliances with other royal and prestigious families, like Antoine de Bonneval, who married in 1471 Margaret de Foix., to such an extent that many family members have qualified for the unofficial title of “Cousins of the King”.
The Bonneval Blason and Devise
The family crest or blason is described in heraldic terms as:
D’azur à un lion d’or armé et lampassé de gueules
or in plain English as “a bright blue background, with a golden lion displaying its teeth and claws aggressively and showing a rose red tongue”. This is generally shown, mounted with the crown indicating the Bonneval family’s rank, which is the rank of Marquis; as well as the S.P.Q.R. cypher. The whole design is then surrounded by the ancient Bonneval family motto or devise:
“Victorios A Tots Lous Azars”
Creation of the Marquisate
The Bonneval family and their estates in Limousin were formally elevated to the status of a Marquisate, and hence the ennobled title of “Marquis”, in 1655.
Known Family Personalities
Chevalier Gerault de Bonneval(1050) – builder of the first chateau and founder of the Noble House of Bonneval.
Guillaume de Bonneval – a commander in the army of Louis VII on the Second Crusade 1145 to 1149
Bernard de Bonneval – Bishop of Limoges in 1391 to 1403.
Antoine de Bonneval (1433 – 1505) –Premier Chamberlain to Gaston de Foix, King of Navarre and then served as councillor and chamberlain to Kings Louis XI, Charles VIII and Louis XII.
Marguerite de Foix (1450 – 1508) – married Antoine de Bonneval in 1471, in the church of Coussac-Bonneval
Foucault de Bonneval – son of Antoine and Marguerite de Bonneval, who was appointed Bishop of Périgueux (Vesuna),1531 to 1540.
Germain de Bonneval (1468 – 1525) – son of Antoine and Marguerite; who became a military commander in the service of Louis XII and Francois I and was killed at the Battle of Pavia, (1525).
Gabriel de Bonneval (1520-1590) – was a commander in the Huguenot army and a mentor of young Henri IV at the Battle of La Roche l’Abeille. The outcome was a victory for the Huguenot forces.
Claude -Alexandre de Bonneval (1675 – 1747), Comte de Bonneval who after a colourful and controversial military career, became a national hero in Turkey; by serving the Ottoman Empire, converting to Islam, and taking the title Humbaraci Ahmed Pasha. He then became better known as Bonneval Pasha.
Andre de Bonneval – Marquis de Bonneval who married Marie-Denise de Nanthait, the grand-daughter of Charlotte Aïssé.
Philippe-Armand de Bonneval (1773 – 1852), the mayor of Bourges and General Counsel of Cher.
Hippolyte de Bonneval (1786 – 1873) – the Marquis who following a successful military career then created a successful porcelain business. He greatly restored and embellished the property ,during the 57 years period during which he was the domain owner.
Madamoiselle Charlotte Elizabeth Aïssé (c1694 – 1733) and her daughter Célinie Le Blond . Charlotte was a slave, bought in a Constantinople market, who rose to become a celebrated lady of letters in Parisian society and the mistress of Philip II, Duke of Orléans (1674-1723). Célinie married Pierre Jaubert, the Viscount de Nanthiat; and their daughter, Charlotte’s grand-daughter, Marie-Denise de Nanthiat, married Andre de Bonneval in 1760.
Gabriel André II de Bonneval (1769 – 1839) – Marquis de Bonneval who lived through the time of the French Revolution (1789 -1799) and in particular the Reign of Terror (1793 – 1794)
Bertrand-Henri de Bonneval(1806-1882) One of the first homeopaths in France, agronomist and philanthropist.
Timoléon de Bonneval (1845-1939) – after retirement from his military career for which he received the Legion d’Honneur. He is the great- grandfather of today’s Marquis de Bonneval .
Gaston de Bonneval (1911- 1998) – aide de camps to General Charles de Gaulle.