Occupation: Banker; Finance Minister
Necker was a famous Swiss banker who played a controversial role in attempts to shore up the French monarchy's finances in the 1770s and 1780s. His dismissal from the post of Finance Minister stoked public anger in the build-up to the Revolutionary events of 14 July 1789. He was reinstated by the king only two days after the storming of the Bastille in a bid to shore up royal authority and popularity. The duchess ascribes a central political role to him well into the Revolutionary period.
Appears in these Letters:
The Estates General was the national representative body called by Louis XVI to solve the state’s financial problems. It was set up with ornate...
22 July: Revolutionary Paris in July 1789
The duchess reflects on events in the Revolution so far and the rising power of Paris's new municipal government. She castigates a...
15 April: The Riddle of Louis XVI
Although a staunch royalist, the duchess, like many nobles, feared that the king might be tempted to enter an alliance with influential members of the...