Créquy family

Blason famille fr Créquy.svg
Description - d'or au créquier de gueules
A red wild-cherry tree on a gold field.
Place of origin France



Créquy (often spelled Créqui), is a French family which originated in Artois, and took its name from a small lordship of Créquy, in the present Pas-de-Calais. Considering some authors, its genealogy would go back to the 9th century, but a real lineage can only be drawn with acts and proofs from the end of the 12th century[1] with their alliances with the Saint-Omer[2] and Aire[3] noble houses. The Crequy family originated the noble houses of Blanchefort, Bonne, Ricey, Blécourt, Canaples, Bernieulles, Hesmond, Tilly, Heilly, and Royon and some bastard branches, such as Lorins, Winnezeele[4] and Oudekerque. The Crequy lineage seems to have engendered a lot of small branches in villages of the Haut-Pays area such as Ambricourt, Coupelle-Vieille, Fruges,[5] Reclinghem, Wandonne,[6] Rimboval,[7] Dennebroeucq,[8] Douriez,[9] Capelle-lès-Hesdin, Guigny, La Loge, Montreuil, Sempy, Verchocq.[10]

Notable members

Raoul de Créquy took the cross and was arrested at Battle of Mount Cadmus. His wife Mahaut, believing her husband was dead, was going to marry the Sire of Renty whom Raoul found in his domains when he came back in France. His wife recognized him thanks to the bridal half-wedding ring which he had, where from the famous romance of the Sire of Créquy[11] in hundred and seven quatrains He died in 1181.

Henri de Créquy was killed at the siege of Damietta in 1240; Jacques de Créquy, marshal of Guienne, was killed at Agincourt with his brothers Jean and Raoul; Jean de Créquy, lord of Canaples, was in the Burgundian service, and took part in the defence of Paris against Joan of Arc in 1429, received the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1431, and was ambassador to Aragon and France; Antoine de Créquy was one of the boldest captains of Francis I, and died in consequence of an accident at the siege of Hesdin in 1523. Jean VIII, sire de Créquy, prince de Poix, seigneur de Canaples (died 1555), left three sons, the eldest of whom, Antoine de Créquy (1535-1574), inherited the family estates on the death of his brothers at St. Quentin in 1557. He was raised to the cardinalate, and his nephew,and heir, Antoine de Blanchefort, assumed the name and arms of Créquy.

Charles I de Blanchefort, son-in-law of the connetable of Lesdiguieres (last connetable of France),[12] prince de Poix, seigneur de Créquy, de Fressin et de Canaples, marquis de Vizille et de Treffort, comte de Sault, baron de Vienne-le-Chastel et de La Tour d'Aigues, duc de Lesdiguieres (1578-1638), marshal of France, and peer of France, son of the last-named, saw his first fighting before Laon in 1594, and was wounded at the capture of Saint-Jean-d'Angély in 1621. In the next year he became a marshal of France. He served through the Piedmontese campaign in aid of Savoy in 1624 as second in command to the constable, François de Bonne, duc de Lesdiguires, whose daughter Madeleine he had married in 1595. He inherited in 1626 the estates and title of his father-in-law, who had induced him, after the death of his first wife, to marry her half-sister Françoise. He was also lieutenant-general of Dauphiné. In 1633 he was ambassador to Rome, and in 1636 to Venice. He fought in the Italian campaigns of 1630, 1635, 1636 and 1637, when he helped to defeat the Spaniards at Monte Baldo. He was killed on 17 March 1638 in an attempt to raise the siege of Crema, a fortress in the Milanese. He had a quarrel extending over years with Philip, the bastard of Savoy, which ended in a duel fatal to Philip in 1599; and in 1620 he defended Saint-Aignan, who was his prisoner of war, against a prosecution threatened by Louis XIII. Some of his letters are preserved in the Bibliothque Nationale in Paris, and his life was written by N. Chorier (Grenoble, 1683).

His eldest son, François, comte de Sault, duc de Lesdiguires (1600-1677), governor and lieutenant-general of Dauphin, took the name and arms of Bonne. His younger son, Charles II de Créquy, seigneur de Canaples, was killed at the siege of Chambry in 1630, leaving three sons-Charles III, sieur de Blanchefort, prince de Poix, duc de Créquy (1623?-1687);[13] Alphonse de Créquy, comte de Canaples (d. 1711), who became on the extinction of the elder branch of the family in 1702 duc de Lesdiguires, and eventually succeeded also to his younger brother's honors; and François, chevalier de Créquy and marquis de Marines, marshal of France (1625-1687).

The last-named was born in 1625, and as a boy took part in the Thirty Years' War, distinguishing himself so greatly that at the age of twenty-six he was made a maréchal de camp, and a lieutenant-general before he was thirty. He was regarded as the most brilliant of the younger officers, and won the favor of Louis XIV by his fidelity to the court during the second Fronde. In 1667 he served on the Rhine, and in 1668 he commanded the covering army during Louis XIV's siege of Lille, after the surrender of which the king rewarded him with the marshalate. In 1670 he overran the Duchy of Lorraine. Shortly after this Turenne, his old commander, was made marshal-general, and all the marshals were placed under his orders. Many resented this, and Créquy, in particular, whose career of uninterrupted success had made him over-confident, went into exile rather than serve under Turenne. After the death of Turenne and the retirement of Condé, he became the most important general officer in the army, hut his overconfidence was punished by the severe defeat of Conzer Bruck (1675) and the surrender of Trier and his own captivity which followed. But in the later campaigns of the Franco-Dutch war he showed himself again a cool, daring and successful commander, and, carrying on the tradition of Turenne and Condé, he was in his turn the pattern of the younger generals of the stamp of Luxembourg and Villars. He died in Paris on 3 February 1687.

Alphonse de Créquy had not the talent of his brothers, and lost his various appointments in France. He went to London in 1672, where he became closely allied with Saint Evremond, and was one of the intimates of King Charles II of England.

Charles III de Créquy served in the campaigns of 1642 and 1645 in the Thirty Years' War, and in Catalonia in 1649. In 1646, after the siege of Orbitello, he was made lieutenant-general by Louis. By faithful service during the king's minority he had won the gratitude of Anne of Austria and of Mazarin, and in 1652 he became duc de Créquy and a peer of France. The latter half of his life was spent at court, where he held the office of first gentleman of the royal chamber, which had been bought for him by his grandfather. In 1659 he was sent to Spain with gifts for the infanta Maria Theresa of Spain, and on a similar errand to Bavaria in 1680 before the marriage of the dauphin. He was ambassador to Rome from 1662 to 1665, and to England in 1677; and became governor of Paris in 1675. He died in Paris on 13 February 1687. His only daughter, Madeleine, married Charles de la Trémoille (1655-1709).

The marshal Francois de Créquy had two sons, whose brilliant military abilities bade fair to rival his own. The elder, François Joseph, marquis de Créquy (1662-1702), already held the grade of lieutenant-general when he was killed at Luzzara on 13 August 1702; and Nicolas Charles, sire de Créquy, was killed before Tournai in 1696 at the age of twenty-seven.

A younger branch of the Créquy family, that of Hesmont, was represented by Louis Marie, marquis de Créquy (1705-1741), author of the Principes philosophiques des saints solitaires d'Egypte (1779), and husband of the marquise separately noticed below, and the branch became extinct with the death in 1801 of his son, Charles Marie, who had some military reputation.

Renée Caroline de Roullay, marquise de Créquy (1714-1803),was born on 19 October 1714, at the château of Monfleaux (Mayenne), the daughter of Lieutenant-General Charles François de Froullay. She was educated by her maternal grandmother, and married in 1737 Louis Marie, marquis de Créquy (see above), who died four years after the marriage. Madame de Créquy devoted herself to the care of her only son, who rewarded her with an ingratitude which was the chief sorrow of her life. In 1755 she began to receive in Paris, among her intimates being D'Alembert and J. J. Rousseau. She had none of the frivolity generally associated with the women of her time and class, and presently became extremely religious with inclinations to Jansenism. D'Alembert's visits ceased when she adopted religion, and she was nearly seventy when she formed the great friendship of her life with Sénac de Meilhan, whom she met in 1781, and with whom she carried on a correspondence (edited by Édouard Fournier, with a preface by Sainte-Beuve in 1856). She commented on and criticized Meilhan's works and helped his reputation. She was arrested in 1793 and imprisoned in the convent of Les Oiseaux until the fall of Robespierre (July 1794). The well-known Souvenirs de la marquise de Créquy (1710-1803) (a reliable description of the French royal court under Louis XV), printed in 7 volumes, 1834-1835, and purporting to be addressed to her grandson, Tancrède de Créquy, was the production of a Breton adventurer, Cousin de Courchamps. The first two volumes appeared in English in 1834 and were severely criticized in the Quarterly Review.

Auguste-Ferdinand de Beaucorps de Créquy (1789-1875) was allowed by king Louis XVIII (1815) to add his grandmother's maiden name to his and became the first count de Beaucorps-Créquy. Geoffroy de Beaucorps-Créquy (1908-1986) was the last count de Beaucorps-Créquy. He had a daughter born in 1941 who still lives in France. It seems the last male branch of this family is the one existing in the USA. This American family is named "de Beaucorps-Crequy" following their ancestor Geoffroy de Beaucorps-Créquy (their father, grandfather or great-grandfather). But this does not follow French Nobility rules as they are not in his descent through lawful marriage. They have a right to the name, family crest and motto and other things but they have no right to be considered proper French nobles (more details in French: Wikipedia Famille de Créquy).


  1. ^ Cf. Thomas Delvaux, Petite histoire des Créquy, Ivry-sur-Seine, April 2007 and Le souci dynastique chez les Créquy, L'Oreiller du Roy n° 1, Ivry-sur-Seine, June 2008.
  2. ^ Cf. Thomas Delvaux, Le sang des Saint-Omer des croisades à la quenouille en Artois, Flandre, Normandie, Angleterre et dans les Etats Latins d'Orient, Tatinghem, 2007.
  3. ^ Cf. Thomas Delvaux, D'Aire puis du néant : l'assimilation au service d'un Nom, L'Oreiller du Roy n° 2, Ivry-sur-Seine, December 2008.
  4. ^ Cf. François Caron, Un greffier et trois pommes de pin : de la greffe au collage (ou Notes sur les familles Zylof, Créquy et Wandonne en Flandre maritime), L'Oreiller du Roy n° 4, Ivry-sur-Seine, December 2009.
  5. ^ Cf. Michel Champagne, DE CRÉQUY (Ambricourt, Coupelle-Vieille, Fruges), Nord Généalogie n° 187, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.102-113 ; Michel Champagne, Généalogies frugeoises, tome 1, AM n° 288, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.19-31 and Michel Champagne, DE CRÉQUY, compléments (Ambricourt, Coupelle-Vieille, Reclinghem), Nord Généalogie n° 197, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.285-287.
  6. ^ Cf. Michel Champagne, DE CRÉQUY (le père d'Anne de Créquy : Reclinghem, Wandonne), Nord Généalogie n° 143, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.523-525 ; Michel Champagne, DE CRÉQUY (Reclinghem, Wandonne), Nord Généalogie n° 174, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.18-26 and Michel Champagne & Philippe May, DE CRÉQUY (Wandonne), Nord Généalogie n° 182, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.222-233.
  7. ^ Cf. Michel Champagne, Histoire des offices notariaux de Fressin 1545-1920 & recueil d'actes passés devant les notaires et lieutenants de Fressin 1556-1703, AM n° 345, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, p.23.
  8. ^ Cf. Michel Champagne & Philippe May, Statistique Féodale du Haut-Pays, tome 2: Audincthun, Dennebroeucq et Wandonne, compléments au tome 1, deux volumes, AM n° 324, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.37-38 & 189-190.
  9. ^ Cf. Michel Champagne & Philippe May, Statistique Féodale du Haut-Pays, tome 2: Audincthun, Dennebroeucq et Wandonne, compléments au tome 1., deux volumes, AM n° 324, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.66-72 & 156-160.
  10. ^ Cf. Michel Champagne, DE CRÉQUY-TONVILLE (Capelle-lès-Hesdin, Guigny, La Loge, Montreuil, Sempy, Verchocq), Nord Généalogie n° 200, Groupement Généalogique de la Région Nord, pp.163-174.
  11. ^ Cf. Thomas Delvaux, La légende de Raoul de Créquy : essai de décryptage généalogique, Ivry-sur-Seine, October 2006.
  12. ^ cf. Thomas Delvaux, Hauts Pays et unions dynastiques : aux origines de la pairie de Lesdiguières, conference for the 3rd Day of the Connetable, Lesdiguieres, 12th July 2009.
  13. ^ cf. François Caron, Un créquier dans une église du Ponthieu, Maisons-Alfort, February 2007.

Other references


  • the notice prefixed by Sainte-Beuve to the Lettres
  • P. L. Jacob, Enigmes et découvertes bibliographiques (Paris, 1866)
  • Quérard, Superchéries littéraires, under Créquy;

For a detailed genealogy of the family and its alliances see Louis Moréri, Dictionnaire historique: Annuaire de la noblesse française (1856 and 1867). There is much information about the Créquys in the Mémoires of Saint-Simon; L'Ombre de la marquise de Créquy aux lecteurs des souvenirs (1836) exposes the forgery of the Mémoires.

External links

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