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Aux racines de la rose : Louis du Périer, consul et bibliophile lyonnais

Abstract : Louis du Périer was a well-known French bibliophile who commissioned several manuscripts illuminated by Lyon artists. He was also the great-grandfather of François du Périer, to whom the poet Malherbe addressed one of the most famous French poems, Consolation. But very little is known about du Périer’s life, and his role as chief of the salt tax administration in Provence has often misled researchers. On the contrary, this article shows his roots in Lyon and his strong and lasting links with this city. Du Périer’s origins and the first years of his life remain a mystery however. He married a woman from Lyon in 1465 and served the king for a few years. In 1484, he began to serve the city of Lyon: he carried out missions for the king and for the Estates of Languedoc for the important matter of the Lyon fairs. He was first elected Consul of Lyon in 1486 for two years and then served three more terms in 1490, 1497, and 1501. At that time, he was one of the most important people in Lyon. He was one of the first in the order of consuls and was also regularly consulted for the administration of the city when he was not in an elected position. He obtained for himself and for his son many municipal honors. In addition, he became chief of the salt tax administration in Provence in 1489, was appointed courrier (chief for civil justice in Lyon) to the archbishop around 1493, and obtained nobility in 1498. Thanks to him, his son Gaspard du Périer became a member of the Aix parliament when it was created in 1501. This term of office would then lead to the relocation of the du Périer family to Provence in the sixteenth century. Louis du Périer died around 1506. We know about several of his social relationships. He was close to the Varey family, the most important consular family in Lyon in the fifteenth century. He was thus the guardian of Antoine de Varey, the heir of this family. But other aspects, in particular his coat of arms, suggest a relationship with another important family in Lyon, the Thomassins. He was probably a cadet of this family whose members served the dauphin, the king, and the city of Lyon in the fifteenth century. He probably had two or three wives successively, and at least two sons, including Gaspard and François. All this information makes it possible for us to paint a picture of a member of Lyon’s bourgeois elite at the end of the Middle Ages.
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Jean-Benoît Krumenacker. Aux racines de la rose : Louis du Périer, consul et bibliophile lyonnais. Revue historique, Presses Universitaires de France, 2019, 3 (691), pp.629-677. ⟨hal-02541710⟩

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