French Renaissance Paleography


Paris, 17 April 1638
_Cession de créance par Charles de Biencourt _
Chicago, Newberry Library, VAULT box Ayer MS 69


In this document Charles de Biencourt, a squire in the French royal stables, agrees to pay to François du Vaulx, seigneur de Plainville, the sum of 210 livres. _Biencourt says the same sum is due to him on the promise – obtained the previous day – of Georges Le Grand, the Receiver General of the domains of the Queen Mother (Marie de Medici) and Treasurer to the Duke of Nevers, Prince of Mantua. Biencourt gives to Vaulx forty Spanish _pistoles (gold coins) as a guarantee, which Vaulx will return to him when Biencourt pays back the 210 _livres. _Biencourt must have needed the cash more quickly than Le Grand could provide it, and so he turned to a member of his wife’s family for a loan. He had married Gabrielle Plainville three years earlier.

Edward E. Ayer donated this document to the Newberry Library in the early twentieth century. Ayer collected materials relating to European contact with the Americas and had been told (erroneously) that the document pertained to Biencourt’s more well-known cousin, Charles de Biencourt de Poutrincourt, baron de St. Just (1591-1623), colonizer and governor of the colony of Port-Royal in Acadia.