Monday, May 7, 2012

Trivia Monday!

Alright, I told you this last one was hard. The question was "One of the Great Officers of the Crown of France died in 1782, leaving a vacancy for his position that was never filled. What was the office called? Extra credit for you if you can also name the decedent."

Despite some valiant efforts no one correctly guessed the answer, which was The Grand Panetier of France. Basically he was in charge of the Bread Department ("Panetier" is where we get the English word "Pantry"), but though this may sound like a lowly position it was not. Like many such royal charges, it was only given to noblemen, included the taxation and appropriation of all bread, and while it may have started out with overseeing the King's table, became largely ceremonial. In the 16th century the position of Panetier, as with many others at court, became hereditary, and was passed down within the Cosse de Brissac family. Though we know that the last incumbent died in 1782, there was at least one more member of the family alive (one who had, in fact, been Panetier at some point) so it is unclear why he did not take up the position again. 

Time for something a little easier:- The eldest son of a Duke often held a title as heir to the duchy; for instance, the son of the Duke de Bouillon was known as "_ de Bouillon", what was the title?


  1. oh my... the eldest son of a duke in france is called 'prince', is he not? In England he is called 'Earl', I'm quite sure...

  2. Replies
    1. I'm sure that quite a few sons of Dukes were Marquis, but in this case the default title was in fact "Prince". It's counter-intuitive because we tend to think of a Prince as being a high rank than a Duke.