Day of the Dupes

Last updated
Marie de' Medici confronts Cardinal Richelieu before Louis XIII. Illustration by Maurice Leloir (1910) Maurice Leloir - La journee des Dupes.jpg
Marie de' Medici confronts Cardinal Richelieu before Louis XIII. Illustration by Maurice Leloir (1910)

Day of the Dupes (in French : la journée des Dupes) is the name given to a day in November 1630 on which the enemies of Cardinal Richelieu mistakenly believed that they had succeeded in persuading King Louis XIII of France to dismiss Richelieu from power. [1] The actual day is thought to have been on the 10th, 11th, or 12th of the month.


In November 1630, the political relations between the cardinal and the queen mother, the Italian-born Marie de' Medici, reached a crisis. In a stormy scene on 10 November, in the Luxembourg Palace, Marie de' Medici and the cardinal met in the king's presence. The queen mother demanded the cardinal's dismissal, declaring that the king had to choose between him and her. [2]

No immediate decision came from this conference, but the king retired to his hunting lodge in Versailles. Richelieu seems to have believed that his political career was over, but the intercession of influential friends saved the minister from impending disgrace. While the apartments of the Luxembourg Palace were thronged by the cardinal's enemies celebrating his fall, Richelieu followed the king to Versailles, where the monarch assured him of continued support. Marie eventually exiled herself to Compiègne. [3]

The "Day of the Dupes," as this event was called, marks the complete restoration of the cardinal to royal favor. [4]

In literature

A historical novel by Stanley J. Weyman, Under the Red Robe (adapted into film in 1915, 1923 and 1937) concerns the Day of the Dupes. [5] The Day of Dupes also forms the plot in Alexandre Dumas' novel The Red Sphinx .

Related Research Articles

Marie de Medici Queen consort of France and Navarre

Marie de' Medici, was Queen of France as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon and Regent of the Kingdom of France officially during 1610–1614 and de facto until 1617.

Louis XIII 17th-century King of France

Louis XIII was King of France from 1610 until his death in 1643 and King of Navarre from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown.

Anne of Austria Infanta of Spain and Portugal. Queen of France

Anne of Austria, a Spanish princess and an Austrian archduchess of the House of Habsburg, was queen of France as the wife of Louis XIII, and regent of France during the minority of her son, Louis XIV, from 1643 to 1651. During her regency, Cardinal Mazarin served as France's chief minister. Accounts of French court life of her era emphasize her difficult marital relations with her husband, her closeness to her son Louis XIV, and her disapproval of her son's marital infidelity to her niece and daughter-in-law Maria Theresa.

Cardinal Richelieu French clergyman, noble and statesman and King Louis XIIIs chief minister

Armand Jean du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu, known as Cardinal Richelieu, was a French clergyman and statesman. He was also known as l'Éminence rouge, or "the Red Eminence", a term derived from the title "Eminence" applied to cardinals, and the red robes they customarily wore.

Cardinal Mazarin Catholic cardinal (1602–1661)

Cardinal Jules Mazarin, born Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino or Mazarini, was an Italian cardinal, diplomat, and politician who served as the chief minister to the kings of France Louis XIII and Louis XIV from 1642 until his death in 1661. In 1654 he acquired the title Duke of Mayenne, and in 1659, 1st Duke of Rethel and Nevers.

François de Bassompierre French courtier and Marshal of France

François de Bassompierre was a French courtier.

Gaston, Duke of Orléans French prince

MonsieurGaston, Duke of Orléans, was the third son of King Henry IV of France and his wife Marie de' Medici. As a son of the king, he was born a Fils de France. He later acquired the title Duke of Orléans, by which he was generally known during his adulthood. As the eldest surviving brother of King Louis XIII, he was known at court by the traditional honorific Monsieur.

Jardin du Luxembourg Gardens of the French Senate in Paris

The Jardin du Luxembourg, known in English as the Luxembourg Garden, colloquially referred to as the Jardin du Sénat, is located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was created beginning in 1612 by Marie de' Medici, the widow of King Henry IV, for a new residence she constructed, the Luxembourg Palace. The garden today is owned by the French Senate, which meets in the Palace. It covers 23 hectares and is known for its lawns, tree-lined promenades, tennis courts, flowerbeds, model sailboats on its octagonal Grand Bassin, as well as picturesque Medici Fountain, built in 1620. The name Luxembourg comes from the Latin Mons Lucotitius, the name of the hill where the garden is located.

Stanley J. Weyman

Stanley John Weyman was an English writer of historical romance. His most popular works were written in 1890–1895 and set in late 16th and early 17th-century France. While very successful at the time, they are now largely forgotten.

Claude Bouthillier

Claude Bouthillier, Sieur de Fouilletourte was a French statesman and diplomat. He held a number of offices, including Secretary of State and Superintendent of Finances, and distinguished himself in diplomacy throughout the 1630s, particularly in respect to France's entry into the Thirty Years' War.

Michel de Marillac

Michel de Marillac was a French jurist and counsellor at the court of Louis XIII of France, one of the leading dévots. His uncle was Charles de Marillac, Archbishop of Vienne and a member of the king's council, the Conseil du Roi. A member of the circle of Marie de' Medici, he was arrested after the Queen Mother's flight in 1631 and died in prison.

Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier Duchess of Orléans

Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier, and Duchess of Orléans by marriage, was a French noblewoman and one of the last members of the House of Bourbon-Montpensier. Her parents were Henri de Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier and Henriette Catherine de Joyeuse, Duchess of Joyeuse in her own right.

Gabriel de Rochechouart de Mortemart

Gabriel de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Duke of Mortemart was a French nobleman and father of the Marquise de Montespan. He was a friend of the French King Louis XIII.

Claude Ramey French sculptor

Claude Ramey was a French sculptor.

Under the Red Robe is a historical novel by Stanley J. Weyman, first published in 1894. Often described as his best work, it was also the most commercially successful, going through 34 reprints, the last in 1962.

Under the Red Robe is a 1937 British / American film directed by Victor Sjöström. Previously filmed as a 1923 silent directed by Alan Crosland. Before the films a play had been produced on Broadway in 1896-97 starring Viola Allen and William Faversham.

<i>Under the Red Robe</i> (1923 film) 1923 film by Alan Crosland

Under the Red Robe is a 1923 American silent historical drama directed by Alan Crosland based upon the Stanley Weyman novel Under the Red Robe. The film marks the last motion picture appearance by stage actor Robert B. Mantell who plays Cardinal Richelieu and the only silent screen performance of opera singer John Charles Thomas.

Petit Luxembourg

The Petit Luxembourg is a French hôtel particulier and the residence of the president of the French Senate. It is located at 17–17 bis, rue de Vaugirard, just west of the Luxembourg Palace, which serves as the seat of the Senate, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Originally built around 1550 to the designs of an unknown architect, it is especially noted for the surviving Rococo interiors designed in 1710–1713 by the French architect Germain Boffrand. Further west, at 19 rue de Vaugirard, is the Musée du Luxembourg.

Paris in the 17th century

Paris in the 17th century was the largest city in Europe, with a population of half a million, matched in size only by London. It was ruled in turn by three monarchs; Henry IV, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV, and saw the building of some of the city's most famous parks and monuments, including the Pont Neuf, the Palais Royal, the newly joined Louvre and Tuileries Palace, the Place des Vosges, and the Luxembourg Garden. It was also a flourishing center of French science and the arts; it saw the founding of the Paris Observatory, the French Academy of Sciences and the first botanical garden in Paris, which also became the first park in Paris open to the public. The first permanent theater opened, the Comédie-Française was founded, and the first French opera and French ballets had their premieres. Paris became the home of the new Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and of some of France's most famous writers, including Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine, La Fontaine and Moliere. Urban innovations for the city included the first street lighting, the first public transport, the first building code, and the first new aqueduct since Roman times.

Christophe Cochet French sculptor

Christophe Cochet, known in Rome under the name Cristoforo Coscetti or Coscietti was a 17th-century French sculptor.


  1. Robson, William (1854). The Life of Cardinal Richelieu. London, UK: George Routledge & Co. pp.  184–186. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  2. "1630 The Day of the Dupes". Chateau de Versailles. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. Bergin, Joseph (1 March 1990). Cardinal Richelieu: Power and the Pursuit of Wealth. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. p. 86. ISBN   978-0-300-04860-5 . Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  4. Killikelly, Sarah Hutchins (1889). Curious Questions in History, Literature, Art, and Social Life: Designed as a Manual of General Information. Philadelphia, PA: Keystone Publishing. p.  172 . Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  5. Weyman, Stanley John (1906). Under the Red Robe. New York City: Longmans, Green and Co. Retrieved 12 July 2016.