Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont

Paul Philippe Hardouin de Beaumont de Péréfixe (1606 – 1 January 1671, Paris) was a French historian and clergyman. He was bishop of Rodez, then archbishop of Paris.

Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont

Archbishop of Paris
Hardoin de Perifaxe de Baumont.jpg
Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont, Archbishop of Paris
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
SeeNotre-Dame de Paris
Installed24 March 1664
Term ended1 January 1671
PredecessorPierre de Marca
SuccessorFrançois de Harlay de Champvallon
Other postsBishop of Rodez
Personal details
Beaumont, Vienne, France
Died1 January 1671(1671-01-01) (aged 64–65)
Paris, France
Alma materCollege of Sorbonne, Paris


Born at Beaumont, Vienne into a family of Neapolitan origin, he was the son of a maître d'hotel to Richelieu. he studied at the University of Poitiers and Paris where he received a doctorate at the Sorbonne. In 1644 he became preceptor to Louis XIV,[1] who also made him his confessor. After being Abbot of Saint-Michel-en-l'Herm, he was appointed Bishop of Rodez in 1649 and he was elected member of the Académie française in 1654. In 1662, Louis XIV appointed him Archbishop of Paris, headmaster of Sorbonne, and commander of the Order of the Holy Spirit.

Engaged in the fight against Jansenism, Monseigneur de Beaumont de Perefixe published in 1664 an order "for the signature of the form of faith, drawn up in execution of the Constitutions of our Holy Fathers Popes Innocent X and Alexander VII" which aimed to compel the nuns of Port-Royal des Champs to sign a form condemning the Jansenist theses. He travelled several times to Port-Royal, deprived the recalcitrant of the sacraments, then ordered their captivity. The affair ended in 1669 with a new ordinance "in favor of the nuns of Port-Royal des Champs" which forced them to submit. Henry de Montherlant brilliantly staged all the protagonists of this struggle in his play, Port-Royal.

As his reputation of intransigence seemed firmly established - it is he who prohibited the Tartuffe Molière the day after his first public performance at the Palais Royal Theater in 1667[2] - as Hardouin Perefixe continued to enjoy all his life in the favor of Louis XIV. After having composed for the young king a collection of Latin maxims in 1647, he wrote for him a History of King Henry the Great[3] which appeared in 1661. The book was very widely published and is translated into many languages.

Voltaire made some praiseworthy comments on this book: "Perefixe moves all sensible hearts, and has the memory of that prince, whose weaknesses were only those of a kind man, and whose virtues were those of a great man."[4]

For Sainte-Beuve, Hardouin de Perefixe was "a rather agreeable writer in his" Life of Henry the Great, "rather learned, rather good-natured, but without character, without elevation of soul, or any exterior dignity; he was never at the height of his high position, and in more than one case incurred ridicule."[5]


  1. ^ "As soon as he awoke, he recited the service of the Holy Spirit and his rosary. That done, his preceptor entered and had him study, that is to say, in the Sacred Scripture or in the History of France. That done, he was getting out of bed." François Lebrun, Moi, Marie du Bois, gentilhomme vendômois valet de chambre, Rennes, Apogée, 1994.
  2. ^ "Considering that in a time when our great Monarch so freely exposes his life for the good of his State, and where our main care is to exhort all the good people of our Diocese to make continual prayers for the preservation of his Sacred Person and for the success of his weapons, there would be impiety to attend shows capable of attracting the wrath of Heaven, have and do very express inhibitions and defenses to all people of our Diocese, to represent, to read , or to hear recite the above-mentioned Comedy, either publicly, or in particular, under any name and pretext whatsoever, on pain of excommunication." Ordonnance of 11 August 1667.
  3. ^ Histoire de Henri-le-Grand, roi de France et de Navarre : suivie d'un recueil de quelques belles actions et paroles mémorables de ce prince (1661). Réédition : C. Lacour, Nîmes, 2005, available at Gallica.
  4. ^ Le siècle de Louis XIV, Catalogue de la plupart des écrivains français qui ont paru dans le Siècle de Louis XIV, pour servir à l’histoire littéraire de ce temps, 1751.
  5. ^ Nouveaux Lundis, V, 1863.

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Georges d'Armagnac
Bishop of Rodez
Succeeded by
Gabriel de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson
Preceded by
Pierre de Marca
Archbishop of Paris
Succeeded by
François Harlay de Champvallon