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Portrait of Samuel Bernard by Nicolas Mignard. The picture hangs in the Palace of Chenonceaux in France.

Samuel Bernard (1651 in Sancerre – January 18, 1739), Count of Coubert (1725), was a French noble and financier.

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LifeEdit

Of Dutch origin, Samuel Bernard was the son of the painter and engraver Samuel-Jacques Bernard (1615-1687). His family was Protestant, but his father, according to the apocryphal memoirs of the Marquise de Créquy, "had embraced the sect of Arminius [and] had been forced into exile."

He created the French Guinea Company. Declared by Saint-Simon to be "the most famous and richest banker in Europe," he lent important funding to the Kingdom of France during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV.

Louis XIV, having exhausted his finances, notably turned to Bernard in 1708 to finance the War of the Spanish Succession. In order that the King would not have to stoop to receive the financier in an audience, the Controller-General of Finances, Nicolas Desmarets (1648-1721), carefully choreographed a meeting which took place at Marly. According to Saint-Simon:

Bernard returned dazzled from this walk, and Desmarets secured from him all the funding that he needed.

Samuel Bernard was ennobled in 1699 by Louis XIV, and created "Count of Coubert" by Louis XV in 1725. On December 29, 1719, he had effectively acquired the land of Coubert (Seine-et-Marne) with its château, which he had rebuilt from 1724 to 1727, possibly by Germain Boffrand. He also had a magnificent home constructed in Paris at 46 rue du Bac. In 1731, he purchased the land of Glisolles in Normandie.

FamilyEdit

Samuel Bernard was first married to Magdelaine Clergeau, then remarried in 1720 to Miss de Saint-Chamans, sister of one of his daughters-in-law. He had several children:

He also had several daughters by Marie-Anne-Armande Carton, known as Manon, daughter of the actor Florent Carton Dancourt, and wife of Jean-Louis-Guillaume Fontaine (1666-1714), commissioner and controller-general of the Navy:

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