Fouquet, Nicolas

Fouquet, Nicolas

biographical name

(born 1615, Paris, France—died March 23, 1680, Pignerol) French finance minister (1653–61) in the early years of the reign of Louis XIV. He was a wealthy supporter of the powerful Cardinal Mazarin and of the royal government during the turmoil of the Fronde (1648–53), when he lent large sums to the treasury. In 1653 he was appointed superintendent of finance. After Mazarin's death (1661) Jean-Baptiste Colbert sought to succeed Fouquet by destroying his reputation with the king. Fouquet was arrested for embezzlement, while Colbert suppressed papers that would have absolved him. Though public opinion was in his favour, he was sentenced in 1664 to imprisonment in the fortress of Pignerol, where he died.

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