AVARAY, a French territorial title belonging to a family some of whose members have been conspicuous in history. The Béarnaise family named Bésiade moved into the province of Orléanais in the 17th century, and there acquired the estate of Avaray. In 1667 Théophile de Bésiade, marquis d'Avaray, obtained the office of grand bailiff of Orleans, which was held by several of his descendants after him. Claude Antoine de Bésiade, marquis d'Avaray, was deputy for the bailliage of Orleans in the states-general of 1789, and proposed a Declaration of the Duties of Man as a pendant to the Declaration of the Rights of Man; he subsequently became a lieutenant-general in 1814, a peer of France in 1815, and duc d'Avaray in 1818. Antoine Louis François, comte d'Avaray, son of the above, distinguished himself during the Revolution by his devotion to the comte de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII., whose emigration he assisted. Having nominally become king in 1799, that prince created the estate of Ile-Jourdain a duchy, under the title of Avaray, in favour of the comte d'Avaray, whom he termed his "liberator."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)