BEAUVILLIER, the name of a very ancient French family belonging to the country around Chartres, members of which are found filling court offices from the 15th century onward. For Charles de Beauvillier, gentleman of the chamber to the king, governor and bailli of Blois, the estate of Saint Aignan was created a countship in 1537. François de Beauvillier, comte de Saint Aignan, after having been through the campaigns in Germany (1634-1635), Franche-Comté (1636), and Flanders (1637), was sent to the Bastille in consequence of his having lost the battle of Thionville in 1640. In reward for his devotion to the court party during the Fronde he obtained many signal favours, and Saint Aignan was raised to a duchy in the peerage of France (duché-pairie) in 1663. His son Paul, called the duc de Beauvillier, was several times ambassador to England; he became chief of the council of finance in 1685, governor of the dukes of Burgundy, Anjou and Berri from 1689 to 1693, minister of state in 1691, and grandee of Spain in 1701. He married a daughter of Colbert. Paul Hippolyte de Beauvillier, comte de Montrésor, afterwards duc de Saint Aignan, was ambassador at Madrid from 1715 to 1718 and at Rome in 1731, and a member of the council of regency in 1719.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)