NICOLAY, the name of a French family of Vivarais which came rapidly into legal prominence at the end of the 15th century. Jean Nicolay (d. 1527), son of a bailli of Bourg Saint-Andeol, became councillor at the parlement of Toulouse and afterwards at the Grand Council, chancellor of the kingdom of Naples, Maitre des Requetes, and, finally, first president of the Chambre des Comptes of Paris ( 1506) . This last post was filled continuously up to the Revolution by his descendants. Antoine Chretien de Nicolay (1712-1777) became marshal of France in 1775. His brother, Aymar Chretien Francois Michel (1721-1769), bishop of Verdun, was first almoner of Marie Josephe of Saxony, wife of the dauphin Louis (d. 1765), and her influential counsellor.
See A. de Boislisle, Pieces justificatives pour servir a I'histoire des premiers presidents de la Chambre des Comptes (1873), an d Histoire de la maison de Nicolay (1875).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)