Michel (Eyquem de Montaigne) de Montaigne

Michel (Eyquem de Montaigne) de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)

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Born in Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne, Périgord, Francemap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Francemap
Descendants descendants
Died in Bordeaux, Guyenne, Francemap
Profile last modified | Created 2 Jun 2017
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Categories: Famous People of the 16th Century | French Authors | French Notables.

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Michel (Eyquem de Montaigne) de Montaigne is Notable.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (b. February 28, 1533-d. September 13, 1592) was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. [1][2]
See: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Michel de Montaigne
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
Montaigne was born in the Aquitaine region of France, on the family estate Chateau de Montaigne, in a town now called Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne, not far from Bordeaux. The family was very rich; his grandfather, Ramon Eyquem, had made a fortune as a herring merchant and had bought the estate in 1477. His father, Pierre Eyquem, was a French Roman Catholic soldier in Italy for a time, and developed some very progressive views on education there; he had also been the mayor of Bordeaux. His mother, Antoinette de Louppes, was, apparently,the daughter of a Spanish converso (converted Jewish) father of the Protestant religion,[dubious - discuss] and a Spanish Roman Catholic mother, who had left Spain in 1497 to join kin who had already settled in Toulouse. Although she lived a great part of Montaigne's life near him, and even survived him, she is only mentioned twice in his work.Montaigne's relationship with his father, however, played a prominent role in his life and works.
From the moment of his birth, Montaigne's education followed a pedagogical plan sketched out by his father and refined by the advice of the latter's humanist friends. Soon after his birth, Montaigne was brought to a small cottage, where he lived the first three years of life in the sole company of a peasant family, 'in order to', according to the elder Montaigne, 'draw the boy close to the people, and to the life conditions of the people, who need our help.'[citation needed] After these first spartan years spent among the lowest social class, Montaigne was brought back to the Chateau.
Around the year 1539, he was sent to study at a prestigious boarding school in Bordeaux, the College de Guyenne, then under the direction of the greatest Latin scholar of the era, George Buchanan, where he mastered the whole curriculum by his thirteenth year. Afterwards he studied law in Toulouse and entered a career in the legal system. He was a counselor of the Court des Aides of Perigueux, and in 1557 he was appointed counselor of the Parlement in Bordeaux (a high court).From 1561 to 1563 he was courtier at the court of Charles IX; he was present with the king at the siege of Rouen (1562). He was awarded the highest honour of the French nobility, the collar of the order of St.Michael, something to which he aspired from his youth. While serving at the Bordeaux Parliament, he became very close friends with the humanist poet Etienne de la Boutie, whose death in 1563 deeply affected Montaigne. It has been argued that because of Montaigne's"imperious need to communicate," that, after losing Etienne, he began the Essais as his "means of communication;" and that "the reader takes the place of the dead friend."
At the age of 33, Montaigne married Francoise de la Cassaigne, in 1565, not quite of his own free will, and his wife bore him six daughters, but only the second-born survived childhood.
Following the petition of his father, Montaigne started to work on the first translation of the Spanish monk Raymond Sebond's Theologia naturalis, which he published a year after his father's death in 1568.After this he inherited his estate, the Chateau de Montaigne, to whichhe moved back in 1570. Another literary accomplishment was Montaigne's posthumous edition of his friend Boutie's works.
Michel de Montaigne During this time of the Wars of Religion in France, Montaigne, him self a Roman Catholic, acted as a moderating force, respected both by the Catholic King Henry III and the Protestant Henry of Navarre.
Date : 1564: Arrêt du Parlement de Bordeaux, 31 mai 1564 Adresse typographique :
Appelant : Gautier, Bernard
Appelant : Gautier, Bertrand
Appelant : Terrade, Elie
Appelé : Gautier, Bernard
Appelé : Leymarie, Guillaume
Appelé : Mousnier, Ademar
Appelé : Mousnier, Pierre
Appelé : Vallade, Arnauld
Conseiller : Alis, Joseph de
Conseiller : Du Plessis, Bertrand
Conseiller : Eymar, Joseph d'
Conseiller : Fayard, François de
Conseiller : Massey, Jean de
Conseiller : Rignac, Jean de
Président : Alesme, Léonard d'
Président : La Guyonie, François de
Rapporteur : Montaigne, Michel de
Langue : Français
Notes : Pièce originale extraite des liasses de dicta produites par le Parlement de Bordeaux et conservées aux Archives départementales de la Gironde.[3][4]
'In the year of Christ 1571, at the age of thirty-eight, on the last day of February, his birthday, Michael de Montaigne, long weary of the servitude of the court and of public employments, while still entire,retired to the bosom of the learned virgins, where in calm and freedom from all cares he will spend what little remains of his life, now more than half run out. If the fates permit, he will complete this abode,this sweet ancestral retreat; and he has consecrated it to his freedom, tranquillity, and leisure.
Montaigne continued to extend, revise and oversee the publication of Essais. In 1588 he wrote its third book and also met the writer Marie de Gournay, who admired his work and later edited and published it.King Henry III was assassinated in 1589, and Montaigne then helped to keep Bordeaux loyal to Henry of Navarre, who would go on to become King Henry IV.
Montaigne died, at the age of 59, in 1592 at the Chateau de Montaigne and was buried nearby. Later his remains were moved to the church of Saint Antoine at Bordeaux. The church no longer exists: it became the Convent des Feuillants, which has also disappeared. The Bordeaux Tourist Office says that Montaigne is buried at the Musee Aquitaine, Faculte des Lettres, Universite Bordeaux Michel de Montaigne, Pessac. His heart is preserved in the parish church of Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne.


Name: Michel Eyqyen /De La Montaigne/[5]
Name: Michel Eyqyen /DeLaMontaigne/[6]


Birth: Date: 28 FEB 1532 Place: Chateau, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France [6]


Death: Date: 13 SEP 1592 Place: Bordeaux, Gironde, Aquitaine, France [6]


  1. Source: Montaigne ou la conscience heureuse 2008 (2e éd.) Pages : 208 ISBN : 9782130565550 Éditeur : Presses Universitaires de France Vie de Michel de Montaigne par Marcel Conche
  2. Source: The Oxford Handbook of Montaigne geredigeerd door Philippe Desan
  3. Source: Nouvelle édition par Alain Legros (dossier MONLOE), n° 15: Auteur : [Parlement de Bordeaux. Arrêt] Titre : [Arrêt du Parlement de Bordeaux, 31 mai 1564] Imprimeur: Libraire: Lieu de publication: Format : 2° Collation: 1 f. scan Localisation : Bordeaux, Archives départementales de la Gironde Cote : 1B 271 227 Numérisation: Mise en ligne : 13/11/2014
  4. See More records of the Bordeaux parlement where Michel is mentioned
  5.  : Source: #S1: Page: 1 or more individual Ancestry Family Tree files were combined tocreate this source citation.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 : Source: #S43: Page: Database online. Data: Text: Record for Francoise De La Cassaigne
  • Source: Montaigne: A Life by Philippe Desan Princeton University Press, 9 jan. 2017 Montaigne: A Life


  • This person was created through the import of Rodney Timbrook Ancestors and Relatives_2010-09-10.ged on 10 September 2010. The following data was included in the gedcom. You may wish to edit it for readability.

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Images: 3
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, by painter, Kerkado
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, by painter, Kerkado

Michel de Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne

31 mai 1564 Arrêt du Parlement de Bordeaux, signature, Michel de Montaigne
 31 mai 1564 Arrêt du Parlement de Bordeaux, signature, Michel de Montaigne

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On 30 Oct 2018 at 19:28 GMT Isabelle Rassinot wrote:

The French Roots project would be willing to co-manage this profile representing an important French notable.

Could you please add wikitree-french-roots at googlegroups dot com as manager? Please contact us if there are any questions or issues - Thank you !

On 2 Jun 2017 at 20:38 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:

Hi Jody ,

Thank you and it's a pleasure really, started working on them when we were trying to figure out if they were really related or not to NNS ancestor Jean Mousnier (de la Montagne), it showed they were not related and when I looked for sources for Jean Mousnier I bumped into the source where Michel de Montaigne was mentioned + some Mousnier men.

So I was (and still am) hoping perhaps one of them, might be related to the NNS ancestor. So still lots of work to do and glad Isabelle is around helping to get them sourced and improved also ..so a thank you from me for you as well Isabelle !

On 2 Jun 2017 at 17:44 GMT Jody Katopothis wrote:

First of all I would like to thank those of you who are currently working on this profile, and helping to establish consistent and accurate information.

I found this profile through some of my ancestors leading back to him (on Wikitree). I adopted the profile as it had no one else managing. I have not researched the original sources that were used to create the profile. Thanks again to those who are working on it now, and I look forward to reading and learning more.

On 2 Jun 2017 at 17:31 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:

Yes I agree Isabelle for the ancestors I would go by Eyquem also, for the children I think it's fine to use their convention instead of ours, especially since we have a record with his own signature, and more sources that make it very likely they all were born with the same LNAB (Michel was the first child).

For Euroaristo profiles we have decided a while ago, for Profiles after 1500 it was ok to use the names according their convention instead of the Euroaristo one, and of course if we have records this could apply for earlier ones also.

It mostly depends under which project they are falling I think, this family was imported as supposed ancestors of New Netherlands Settlers, they are using their convention instead of ours, so the patronymics, or the full names including the prefixes if people used or signed this way themselves. And if there's a Birth or Baptism record the name they were born with of course.

The Euroaristo naming system was invented in the past to make it more easy to get all duplicates merged and lineages corrected. (with everyone on the same page and names without the prefixes, and just the house names to make it more easy for everyone) Later with more projects and members from different countries, it was also decided that it was ok to use their convention instead of ours if profiles were falling under a different project.

So it can be confusing sometimes, but for Michel the way he signed his name probably is fine..or would you prefer to have the Eqyuem part added to his LNAB also ?

On 2 Jun 2017 at 12:07 GMT Isabelle Rassinot wrote:

Further (still from http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k210008n/f14.image)

"(on the book) we can still read: Today was born Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, but the name Eyquem was struck out twice"... " See also Montaigne's French Wikipedia page. It is my impression Michel's ancestors were born with just Eyquem as LNAB; Michel's generation would be Eyquem de Montaigne; his brother's sons were eventually just de Montaigne. Michel himself stopped using Eyquem when he was at the Parlement de Bordeaux. His father was mayor of Bordeaux as Pierre Eyquem. I'm not sure Aristo rules would apply, but if they do, it would be Eyquem for Michel and his siblings.

On 2 Jun 2017 at 11:59 GMT Isabelle Rassinot wrote:

Concerning the name: here is (roughly translated) an excerpt of "Michel de Montaigne, son origine, sa famille":

"It was Michel who, the first of the family, relinquished the name of Eyquem. He was the first to stop signing it on public records, though it was the name under which his birth was recorded, under which he was named to the Cour des Provisions des Aides de Périgueux, and later Conseiller à la cour du Parlement de Bordeaux (...) His father and uncles kept it (the name Eyquem) to their last day. He (Michel) probably struck it out himself from the family book where his birth is recorded." See: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k210008n/f14.image

On 2 Jun 2017 at 11:51 GMT Isabelle Rassinot wrote:

Bea, concerning descendants of the family I am looking into this, as I'm reading "Michel de Montaigne, son origine, sa famille", and I'll add members of the family as he must be reconnected to the main tree. I agree there was no Madeleine, but Pierre had two real sisters and the profile can be used for one of them.

On 2 Jun 2017 at 10:15 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:

And the combination of the names Mousnier and de (la) Montaigne, makes me wonder if perhaps one of his sisters or someone else related, married a Mousnier ? It might explain why Jean Mousnier and his descendants adopted 'de Montaigne for last name and why they were connected by someone as descendants of this Michel...

On 2 Jun 2017 at 08:44 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:

Thanks Isabelle,

I have uploaded the record for him now also, he signed as Michel de Montaigne (rapporteur). I think he perhaps was the writer of the piece as well ? Rapporteur probably meant he was writing it all down (klerk), since he is known as a writer..so he or his family (don't know if his father already did) at some point adopted the name of the château 'de Montaigne' for last name..

Here's also more about them: Montaigne ou la conscience heureuse 2008 (2e éd.) Pages : 208 ISBN : 9782130565550 Éditeur : Presses Universitaires de France

So I understand what you mean, and it's of course possible they, including Michel, were all born with just the LNAB Eyquem and later they all or some of them, adopted the name de Montaigne ? Here it says:

  • 1495 Birth of Pierre Eyquem, father of Michel. He became lord of Montaigne in 1519.
  • 1533 (28 February) Birth of Michel, in the castle of Montaigne. Will have seven brothers and sisters: Thomas, 1534; Peter, 1535; Jeanne, 1536; Arnaud, 1541; Leonor, 1552; Mary, 1555; Bertrand, 1560.

So I think the children probably all were born with 'de Montaigne' for LNAB, father and earlier ancestors weren't so their LNAB should indeed be corrected.. it also looks like he did not have a sister named Madeleine..

On 2 Jun 2017 at 05:24 GMT Isabelle Rassinot wrote:

Hi Bea,

I'll do some more research. The family was definitely Eyquem up to an including his father (first member of the family to be born at the château de Montaigne). They were merchants gradually reaching lower nobility status. The wikipedia article only says "Montagne dropped the name Eyquem" suggesting it was his birth name. I agree that's a lightweight reference.

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Michel is 31 degrees from Rosa Parks, 30 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 21 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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