TALLEYRAND

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Figure of the French Revolution

FrenchBorn Charles Maurice de TALLEYRAND-PERIGORD

French diplomat

Born on February 02, 1754 in Paris, France , France

Died on May 17, 1838 in Paris, France

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Talleyrand was born into an aristocratic family in Paris. A congenital leg limp left him unable to enter the expected military career. Deprived of his rights of primogeniture by a family council, which judged his physical condition incompatible with the traditional military careers of the Talleyrand Counts of Périgord, he was instead directed to an ecclesiastic career. This was considerably assisted and encouraged by his uncle Alexandre Angélique de Talleyrand-Périgord, then Roman Catholic Archbishop of Reims. It would appear that the family, while prestigious and ancient, was not particularly prosperous, and saw church positions as a way to gain wealth. He attended the Collège d'Harcourt and seminary of Saint-Sulpice until the age of 21. He was ordained a priest in 1779. In 1780, he became a Catholic-church representative to the French Crown, the Agent-General of the Clergy. In this position, he was instrumental in drafting a general inventory of church properties in France as of 1785, along with a defence of "inalienable rights of church", a stance he was to deny later. In 1789, because of the influence of his father and family, the already notably non-believing Talleyrand was appointed Bishop of Autun.



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