Lot 242: LS in French, signed "Louis," one page, 7.5 x 9, March 31, 1760. Letter sent from Versailles to Pope Clement XIII, in full (translated): "Holy Father, I have received the letter from Your Holiness of February 14 and the papal brief that you have sent, according to my desire, to give to the Archbishop of Narbonne, president of the Clergy presently assembled in my capital city.
I can not express too strongly my gratitude for the promptitude with which Your Holiness has agreed with my views as to how to reestablish peace in the churches of my Kingdom, by reuniting all the bishops in a perfect conformity of thought and conduct regarding the administration of sacraments. Nothing can concur more effectively to this aim as the respectable authority of the worthy successor of Benedict XIV, of happy memory. My intention is to deploy all the means I will judge advisable to guarantee for Your Holiness's brief all the most favorable effects we anticipate and I will order my cousin the bishop of Laon, my ambassador to the Holy See, to report to Your Holiness a precise account of the success of the measures I propose. I renew with pleasure my tender esteem for Your Holiness, my entire trust and my filial respect." Retains two official red wax seals affixed to the reverse of the second integral page. In fine condition, with intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature).
Elected Pope in July of 1758, the conservative Clement XIII's pontificate was frequently consumed by disputes with the Jesuits; around the time of this letter, the main source of contention originated in Portugal, whence the Jesuits had recently been expelled. Working to unite the clergy—with an independent tone not typically seen from a King when addressing the Pope—Louis XV enforced his own "views as to how to reestablish peace in the churches of my Kingdom." Interesting in its bold tone, this is a fantastic letter from the rebellious king.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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