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Collection Overview

Brown, Francis C. (Francis Cabell), 1936-
Francis C. Brown Collection of French Royal Marriage Contracts
Manuscripts Division
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33 Volumes and 2.7 linear feet


Consists of 32 bound volumes, each containing an original, French, royal marriage contract with supplementary biographical sketches and portraits of the witnesses who signed the contracts, collected by Francis C. Brown (Princeton Class of 1958). The first two volumes are alphabetical catalogues of the marriage contracts

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 32 bound volumes, each containing an original, French, royal marriage contract with supplementary biographical sketches and portraits of the witnesses who signed the contracts, collected by Brown (Princeton Class of 1958). The contracts span the years 1607-1846, from the reign of Marie de Medicis to Louis Philippe, linking various members of the King' and Queen's courts and the noble houses in France (i.e., House of Bourbon), such as the marriage of Antoine Potier to Anne d'Aumont (1620) and Louis, Marquis de Vieuville, to Marie Fouquet de Belleisle (1722). Many of the contracts were signed by the reigning sovereigns and other nobility, such as Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, Charles X, Napoleon Bonaparte, Marie Antoinette, Philippe, Duc d'Orleans, Anne of Austria, Marie de Medicis, Armand Jean du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, and Henri Jules de Bourbon.


Contracts are arranged chronologically, one to a volume.

Collection Creator Biography:

Brown, Francis C. (Francis Cabell), 1936-

Francis C. (Cabell) Brown was born on Jan. 6, 1936, and graduated from Princeton University in 1958 with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School. He attended Harvard Law School and graduated in 1961. He is currently an attorney in New York City.

Collection History


Gift of Francis Brown, Jr. '58 in 1980.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Francis C. Brown Collection of French Royal Marriage Contracts; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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