Presenter Information

Caroline Maillet-Rao Ph.D.


Mathieu de Morgues was the devot party’s defender and Michel de Marillac was its head. Their political thought had similarities to Cardinal Richelieu’s, which has been often overlooked. De Morgues and de Marillac supported the king’s absolute authority and clashed with Richelieu because they opposed any delegation of that authority to a principal minister. De Morgues held that royal authority was indivisible because it was based on the king’s will and, as such, could not be delegated. He made a distinction between the king’s power and the king’s will. Governing by power was tyrannical; governing by will was not. For de Morgues, the king’s will was limited by divine law and divine will. As long as it functioned within those limits, the king’s will was not tyrannical. De Marillac considered the relationship between the Parlements’ right of remonstrance and royal authority. The Parlements were courts and the right of remonstrance was their “ability to advise the king of faults of form and substance in legal texts submitted to them for registration.” De Marillac recognized this ability but refuted the idea that Parlements could reject laws on the basis of indivisible sovereignty.