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Armand Louis de Utrecht (22nd of December, 1739 - 13th of August, 1819) was the Marquis de Gronau and was a Grandelumarian nobleman. 

He had two notable cousins: Madame la Dauphine and the Cure de Saint Joseph . Armand was charactarised by his respect the Emperor and the Court, and also his unwavering piety.

Regency of Sophie- Seigneur de Utrecht                                                                  

Prologue

Armand Louis de Utrecht was the illegitimate son of Louis Henri de Utrecht.Louis was well-known for his handsome complextion and kind nature. But he certainly wasn't the smartest. His father, Francois Alphonse de Utrecht described him:

"​He has the looks of an absolute angel. His kindness and charity is renowed by court and the can't walk past a woman without making her flutter with pleasure. Unfortunatley, he has the brains and wits of a chicken. He dosen't even know how to sheath his sword after boasting it off to a woman!"

​Louis enjoyed court life at Saint-Etienne and private life at his family's Chateau de Buisson.But at age 27, he was engaged to Elisabeth Etienne, the then Madame de Amersfoort, daughter of the Baron de Amersfoort. The Comte was the owner of a rather vast amount of land north of Gueldre, which Alphonse desired to have. And so the marriage was performed in late December of 1738. It was at the marriage that Louis first met Elisabeth's sister and Armand's mother, the daring and roguishly pretty, Jeanne. The gullible and foolish Louis soon fell for Jeanne's enitcings and ravishing looks, so much so, that by the end of the wedding, Louis invited her to stay for a week more. When Jeanne left heavy with child. She moved to Dijon for the entirety of her pregnancy, only moving back to Gueldre mere days before she was to give birth.She was smuggled into the Chateau de Buisson at about nine in the evening. She gave birth to Armand in Louis' bedroom while the pregnant Elisabeth slept. Armand was put into a blanket and taken immdiatley to Forntent Abbey, a small but modest abbey run by the elderly Abbot d'Agencourt. Armand spent his first few months at the Abeey, until a messenger from Buisson came rushing in with news of Elisabeth's labour pains beginning. Armand was thrust into the messenger's arms and was taken back to Buisson. Armand was discreetly taken into the room adjacent to where Elisabeth was giving birth. When the baby girl was born, she was taken to the adjacent room and placed next to Armand. They were taken in to their mother's room and Armand, just like that, became part of the family.

Childhood

Armand was thought to be a sickly child, due to his half-closed eyes and pallid complextion. But he was very energetic and lively. He was a respectful child, aways bowing to his father and thanking his nurse. His sister, on the other hand, was rather sickly and died at the age of four. Armand was extremly sticken from this young and premature death.  He and his mother were seen quietly weeping in each other's arms in the drawing room at Buisson. Louis didn't really seem to care, much to Elisabeth's resent.  But they moved away from this death quickly, and life resumed as normal. After this, Armand became more mature, austere almost, but still possessing that young and happy spirit about him. When his father returned from Court, Armand would have a large beam on his face, but his father would not seem to return the embrace. He would always return with another woman, a new one every time. Armand never questioned it at his age, but as he grew older, he started to question his father and his actions. At the age of 15, he pleaded with his father to take him to Court with him. His father finally agreed and Armand was brought with his father to the cermonial return of Louis XI. 

Reign of Louis XI- Monsieur de Oversticht

The return of Louis XI

Armand's official debut at court was in the December of 1744. He was present at the Emperor's cermonial return and the Court was rejoicing due to this. Armand wrote to his mother:

"Oh, mere! It's absolutley wonderful here at Saint-Etienne. Pere and I met His Majesty today and the mere fact of his presecence is oh so rapturing. I am so grateful and glad to be here and I hope you can join us soon."

It was during this time that Armand met his cousin, Sarah Amelie de Utrecht, the then Marquise de Oversticht. She looked after Armand and granted him the title "Monsieur de Oversticht". During this time, Louis XI had returned from the south for quite a few years and had great sucsess in war. Armand 

Armand Louis de Utrecht, 1756.

Monsieur de Oversticht, 1746

transitioned between Buisson and Court for the next few years until the winter of 1746, when his father was taken seriously ill. 

Illegitimate

Armand rushed home to find his father in an extremly dire state. The docotors had done all they could and said that only God could take care of him now.  Jeanne, Armand and Elisabeth were by Louis' side during his last hours. The new Abbot, Abbot Toussaint, was also there to give Louis last rites. Louis confessed, and told Armand and Elisabeth that Armand was illegitimate. Armand was violently stricken, for the second time in his life. He left his father's chamber and returned to his own. He wept and did not go into a state of mourning for his father. Armand returned to his father's chamber to find him dead. Elisabeth and Armand wept together, not only for Louis' death, but for his years of adultery and lies. Jeanne left early the next morning in order to not cause any more strife in the family. On her way through Drenthe, her coach was intercepted by a gang of armed thugs and robbers. When Elisabeth learned of this, she was distraught and sent men out to find her. Jeanne's daed and broken body was found in a gutter, outside a brothel and stripped of all clothing. An autopsy shown that she was certainly raped and beaten. Elisabeth wrote in her memoirs:

"When I learned of this, I couldn't help but to cry out loud in agony. Armand on the other hand...Not a single flash of anguish or regret...Not a single tear left his cold and unfeeling eyes..."

When Armand learned of Jeanne's untimley death, he stated:

"Why surley this is nothing short of a mircale form God!"

Armand resolved to stay away from Court until news of his father's death and his Aunt's murder had died down.

Return to court

Unfortunatley, Armand's presence at Court in 1765 sparked new flames in old rumors and Armand was under very heavy fire from other Courtiers. He was accused of intimate feelings with Sarah Amelie and ordering his Aunt's murder. Armand decided to leave Court on his birthday, but was delayed. A day before Armand's departure, he met Marie Sabine de Utrecht, his cousin. They talked throughout the night, familiarizing and making accqaintences. He left on New Year's day, feeling glad to have met such a wonderful woman. 

Heir to House Utrecht

Armand had been at Buisson for almost a year when a messenger from Saint-Etienne arrived. He had news that Sarah lay dying and she requested for his prescence immediatley. Armand left and arrived at Court in the early hours of the 21st. Sarah summoned the Court to her bedchamber and told everyone clearly that Marie Sabine would be the Marquise. Armand was happy for her and expected her to bring a new era of change to House Utrecht. Marie Sabine prompand tly legitimized Armand and made him heir to the Marquisat de Oversticht. Armand wrote in his Journal:

"I am teeming to the brim with joy!...I fear that if anything else happy happens today, I will burst with joy!'

Reign of Louis XII- Comte de Gueldre

The death of Louis XI hit Grandelumiere hard. He was Louis the beloved and had reigned for almost three generations. Armand went into mourning for months and when he stopped, he found the country in an extremley dire state. The country grain supplies and production were at an all time low. and the people were revolting. Armand and Marie decided to leave Saint-Etienne in the anxious time and return when the dangerous situation had died down. Unfortunatley, It did not and when Armand realised it, it was far too late. 

Revolution of 1767

Unrest in the provinces

Armand and Marie were residing at Buisson when the news of the peasent women forcing the Emperor and the Court to Dijon came. Armand knew it was dangerous if they went to Dijon, so Armand and Marie sayed at Buisson. A few hours after the messenger left, trouble started in the small town near the Chateau. The people were angered that Armand and Marie did not join the Emperor in Dijon when all of the court did. An angry mob amassed and began to make their way to Busisson. As they made their way, more people joined the angry mob until they were 10,000 strong. The mob arrived at Buisson and began shouting and being disorderly. Armand and Marie were not excpecting such force at such a strength to ever visit Buisson, but the mob kept going. Armand and Marie went to sleep like normal at 9.00 whilst the mob raged on. But when Armand woke the next morning, there was silence. Armand and Marie got dressed and had breakfast in silence. "The mob must still be resting" Armand thought to himelf. Just as he was looking through the window, the window next to him cracked. Then, a volley of gunshots were heard, shattereing most of the windows. A shout was heard. It was a threat. They were going to burn the Chateau down with them in it. Armand and Marie ran to the balcony and said that they will happily move to Dijon. A long and grim Carriage prossecion followed away fro the Chateau and into the town. Hundreds of peasents lined the streets to watch the carriage go past. There was eerie silence. Suddenly,  two armed thugs threw off the carriage guards, and replaced the with themselves, making sure there was no chance of escape. 

Dijon

When they arrived in Dijon, the streets were full of life. The squares and open areas were full of rejoicing people and ribbons were flown everywhere. They arrived at Le-Palais-de-ducs-de-Bourgogne at 8.00 in the morning. At first, it seemed that all would be well, and that the Emperor and the Court would be ultimatley spared. A ball was held for the  birthday of the Empress. An opera was even performed. But trouble was brewing outside the palace gates. The angry mob was outraged by the court continuing to spend and live lavishly. So the mob attacked the palace itself, tearing down the gates and rushing inside. Armand ran into the courtyard, not wishing to be inside the palace, and hid in the stables. Armand hid until he thought all was safe. He stood up and left the stables, only to be found by a passing revolutionary. He was taken to the Temple with the Emperor and thrown into a small, damp cell. The Emperowas excecuted soon after.

Reign of Louis XIII- Comte de Gueldre

Le Temple 

Life in the Temple was bleak. Hopes of escape were quickly dashed and the first of the nobles were lined up to the chopping block. After a few weeks of being kept in the small cell, Armand was taken to the High Court of Grandelumiere, tried by Benidicte Lefuvre himself. The bias and unfair trial only took sevral minutes and Armand was sentenced to death. He was taken back to Le Temple and put in the cell of Marie Sabine and her husband, Charles Alexandre de Nassau. Armand witnessed their marriage and watched Charles off to the chopping block. Armand soon awaited his own. By this point, all hope was lost and he and Marie spent their days in each other's arms, talking of past memories and enjoying their company befoe their untimley deaths. During this time, Marie noted that Armand seemed to look much older than he was. He was a tall, healthy man of 22, but he seemed much thinner and older. Soon the day came, and Marie and Armand were put onto a cart and made their way to the Basilica. When they arrived, Armand solemley awaited his impending doom. As soon as Her Majesty the Empress stepped onto the scaffold, A large hoard of red-coated soilders came rushing through the square. Counter-Revolutionaries and British soilders stormed the Basilica and saved Grandelumiere. The revolution was finished and Armand was saved.

Reign of Charles VIII- Marquis de Gronau

Due to Armand's treatment at La Temple, Armand became sick. His skin turnedpale and some days even green. Armand began to wear white powder on his face composed mostly of plaster, starch and gold dust. This made Armand inevitably more sick. It got to a point where Armand could not bear to be around court anymore, so soon after the new Emperor's coronation, he made a quick dash to the Utrecht Chateau d'Olst. Armand's health deterioated quickly, and Armand was soon confined to his bedchamber, too sick to even get up. He was expected to die when a letter from Saint-Etienne arrived saying that the Emperor had been killed by his Uncle and that is cousin, Marie Sabine, had been chosen to be the Dauphine. Jean Antoine, Armand's other cousin, had inherited the title. At the end of the letter, it read that Armandwas now the holder of a marquisate, the newly accquired marquisate of Gronau. Armand immediatley flew out bed in joy and seemed much better. He returned to Court and began indulging in fine wines, foods, art and especially clothes. 

Reveillon

Armand moved immediatley to the Marquisate of Gronau and "discovered" a small but Palatial Chateau in the Reveillon Valley. The Valley was renowned for it's wine and fine wineries. The former Marquis de Gronau had lived at Reveillon and oversaw the workings of the wineries. Armand descended upon the Chateau and refurnished and remodelled and re-made. Armand was spending lavishly on Reveillon but he did not seem to care.

Reign of Louis XIV- Marquis de Gronau

Lecrec

Le marquis de Gronau, soon after his title was given to him in 1769.

Armand was disgusted when he leanred how how the Emperor had died. He was reviled with the Emperor for using such tricks that seemed medevial and below him to take the Throne. But Armand darne't show it, for fear of being accused of treason, so he kept his mouth shut and his tounge held. He was pleased to meet for the first time, Jean Antoine de Utrecht, the Marquis de Oversticht. Armand was glad for Jean and wished him a long and peaceful time as the Head of House Utrecht. 

Death and Legacy

Armand carried on with his life and remained at Court to see his cousin become the Empress and saw her reign all the way through. Armand lived much more discreetly and did not slpurge or indulge like how many of the newer, younger courtiers were doing at that time. He stayed at Court until the end of the 18th century, until retiring to his country home of Reveillon. He died slowly of dementia and in his last years often forgot who he was or who anybody was. Whilst he died slowly in the early hours of the 13th of August, 1819, confused and afraid, he uttered his last words:

"Mother?"

Soon after saying this, Armand closed his eyes and breathed his last breath. Armand Louis de Utrecht had died.

Legacy

Armand was born in a time of war, prestige and Empire and died in the time of factories, colonistion and even the first steam locomotive. He was remebered in many different ways: he was remembered as a murderer. He was remembered as a family man and a tragic who never seemed to get his way in life, even with his high ranking. Armand wrote many philosophic works during his last years and many of them have been published today. He also left his comfortable Chateau, Reveillon open to the public. Many flock from all around to see Armand's impressive collection of art, clothing and other artifacts from the 18th century that have so dazzled the world. Armand may not have been well-received at court, but he has left a legacy that have made his descendants proud.

​Titles and styles

​22nd of December, 1739 - 17th of February, 1741 ​- His Lordship, Seigneur de Utrecht

​17th of February, 1741 - ​12th of June, 1754 ​- His Lordship, Monsieur de Oversticht

​12th of June, 1754 - 22nd March, 1769 ​- His Lordship, Comte de Gueldre

22nd of March, 1769 - 13th of August, 1819 ​- His Lordship, Marquis de Gronau


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