Grand Falconer of France

Coat of arms of Louis César de La Baume Le Blanc (appointed as Grand Falconer in 1748)
Heraldic ornaments of a Grand Falconer, which can be seen in the coat of arms above

The Grand Falconer of France (French: Grand Fauconnier de France) was a position in the King's Household in France from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution.


The position first appeared in 1250 as "Master Falconer of the King" (Maître Fauconnier). The title was changed to Grand Falconer in 1406, although the title of "First Falconer" (Premier Fauconnier) was sometimes also used. The Grand Falconer was responsible for organizing the royal falcon hunt and for caring for the king's hunting birds. The position was one of the "Great Offices of the Maison du Roi".

From the reign of Louis XIV, the position became purely honorific, as the kings had stopped hunting with birds of prey. This notwithstanding, Louis XIV maintained an aviary of hunting birds, located (from 1680 on) in Montainville, as a symbol of power. Falcons were presented to the king at the start of each year in the Galerie des Glaces of the château of Versailles, generally in the presence of foreign ambassadors. Only northern kings and the Grand Falconer had the right to pose a falcon on the hand of the king.

The coat of arms of the Grand Falconer featured two lures in blue and fleur-de-lys, placed below and to each side of the shield.

Grand Falconers

See also


This article is based on the article Grand Fauconnier de France from the French Wikipedia, retrieved on September 5, 2006.

External links

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