The Marquise of Brinvilliers, the noblewoman who liked to get her hands dirty

Hi everyone, I hope you’re doing okay ! Today, I’m going to talk to you about someone from another time who didn’t have time for anyone’s shit. The woman who cleaned up her family Marie Kondo-style: the Marquise of Brinvilliers.

The Marquise of Brinvilliers

A childhood, what childhood ?

Marie-Madeleine Dreux d’Aubray was born on July 2nd, 1630 in Paris, in an aristocratic family. Her father, Antoine, was a lieutenant during the Fronde (a mini-revolution which occurred between 1648 and 1653), and her mother is [error 404, patriarchy too strong]. She grows up on the right side of the tracks, so she should be okay, right ? Right ?At 6 she gets raped by a servant, and her brothers join in on the fun when she’s 10.Okay, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool…

Some people say that she gave consent to her brothers, but at that time, showing your ankle was enough to « give consent » to the whole village, so take these allegations with the biggest grain of salt available.Anyway, the little Marie-Madeleine grows up in the middle of this shitshow without anybody to defend her, and becomes a very beautiful young woman with a heart darker than your future.

I’m a bitch, I’m a boss…

She starts to have a « scandalous » behavior, which basically means that she does whatever she wants whenever she wants. Inf she feels horny, she climbs on top of a knight, and if she feels lucky, she goes to the neighborhood casino, and nobody is going to stop her.YAAAAAASSSSSS QUEEEEEN !!

She draws a lot of attention, and ends up catching the eye of Antoine Gobelin, marquis of Brinvilliers. I imagine them meeting with some John Legend in thee background. Love your curves and all your edges…They get married in 1651, and they kinda become the Bonnie & Clyde of the neighborhood. He’s a gambler with a temper, and she’s his ride or die.Furthermore, the marquis doesn’t care about Marie-Madeleine’s infidelity, which allows her to begin a relationship with an army officer named Godin de Sainte-Croix (try to say that three times).

Everything is okay for Marie-Madeleine, the marquis and Godin, until Marie-Madeleine’s father gets involved in her « scandalous » lifestyle.First of all, where were you ? What were you doing while your sons were raping their sister ? You were sleeping ? Bro….In 1663, Antoine senior uses his influence to get Godin thrown into the Bastille prison, and then he disappears again, thinking that he did his job as a dad. What he doesn’t know is that he started a chain of events that wouldn’t even end with his death.

A little cyanide in your soup, and Marie gets out the champagne

Godin spends 6 weeks in the Bastille prison, with nothing but his anger and his Italian cellmate who teaches him the art of poisoning. Badabim badaboum, he gets out of prison with new skills, and he runs to his lover to share his knowledge with her.Marie-Madeleine, who is also angry at her father and who suddenly knows how to get rid of him, starts to make a plan. She takes notes and decides to train in the local hospitals. She disguises herself as a lowly peasant woman, and starts killing patients left and right, taking conscientious notes on the effects of the different poisons she tries. Once she is done with her « training », she leaves about 50 bodies behind her, and the big day arrives.

She goes to the countryside to see her father, and start poisoning him. The close-to-deadbeat dad dies on September 10th, 1666, and Marie-Madeleine feels as powerful as ever.The only hair in her champagne cup is that her brothers get the inheritance, and that bothers her. She thinks « eh, I still have some bottles in the attic », and gets rid of her 2 rapists in 1670. She takes the inheritance, and goes. The. Fuck. Off.

Marie-Madeleine Kondo cleans up.

« If it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it ». Her sister who calls her a whore ? Dead in 1670. One of her daughters who’s a little too dumb and gives her headaches ? A little poison in her milk should calm her down. The kid survives, but she sure as fuck becomes very discreet after that.Marie-Madeleine even tries to kill her husband, who spends all of her money gambling, but she changes her mind at the last second and calls a doctor to cure him.Godin, her lover, starts sweating because he realizes that he’s the last one on the list. He gets all the evidence he has about Marie-Madeleine, and puts it in a safe, which he labels « Open only if I die before the marquise ». He does that just in time because in 1672, Marie-Madeleine decides that he doesn’t bring her joy anymore.

Marie-Madeleine goes on the run

When Godin dies, his safe is opened, and Marie-Madeleine realizes that she should probably get out of there as soon as possible.

She does just that on August 26th, 1672, leaving her husband and 6 children behind. She goes across Europe, trying to avoid the agents of the king Louis XIV. At one point, she tries to get her husband to join her in the Netherlands, but as you probably guessed, the man is like « new phone, who dis ».

The marquise ends up being caught in Liège (in Belgium) in 1676, but not before the most hardcore suicide attempt I’ve ever seen.She’s in her room in Liège when she hears the cops in the hallway. And at the « FBI, OPEN UP » moment, she BREAKS A FUCKING GLASS WITH HER TEETH AND TRIES TO SWALLOW THE PIECES !!!!! The king’s agents have to actually fish out the glass in her throat for her to survive. Girl wasn’t giving herself up !


Once all the blood is cleaned up, Marie-Madeleine is thrown into a coach and is taken back to Paris. Her trial starts on April 29th, and she denies every single thing before just…going silent. Not one word gets out besides « I didn’t do it ».

She is sentenced to death by beheading on July 16th, 1676, and the execution is planned for the following day.Finally, as she’s about to be beheaded, she throws out a « I’m not the only poisoner in the king’s entourage, by the way », putting the investigators on the trail of the « King’s poisoners » case, and making Marie-Madeleine’s last words the sentence that shook up the monarchy. Badass until the last second.


That’s all for today ! Tell me on Twitter or Reddit if you liked the article, and don’t hesitate and make suggestions of French cases that you want me to talk about. Oh, and share the article or I’ll frown very hard. Kisses !

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