Hugues de Payens, also Hughes de Payns, Hughes de Pagan (c. 1070–1136), a Frankish knight from the Champagne region, was the co-founder and first Grand Master of the Knights Templar. With Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, he created the Latin Rule, the code of behavior for the Order.
René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de LaSalle (November 21, 1643 – March 19, 1687) was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. La Salle claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France.
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis de Saint-Veran (February 28, 1712 – September 14, 1759) was a French soldier best known as the commander of the forces in North America during the Seven Years' War (whose North American theatre is called the French and Indian War in the United States). Montcalm was born near Nîmes in France to a noble family, and entered military service early in life.
Jean François de Saint-Lambert (26 December 1716 – 9 February 1803) was a French poet and military officer, but he is most remembered for his involvement in two love affairs. He was born at Nancy and raised on his parents' estate at Affracourt, a village in Lorraine near Haroué, a seat of the Beauvau family, with whom he had close ties. He studied at the university at Pont-à-Mousson, but then spent several years at home recovering from an unidentified illness.
Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis was a French mathematician, philosopher and man of letters. He became the Director of the Académie des Sciences, and the first President of the Berlin Academy of Science, at the invitation of Frederick the Great. Maupertuis made an expedition to Lapland to determine the shape of the earth.
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein (22 April 1766 – 14 July 1817), commonly known as Madame de Staël, was a French-speaking Swiss author living in Paris and abroad. She influenced literary tastes in Europe at the turn of the 19th century.
James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick (21 August 1670 – 12 June 1734) was a French military leader, illegitimate son of King James II of England by Arabella Churchill, sister of the 1st Duke of Marlborough. In 1695 he married Honora De Burgh or De Burgo, the daughter of William Bourke, 7th Earl of Clanricarde and the widow of the 1st Earl of Lucan, who died in 1698. His second marriage, with Anne Bulkeley, daughter of Henry Bulkeley, took place in 1700.
Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d'Armont (27 July 1768 – 17 July 1793), known to history as Charlotte Corday, was a figure of the French Revolution. In 1793, she was executed under the guillotine for the assassination of Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat, who was partly responsible for the Reign of Terror. His murder was memorialized in a celebrated painting by Jacques-Louis David which shows Marat after Corday had stabbed him to death in his bathtub.
Louis René Édouard, cardinal de Rohan (25 September 1734 – 16 February 1803), prince de Rohan-Guemenée, was a French bishop of Strasbourg (then Strassburg), politician, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and cadet of the Rohan family (which traced its origin to the kings of Brittany). He was born in Paris.
Georges Maurice de Guérin du Cayla (August 4, 1810 – July 19, 1839) was a French poet. Descended from a noble and rich family, he was born at the chateau of Le Cayla in Andillac, Tarn. He was educated for the church at a religious seminary at Toulouse, and then at the Collège Stanislas, Paris, after which he entered the society at La Chesnaye in Brittany, founded by Lamennais.
Pierre de Rostegny, Lord of De Lancre, aka De Lancre (1553 - 1631) was a French jurist. In 1582 he was named judge in Bordeaux, and in 1608 King Henry IV of France commanded him to put an end to the practice of witchcraft in Labourd, in the French part of the Basque Country, where in three years he burnt at the stake about six hundred persons. He wrote three books on witchcraft, analysing the Sabbath, lycanthropy, and sexual relationships during the Sabbath.
François-Joseph Paul, marquis de Grasse Tilly, comte de Grasse (13 September 1722 – 11 January 1788) was a French admiral. He is best known for his command of the French fleet at the Battle of the Chesapeake, which led directly to the British surrender at Yorktown. De Grasse was decisively defeated the following year by Admiral Rodney at the Battle of the Saintes, where he was captured.