Portrait of André-Hercule de Fleury (1653-1743), cardinal (1726), First minister for Louis XV of France (1726-1743)
André-Hercule de Fleury, Bishop of Fréjus, Archbishop of Aix (22 June 1653 – 29 January 1743) was a French cardinal who served as the chief minister of Louis XV. He was born in Lodève, Hérault, the son of a tax farmer of a noble family. He was sent to Paris as a child to be educated by the Jesuits in philosophy and the Classics as much as in theology. He entered the priesthood nevertheless and through the influence of Cardinal Bonzi became almoner to Maria Theresa, queen of Louis XIV, and, after her death, to the king himself. In 1698 he was appointed bishop of Fréjus, but seventeen years in a provincial see eventually determined him to seek a position at court.
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