The sense of an eighteenth century retiring, yet combative, noblewoman to not die with her secrets: a portrait of Elisabeth d’Hautpoul, Lady of Rennes.
A woman who went totally unrecognized through Rennes le Chateau affair. Apparently solitary and unpopular, but there is no way to decipher the enigma if doggedly keeping to ignore Elisabeth d’Hautpoul presence. In fact, she was the closest person to the core of the mystery.
We have already seen in my two previous articles on Rennes le Chateau enigma, that’s to say Italian Masonic Hermeticism, Initiation & Counter Initiation and Rennes le Chateau, Alchemy & Counter Initiation, that I strongly believe this strange story to have a place in this site. If you find the topic to discontinue the mainstream of my work, or may feel revulsion or strong disapproval with this tiny french village affair, you may leave the page. As you can guess from my introduction page, after all these years of studies and researches, I believe Alchemy being about the extraction of Spirit of Life and Souls from raw matter, and that’s not limited to minerals of rain-water. In my opinion Rennes le Chateau is the quintessential spot for enquiring about the extraction of Spirit of Life and Souls involving reigns other than mineral and vegetal.
We are facing, I think for the first time in the history of Alchemy and Hermeticism, a family owned, as well as personal, mysteries of extraordinary interest. So the riddle is to be unraveled along with the lives of the protagonists. As for the affairs, there are mainly two: an old one on the mystery of the aristocrat families of Razés, obscurely lost in very ancient times; and the catastrophic naivety of Berenger Saunière, which was typical of the turn of the twentieth century. Of course we can today research on the obscurity of the first (1), thanks to the catastrophic naivety of the second.
I put the end of the old world in 1820. That’s to say Elisabeth d’Hautpoul-Rennes death year. Which, strangely enough, was also the boundary period between the old reliable Alchemic authors and the new less reliable authors, more or less.
So, I mean here to point at the two marchionesses Hautpoul Blanchefort to try to have some basic questions answered, and above all at the most neglected character, Elisabeth. I do not mean to disregard the important role of Marie Nègre d’Ables de Blanchefort, yet, in my opinion, we have to focus on Elisabeth, since she was the last to be there. I’m aware that many have tried to make these two women the most frightening element of Rennes le Chateau affair. In fact, when one is scared, doesn’t look into.
There are two fundamental questions able to unify these two main branches of the Rennes le Chateau affair, the old and the new. Who did hide the little treasure discovered by Berenger Saunière in the church. And what did Saunière discover when digging Marie Nègre d’Ables de Blanchefort grave up.
I shall intentionally disregard all the para-masonic secret societies mushroomed on the affair after Saunière death. You know my opinion on secret societies at large: their unique purpose is the assumption of control of places and people. With para-mafioso results. This was what happened in Rennes le Chateau, both new and old. With the difference that, after Saunière death, these secret societies have demonstrated to be highly inconsistent and unable to give an answer to any question (A part from the great inventiveness in manufacturing and churning out fake documents). Is any of them able to know what Saunière actually found in the deep of the grave? Of course, they disregard the issue. They also state it was a secret society to have hidden the little treasure in the church to make Saunière to find it. But, why not to directly have him to become a member, instead? He surely couldn’t wait for that! Another little priest in search for career, money and supports. In my opinion, in this affair, existed one and only one secret society to be able to give the right answers, and also able to really frighten. In fact, Berenger Saunière paid bitterly his disobeying.
Just to figure out the rank Elisabeth d’Hautpoul held in the family, there are two episodes; the first: her mother, Marie Nègre d’Ables de Blanchefort, entrusted her to face the rest of the family and sue them, against all pretensions to see the immensely important familiar documents inherited by Marie. Elisabeth endured a hard legal battle to preserve the documents integrity, winning the battle in the end, as the documents of d’Hautpoul family were decreed by a commission to be too important to the very security of the nation. Marie de Blanchefort was a woman in her fifties, when abdicated this function to Elisabeth, and was a strong and reliable woman, who loved to manage the family businesses.
The second: In the springtime of 1799, Elisabeth invited all her family to a strange celebration held at the already ruined Montferrand castle. Even Jean Joseph Ange d’Hautpoul-Felines, general and senator ( he died as an hero in the Eylau battle), attended to what had to be a ceremony of great significance, in fact was him to provide the evidence of the important event, writing in a letter: ” the whole of the family was there”. It was very strange that a general engaged in military napoleonic campaigns rushed to be present by the old and quirky aunt for a family party. Who among us would have done? Very likely, that was not a family party. Perhaps the researchers in hermeticism will have wide opened their eyes when reading the celebration’s year: 1799, the end of the century. Springtime. Who can discern, will have understood.
Most of the interpretations, and legends, around Rennes le Chateau affair were issued a century after Elisabeth’s death, and by people not familiar with aristocrat laws and customs, which were well different from the common people way of life. So, most of the neglected attention to Elisabeth was due to this late ignorance. For instance many moderns researchers find it difficult to believe not only that women could inherit and fully manage their inheritance, in 1781 (as well as in 1756, concerning the inheritance of Marie Nègre d’Ables de Blanchefort), but that an unmarried woman, among aristocracy, could enjoy an even greater prestige than a married woman. Contracting a marriage, in upper classes, were like moving a pawn on the economic and social chessboard. Elisabeth’s older sister, for instance, was called since her birth, in 1733, by the name of Marie d’Aussillon, as, when reached the age in 1752, should have married Joseph d’Hautpoul-Felines, of another branch of the family, lord of the lands of Aussillon, indeed. While Elisabeth, so lucky to have no living male brothers and the other sisters already married, didn’t need to marry to achieve acceptable sustenance and social prestige. In this way all the inheritance was in the family. In the same years even the king of France had several sisters unmarried in the court.
it is also largely disregarded about the druidic influences still retained among the French aristocracy. These influences are not just unique to a greater consideration of women, compared to Christianity, but regards the conservation from generation to generation of weird ritual practices ( see my article The Druidic Abbesses of Fontevraud and Remiremont. Part 1).
The lack of general historical knowledge has led to distortions about who might have hidden the glass phial inside the pillar in the church, as well as a small amount of gold coins and a few pieces of Visigoth jewelry. In my opinion this is not a question, is “the” central question, pivot of the whole Rennes le Chateau affair. Not of the enigma, though.
As you can find in my previous article on the topic, after having found, or better having had someone to find for him, a strange glass phial badly hidden on the top of a pillar inside the village little church, Berenger Saunière got caught up by the enigma. Of course we don’t know the inner of the phial but, as said by Antoine Captier’s father, a dark powder and a roll of paper appeared to be the content at a first sight. I have already said about this powder and how this could be of alchemical relevance. Claire Corbu’s witnessed that the abbot, after the finding, used to melt gold ingots, and that gives even more value to my assumptions of a Berenger Saunière who has been taught how to make gold. I have also mentioned that this transmutation into gold is a forbidden practice. But sometimes this was to allure new followers. The gold coins and Visigoth jewelry, were apparently found by Saunière when digging the church up.
Elisabeth d’Hautpoul-Rennes, or simply Dhaupoul, as she used to sign her many litigations against many of the people around her, was daughter of Jean Francois d’Hautpoul-Rennes, Knight Hospitaller Order of Malta. Since Elisabeth never got married and her unique male brother died child, she was also the last heir of the main branch of the d’Hautpoul family. After 1781, she remained the unique owner of the castle in Rennes le Chateau, as well as of the mysterious documents which her paternal grand-father passed directly to her mother Marie Nègre d’Ables de Blanchefort.
Marie Anne Elisabeth was born in 1735 in the village’s castle. In the parish archives her baptism was recorded on April 6 of the same year, and, since the newborn babies of the time were very soon baptized (maximum one week after birth), we can assume she was born in late March or at least the first few days of April. She was the second of four children and, as customary by french and italian aristocrats, she was just called with her third name, Elisabeth.
So, who did hide the phial inside the pillar? Although there are neither documents nor witnesses, in almost all literature on the affair I have seen no doubts about Antoine Bigou (the abbot at Marie de Blanchefort’s death time) to do that. Modern people seem to forget that the Rennes le Chateau little church was in origin the private chapel of d’Hautpouls. There, in the crypt, they have their ancestors buried. In the presbytery François d’Hautpoul murdered, of had murdered, the preceptor of his wife Marie de Blanchefort. So the d’Hautpoul family treated the church as a private outbuilding of the castle. Of course the common inhabitants of the village were allowed to attend the sacred functions inside, but they were not allowed to feel the little church as their community church. The arrogance of aristocracy, before the revolution, reached the point of denying the common people to be humans, but rather treated them like animals. And this was obviously much stronger in small rural centers, where the gentleman was a small sovereign. The local clergy were contiguous with the aristocracy, but at a lower step. So Marie Nègre d’Ables de Blanchefort, and her daughter Elisabeth, felt certainly to be socially superior to Antoine Bigou, who was in a way compelled to obey to the authorities of the village: the two marchionesses.