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The Marriage of Anne/Jean-Baptiste Grandjean to Francoise Lambert

Monday, October 10, 2022 - 08:00

Sorry, no extra commentary this time. Running a bit behind this morning.

Major category: 
Full citation: 

Vermeil. 1765. Mémoire pour Anne Grandjean. Louis Cellot, Paris.

Publication summary: 

The original text, translation, and commentary on the appeal record of Anne Grandjean against a charge of "profaning the sacrament of marriage" by marrying a woman.


Grandjean & Françoise Lambert allerent à Chamberry; & le 24 Juin 1761, après trois publications de bans, sans avoir découvert aucun empêchement légitime, ainsi que l'atteste le Curé de la paroisse, ils furent mariés avec les formalités ordinaires.

Grandjean & Françoise Lambert went to Chamberry; & on June 24, 1761, after three publications of bans, without having discovered any legitimate impediment, as the parish priest attests, they were married with the ordinary formalities.

{HRJ: “Publishing the bans” is the process of announcing the intent to marry, in part to allow anyone who feels there’s a legal impediment to the marriage (pre-existing marriage or contract, a forbidden degree of consanguinity, etc.) to speak up. It is, perhaps, relevant that the couple didn’t publish the bans in Grenoble, where people would presumably be familiar with Grandjean’s interesting history, but in Chamberry, where perhaps no one knew them personally. Chambéry is perhaps 30 miles northeast of Grenoble, so while this interpretation is possible, I don’t know that it’s likely. Furthermore, the couple return to Grenoble later to get Grandjean’s legal status settled, so if the marriage was seen as problematic by those who knew them, the issue could have been raised later. Lyon, where they move later, is perhaps 50-60 miles northwest of both towns so the chance of someone who knew Grandjean as a child encountering them seems quite likely to have happened eventually. Given that, I think we can assume that Grandjean’s community was aware of their personal history and accepted their marriage as valid.}

L'inclination des deux époux fut aussi vive que l'avoit été celle des deux amans. Ils vivoient dans la bonne foi heureux & tranquilles, sans que Françoise Lambert eût aucune défiance du sexe de son mari, & sans que ce mari eût aucun soupçon de son insuffisance.

The inclination of the two spouses was as lively as that of the two lovers had been. They lived in good faith, happy and tranquil, without Françoise Lambert having any distrust of her husband's sex, and without this husband having any suspicion of zir insufficiency.

{HRJ: This is where one starts to wonder whether Lambert and Grandjean were startlingly naïve with regard to intercourse, whether they later pretended to ignorance, or whether the author is shaping the story to his own ends in asserting that they believed their union to be a normative male-female marriage. Although that's not exactly what he asserts, if one wants to be technical. If Lambert knew and accepted an assigned-female-at-birth person as a husband, that could count as "not having any distrust." Since Lambert presumable met Grandjean in Grenoble (although the location of the marriage ceremony suggests she may have been a native of Chamberry), it would seem odd for her not to be aware that Grandjean had grown up presenting as female. Particularly given what now follows. And (presumably) knowing that, surely if she had any doubts or questions it would have been reasonable to raise them. A natural interpretation would be that Lambert was not ignorant or naïve, which then also raises the question of whether Grandjean was.}

Mais une circonstance nouvelle devoir donner encore plus d'authenticité à l'état d'homme & de mari, dont Grandjean étoit en possession.

But a new circumstance had to give even more authenticity to the state of man & husband, of which Grandjean was in possession.

Françoise Lambert avoit un compte à faire rendre à ses parens de l'administration de ses revenus, elle avoit dessein de faire le commerce avec son mari, & le reliquat de ce compte devoit leur en faciliter les moyens; mais Grandjean étoit soumis à la puissance paternelle dans un pays où le mariage n'émancipe pas. Il ne pouvoit par conséquent rien faire pour son intérêt personnel qu'il n'eût obtenu l'émancipation. Il pria son pere de lui accorder cette faveur, & ce dernier y consentit.

Françoise Lambert had an account to render to her parents of the administration of her income, she intended to do business with her husband, and the remainder of this account should facilitate the means of doing so; but Grandjean was subject to paternal power in a country where marriage does not emancipate. He could not, therefore, do anything for zir personal interest until he had obtained emancipation. He begged his father to grant zem this favor, and the latter consented.

{HRJ: This is mostly an interesting side-light on everyday legal matters in France. Based on the dates given in the text, Grandjean was 29 years old at marriage. But evidently neither this age, nor the fact of marriage gave them the legal right to act in their own behalf.}

La cérémonie de cette émancipation fut faite en l'hôtel du Juge de Grenoble.

The ceremony of this emancipation was made in the hotel of the Judge of Grenoble.

Comme dans l'acte de baptême, Grandjean étoit nommé Anne, & désigné comme fille, son pere, pour le rétablir dans tous ses droits, lui donna, dans cet acte, le nom de Jean-Baptiste, qu'il a toujours porté depuis.

As in the baptismal act, Grandjean was named Anne, and designated as a daughter, zir father, in order to re-establish him in all zir rights, gave zem, in this act, the name of Jean-Baptiste, which he has always borne since.

{HRJ: This event again speaks to the openness and acceptance with which Grandjean’s reassignmet of gender was performed. Maybe. It could be that the legal ceremony made no reference to a change of name and change of designation, but was simply done by referring to “my son Jean-Baptiste”. But as with the courtship, this is in a community where at least some people were aware that Grandjean had been raised presenting as female. I'll also note that there were occasional examples of "Anne" being used as a male baptismal name in 18th century France, although it was clearly considered the default to female. This use may have been regional or class-based, so Grandjean's community in Grenoble may well have seen Anne as female signifier, motivating the change.}

Voilà donc Grandjean constitué dans tous les droits de Citoyen en qualité d'homme & de mari.

Thus is Grandjean constituted in all the rights of a citizen in the capacity of man and husband.

Après une année ou environ de séjour à Chamberry, Françoise Lambert engagea son époux à aller à Lyon avec elle pour y fixer leur domicile, sous prétexte qu'ils y trouveroient plus de facilités dans le commerce qu'ils se proposoient de faire.

After one year or approximately of residence in Chamberry, Françoise Lambert urged her husband to go to Lyon with her to make their home there, under the pretext that they would find it easier to do the business they proposed to do.

Grandjean avoit toujours pour sa femme la même inclination, la même complaisance; il ne résisita point, mais il ne prévoyoit pas les malheurs qui l'attendoient dans cette Ville.

Grandjean always had for zir wife the same inclination, the same complaisance; he did not resist, but he did not foresee the misfortunes which awaited zem in this city.

{HRJ: One gets the impression that Lambert was the driving force in this relationship, which makes it all the more ironic that she more or less disappears from the narrative without a splash.}

Grandjean & sa femme arrivés à Lyon, allerent demeurer chez un Marchand Fabriquant en soie. Ils y vécurent toujours comme époux pendant trois années entieres, avec la conduite la plus retenue & à la satisfaction de ceux qui leur donnoient à travailler.

When Grandjean and zir wife arrived in Lyon, they went to live with a silk merchant. They lived there as husband and wife for three whole years, with the most restrained behavior and to the satisfaction of those who gave them work.

{HRJ: The author regularly emphasizes that the couple were productive, well-behaved, and virtuous. This seems to be an essential aspect of establishing Grandjean as a naïve innocent, not an immoral law-breaker.}

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