Councillor of State (France)

Councillor Of State (France)

Councillor of State (France)

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A French Councillor of State (French: conseiller d'État) is a high-level government official of administrative law in the Council of State of France.

Under the Old Regime

Councillors of State were among the highest dignitaries of the French monarchy during the Ancien Régime. Being thirty in total, the Councillors of State included three clergymen, three from the old nobility (nobility "of the sword" or d'épée), and twenty-four from the noblesse de robe, or "administrative nobility". Ninety percent of the Councillors of State de robe were promoted from among the Masters of Requests, while the rest were chosen from among judges of the prerogative courts; often they had prior worked as intendants. In 1789, their number was increased to 42: 25 full-time Councillors ordinary, 16 part-time consellors who functioned on a semester schedule, and the eldest of the Masters of Requests.

Their title gave them great power, and in the administrative hierarchy they were considered directly below Princes of the royal family ("princes du sang"), cardinals, and Dukes of Peers ("Ducs et pairs"). The pay was minimal, i.e., 3,300 to 5,100 French pounds per year, depending on the duration of service, but could be augmented by an additional 4,000 pounds per year through pensions or by service on financial commissions.

Councillors held commissions (i.e. not purchased and hereditary offices) appointed by the king by letters patent. The prestigious...
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