World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Philibert Orry

Article Id: WHEBN0009836305
Reproduction Date:

Title: Philibert Orry  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Charles François Paul Le Normant de Tournehem, Abel François Poisson, André-Hercule de Fleury, Georges Cochery, Claude de Bullion
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Philibert Orry

Philibert Orry, by Hyacinthe Rigaud.

Philibert Orry, count of Vignory and lord of La Chapelle-Godefroy (born in Troyes on 22 January 1689 – died at La Chapelle-Godefroy on 9 November 1747), was a French statesman.


  • Life 1
  • Residences 2
    • References 2.1
  • External links 3


The fifth child of Jean Orry, a leading economist, Philibert Orry served as a cavalry captain during the War of Spanish Succession, before becoming a member of the Parlement of Paris, then master of requests in 1715. He was an intendant in Lille (1715-1718), Soissons (1722-1727), and Roussillon (1727-1728).

Orry was named Controller-General of Finances in 1730 and combined this function with being director general of the Bâtiments du Roi ("the king's buildings") in 1736, after the death of the duc d'Antin. Orry remained Controller-General until 1745, making him the longest continuously-serving holder of the office in the eighteenth-century.

An able economist, Orry had to restore the dixième ("tenth") tax and declared the venality of municipal officials, successfully balancing the budget in 1739-40. Applying the principles of Colbert, he sought to develop the domestic manufacture of textiles and paper, and was involved in the production of porcelain in Vincennes in 1740. He supported trade with Canada and the Indies by reforming the statutes of the Compagnie des Indes.

As director general of buildings, he established the bi-annual public Paris Salon, and became the vice-protecteur of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture ("Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture") in April 1737. His directorship has, generally, been harshly judged. The marquis d'Argenson spoke with contempt of "the bad, bourgeois taste of Monsieur Orry". However, Orry's selection of Charles-Joseph Natoire in 1730 to decorate his château de La Chapelle-Godefroy (see below) reveals, on the contrary, a certain discernement in artistic matters: Natoire was one of the most promising young history painters, and his two main rivals - François Boucher and Carle Van Loo - were both abroad.

As director general of Ponts et Chaussées (bridges and highways), Orry finished the Crozat canal and maintained and developed France's road system. He sent to the intendants, in 1738, a detailed instruction on the duty (la corvée royale) for all inhabitants to spend a fortnight a year on the construction and maintenance of transport routes, classed in five categories. The corvée made France's major road network the finest in Europe, and before the Revolution, a great part of the public roads existed thanks to this institution. This policy of improved communications also led to the completion of the Cassini map in 1744.[1]

Facing opposition from Madame de Pompadour, Orry resigned in 1745.

He was the Treasurer of the Order of the Holy Spirit from February 1743 to his death in 1747.


Orry owned the château de La Chapelle-Godefroy in Saint-Aubin near Nogent-sur-Seine, inherited from his father in 1719. "M. Orry", wrote the duc de Luynes in his Mémoires, "has always appeared to have no ambition, always regretting not being able to live on his estate, near Nogent, and always ready to go there with pleasure." He transformed and expanded considerably the seigneurial estate. He owned two paintings by Jean-Antoine Watteau, the Enchanteur and the 'Aventurière, which today are in the musée des Beaux-Arts in Troyes.

Orry also possessed an estate, Petit Bercy, in Paris.


  1. ^ Colin Jones, The Great Nation (London, 2003), p. 115. ISBN 0-14-013093-4.
  • This article is based on a translation of the equivalent article of the French WorldHeritage on 3 March 2007

External links

  • Notice sur le site du comité d'histoire du ministère français de l'économie, des finances et de l'industrie (In French)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.