1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aiguillon, Marie Madeleine de Wignerod du Pont de Courlay, Duchesse d'
AIGUILLON, MARIE MADELEINE DE WIGNEROD DU PONT DE COURLAY, Duchesse d’ (1604–1675), daughter of Cardinal Richelieu’s sister. In 1620 she married a nephew of the constable de Luynes, Antoine de Beauvoir du Roure, sieur de Combalet, who died in 1622. In 1625, through her uncle’s influence, she was made a lady-in-waiting (dame d’atour) to the queen-mother, and in 1638 was created duchess of Aiguillon. She did not marry a second time, although Richelieu wished to marry her to a prince—either to the comte de Soissons or to the king’s brother. After the death of the cardinal (1642) she retained her honours and titles, but withdrew from the court, and devoted herself entirely to works of charity. She entered into relations with Saint Vincent de Paul and helped him to establish the hospital for foundlings. She also took part in organizing the General Hospital and several others in the provinces. She died on the 17th of April 1675. She was the patroness of Corneille, who in 1636 dedicated to her his tragedy of The Cid.
See E. Fléchier, Oraison funèbre de Mme. Marie de Wignerod, duchesse d’Aiguillon; Bonneau-Avenant, La duchesse d’Aiguillon (1879); Mémoires de Saint-Simon, ed. by A. de Boislisle (1879 et seq.).