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Was Dauger James de la Cloche? In The Man of the Mask (1908) Monsignor Barnes, while briefly dismissing Mr Lang’s identification with Martin, and apparently not realizing the possibility of reading Louvois’s letter of July 19, 1669, as indicated above[1] deals in detail with the history of James de la Cloche, the natural son of Charles II. (acknowledged privately as such by the king) in whom he attempts to unmask the personality of Dauger. Mr Lang, in The Valet’s Tragedy, had some years earlier ironically wondered why nobody made this suggestion, which, however, he regarded as untenable. The story of James de la Cloche is indeed itself another historical mystery; he abruptly vanishes as such at Rome at the end of 1668, and thus provides a disappearance of convenient date; but the question concerning him is complicated by the fact that a James Henry de Bovere Roano Stuardo, who married at Naples early in 1669 and undoubtedly died in the following August, claiming to be a son of Charles II., makes just afterwards an equally abrupt appearance; in many respects the two men seem to be the same, but Monsignor Barnes, following Lord Acton, here regards James Stuardo as an impostor who traded on a knowledge of James de la Cloche’s secret. If the latter then did not die in 1669, what became of him? According to Monsignor Barnes’s theory, James de la Cloche, who had been brought up to be a Jesuit and knew his royal father’s secret profession of Roman Catholicism, was being employed by Charles II. as an intermediary with the Catholic Church and with the object of making him his own private confessor; he returned from Rome at the beginning of 1669, and is then identified by Monsignor Barnes with a certain Abbé Pregnani, an “astrologer” sent by Louis in February 1669 to influence Charles II. towards the French alliance. Pregnani, however, made a bad start by “tipping winners” at Newmarket with disastrous results, and was quickly recalled to France, actually departing on July 5th (French 15th). But he too now disappears, though a letter from Lionne (the French foreign secretary) to Colbert of July 17 (two days before Louvois’s letter to Saint-Mars about Dauger) says that he is expected in Paris. Monsignor Barnes’s theory is that Pregnani alias James de la Cloche, without the knowledge of Charles II., was arrested by order of Louis and imprisoned as Dauger on account of his knowing too much about the French schemes in regard to Charles II. This identification of Pregnani with James de la Cloche is, however, intrinsically incredible. We are asked to read into the Pregnani story a deliberate intrigue on Charles’s part for an excuse for having James de la Cloche in England. But this does not at all seem to square with the facts given in the correspondence, and it is hard to understand why Charles should have allowed Pregnani to depart, and should not have taken any notice of his son’s “disappearance.” There would still remain, no doubt, the possibility that Pregnani, though not James de la Cloche, was nevertheless the “man in the mask.” But even then the dates will not suit; for Lionne wrote to Colbert on July 27, saying, “Pregnani has been so slow on his voyage that he has only given me (m’a rendu) your despatch of July 4 several days after I had already received those of the 8th and the 11th.” Allowing for the French style of dating this means that instead of arriving in Paris by July 18, Pregnani only saw Lionne there at earliest on July 25. This seems to dispose of his being sent to Pignerol on the 19th. Apart altogether, however, from such considerations, it now seems fairly certain, from Mr Lang’s further research into the problem of James de la Cloche (see La Cloche), that the latter was identical with the “Prince” James Stuardo who died in Naples in 1669, and that he hoaxed the general of the Jesuits and forged a number of letters purporting to be from Charles II. which were relied on in Monsignor Barnes’s book; so that the theory breaks down at all points.

The identification of Dauger thus still remains the historical problem behind the mystery of the “man in the mask.” He was not the valet Martin; he was not a valet at all when he was sent to Pignerol; he was not James de la Cloche. The fact nevertheless that he was employed as a valet, even in special circumstances, for Fouquet, makes it difficult to believe that Dauger was a man of any particular social standing. We may be forced to conclude that the interest of the whole affair, so far as authentic history is concerned, is really nugatory, and that the romantic imagination has created a mystery in a fact of no importance.

Authorities.—The correspondence between Saint-Mars and Louvois is printed by J. Delort in Histoire de la détention des philosophes (1829). Apart from the modern studies by Lair, Funck-Brentano, Lang and Barnes, referred to above, there is valuable historical matter in the work of Roux-Fazaillac, Recherches historiques sur l’homme au masque de fer (1801); see also Marius Topin, L’Homme au masque de fer (Paris, 1870), and Loiseleur, Trois Énigmes historiques (1882).  (H. Ch.) 

IRON MOUNTAIN, a city and the county-seat of Dickinson county, Michigan, U.S.A., about 50 m. W. by N. of Escanaba, in the S.W. part of the Upper Peninsula. Pop. (1900) 9242, of whom 4376 were foreign-born; (1904) 8585; (1910) 9216. It is served by the Chicago & North Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee & Saint Paul railways. The city is situated about 1160 ft. above sea-level in an iron-mining district, and the mining of iron ore (especially at the Great Chapin Iron Mine) is its principal industry. Iron Mountain was settled in 1879, and was chartered in 1889.

IRONSIDES, a nickname given to one of great bravery, strength or endurance, particularly as exhibited in a soldier. In English history Ironside or Ironsides first appears as the name of Edmund II., king of the English. In the Great Rebellion it was first given by Prince Rupert to Cromwell, after the battle of Marston Moor in 1644 (see S. R. Gardiner’s History of the Great Civil War, 1893, vol. ii. p. 1, and Mercurius civicus, September 19-26, 1644, quoted there). From Cromwell it was transferred to the troopers of his cavalry, those “God-fearing men,” raised and trained by him in an iron discipline, who were the main instrument of the parliamentary victories in the field. This (see S. R. Gardiner, op. cit. iv. 179) was first given at the raising of the siege of Pontefract 1648, but did not become general till later.

IRONTON, a city and the county-seat of Lawrence county, Ohio, U.S.A., on the Ohio river, about 142 m. E.S.E. of Cincinnati. Pop. (1890) 10,939; (1900) 11,868, of whom 924 were negroes and 714 foreign-born; (1910 census) 13,147. It is served by the Chesapeake and Ohio, the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton, the Norfolk and Western, and the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton railways, and by river steamboats. The city is built on a plain at the base of hills rising from the river bottom and abounding in iron ore and bituminous coal; fire and pottery clay also occur in the vicinity. Besides mining, Ironton has important lumber interests, considerable river traffic, and numerous manufactures, among which are iron, wire, nails, machinery, stoves, fire-brick, pressed brick, terra-cotta, cement, carriages and wagons, and furniture. The total value of its factory product in 1905 was $4,755,304; in 1900, $5,410,528. The municipality owns and operates its water-works. Ironton was first settled in 1848, and in 1851 was incorporated.

IRONWOOD, a city of Gogebic county, Michigan, U.S.A., on the Montreal river, in the N.W. part of the upper peninsula. Pop. (1890) 7745; (1900) 9705, of whom 4615 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 12,821. It is served by the Chicago and North-Western and the Wisconsin Central railways. The city is situated about 1500 ft. above sea-level in the Gogebic iron-district, and is principally a mining town; some of the largest iron mines in the United States are within the city limits. Ironwood was settled in 1884, and was chartered as a city in 1889.

IRON-WOOD, the name applied to several kinds of timber, the produce of trees from different parts of the tropics, and belonging to very different natural families. Usually the wood is extremely hard, dense and dark-coloured, and sinks

  1. The view taken by Monsignor Barnes of the phrase “Ce n’est qu’un valet” in Louvois’s letter of July 19, is that (reading this part of the letter as a continuation of what precedes) the mere fact of Louvois’s saying that Dauger is only a valet means that that was just what he was not! Monsignor Barnes is rather too apt to employ the method of interpretation by contraries, on the ground that in such letters the writer always concealed the real facts.