Samuel Gaudon, sieur de la Rallière, un financier protestant au service de Mazarin

Samuel Gaudon was born in Preuilly, the second-largest Protestant centre of Touraine, in 1594, one year after the departure of Scaliger, who had contributed to the conversion of the barony’s leading figures. It was in this Protestant milieu that he was formed and later spotted by the Marquis de Rochefort, who introduced him to the world of finance. Gaudon gradually became one of the Crown’s major financiers, which made him the target of the parliamentarians and the people during the Fronde (1648-1653). He died suddenly in 1650, when he was as close as he ever would be to the reigning power. Since then he has fallen into oblivion, the only remaining traces of his life being an unfinished castle and the start of an accompanying urban planning program in the heart of his native town, just behind the Romanesque abbey church that he had symbolically eclipsed.