Château Giscours: Marc Promis

As the Revolution took hold, Claude-Anne de Rouvroy de Saint-Simon-Montbléru, a marquis and the seigneur of Giscours, quite sensibly fled to Spain rather than face prosecution and the guillotine. The property was thus confiscated as a bien national, and as was often the case it was sold at auction, which took place on July 3rd 1795. There then followed a string of new owners, beginning with Michael Jacob, who bid 70,600 livres for the privilege. Michael was a traiteur, essentially a restaurateur (indeed traiteur is the etymological origin of the word restaurant), but it seems that business was not quite as good as he thought. Jacob could not raise the necessary funds, and so he entered into an agreement with two Americans, John Gray and Jonathan Davis, from Boston. Together, the trio took possession.

Château Giscours

The property next changed hands in 1825, when it was purchased by a local négociant, Marc Promis. This was a more typical picture for the post-Revolution era, when the increasingly wealthy merchant class began to take the place of nobility (who had either lost their heads, or were now so punitively taxed they could not compete) in the ownership, restoration and construction of Bordeaux’s grandest châteaux.

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