(André Hercule de Fleury). Born June 22, 1653, in Lodève; died Jan. 29, 1743, in Paris. French church figure and statesman. Member of the Académie Française (1717).
Fleury was bishop of Fréjus from 1698 to 1714 and was the tutor to Louis XV from 1715 to 1723. He became a member of the royal council in 1723, and in 1726, the year in which he was made a cardinal, he became first minister in fact but not in name. Fleury passed a series of financial reforms, including a reduction of the taille and the regulation of monetary circulation; he also introduced the corvée, a severe measure that made possible the building of roads. Fleury was supported by the Jesuits; he persecuted the Jansenists. He was responsible for France’s concluding a treaty with Spain (the first Family Compact of the Bourbons, 1733) and the Peace of Vienna (1738) with Austria. Fleury opposed French involvement in the War of the Austrian Succession.