The trial of the Marquise de Brinvilliers, and her execution on the 17th of July, 1676, had already prepared men’s minds to suspect the crime of poisoning.
Whenever a sudden death surprised high society, and his confession had taught France that this crime of poisoning was much more common than had been supposed; that it was in the highest ranks of society that people found themselves disposed to buy and administer what, by an odious joke, was then called “powder of succession”.
and instituted by a royal order, were called the biggest names of the court, which were imprisoned or exiled, the poisoners being condemned to the fire. After the affair involving Brinvilliers, suspicions no more than crimes did not stop; they concentrated on a few women, the Voisin and Vigouroux, who were not satisfied with being the matchmakers of illegitimate love and debauchery; they offered potions to lovers and lovers to make themselves loved, remedies to procure abortions, to restore virginity to the girls who had lost it. They did not rely solely on the pernicious drugs they administered; they hid their effectiveness under the guise of witchcraft; they were asked to predict the future, and they lent themselves to it.
The Marquise de Brinvilliers submitted to the question by the water. Print of 1850 extracted from the Historical Collections of the Paris Police Prefecture. The Marquise de Brinvilliers submitted to the question by the water. Print of 1850 extracted from the Historical Collections of the Paris Police Prefecture. La Voisin also began selling estate powders; the affluence of persons, even of the highest class, who came to consult her was such that she soon left her stale dwelling to take a house. She had a Swiss, lackeys, and all the luxuries of luxury.
This mania of shining was what lost her; she was arrested in 1679, and shut up in the Bastille with forty of her accomplices, among whom are named Vigouroux, her brother the Sage, and a priest named Étienne Guibourg. When asked about the people who frequented her home the most, she named the Duchesse de Bouillon, the Countess of Soissons and the Marshal of Luxembourg. It was then that the king, by a decree of January 11, 1680, established a commission at Arsenal to prosecute the poisoners and magicians, the fiery chamber, intended to condemn the poisoners to fire.
The Voisin, the Vigouroux, and their obscure associates were alone punished by the last punishment; quality people were left for prison or exile; none of them was convinced of poisoning, and an edict of July 1682, renewing the old ordinances against the soothsayers and magicians, no longer qualified them as impostors, while he redoubled his severity and precautionary measures against the poisoners.