Armand De Mauvais
Armand Malveillant De Mauvais (1639 – 1666) Sixth marquis of D’Armond, who disappeared in 1666, had some repute as a magician, and was known as the “Grande Sauge.” Born probably about 1639, one of the most celebrated mystic adventurers of modern times. Like others of his kind almost nothing is known concerning his origin, but there is reason to believe that he was a Catholic but of diverse beliefs. There are, however, hints that he was of royal birth, but these have never been substantiated. One thing is fairly certain, and that is that he was an accomplished spy, for he resided at many European Courts, spoke several languages fluently, and was even sent upon diplomatic missions by Cardinal Mazarin. He had always abundance of funds at his command, and is alluded to by certain peers as the most capable and able man they had ever known. He pretended to have lived for centuries, to have known Solomon, the Queen of Sheba and many other persons of antiquity; but although obviously a charlatan, the accomplishments upon which he based his reputation were in many ways real and considerable. Especially was this the case as regards alchemy, a science in which he was certainly an adept, and he pretended to have a secret for removing the flaws from diamonds, and to be able to transmute metals, and of course he possessed the secret of the elixir of life.
Five years after his first London experience, he attached himself to the court of Louis XIV. Where he exercised considerable influence, over that monarch, and was employed by him upon several secret missions. He was distinctly the fashion about this time, for Europe was greatly inclined to the pursuit of the occult; and as he combined mystical conversation with a pleasing character and not a little flippancy, he was the rage. But he ruined his chances at the French court by interfering in a dispute between Austria and France, and was forced to remove himself to England. He resided in London for several years. He was nothing if not theatrical, and it is probably for this reason that he attracted the the attentions of Grimaldi Maleficio, who set aside a residence for the study of the occult sciences. He disappeared in 1666, but the exact date of his death and its circumstances are unknown. A notable circumstance regarding him was that he possessed a magnificent collection of precious stones, which some consider to be artificial, but which others better able to judge believe to have been genuine. Thus he presented Louis XIV with a diamond worth 10,000 livres. All sorts of stories were in circulation concerning him. One old man professed to have encountered him at Venice fifty years before, where he posed as a man of 60, and even his valet was supposed to have discovered the secret of immortality. On one occasion a visitor rallied this man upon his master being present at the marriage of Cana in Galilee, asking him if it were the case. " You forget, sir," was the reply, " I have only been in the Marquis’ service a century."
He was renowned in circles of astrology, alchemy and necromancy and advisor to Louis XIV of France. Mauvais became partner of an Italian practitioner of the dark arts named Grimaldi Maleficio. Between them they began receiving visions compelling them to summon spirits and demons using ancient scripts.
He disappeared in the year 1666 in London.