The First Estate In The City Of Bourges

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Fellow members of the Estates General, my name is Jaques Bouton, I come from the Berry providence of France and I represent the First Estate in the city of Bourges. I am the head Bishop of our city and come from our Cathedral. I was born to noble parents and raised within the Bourges clergy and because of this, I am the best one to vocalize our advice to His Majesty, King Louis XVI. As I said, I come from the city of Bourges, which is the capital of our providence. I have lived here all my life and was brought up within the Church we hold so dearly. I have been the Bishop of Bourges for many years, but it took me many years to rise to this position.

I was born in 1729 to a noble family with one brother and one sister. At the young age of sixteen, my parents placed me to the Church to secure my place in the first estate and my families status as nobility. As I got older the more I rose within our Cathedral and with many years of experience within the clergy, the Bourges parish has selected me to state our grievances to the King. Our Church has gone through many struggles, especially with the rise of Gallican Church. We, at the Bourges Cathedral, strictly follow the Ultramontane policies. We believe that the true religion of France must be followed by the rule set Church of Rome. We strongly believe that Catholicism is the true religion and all other religions must be opposed. Unlike the followers of the Gallican, the Bourges clergy applaud the Catholic alliance with the Austrian Empire and believe that this relationship will help keep the true religion within France.

When His Majesty called this assembly, and began welcoming grievances, the first estate of Bourges believed that it was imperative for the King to hear our grievances and for us to give advice on what might be done. In Bourges, the first estate believes that there are four main grievances that must be brought to our King’s attention. These four include the attacks on our religion, keeping Catholicism the true religion in France, justice, and taxes. The following articles are the respectful grievances to the King from the first estate of the church of Bourges.

Article 1. We believe that the true religion of France is under attack and that this must be stopped by His Majesty. We implore him to make all those to spread lies and attack religion, whether through their teachings or writings, that they are deemed enemies of the Catholic Church and be punished. As we look at French society we see the morals declining, and it is our job as the Church is to enforce morals. Along with punishing those who create such materials, we highly encourage the King to close places that print such materials and bookkeepers should not promote material that is so detrimental to our faith. To do this, the clergy of Bourges advises the King to send educated clergy or enlightened men to go through such writings and they would then deem them appropriate or not. If they attack the religion, they will be seized and creators of the material will be punished.

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Article 2. As Catholics in Bourges, we believe that Catholicism is the only true religion in France and it must be kept this way. Catholicism must remain the main and only recognized religion. Many have lost the sacredness of Holy holidays, such as our Sabbath. We must make sure that the French people follow these rituals, for they are the key to upholding a moral Christian society.

Article 3. As educated clergymen, we believe in justice and that it must be widespread. Because of this belief, we ask you, your Majesty, to simplify justice and to reviewed and edit the code of both civil and criminal justice. By doing this, we believe justice will become equal on all levels and that is of great importance.

Article 4. Here at the Estates General, the issue of taxes is on every mind. One prominent taxes throughout all of France has been the gabelle tax. My providence of Berry suffers from this tax the most. Along with the gabelle tax, we have our direct tax and our poll tax. With the mass amount of taxes, it troubles many people within Bourges. We believe that if the amount of taxes were to be decreased it would cause Bourges great pleasure.

The respectful grievances from my clergy, stated above are the key topics we believe must be changed for France to progress. Times are changing and I believe that through this meeting the King acknowledges this as well. People within the first estate of Bourges and in the providence of Berry are eager to help His Majesty with reforming France. We have faith and trust within the assembly of the Estates General and through good faith may they re-establish morals, make the true religion of France reign, reform justice, and reign in the era of prosperity in France, and above all else, glorify His Majesty for the bold efforts to save the sacredness of France.

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