Abraham de Fabert (1599-1662)

Abraham de Fabert
Abraham de Fabert, Esternay Marquis, Marshal of France (1599-1662)
(Above) This portait is part of the French Museum Collection
Abraham de Fabert
Abraham de Fabert

Abraham de Fabert (1599-1662)
Esteemed to the position of Marshal of France in later life, he was born the son of Abraham Fabert, (Seigneur de Moulins (d. 1638) a famous printer who rendered great services, both civil and military, to King Henry IV.

At the age of fourteen Fabert entered the Gardes françaises, and in 1618 received a commission in the Piedmont regiment, becoming a major in 1627 and almost constantly in service. He distinguished himself through his skills as an engineer repeatedly during the wars of the period, notably in La Rochelle and at the siege of Exilles in 1630.

He was a leading French commander during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. His skill in engineering earned him the position playing a key role in sieges which Louis XIII's troops forced surrender of the Huguenot strongholds in Southern France during the 1620's. He further distinguished himself in the Battle of Veillane in the Alps in 1630. His bravery and engineering skill were again displayed in the sieges of Avesnes and Maubeuge in 1637, and in 1642 Louis XIII. made him governor of the recently-acquired fortress of Sedan.

Appointed governor of Sedan when that town came under French rule in 1642, he remained loyal to the government of Jules Mazarin, first minister to young King Louis XIV, during the aristocratic uprising known as the Fronde (1648-1653). Fabert was made a marquis and lieutenant-general in 1651, and in 1654, Fabert besieged and captured the rebel base at Stenay when he introduced new methods of siegecraft which anticipated in a measure the great improvements of Vauban. The small force that he organized in Sedan in 1651-52 became the core of the army that defeated the rebel princes and restored Mazarin to power.

He was created marshal of France in June 1658, being the first commoner to attain that rank. Fabert died at Sedan on May 17, 1662.


  • Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th Edition, ©1929
  • Encyclopedia Britannica Micropedia, ©1984
  • Maréchal de Fabert
  • Abraham de Fabert, marquis d'Esternay, maréchal de France (1599-1662)
  • 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Fabert, Abraham de

    Footnote: The two sources I have access to, contradict on date of death (One states May 17, 1662, and the second source states 17th of May 1660. Since the former source is a more updated reference, it is my belief Abraham de Fabert's date of death is May 17, 1662).

    Footnote: See Histoire du maréchal de Fabert (Amsterdam, 1697); P. Barre, Vie de Fabert (1752); A. Feillet, Le Premier Maréchal de France plébéien (1869); Bourelly, Le Maréchal Fabert (1880).

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