French cardinal, b. Brive-la-Gaillarde, Limousin, Sept. 6, 1656; d. Paris, Aug. 10, 1723. In 1672 he came to the college of St. Michel in Paris, received tonsure, and after his studies tutored in divers families. In 1683 he was assistant tutor and in 1687 tutor to the Duke of Chartres, son of the Duke of Orléans, brother of the king. He remained in the service of the duke afterward. In London in 1698, Dubois made valuable ties, and, when in 1715 his former student, now Duke of Orléans, became regent of louis xv, Dubois was named to the Council of State. He secured, in 1716, an Anglo-French alliance against Spain, which Holland joined in 1717, and Austria, in 1718. In 1721 Spain, after military hostilities, signed an alliance with France. Dubois's policy also led to a peace with Sweden, Denmark, and Russia in 1721. Dubois had become foreign minister in September 1718. He was ordained March 3, 1720, and made archbishop of Cambrai June 9 of the same year. In December 1720 he secured the registry of the anti-Jansenist papal bull unigenitus, and on July 16, 1721, was made cardinal, reluctantly on the part of Rome. He became prime minister in August 1722, and, when Louis XV was declared of age in 1723, Dubois continued to direct foreign policy. In December 1722 he was accepted into the Académie Française. Dubois was not known for either piety or morality. His revenue from ecclesiastical benefices was enormous. But venality was part of diplomacy, and he had no part in the corruption of his student, the Duke of Chartres. His enemies maligned him in pamphlets.
Bibliography: p. bliard, Dubois, cardinal et premier ministre, 2 v. (Paris 1901). p. muret and p. sagnac, La Prépondérance anglaise, 1715–1763 (Paris 1937), bibliography. j. l. aujol, Le Cardinal Dubois: Ministre de la paix (Paris 1948). r. chalumeau, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947–) 3:1134–36.
[w. e. langley]