Skip to main content

Sully, Maximilien de Béthune, duc de

Maximilien de Béthune Sully, duc de (mäksēmēlyăN´ də bātün´ dük də sülē´), 1560–1641, French statesman. Born and reared a Protestant, he fought in the Wars of Religion under the Huguenot leader Henry of Navarre (later King Henry IV of France). Before 1606 he was known as baron de Rosny. Appointed to the finance commission in 1596, he became sole superintendent of finances in 1598. To restore the finances, which King Henry III's extravagance and the Wars of Religion had plunged into disorder, he canceled portions of the public debt, recovered alienated sources of revenue, instituted an annual tax on officeholders, and strictly controlled all expenditures. As a result, there was a large surplus in the treasury at the end of Henry's reign. Sully restored French prosperity by encouraging agriculture and public works; he set about building a network of roads and canals. He was Henry IV's closest adviser and had gained his personal friendship; after Henry's assassination (1610), he resigned his office (1611). Besides being an admirable administrator, Sully was a man of remarkable vision, as is shown in his Great Design, a plan for a federation of all Christian nations, which appeared in his memoirs (1638); he attributed the plan to Henry IV.

See E. C. Lodge, Sully, Colbert, and Turgot (1931, repr. 1970); D. Buisseret, Sully and the Growth of Centralized Government in France (1968).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sully, Maximilien de Béthune, duc de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 25 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Sully, Maximilien de Béthune, duc de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (April 25, 2019).

"Sully, Maximilien de Béthune, duc de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 25, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.