By F. A. Burkle-Young


                Alexandre Dumas did not create the story of the Three Musketeers single-handedly, rather he relied heavily on an earlier work by Gatien Courtilz de Sandras for most of the materials of the novel.[1]  In fact, the entire series of the D'Artagnan Romances was based largely on Courtilz' Memoirs de M. D'Artagnan.[2] It is unclear whether Dumas realized that the Memoirs de M. d'Artagnan contained almost as much fiction as his own Three Musketeers. What can be said is that the main characters of the D'Artagnan Romances were historical persons, including Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan. Because of both the natural popularity and the actual historical fame of d'Artagnan,[3] however, many more books have been written about his life than about the lives of the other three.[4]

                We are first introduced to the characters of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis in the first chapter of the Memoirs of M. d'Artagnan, and immediately the reader is misled by the inventions of Courtilz de Sandras. He states that when d'Artagnan first came to the Comte de Troisvilles,[5] he met three musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. But this part of Courtilz de Sandras' story is impossible. For example, historically Porthos had absolutely no connection to Aramis[6] or Athos.[7] The latter two were related to M. de Troisvilles, but they were not related to each other.[8] Second, when d'Artagnan came to M. de Troisvilles, Porthos, whose real name was Isaac de Portau, was not yet a musketeer. At that time, Porthos was serving in the guards company of de Troisvilles' brother-in-law, Alexandre de Essarts — son of François des Essarts, Marquis de Lignières, and cousin of de Troisvilles — and he was still serving there in 1640, when d'Artagnan entered the Musketeers as a cadet with the help of a letter of recommendation from de Troisvilles.[9] Porthos did not become a musketeer until 1643.[10]

                Thus, it is very probable that the first of the famous trio that d'Artagnan met was Porthos.

It is also very probable that d'Artagnan and Porthos became friends, since they both came from the Béarnais, spoke the same dialect, and probably shared similar customs and childhood memories.[11]

                In 1640, the war with Spain saw Alexandre des Essarts' Guards in battle.[12] This almost certainly would have been the first occasion on which Porthos and d'Artagnan fought together. For the next two years, the Guards were engaged in various campaigns against the Spaniards. Courtilz de Sandras describes these campaigns at great length in the Memoires de M. d'Artagnan, but it is difficult to say which parts of his story are fiction and which are not.

                Now  that the connection of Porthos to d'Artagnan has been established, we can move entirely away from d'Artagnan to shed a little light on the biography of Porthos.

                The family of Isaac de Portau came from Pau, though its earlier origins may have been in Gan. In 1590, Henri IV, to gratify one of his cooks, Abraham du Portau,  awarded him a pension.[13]  Isaac de Portau, alias du Portau, presumably the son of Abraham, was named one of the king's secretaries to the states of Béarn, on May 22, 1606,[14] and, at the same time, he became notary general of Béarn. He married, by a contract dated April 28, 1612, Anne d'Arrac, daughter of Bertrand d'Arrac of the city of Gan, a Protestant minister of the church of Audaux, and his wife, Rosette du Colomer. Anne d'Arrac came with a dowry of 1,500 livres tournois.[15] Isaac de Portau (an older Isaac, not our Porthos) eventually became a confidant of Jacques Nompar de Caumont, Duc de La Force and governor and lieutenant general of the king in Béarn. From July, 1613;  October, 1615; and December, 1617, we have three notices of trips that Isaac made to the royal court, presumably on behalf of the de Caumont family.[16] On July 15, 1619, Isaac de Portau bought,  from Pierre de l'Eglise, the lordship of Camptort and the metairie of Turon for the price of 6,250 francs.[17] In May, 1621, he secured the elevation of the metairie of Campagne de Castetbond into noble state.[18] On April 25, 1632, at Gan, he was present at the contract of marriage between his niece, Anne d'Arrac, daughter of Isaac d'Arrac, lord of Casaus de Gan and  treasurer of Béarn, and his wife Isabeau du Lucq, and Gedeon de Rague, lord of Barat and abbé laïque de Bourdettes, who was at that time serving as a sergeant of the regiment of Guards. Isaac de Portau, by his first marriage, had a daughter, Sarah de Portau, abbesse laïque of Rivehaute, who was espoused, by a contract dated October 16, 1629, to Abraham de Bachoue d'Andrein, lord of Iribiu. Anne d'Arrac, the second wife of Isaac de Portau, gave him three children: Jean, Isaac (our Porthos), and Jeanne de Portau, who married, about 1635, David de Forcade, lord of Domec de Dongen.

                On the November 1, 1654, Isaac de Portau and his son Jean (Porthos' elder brother), who became a lawyer who practiced before the Parliament of Navarre and was secretary of state in Béarn, sold the lordship of Camptort, with the rights of all its associated estates, to François d'Andoins,  resident of Castenau, for the sum of 7,000 francs bordelais.

                Isaac de Portau (Porthos), the second son of Isaac de Portau the elder and Anne d'Arrac, was born in Pau and was presented for baptism by his godparents, Isaac de Segure, a merchant, and  his wife Jeanne d'Arrac, on February 2, 1617.[19] Conventionally, at that time children were presented for baptism on the third day after birth, so, if the standard procedure was followed, Porthos was born on Monday, January 30, 1617.

                Except for the earlier mentions of the military career of Porthos, no more information is known about his military life. Jean de Portau, Porthos' brother, became a controller of soldiers and artillery, and of military affairs in the government of Béarn. Later, he was in charge of the fortifications and defenses of the city of Navarrenx. Apparently, afterwards he became a secretary to Antoine (III) de Gramont-Toulongeon, second Duc de Gramont (1604-1678). In 1670, the Duc de Gramont announced to the states the death of his secretary, "M. de Portau" — presumably Jean. In the same year, Pierre de Portau, Jean's son, received a deputation of a body of noblemen as seigneur de Campagne de Castetbon.[20] These two pieces of evidence suggest that Jean de Portau died sometime in late 1669 or early in 1670. On November 24, 1674, the Portau family was granted a new achievement of arms, blazoned as a lion rampant, and, in chief, two towers open, crenellated, masoned, and inflamed, one in dexter and one in sinister.[21]

                With this too-brief review of the ancestry and history of Porthos' family, let us go back to consider how the real-life Porthos compares with his fictional self. From some of the facts that we know about all four of Dumas' musketeers, we know that the way in which Porthos and his friends meet in The Three Musketeers is entirely fictional, since by the time of the famous duel with d'Artagnan, that later turned into a bloody fight with the guards of Cardinal Richelieu, Porthos was not yet a musketeer, and Athos probably already was dead. As mentioned above, there is no record of Porthos' military career after he was admitted into the musketeers, thus it is safe to conclude that Dumas, with the help of Courtilz de Sandras, made up nearly every aspect of Porthos' life. At the least, we have proof that this is true of Porthos' personal life. He did not, for example, ever own the chateau of Pierrefonds. In 1617, it was ordered to be dismantled by Cardinal Richelieu, and thus had no occupants during the life of the Isaac de Portau. Later, it was restored by Viollet-le-Duc and became the property of the state. It is now a showplace.[22] As far as Dumas' description of Porthos is concerned, there is no evidence of his large size or tremendous strength. Indeed, the fact that he survived to the age of ninety-five suggests strongly that he was not overly heavy or musclebound.

                We have no surviving record of the name of his wife, but he probably married in about 1658, when he was forty or forty-one, to a woman somewhat younger than he. Perhaps it was at this time that he was given the little seigneurie of Lanne, at Lanne-de-Barétous, in the quality of an abbaye laïque, as a reward for his loyal service. His elder son, Arnaud, was born in, or near, 1659, since he was man man of "about seventy" when he died in 1729.

                Now, let us consider the title that Dumas gave Porthos — Baron du Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds. First of all, Isaac de Portau was never a baron, and neither Porthos or his ancestors ever owned either Bracieux or Pierrefonds.

                So what really happened to Porthos? Dumas' character was killed at Belle Isle en Mer, in Brittany, by a collapse of huge rocks in a grotto which now bears his name, Le Grotte de Porthos. It is located a mile south-west of Locmaria, at a promontory called the Pointe Ar Skeul or Pointe de l'Echelle.[23]  The real Porthos, however, did not die in so grand a style as the fictional character. Isaac de Portau died at the age of ninety-five in Pau on Wednesday, July 13, 1712, of an attack of apoplexy. While he may not have been fat, the great age to which he lived shows that he must have been fit, and endowed with a strong constitution. Isaac de Portau was buried in the chapel of Saint-Sacrement, in the church of Saint-Martin.[24]

                When he died, Porthos left two sons. The elder of the two, Arnaud de Portau, also became lord of Campagne de Castetbon and curé of Lasseube. He died at Pau on January 19, 1729, at the age of about seventy years.[25] Porthos' second son, Jean de Portau, was a knight of the order of Saint-Louis, and a naval lieutenant. He was most likely stationed in the Normandy, at an Atlantic port, such as Saint-Malo or Brest. That this probably is true is suggested by the fact that Jean married Jeanne-Claire Lindigeon, a native of Saint-Malo. By December 30, 1730, Jeanne-Claire Lindigeon was listed as a widow. She died on April 19, 1754, at Castetbon, at the age of about eighty-five years, and on the next day was buried in a local church in the presence of her two sons, Jean-Baptiste and Maurille-Claude de Portau.[26]        

                Jean-Baptiste de Portau, Pothos' elder grandson, was admitted to the States of Béarn on May 16, 1729, because he was the seigneur de Castetbon, and because he was recognized as the heir of Arnaud de Portau. This is the evidence that Jean de Portau, the younger son of Porthos, died before Arnaud de Portau, his older brother.[27]  On February 1, 1731, Jean-Baptiste de Portau married Marie d'Agest, daughter of Jean d'Agest, lord of Lescun de Larreule, and his wife Angelique de Loustau.[28]  Jean-Baptiste was elected as a deputy of the corporation of the City of Pau on June 8, 1731; and, on July 19, 1736, he was installed as mayor of Pau, a position he retained until February 15, 1738. He was later elected to be the chief justice of Pau, on June 8, 1755.[29] After losing his wife, he died on April 11, 1758.[30]  There is no further mention of the younger grandson of Porthos, Maurille-Claude de Portau.

                Jean-Baptiste de Portau left two daughters. The elder, Elizabeth, heiress of Campagne de Castetbon, was presented for baptism in the church of Saint-Martin at Pau on January 24, 1732, by Jean d'Agest, her maternal grandfather and the lord of Lescun de Lerreule, and Isabelle de Portau.[31] Elizabeth married, on April 2, 1761, the Chevalier Antoine de Segure, later lord of Herrere and governor of Sauveterre.[32]

                The second daughter of Jean-Baptiste was Christine-Françoise, who also was baptized in the church of Saint-Martin at Pau, on April 20, 1733. Her godparents were Etienne de Caplane  de Soucagnon, and a lady named Christine-Françoise de Portau, whose precise connection to the other members of the family is unknown.[33]

                Elizabeth and  Antoine de Segure's grandson, Antoine-Michel-Alexandre de Segure, became an officer of the Legion of Honor, and a knight of two orders: Saint-Louis in France and San Fernando  in Spain. He was lieutenant of infantry; and married Marie-Madeleine de Boyrie. They had two daughters, Jeanne-Madeleine de Segure, who was married on June 12, 1855, to Bernard-Marie-Thibaut de Vidart-Soys, and Caroline de Segure, who married Pierre-Alfred, marquis de Nolivos, in 1860[34]

                These are the ancestors and descendants of the real Porthos to the end of the nineteenth century.


[1]Gatien de Courtilz was born in 1644 in Paris to Jean de Courtilz, Seigneur de Tourly, and Marie de Sandras. He began his career as a cornet in the Royal Etranger regiment, rose to the rank of captain in the Beaufre-Choiseul regiment, and later served as a captain in the Champaigne regiment. In 1678, Courtilz disovered that he had a talent for writing and began to produce libelous pamphlets against his superiors in order to revenge himself for "not being advanced in accordance with his own estimation of his worth." For that he was exiled from Paris and, later, served at least two terms in the Bastille. After becomming one of the most feared pamphleteers in France, Courtilz published "under pretense of being their editor, some twenty memoirs of various people in which he related all he knew of their lives and of the affairs with whic they had been connected, and added many spirited inventions."  Some of these include Les Memoires de M.L.C.D.R. (M. le Comte de Rochefort) (1687) , Les Memoirs de Jean-Baptiste de la Fontaine (1698), and the Memoires de M. d'Artagnan (1700-1701). Because of the court intrigues that his works included, Courtilz had to publish some of his works in the Netherlands. In 1693, he was arrested and taken to the Bastille for producing false manuscripts. He was released two years later with an order not to come within sixty miles of Paris. In 1702, he was arrested again, for his Memoirs de M. d'Artagnan, and spent the rest of his life, with short intermissions, in the Bastille. He died in 1712. See Geoffrey Fowler Hall and Joan Sanders, D'Artagnan: The Ultimate Musketeer (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1964), xv-xvii, [Hereafter Ultimate].

[2]Probably the first imprint is [Gatien Courtilz de Sandras], Memoires de Mr. d'Artagnan, Capitaine Lieutenant de la Primiere Compagnie des Mousquetaires du Roi: Contenant Quautité [sic] de Choses Particulieres et Cecrettes qui se Sont Passées sous le Regne de Louis le Grand, 3 vols., (Cologne [probably, in fact, La Haye]: P[ierre] Marteau, 1700. The title vignette shows the sphere of the Elseviers as a printer's device. The second edition, 1701, with the same imprint, probably was printed at Rouen. The third edition is Memoires de Monsieur d'Artagnan, Capitaine Lieutenant de la Premiere Compagnie des Mousquetaires du Roi: Contenant Quantité de Choses Particulieres & Secrettes qui se Sont Passées sous le Regne de Louis le Grand, 4 vols. (Amsterdam: chez Pierre Rouge, 1704). The third edition contains the portrait of d'Artagnan so frequently reproduced. For a discussion of the false imprints, see Gustave Brunet, Imprimeurs Imaginaires et Libraires Supposés: Étude Bibliographique, Suivie de Recherches sur Quelques Ouvrages Imprimés avec des Indications Fictives de Lieux ou avec des Dates Singulières (Paris: Tross, 1866; reprinted, Bruxelles, Gay et Doucé, 1879; reprinted, New York: B. Franklin, 1962; and Mansfield Centre, Connecticut: Martino Publishing, 2003); and Léonce Janmart de Brouillant, La Liberté de la Presse en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe Siècles: Histoire de Pierre Du Marteau, Imprimeur à Cologne (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles), Suivie d'une Notice d'un Livre Intitulé: Histoire des Amours dv Grand Alcandre en laqvelle sovs des Noms Empruntez, se Lisent les Advantures Amoureuses d'un Grand Prince du dernier siècle; A Paris de l'Imprimerie de la Veusve Jean Guillemot Imprimeuse Ordinaire de Son Altesse Royale, Rue des Marmouzets proche de la Magdelaine MDCLII: Ouvrage Dédié à Messieurs les Membres de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres de France (Paris: Maison Quantin, 1888; reprinted, Genève: Slatkine Reprints, 1971). Pierre Marteau and Pierre Rouge, the supposed publishers of the Memoires, never existed. See also Ultimate, xiv. The standard English translation, with a scholarly introduction, is Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artagnan: Captain Lieutenant of the 1st Company of the King's Musketeers, trans. Ralph Nevill, 3 vols. (London: H. S. Nichols, 1898-1899; and frequently reprinted).

[3]Charles Ogier de Batz de Castlemore, comte d'Artagnan, was born at the château of Castlemore, probably about 1610 or 1611, the third son of Bertrand (III) de Batz-Castlemore and his wife, Françoise de Montesquiou-d'Artagnan, a scion of an old military family. Both of his elder brothers became Musketeers. He first made application to the Comte de Troisvilles to become a Musketeer about 1638, but was instead admitted as a cadet into the King's Guards, in the company of Alexandre des Essarts, on the recommendation of de Troisvilles. In 1644, he finally became a Musketeer. Two years' later, when the Musketeers were disbanded, he was one of only two who retained his commission - now in the service of Cardinal Jules Mazarin. He was appointed a lieutenant in the King's Guards in 1651, and captain, in 1655. When the Musketeers were reestablished in 1657, he applied for reinstatement with them, and received his commission as sous-lieutenant commission on May 26, 1658. In February, 1665, he became acting commander of the Musketeers. He succeeded Philippe-Julien Mancini, duc de Nevers, the nephew of Cardinal Mazarin, as capitaine-lieutenant in 1667. He was given his general's commission on May 5, 1667; and soon afterward received the title Comte d'Artagnan. He died in battle on June 25, 1673, shot through the throat, during the siege of Maëstricht. D'Artagnan married late in life -- at St.-Andre des Arts in Paris on April 3, 1659 — to Anne-Charlotte de Chanlecy, baronne de Sainte-Croix, and widow of Jean Leonor Damas, seigneur de La Clayette. By her, he had two sons who were thirteen and fourteen, respectively, when their father died.

[4]The most important of these works deserve mention here, however, because all of them, to some degree, discuss Isaac de Portau. After a final edition of Courtilz' work in 1715, no more monographs were published on d'Artagnan until after his heroic resurrection by Dumas. The first modern work to offer a non-fictional account of his life was Eugène Auriac, D'Artagnan, Capitaine-Lieutenant des Mousquetaires: Sa Vie Aventureuse, Ses Duels, Ses Rapports avec Athos, Aramis et Porthos, Ses Amours, Ses Intrigues et Ses Missions Politiques, Ses Combats, Sa Mort (Paris: Baudry: 1847; reprinted, Paris: E. Dentu: 1888; reprinted, Paris: La Table Ronde, 1993). This text was still based exclusively on Courtilz de Sandras. The first serious scholarly treatment is J[ean]-B[aptiste]-E[tienne] de Jaurgain, Troisvilles, d'Artagnan et les Trois Mousquetaires, Esquisses Biographiques et Héraldiques, Suivies d'une Notice sur les Deux Compagnies de Mousquetaires et la Liste de Leurs Capitaines, which first appeared in the Revue de Béarn, Navarre et Lannes in 1883-1884. It was then published in book form as a "nouvelle édition, augmentee, et entièrement refondue" (Paris: Librairie Ancienne, H[onoré] Champion, Editeur, 1910; reprinted, Oloron-Sainte-Marie: J. Miqueu, 1999). In the same period, and also significant, is Charles [-Maxime-Donatien] Samaran, D'Artagnan, Capitaine des Mousquetaires du Roi: Histoire Vèridique d'un Héros de Roman (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, [1912], reprinted, nouvelle édition, Auch: Imprimerie T. Bouquet, 1967). Later important contributions include Armand Praviel, Histoire Vraie des Trois Mousquetaires (Paris: Flammarion, 1933), which is largely about d'Artagnan but is the first monograph to give some space to the others; Charles Quinel and A[dhémar] de Montgon, Le Beau d'Artagnan et Son Époque (Paris: Fernand Nathan, éditeur, 1930, nouvelle édition, Paris: Fernand Nathan, éditeur, and Montréal: Éditions Beauchemin, 1946); Pierre (duc) de Montesquiou-Fezensac, Le Vrai d'Artagnan (Paris: R. Julliard [Montrouge, Imprimerie Moderne], 1963; reprinted, Nîmes: C. Lacour, 2002); Geoffrey Fowler Hall and Joan Sanders, D'Artagnan, the Ultimate Musketeer: A Biography (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964); Luciana Alocco Bianco, I Mémoires de Mr. d'Artagnan, vol 1 in a series of the Università degli Studi di Trieste, Istituto di Filologia Romanza (Roma: Edizioni dell'Ateneo & Bizzarri, 1977); Jean Christian Petitfils, Le Véritable d'Artagnan, in the series Figures de Proue (Paris: J. Tallandier, Imprimerie S. E. P. C., 1981; nouv. éd. rev. et corr., Paris: Tallandier, 1999; reprinted, Paris: le Grand Livre du Mois, Imprimerie Firmin-Didot, 2002) -- un ouvrage couronné par l'Académie Française; Henri Castex, La Descendance des Mérovingiens?: Les d'Artagnan Toujours dans l'Histoire Français (Paris: Editions L. P. F., 1985); Geneviève Farret, D'Artagnan: Gentilhomme Gascon: de l'Histoire à la Légende ([Auch]: CDDP du Gers; Toulouse: CRDP Midi-Pyrénées, 1994); Odile Brel-Bordaz, D'Artagnan, Mousquetaire du Roi: Sa Vie, Son Époque, Ses Contemporains (Boulogne: Ed[itions] du Griot, 1995; reprinted, Montréal, Paris: Balzac-Le Griot, 1997); Sylvie Monin, Les Artagnan en Bourgogne (Sainte-Croix: Association d'Artagnan, Imprimerie Sup'copy, 1998); Stéphane Baumont, D'Artagnan: Des Siècles d'Aventures de Cape et d'Épée (Toulouse: Privat, 1999); Odile Brel-Bordaz, D'Artagnan: Biographie du Capitaine-Lieutenant des Grands Mousquetaires du Roy (Baixas, Balzac éditeurs, Presses Littéraires, 2001); and a curious cookery book, Laurie Laforgue and Jean Laforgue, Les Couverts de d'Artagnan (Lormont: Presqu'Ile, 1997).

[5]Jean-Arnaud du Peyrer, first Comte de Troisvilles (1598-1672), became the character of M. de Tréville, the captain of the Musketeers, in Dumas' Three Musketeers. The Comte de Troisvilles was born in the town of Oloron, in Béarn, in 1598 (Ultimate, 36). His father was a merchant there. He was appointed a gentleman cadet in the Régiment de Guardes in 1616. In 1625, he was appointed a cornet in the Musketeers. In 1633, he became a gentilehomme de la chambre du roi; and capitaine-lieutenant of the Musketeers on October 3, 1634. Ten years' later, late in 1643, Troisvilles was raised to a comté by the new regent, Queen Anne of Austria. He was still captain of the Musketeers when they were disbanded in January, 1646. Because he would not consider resigning his commission during the planning to reestablish the  Musketeers in 1656, he seems to have become persona non grata at court. He resigned his captaincy on October 18, 1657, and retired to his estate at Troisvilles.

[6]Jean, abbé d'Aramitz, who was called in his time l'Abadot d'Aramitz, was a knight and one of the gentlemen in commission of Menaud du Beguer at the time of the reunion at Morlsa of the army of Gaston Phebus, count of Foix and of Béarn. On August 2, 1376, Gaston Phebus commanded a company of a hundred men on horseback in the valley of Ossau. On June 22, 1381, Gaston Phebus created, in Jean's favor, the lordship of the Abbadie d'Aramitz. Thus the abbey became an inheritable property.

The Huguenot captain, Pierre d'Aramitz, was of some considerable importance during the wars of religion which ravaged Basse-Navarre, Baron, and Soule during the reign of Jeanne d'Albret. In 1569, Charles Durand, baron de Senegas, one of the lieutenants of Gabriel de Montgomery, count of Lorge, took the chateau of Mauleon and confided it to the command of Pierre d'Aramitz; but the latter was not able to maintain himself there. Several days later, he abbandened the place to the Catholic troops under the command of Charles de Luxe. This Pierre d'Aramitz married Louise de Sauguis, "a lady of good quality" who was a daughter of Louis de Tardets, the abbé laïque of Sauguis in Soule, and a man of arms in the company of the King of Navarre, in 1551, and later lieutenant of the wardrobe in the household of the castle of Mauleon, in 1568. The mother of Luise de Sauguis and the wife of Luis de Tardets was Marie d'Ursua-Gentein, also "a lady of good quality". Pierre d'Aramitz and Louise de Sauguis had  three children: Phebus d'Aramitz, the eldest son; Charles; and Marie d'Aramitz, who. on October 12, 1597, married Jean du Peyrer, who later became seigneur de Troisvilles.

When Phebus d'Aramitz died, his brother Charles became the head of the family and aquired the abbey of Aramitz. Charles then married Catherine de Rague, who was called "Espalunge," daughter of Captain Jean de Rague, abbé laïque of Laruns in Béarn, and his wife, Catherine de Badie-Casabant, heiress of the house of Espaloungue. On April 14, 1640,  Charles d'Aramitz and his wife Catherine were present at the baptism of Charles d'Espalungue, the legitimate son of a nobleman, Gedeon de Rague called the Barat, chavalier d'Espalungue, abbé laïque of Bourdettes, and his wife Anne d'Aracq, who was a resident originally of the town of Gan. Thus it is probable that they were the godparents of Charles d'Espalungue.

Charles d'Aramitz later became an officer in the company of the musketeers, comanded by his nephew, Captain de Troisvilles. By his wife, Catherine, Charles had three children: Henri; Marie, later the wife of Issac de Pinsun of the town of Nay, and Jeanne.

Henri d'Aramitz (the Aramis whom we know), entered the musketeers a few months after the month of May, 1640, at the same time as his compatriot Athos. Porthos would not be admited into the musketeers for another three years. Aramis, without a doubt, greatly admired his captain and cousin, de Troisvilles. On February 16, 1650, Henri d'Aramitz maried Jeanne de Béarn-Bonasse, the elder daughter and heiress of Jean de Béarn -Bonasse, and  first cousin of Jacques II de Béarn, lord of Bonasse and abbé laïque of Arette. Witnesses at his wedding included Auger de Béarn, uncle of the bride; Clement [de Mont-Real], baron of Moneins; and  the noble Guillaume d'Anciondo, lord of Sauguis, and his parents. On June 19, 1652, Henri d'Aramitz was present at a marriage of his sister, Jeanne, to Arnaud de Casamayor, the Protestant pastor of the church of Oloron, in the presence of Jacques de Meritein de Lago, lord and baron of Gayrosse . On April 22, 1654, Aramis, just on the point of departing on a trip to Paris, died at an uncertain hour inside his abbatial house at Aramitz. We know this because Jean Dufaur, notary of Baretus, and the person to whom Aramis dictated his will, cites this fact in his preamble to Aramis' will. In his will, Aramis, as was usual, recomended his soul to God and prayed humbly to be pardoned for his sins and to be recieved in the glory of paradise as soon as his soul quited his body. He left three children: two sons, Armant and Clemant, and a daughter named Louise. After his death, his wife, Jeanne de Béarn-Bonasse, gave birth to a second daughter, Madeleine d'Aramitz, who later married Pierre de Catalan, a knight of the order of Notre-Dame de Mont-Carmel et de Saint-Lazare. On April 29, 1733, Madeleine d'Aramitz died at Pau and was buried in the church of Aramitz.  See J[ean]-B[aptiste]-E[tienne] de Jaurgain, Troisvilles, d'Artagnan et les Trois Mousquetaires, Esquisses Biographiques et Héraldiques, Suivies d'une Notice sur les Deux Compagnies de Mousquetaires et la Liste de Leurs Capitaines, nouvelle édition, augmente, et entièrement refondue (Paris: Librairie Ancienne, H[onoré] Champion, Editeur, 1910), 218-230 [Heareafter, Jaurgain].

[7]Athos is the name of a little village near the port of Sauveterre de Béarn. Peyroton de Sillegue, lord of Athos, after having become a widower through the death of his first wife, Auger de La Lande de Gayon de Laville de Bayonne, acquired the estate of Athos by inheritance from her. He later married, on June 21, 1572, Marie de Munein, sister of the wife of his eldest son. By this second marriage, Peyroton de Sillegue became the father of three children: Daniel de Sillegue, who became a page to the king of Navarre (later Henri IV) as a mark of favor to his father in 1588; Simon de Sillegue; and Catherine de Sillegue, who married, in 1598, a Basque gentleman named Arnaud d'Ilharre, lord of d'Ilharre in Larribar, in Basse-Navarre. Bertrand de Sillegue, lord of Athos and of Auteville, the child of Auger, the first wife of Peyroton,  married, on June 21, 1572, Catherine de Munein, daughter of Jean, seigneur de Munein, d'Oreite, and de Saint-Martin de Garagnon, and his wife, Jeanne de Saint-Martin de Seignanx. Bertrand and Catherine had a son, Adrien, who succeeded to his father's title before October 20, 1613. Adrien de Sillegue, lord of Athos and Autevielle, married a daughter of Guillem du Payrer (the father of Dumas'  de Tréville),  a merchant and jurist of Oloron, and his wife Marguerite de Domecq. Adrien de Sillegue, in turn, had a son, Armand, born about 1615, who is the original of Athos.

Armand de Sillegue d'Athos, a Musketeer of the king, son of Adrien, and nephew of Capitaine de Troisvilles, was killed at Paris on December 21, 1643. This fact was discovered by Auguste Jal in a mortuary register at Saint-Sulpice, the church of the famous organ, under the date December 22, 1643. (Jaurgain, 230-240).

[8]"[M. de Troisvilles'] father, Jean du Peyer, bourgeois and merchant of Oloron, having acquired a respectable fortune by 1607, purchased the gentilhommerie de Troisvilles, and according to Béarnais custom, became by reason of acquiring a maison noble entitled to the privileges of the old nobility." (Ultimate, 36).

[9]Porthos' name appears in the rolls as serving at Perpignan and Lyons in 1642. See Ultimate, 40-41.

[10]Ultimate,  40-41.

[11]Ultimate, 41.

[12]Under the command of Marshals Charles de La Porte, marquis de La Meilleraye; Gaspard (III) de Coligny, duc de Châtillon; and Honoré d'Albert, duc de Chaulnes, followed by Cardinal Richelieu and his Guards and Louis XIII and his Musketeers, the French army  began to advance on the city of Arras, the key to Artois. Since every company of the guards (except for eight who were stationed in Italy) took part in the advance, it is almost certain that Porthos and d'Artagnan were among the marchers, as was the historical Cyrano de Bergerac, who was wounded seriously. For a while, the French commanders could not decide on a plan of attack, but on July 4 the decision had been made and the trenches were opened. ". . . the Guards brought glory on themselves by their daring capture of Fort Ranzau, which resulted in the capitulation of the town, and d'Artagnan and Portau, with the privilege of their regiment, would have been among the first through the gates." It is here that d'Artagnan became a soldier, rather than just a cadet. Ultimate, 41-42

[13]Archives des Basses-Pyréneés, B. 3080., in Jaurgain, 241.

[14]Armand de Dufau de Maluquer and J[ean]-B[aptiste]-E[tienne] de Jaurgain,  de Béarn: Extrait du Recueil Official Dressé par Ordre de Louis XIV, 2 vols. (vol. 1, Paris: H. Champion, 1889; vol. 2, Pau: Veuve L. Ribaut, 1893; reprinted in 3 vols., Marseille: Laffitte, 1976), t. I: 319. See also Jaurgain, 241.

[15]Ibid., t. III: 333.

[16]Jacques Nompar de Caumont, Duc de La Force; Jean de Caumont, Duc de La Force; Henri Nompar de Caumont, Duc de La Force; and Adélaide Édouard Le Lieurede, Marquis de Fourilles et de La Grange, Mémoires Authentiques de Jacques Nompar de Caumont, Duc de la Force, Maréchal de France, et de Ses Deux Fils, les Marquis de Montpouillan et de Castelnaut, Suivis de Documents Curieux et de Correspondances Inédites de Jeanne d'Albret, Henri III, Henri IV, Catherine de Bourdon, et Autres Peronages Marquants depuis la Saint-Barthélemy jusqu'à la Fronde; Pour Faire Suite à Toutes les Collections de Mémoires sur l'Histoire de France, Recueillis, Mis en Ordre et Précédés d'une Introduction, 4 vols. in 8 (Paris: Charpentier, 1843), t. II: 363, 364, 416, and 457. See also Jaurgain, 242.

[17]de Defau de Maluquer and de Jaurgain, Armorial de Béarn, t. II: 171; and Jaurgain, 242.

[18]Bulletin de la Société des Sciences, Lettres et Arts de Pau, II serie, t. XXXV (1906), 114. See also Jaurgain, 242.

[19]Archives communales de Pau, G.G. 1; and Jaurgain, 245, who states that his source was a "communication de M. [Armand] de Dufau de Maluquer," the coauthor of the Armorial de Béarn.

[20]Archives des Basses-Pyréneés, C. 730, in Jaurgain, 248.

[21]". . . armorie d'un lion rampant, accompagne en chef de deux tours ouvertes, crenelees, maconnees et allumees, l'une au canton dextre et l'autre au canton senestre . . . ." Paul Raymond, Sceaux des archives du Dèpartement des Basses-Pyréneés (Pau: Léon Ribaut, 1874), 174, n. 547. See also Jaurgain, 248.

[22]Bernard Newman, In the Trail of the Three Musketeers (London: H. Jenkins, 1934), 174-175  [Hereafter  Newman].

[23]Newman, 290.

[24]Archives de Pau, Etat civil, GG. 13; and Jaurgain, 248, who states that his source was a "communication de M. [Armand] de Dufau de Maluquer," the coauthor of the Armorial de Béarn.

[25]Joseph Lochard, Registres Paroissiaux relatifs aux Baptêmes, Mariages, Vêtures, Noviciats et Sépultures dans les Églises et Couvents de la Ville de Pau (1553-1792), avec notes d'archive (Pau, Imprimerie de Garet: 1902), 106. See also , 248.

[26]Archives de Castetbon, Etat civil, in Jaurgain, 249.

[27]Archives des Basses-Pyréneés, C. 771, f 19, in Jaurgain, 249.

[28]Archives communales de Pau, GG. 21, f I v, and GG.  22,  f 36, in Jaurgain, 249.

[29]Ibid., B. 11, f 291 v et 460, 13, f 146, et, 15, f 198 v; and Jaurgain, 249, who notes "Je dois ces reseignements a l'obligeance de M. A. de Dufau de Maluquer."

[30]Joseph Lochard, Registres Paroissiaux, 149. See also Jaurgain, 249.

[31]Archives de Pau, GG. 21, f 46 v, in Jaurgain, 250.

[32]Archives de Castetbon, Etat civil, in Jaurgain, 250.

[33]Archives de Pau, GG. 24, f 1, in Jaurgain, 250.

[34]Jaurgain, 250.