French prelate and politician. Born 1727, died 1794.
A skilled political ecclesiastic, Loménie de Brienne was made archbishop of Toulouse in 1763. A close friend of many luminaries of French political and intellectual society (among them, Turgot, Morellet and Voltaire), he was made an academician in 1770. He also headed the Bureau de Jurisdiction of the General Assembly of the Clergy, on three separate occasions.
In 1787, as head of the Assembly of Notables, he attacked Calonne's fiscal policies - and succeeded Calonne as head of the Conseil des Finances, in May 1787.
Once in office, Loménie de Brienne took steps to pressure the parlement into accepting new edicts imposing stamp duties and a new land tax. To force the issue, Loménie de Brienne convinced Louis XVI to hold a lit de justice. Despite his efforts, he failed to push through the tax reforms. On May 8, 1787, the parlement consented to dissolve, on condition that a meeting of the Estates-General be convened. Faced with pressure from all sides, Loménie de Brienne consented. On August 29, 1787, he resigned.
After his resignation, Loménie de Brienne was made a cardinal, and went to Italy. In France, the calling of the Estates-General eventually led to the French Revolution.
In the midst of the unrest, Loménie de Brienne returned to France. In 1791, he consented to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, an action that was repudiated by the Pope. Despite his apparent willingness to accept the new state of affairs, he was arrested in 1793, and died in prison the following year, after having suffered a fit of apoplexy.