Henry Essex Edgeworth; L'Abbe Edgeworth de Firmont

[Henry Essex Edgeworth] Confessor of Louis XVI, born Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland, 1745; died Mittau, Russia, 1807. The title Edgeworth de Firmont was derived from Firmount, the ancestral patrimony of his family. He left Ireland at the age of four with his father, who had resigned his Protestant living to become a Catholic. After ordination he was selected to be confessor to Madame Elizabeth, sister of Louis XVI, and thenceforth he was a devoted friend to the royal family, through the disasters of the Revolution. When the Archbishop of Paris was obliged to flee he made Edgeworth his vicar-general and vested him with all his powers. He accompanied Louis XVI to the scaffold and consoled him with the famous words "Son of Saint Louis, ascend to heaven." Disguised, he remained in France until 1796, when he escaped to London. He became chaplain to the exiled Louis XVIII, whom he accompanied to Russia.

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