Gramont , an ancient French family, which traces its origin to the 14th century, takes its name from the seigneurial estate of Gramont in Lower Navarre, and has produced several distinguished men. I. Antoine III., duke de, distinguished himself in several campaigns during the reigns of Louis XIII. and Louis XIV., became marshal of France in 1641, was commissioned in 1660 to bring from Spain the infanta Maria Theresa as bride of Louis XIV., and died in 1678. He left personal Memoires, which were published by one of his sons. II. Philibert, count de, brother of the preceding, born in 1621, died Jan. 10, 1707. His innumerable love affairs, gambling adventures, and intrigues have been handed down to posterity in the sprightly narrative by his brother-in-law, Anthony Hamilton. This hero of fashionable licentiousness, after figuring indifferently in several campaigns, was ordered to leave France in 1662, because he had been presumptuous enough to pay his homage to Mile. Lamothe Houdancourt, upon whom Louis XIV. had fixed his affections. He then repaired to the court of Charles II. of England, where he became the favorite of many ladies of rank and beauty.
He was stopped at last in his career of debauchery by an enforced marriage with Eliza Hamilton. He returned to France with his wife, who was appointed lady in the household of Queen Maria Theresa. He was 80 years old when, to divert him, his brother-in-law undertook the Memoires which were to perpetuate his name. III. Antoine Agenor Alfred, duke de, a French diplomatist, born in Paris, Aug. 14, 1819. He commenced his diplomatic career in 1852, and represented France successively at Cassel, Stuttgart, Turin, and Rome. He was sent to Vienna in 1861, and held the post of ambassador there until in May, 1870, he entered the Ollivier cabinet as minister of foreign affairs. When Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern spontaneously renounced his candidacy for the Spanish crown, Gramont further insisted that the king of Prussia should give a solemn promise that no prince of his house should in future bo a candidate for the throne of Spain. On July 15 Gramont officially announced to the French chambers that war existed between France and Prussia. When the Ollivier ministry were compelled to resign, Aug. 9, 1870, Gramont retired to private life. During and since the war he has been the object of vehement attacks in the French journals.
In January, 1872, he was summoned, with Marshal Leboeuf, to appear before a committee of inquiry into the causes of the revolution of Sept. 4, 1870.