She went on to say that his life 'is at length terminated, which so many pains have been taken to preserve. His illness was convulsions, and a constant retching, without being able to vomit.' Two days after this, Mme de Sévigné wrote to a mutual friend: 'And poor M. Foucquet, what do you think of his death?'
supposed journey after he left Pignerol. His account stated that, when Foucquet was told he was to be freed, he did not want to spend another night in the prison but left that same evening for an unknown destination. He was later found dead at Chalon-sur-Saône, some three hundred miles from Pignerol. Upon his arrival in that town, he had eaten a meal consisting of breast of veal en ragout. Evidently, he had eaten too much for, being unable to digest it, 'or else through sheer happiness at his release, which he had kept bottled up until then, he called out at two in the morning and died an hour later in great tranquillity.' Challes adds that he found it astonishing that the body was not opened, and so no-one knew if he had been poisoned or if his death was natural.
When Foucquet died, he was given a funeral service in the chapel of Saint-Georges at Pignerol, and this was attended by his eldest son and daughter. Meanwhile, those doctors and surgeons who had attended Foucquet during 1680 and at his last illness were paid; the bill coming to a total of 320 livres. The same sum was spent on clothes to dress the corpse: a suit of Spanish cloth, a periwig, a hat, silk stockings and linen undergarments. The funeral service cost 165 livres.
|Pignerol (Pinerolo) as it appears today.|
In March 1681, the coffin was carried back to Paris, where a commemorative Mass was said. Foucquet was then finally laid to rest in the family crypt in the convent of La Visitation Sainte-Marie in rue Saint-Antoine (today, le Temple du Marias), where all but one of Foucquet's sisters were nuns. Each coffin in the crypt was given a plaque, stating the name of the deceased, the date of death and often other details. However, there is no plaque for Nicolas Foucquet. This is because, according to the tradition of the day, as a State prisoner, he was judicially dead in the eyes of the world and had lost his identity. It was forbidden to mark the coffin with an identifying plaque.
The nuns of the convent, however, did provide an epitaph, which is kept in the convent's archives. It records the date of Foucquet's interment: 28 March 1681; his age at death, sixty-five, and lists his achievements, the posts he held in life and his virtues. Nicolas Foucquet may lie in an unmarked grave, but he has not been forgotten.