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Étienne François, duc de Choiseul (Borgo)

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Étienne-François, comte de Stainville et duc de Choiseul (1719 - 1785), was a French military officer, diplomat and statesman who served as the chief minister of King Louis XV from 1758 to 1770.

Born in Nancy in the Duchy of Lorraine, Étienne-François transferred his allegiance to France at the age of 18 and gained military experience fighting in the Austro-Turkish war of 1737-39, and later in the War of the Austrian Succession. During this latter war he attained the rank of Lieutenant-General while in command of the sieges of Charleroi and Maastricht, and married Louise Honorine Crozat in 1750. Retiring from the army, he gained favour with the king's mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and successfully gained an appointment as the French ambassador to the Papal States.

In 1757 he was transferred to Vienna, where he was one of the principal authors of the Treaty of Versailles pledging France and Austria to war against Prussia. With this success he was able to secure wider career opportunities, and in 1758 he was made duc de Choiseul and appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, supplanting Cardinal de Bernis.

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