In 1667 Theophile de Besiade, marquis d'Avaray, obtained the office of grand bailiff of Orleans, which was held by several of his descendants after him.
Claude Antoine de Besiade, marquis d'Avaray, was deputy for the bailliage of Orleans in the states-general of 1789, and proposed a Declaration of the Duties of Man as a pendant to the Declaration of the Rights of Man; he subsequently became a lieutenant-general in 1814, a peer of France in 1815, and duc d'Avaray in 1818.
Antoine Louis Francois, comte d'Avaray, son of the above, distinguished himself during the Revolution by his devotion to the comte de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII., whose emigration he assisted.
Having nominally become king in 1799, that prince created the estate of Ile-Jourdain a duchy, under the title of Avaray, in favour of the comte d'Avaray,, whom he termed his "liberator."
Flight to Varennes, Monsieur also fled by a different route, and, in company with the comte d'Avaray ' - who subsequently replaced Mme de Balbi as his confidant, and largely influenced his policy during the emigration - succeeded in reaching Brussels, where he joined the comte d'Artois and proceeded to Coblenz, which now became the headquarters of the emigration.
At this time ended his liaison with Mme de Balbi, and the influence of d'Avaray reached its height.
In 1810 his wife died, and in 1811 d'Avaray died, his place as favourite being taken by the comte de Blacas.'
His position was more passive than active, and consisted in giving his support as far as possible to the 1 Pierre-Louis-Casimir, comte (afterwards duc) de Blacas d'Aulps, was as rigidly royalist as d'Avaray, but more able.
Are: Relation d'un voyage a Bruxelles et d Coblentz, 1791 (Paris, 1823, with dedication to d'Avaray); and Journal de Marie-Therese de France, duchesse d'Angouleme, corrige et annote par Louis XVIII., ed.
Some of his letters are contained in collections, such as Lettees d'Artwell; correspondance politique et privee de Louis XVIII., roi de France (Paris, 1830; letters addressed to d'Avaray); Lettees et instructions de Louis XVIII.