NICOLAS DE HARLAY SANCY, SEIGNEUR DE (1546-1629), French soldier and diplomatist, belonged to the Protestant branch of the family of Harlay but adopted the Catholic religion in 1572 during the massacres of the Huguenots.
His SOn, Achille Harlay De Sancy, bishop of Saint Malo (1581-1646), was educated for the church but resigned his vocation for the career of arms on the death of his elder brother in 1601.
Harlay de Sancy was a learned man and a good linguist, who used his opportunities to acquire a valuable collection of oriental MSS., many of which are now in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.
On his return to France he joined the Oratorian Fathers, and when Marshal Bassompierre was sent to England in 1627 to regulate the differences between Henrietta Maria and her husband, Harlay de Sancy was attached to the queen's ecclesiastical household, but Charles I.
Through the influence of Camille de Villeroy, archbishop of Lyons, Pere de la Chaise was nominated in 1674 confessor of Louis XIV., who intrusted him during the lifetime of Harlay de Champvallon, archbishop of Paris, with the administration of the ecclesiastical patronage of the crown.
The queen's death opened the way to yet greater advancement; in 1684 Mme de Maintenon was made first lady in waiting to the dauphiness, and in the winter of 1685-1686 she was privately married to the king by Harlay, archbishop of Paris, in the presence, it is believed, of Pere la Chaise, the king's confessor, the marquis de Montchevreuil, the chevalier de Forbin, and Bontemps.
The Paris Breviary of 1680 by Archbishop Francois de Harlay (1625-1695) and that of 1736 by Archbishop Charles Gaspard Guillaume de Vintimille (1655-1746) - show a deep knowledge of Holy Scripture, and much careful adaptation of different texts; but during the pontificate of Pius IX.