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Harmonia Time Capsule: 1669

In French news, the Huguenot Roux de Marsilly, a conspirator against Louis XIV, was put to death in Paris. His name would otherwise have receded into history had it not been for his valet, Eustache Dauger, who is thought to the infamous “Man in the Iron Mask.”

A mysterious prisoner jailed in the same year Marsilly was put to death, the so called “Man in the Iron Mask,” was purported to have been the illegitimate brother of the Sun King, even though no one has been able to confirm who it was for sure. Contemporary accounts point in opposing directions, while later, writers Alexander Dumas and Voltaire perpetuated such conspiracy theories.

During 1669, the English diarist Samuel Pepys stopped keeping a near decade-long account of his life. It is one of the most important primary sources for the the first ten years of the English Restoration to survive. Pepys did take up another diary later, for a shorter amount of time, but scholars agree that it does not have the same vibrancy and intensity as the first.

In Dutch news, the famed painter Rembrandt passed away on October 4, 1669 in Amsterdam. He is generally recognized as one of the greatest painters and printmakers in Western European history.   He is buried in an unmarked grave in the Westerkerk.

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