Detail from a mezzo-tint print dated June 25, 1771, one of many jests on Freemasonry (AQC, XVI, 1903). This colourized version appeared in the August 2000 edition of BBC History.
October 5, 1728 - May 21, 1810
Lawyer, diplomat, confidential envoy to Louis XI, and one of the finest swordsman in Europe, Charles Genevieve Louise Auguste Andre Timothee de Beaumont is best remembered for concurring with a 1777 court verdict that he had been masquarading and he was actually a women. After his death this was found to be untrue.
London gossip of the 1770s would have it that the Chevalier had assumed the disguise of a women as a member of the French Embassy and Secret Service in Russia from 1757 to 1760. This was unfounded. Later exiled during a period of French court intrigue, heavy betting in London regarding the question of his sex prompted a court case for which, in July 1777, the Court of Kings Bench recorded its verdict that the Chevalier was a women.
He was permitted to return to France and receive a pension with the condition that "she resume the garments of her sex" and never appear in any part of the kingdom except in garments befitting a female. The Chevalier, after accepting this condition, never again attempted to enter a masonic lodge. There is no evidence that he ever appeared in female garb prior to August 6, 1777.
Initiated: May 18, 1768 [?]|
Raised: January, 1769
Junior Warden: 1769-1770
La Lodge de L'Immortalité No. 376, London
(Crown and Anchor Lodge, constituted ye Lodge of Immortality in ye Strand,