Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jeu de Paume

Jean de Büren was the first son of Jean de Büren (1567-1622) and Barbara de Wyttenbach (1585-1652). He was born in 1610 and would start his Swiss military career in the service of France. While in France he participated in a jeu de paume, the forerunner of tennis which was all the rage at the time. He exerted himself so much in one particular match that afterwards he fell gravely ill. He was so ill in fact that he returned to Switzerland and to his mother's side at the Château of Aigle, where he would die in 1631.

Jeu de Paume, Paris, 1630

Château d'Aigle

The future of the family would rest on the shoulders of his younger brother David, who was the last surviving family heir. After the death of his brother, David would cut short his military service in Holland and return to Switzerland. David would survive to adulthood and start a new era of influence and wealth that would endure for many generations. A fateful game of tennis changed the de Büren family fortunes forever.

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