Chevalier d'Eon by Thomas Stewart, 1792
The Chevalier d'Eon was a French spy, diplomat, soldier, and freemason who fought in the Seven Years War and became a highly successful spy. The Chevalier was famously androgynous, living as a man for the first 49 years of his life, but afterward living as a woman for 33 years and claiming to have been born a female. Upon the Chevalier's death, this claim was however found to have been untrue.

Full Name Charles Genevieve Louis Auguste Andre Timothee d'Eon de Beaumont
Who spy
Birth October 5, 1728
Death May 21, 1810
Country France
Born Tonnerre, France
Died London, England, UK
Cause ill health after a fall / old age
Education University of Paris
Father Louis d'Eon de Beaumont
Mother Francoise de Charanton
Spouse n/a
Siblings unknown
Children none


d'Eon was pronounced Royal Censor for History and Literature by Guillaume Chretien de Malesherbes in 1758.

For many years, d'Eon was a member of the secret society of spies the Secret du Roi, a spy ring controlled and employed completely by the king, without the government's knowledge. As such, d'Eon served Louis XV of France, reporting and recieving missions from him directly.

d'Eon was sent on a secret mission to Russia around 1756, to meet with Elizabeth of Russia. At the time, the English and French were both vying for Russia's alliances, and to attempt preventing the French diplomatic access to Russia, the English had blocked the borders, only allowing women and children across. d'Eon, however, was more than capable of convincingly passing as a woman, and used this to get across the border and into Russia. d'Eon found favor with Elizabeth, and ended up serving a political career in Russia from 1756 - 1760. 

d'Eon served as secretary to Louis Jules Mancini Mazarini from 1762 - 1763.

Pierre Beaumarchais served as d'Eon's lawyer, propositioning the French government to allow d'Eon to return to France amidst his exile in England.

d'Eon was an acquaintance of Jeanne Louise Henriette Campan, who wrote about him in her memoirs. She appeared to sympathize with d'Eon's struggles with gender identity, but nevertheless called him "very disagreeable company" due to his arrogance.

d'Eon was an acquaintance of Louis XVI of France. Louis accepted d'Eon's new female identity, and was quite supportive, even allowing the female d'Eon to continue wearing the insignia of the Order of St. Louis, and offering to fund all expenses of purchasing d'Eon a new, woman's wardrobe.

Lists - LGBT People

How Added - Was on a LT list of people's favorite historic figures.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.