The French nobility (French: la noblesse) was a privileged social class in France during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to the French Revolution in 1790. The nobility was revived in 1805 with limited rights as a titled elite class from the First Empire to the fall of the July Monarchy in 1848, when all privileges were abolished. Hereditary titles, without privileges, continued to be granted until the Second Empire fell in 1870, and survive among their descendants.
In the political system of pre-Revolutionary France, the nobility made up the Second Estate of the Estates General (with the Catholic clergy comprising the First Estate and the bourgeoisie and peasants in the Third Estate). Although membership in the noble class was mainly inherited, it was not a closed order. New individuals were appointed to the nobility by the monarchy, or they could purchase rights and titles, or join by marriage.
Peter Humrickhouse (1753–1837) was an American Revolutionary War hero who enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776, crossed the Delaware River with George Washington, wintered at Valley Forge and led the wagon train of ammunition from Philadelphia to the war's final battle at Yorktown, contributing greatly to the American victory. He was a member of the German Reformed Church and is buried in the churchyard at Zion Reformed Church, Hagerstown, Maryland.
Jacques-Melchior Saint-Laurent, Comte de Barras (1719-1793) was a French Admiral of the eighteenth century. He is best known for his service during the American War of Independence and especially during the Yorktown Campaign.
In early 1781 Barras' French squadron was based at Newport, Rhode Island. His orders from France were to mount an expedition against Newfoundland. Barras was persuaded by the Comte de Rochambeau to instead go southwards and rendezvous with Admiral De Grasse who had brought his French fleet from the West Indies. The series of events led to the surrender of a British Army at Yorktown.
European coastal waters, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic and Indian Oceans