Count of St Germain

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The Count of St. Germain († February 27, 1784) was a courtier, adventurer, inventor, amateur scientist, violinist, amateur composer, and generally mysterious gentleman; he also had at least pretensions of alchemy. After his death, various mystical organizations have adopted him a model figure. In recent years several persons are claimed to have been the Count of St. Germain, but these claims are not generally taken seriously.



St. Germain never revealed his actual background and identity, leading to many speculations about him and his origin and ancestry. Some of the more plausible include the possibility that he was the son of Francis II Rkczi, the Prince of Transylvania (who was in exile), or that he was the illegitimate son of Marie-Ann de Neubourg, the widow of Charles II of Spain.

While he may have studied in Italy at Siena University, possibly as a protégé of Grand Duke Gian Gastone (the last of the Medici line), St. Germain's first chronicled appearances were in London in 1743 and in Edinburgh in 1745, where he was apparently arrested for spying. He was released and soon acquired a reputation as a great violinist. He was ascetic and apparently celibate. During this time he met Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In 1746 he disappeared. Horace Walpole, who knew him from about 1745 in London, described him thus: "He sings, plays the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad and not very sensible".

He reappeared in Versailles in 1758. He claimed to have had recipes for dyes and acquired quarters in the Chateau de Chambord. During this time in Paris he gave diamonds as gifts and reputedly hinted that he was centuries old. The old portrait of him dates from these years. He was an acquaintance of Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour. At the time a mime, Gower, began to mimic his mannerism in salons, joking that he would have advised Jesus. In 1760 he left for England through Holland when the minister of State, Duke of Choiseul, tried to have him arrested.

After that the Count passed through the Netherlands into Russia and apparently was in St Petersburg when the Russian army put Catherine the Great on the throne. Later conspiracy theories credit him for causing it.

Next year he turned up in Belgium, bought land and took the name Surmount. He tried to offer his processes – treatments of wood, leather, oil paint – to the state. During his negotiations – that came to nothing – with Belgian minister Karl Cobenzl he hinted at a royal birth and turned iron into something resembling gold. Then he disappeared for 11 years.

In 1774 he apparently tried to present himself to a count in Bavaria as Freiherr Reinhard Gemmingen-Guttenberg, the count Tsarogy.

In 1776 the Count was in Germany, calling himself Count Welldone, and again offered recipes – cosmetics, wines, liqueurs, treatments of bone, paper and ivory. He alienated King Frederick's emissaries by his claims of transmutation of gold and reputedly compared himself to God. To Frederick he claimed to have been a Freemason.

He settled in a house of Prince Karl of Hesse-Kassel, governor of Schleswig-Holstein and studied herbal remedies and chemistry to give to the poor. To him he claimed he was a Francis Rakoczy II, Prince of Transylvania.

In 1784 the Count died, probably of pneumonia. He left very little behind.

There were rumors of him alive in Paris in 1835, in Milan in 1867 and in Egypt during Napoleon's campaign. Napoleon II kept a dossier on him. Annie Besant said that she met the Count in 1896. Theosophist C. W .Leadbeater claimed to have met him in Rome in 1926. Theosophist Guy Ballard claimed that the Count had introduced him to visitors from Venus and published a book series about his channelings; Ballard founded the I AM Foundation.

In January 28, 1972, ex-convict and lover of singing star Dalida, Richard Chanfray tried to claim to be the Count of St. Germain on French television. He also claimed that Louis XV was still alive.


During the centuries after his death, numerous myths, legends and speculations have surfaced. He has been attributed with occult practices like snake charming and ventriloquism. There are stories about an affair between him and Madame de Pompadour.

Other legends report that he was immortal, the Wandering Jew, an alchemist with the elixir of life, a Rosicrucian or an ousted king, a bastard of Queen Anna Maria of Spain, that he prophesied the French Revolution. Casanova called him the violinist Catlini. Count Cagliostro was rumored to be his pupil. And the fact that the name "St. Germain" was not exactly uncommon confuses the matters even more.

In the Godfre Ray King books, (see Guy Ballard), and Law of Life books is said that St. Germain was Joseph the foster-father of Jesus, Merlin the magician of King Arthur's Court, Christian Rosenkreuz of Germany, Christopher Columbus, Francis Bacon and Prince Rakoczy of Transylvania, in previous reincarnations.

Conspiracy theorists who believe in NESARA, a purported secret law that the US government denies the existence of, believe that St. Germain is still alive and is actively working with Jesus and with benevolent space aliens to get the law enacted.


There are several "authoritative" biographers who usually do not agree with one another. His ancestry is a matter of much speculation. Theosophists consider him to be an ascended master or adept. Aleister Crowley identified with him. Helena Blavatsky said he was one of her Masters of Wisdom and hinted at secret documents. Several books on palmistry and astrology have been published in his name.


The author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has written several fantasy novels concerning a character modeled after St. Germain.

Umberto Eco's encyclopedic work, Foucault's Pendulum, features a putative St. Germain as the antagonist.

External links

fr:Comte de Saint-Germain ja:サンジェルマン伯爵 pl:Hrabia de Saint-Germain


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