Necker, Madame, Nee Susannah Curchod
Necker, Madame, nee Susannah Curchod a noted French philanthropist, was born in 1739, in the mountain village of Grassy, situated between the Pays de Vaud and Franche-Comte. Her father, a pastor of the Swiss Church, was a man of considerable talents; her mother was descended from an ancient family of Provence, who had fled to Switzerland on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. She was the wife of minister Necker, and she greatly distinguished herself during his terms of office in every possible form of benevolence. She erected a hospital in Paris with her own money, was a great reformer of prison abuses, and surrounded herself with the most distinguished men of the time, among them Buffon, Diderot, D'Alembert, who offered her the homage due to her great learning and her rare goodness of heart. She died in 1795, the year after publishing her Reflexions sur le Divorce (Lausanne, 1794, 8vo), an elaborate plea for the indissolubility of marriage. Her complete writings were published by her husband in 5 volumes, 8vo (1798-1801). See Gibbon, Memoirs; Marmontel, Memoires; Barrere de Vieuzac, Esprit de Madame Necker (Paris, 1808, 8vo).