Pontbriant, René-françoiS, du brIel de
Pontbriant, René-François, du Briel de a French priest, was born at Rennes near the opening of the 18th century. Appointed abbé of Saint-Marien d'Auxerre, he was one of the most zealous promoters of the institution of the Petits-Savoyards. The first idea of that institution is due to the abbé Holy canon of Dijon, who founded at Paris, towards 1665, in the interest of those poor children, an establishment which, taken up by Claude Helyet, could not support itself after his death in 1686. The abbé of Pontbriant, touched with pity at the sight of the misery of those poor little Savoyards, came to their help towards 1737, and devoted to them during the remainder of his life his time, his energies, and his fortune. The abbé de Fenelon, who died on the revolutionary scaffold in 1794 succeeded him in this task. Pontbriant died in 1760. He left, Projiet d'un Establissement deja commence pour elever dails la Piete les petits Savoyards qui sont dans Paris, with several appendices (Paris, 1735-43, 4 parts, 8vo): — Pilerinaye du Calvaire sur le Mont Valerien (ibid. 1745, 12mo; 1751, 16mo; 1816, 12mo): — L'Incredule detrompe et le Chretien afferm'ni dans la Foi (1752, 8vo), a work which met with uncommon favor. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v.