How Did Spy Services Develop in France
Espionage, in the French monarchy period, has become notorious in suppressing aspirations of those who sought to loosen the bonds of the monarchy in the late 18th century. The history of spying in France, similar to other European powers, started because of interests in security and developed to both external and internal espionage. This has also shaped subsequent periods after the French Revolution. World War II also set the stage for modern French Espionage.
Similar to England, the French nobility in the 16th and 17th centuries proved to be at times a difficult group to control for the monarch. During the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), spying (internally and externally), developed in France as the country became the main power on the European continent and was the leader of the Catholic states. Louis was well known to use a variety of spies, including Louise-Renée de Penacoët, who became mistress to Charles II, the English king. Using her liaison with the king, she passed on vital information to the French regarding English intentions and alliances.