He became cuyer (esquire) to Louis Joseph, duke of Guise, and afterwards to Louis Joseph's aunt, Marie of Guise, by whom in 1679 he was appointed governor of her principality of Joinville. At an early age he began to make a collection of original materials for history generally, and, in particular, for that of the French church and court.
He brought together a large collection of original letters and other documents, together with portraits and prints, and had copies made of a great number of the most curious antiquarian objects, such as seals, tombstones, stained glass, miniatures and tapestry. In 1711 he presented the whole of his collections to the king. The bulk of them is preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris, and a certain number in the Bodleian library at Oxford.