Jean Paul Timoléon de Cossé-Brissac, 7th duke of Brissac (12 October 1698, Paris - 1784, Sarrelouis) was a French general during the reign of Louis XV. He is most notable for his actions leading the French vanguard at
Jean Paul was the second son and third of five children of Artus-Timoléon, count then duke of Brissac, and of Marie Louise Béchameil de Nointel (daughter of the financier Louis de Bechamel). He began his military career as a knight of the order of Saint John of Jerusalem, becoming a garde de la marine in 1713. From 1714 he served on the galleys operating out of Malta, serving in various actions against the Ottoman Empire. In 1716 he fought at the victory at the siege of Corfu under Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg.
De Brissac left the navy in 1717, returning to France. There he became the mestre de camp of a cavalry regiment named after him, he served up until the Seven Years' War. He was rewarded for his conduct at the French defeat at Minden in 1759 by being made a marshal of France. His courage and politeness were seen as the model of an old-style loyal and frank French knight - he continued wearing Louis XIV-era costume and for a long time wore a long scarf and a two-queue hairstyle. Charles, Count of Charolais one day found him at his mistress's house and bruskly told him "Get out, sir", but de Brissac replied "Sir, your ancestors said "We get out"".
In 1732 Jean Paul inherited the title when his elder brother Charles Timoléon Louis (1693-1732) died without a male heir. That year he also married Marie Josèphe Durey de Sauroy (died 1756), with whom he had three children :
- Louis-Joseph (1733-1759), died without issue.
- Louis-Hercule (1734-1792), ninth duke of Brissac, died without male issue
- Pierre Emmanuel Joseph Timoléon (1741-1756), marquis de Thouarcé, died unmarried
After Louis-Hercule's death, the title passed to the heirs of René-Hugues (1702-1754), third son of Artus-Timoléon.
- (French) "Jean Paul Timoléon de Cossé-Brissac", in Louis-Gabriel Michaud, Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne : histoire par ordre alphabétique de la vie publique et privée de tous les hommes avec la collaboration de plus de 300 savants et littérateurs français ou étrangers, 2nd edition, 1843-1865