The withdrawal of Mersenne in 1614 to a post in the provinces was the signal for Descartes to abandon social life and shut himself up for nearly two years in a secluded house of the faubourg St Germain.
In 1507 he took up his residence in the Benedictine Abbey of St Germain des Pres, near Paris; this was due to his connexion with the family of Brigonnet (one of whom was the superior), especially with William Brigonnet, cardinal bishop of St Malo (Meaux).
On his arrival in London Lord George Germain, secretary of state, appointed him to a clerkship in his office.
On the resignation of Lord North's administration, of which Lord George Germain was one of the least popular members, he left the civil service, and was nominated to a cavalry command in the revolted provinces of America.
The title of marquis, which Napoleon did not revive, has risen proportionately in the estimation of the Faubourg St Germain.