I wrote about Comte de Saint Germain a few years ago. Unfortunately, I no longer have the original article. Before I wrote it, though, I had never heard of this man. I don't actually remember how I discovered him or why. I was recently reminded of him during an episode of Warehouse 13.
That information may seem entirely irrelevant, but the part about the sudden appearance and disappearance in the realms of my memory seems fitting. Please read on...
The Comte de Saint Germain was (or is, or will be) a man who seemed to appear from nowhere. He is thought to have been born in 1710 and, although some sources record his death in 1784, several people claim to have seen him since then, and it is alleged that he may have lived for centuries. The last claimed sighting was as recent as 1935.
Known as the 'Immortal Count', Saint Germain has been characterised in fictional TV shows and films including 'The Queen of Spades' (1965), 'Bloodscent' (1995), 'Warehouse 13' (2009), 'Outlander' (2016), and even has a place in the Marvel Universe. His spanning across genres as well as decades reflects the enigmatic persona of a man who has, seemingly, existed himself across centuries.
Always appearing as around 45 years old, Saint Germain is said to have been a prevalent face in high society, having been invited to Madam de Pompadour's parties and, possibly, a student of Grand Duke Gian Gastone of the Medici line. It has also been claimed that Saint Germain was the son of Transylvanian prince Francis II Rákóczi.
Although there is a consensus that Comte de Saint Germain is, or was, European, research shows differing opinions as to his country of origin. Had he been the son of a Transylvanian prince, he would be Romanian or Hungarian. Alchemy Lab states that he is German, while he is depicted in some stories as hailing from France, and one source² offers the possibility that he was, in fact, born in Portugal in 1710. The Count himself is said to have made claims of his own life dating back to 600 BC.¹
Warehouse 13 — James Marsters plays Professor Sutton, who reveals himself to be the immortal count.
Who Was Comte de Saint Germain?
Whoever he was, he was not a saint at all. His name simply indicates that he, or his ancestors, would have been from a place called Saint Germain. There are several places with this name in France and French-dominated parts of Canada. There is also speculation that the name was "...not familial, but was invented by him as a French version of the Latin Sanctus Germanus, meaning "Holy Brother."³ Saint Germain himself was described as being European and having an interest in science and the arts. He was also described as 'mad and not very sensible' by Horace Walpole in the 18th century.
It was in a letter penned by Walpole in 1743 that Comte de Saint Germain is mentioned, the first evidence of that such a man really did exist. Saint Germain was arrested in Edinburgh two years later, accused of spying.
From around 1748, Saint Germain spent time in France where he spied for King Louis XV. In 1760, he returned to England and was later found travelling through Russia, where he is thought to have conspired in Catherine the Great's accession of the throne.
Comte de Saint Germain then disappeared until 1776 when he resurfaced in Germany. In 1784, Comte de Saint Germain supposedly died of pneumonia.
It is not clear whether Saint Germain was a man of independent wealth, a great entrepreneur, or simply a jack of all trades. Certainly, there is no record that he utilised banks. It is apparent, though, that he was intelligent, knowledgeable in several subjects, especially history, and a talented musician, artist, and alchemist, as well as laying claim to the invention of masonry and skilled in occult practices. Many occultist organisations honour him, and he is believed to possess powers such as levitation, telepathy, and teleportation.
Death and Beyond
Had his lifespan been from 1710 to 1784, Comte de Saint Germain would have been 74 years old at the time of his death. This would have been a long life in the 18th century, but not impossible. Despite his apparent death, though, Saint Germain is said to have been spotted in Paris in 1789, and further sightings have continued since both as flesh and spirit. There is further mystery surrounding his birth and death as witnesses in 1789 noted the Count must have been at least 100 years old at the time.
Most recently, the Count is said to have written to the head of the co-masonic society in Costa Rica in 1933.
There have also been others claiming to have seen the Count or those who saw a resemblance to him in others. Additionally, there have been people who have claimed to be the Count. One such claim was made as recently as 1972. Singer, actor, and ex-convict Richard Chanfray told French television viewers that he was the Count. Chanfray also insisted that Louis XV was still alive. His assertions were not taken seriously. Chanfray committed suicide in 1983.
Stories abound of the immortal count, a man who can walk through walls, an aristocrat, alchemist, storyteller, and much more. Is he really immortal? Is he or was he a time traveller? A real-life Doctor Who? Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Comte de Saint Germain is the mystery.