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Louis Alexandre de Bourbon
Toulouse by Hyacinthe Rigaud
légitimé de France
Count of Toulouse
Personal details
Born 6 June 1678
Versailles, France
Died 1 December 1737(1737-12-01) (aged 59)
Château de Rambouillet, France
Spouse(s) Marie Victoire de Noailles
Religion Roman Catholicism

Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse (1681), duc de Penthièvre (1697), (1711), (6 June 1678 – 1 December 1737), a legitimated prince of the blood royal, was the son of Louis XIV and of his mistress Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan. At the age of five, he became grand admiral of France[1] (Grand Admiral of France).

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born at the Château de Clagny in Versailles, Louis Alexandre de Bourbon was the third son and youngest child of Louis XIV born out-of-wedlock with Madame de Montespan. At birth, he was put in the care of Madame de Monchevreuil along with his older sister Françoise-Marie de Bourbon.

Louis Alexandre was created Count of Toulouse in 1681 at the time of his legitimation, and, in 1683, at the age of five, grand admiral. In February 1684, he became colonel of an infantry regiment named after him and in 1693 mestre de camp of a cavalry regiment. During the War of Spanish Succession, he was given the task of defending Sicily.

In January 1689, he was named governor of Guyenne, a title which he exchanged for that of governor of Brittany six years later. On 3 January 1696, he was created a marshal of France, becoming commander of the royal armies the following year. During the War of the Spanish Succession he commanded the French fleet at the Battle of Vélez-Málaga in 1704.

In March 1714, he was made Grand Huntsman of France (Grand Veneur).

After the death of his father in 1715, he kept aloof from the intrigues of his sister-in-law Anne, duchesse du Maine.

Though his father had legitimated him and his three surviving siblings, and even declared his two sons by Madame de Montespan fit to eventually succeed him to the throne of France, this was not to be, as immediately after Louis XIV's death the Parlement of Paris reversed the king's will.

Unlike his brother, Louis Auguste, Duke of Maine, who was barred from the regency council, Toulouse was not kept from a political role, and soon after, he was named(minister of the Navy), inheriting a seasoned staff headed by Joseph Pellerin.

He remained in this capacity until being succeeded by Joseph Fleuriau d'Armenonville in 1722, the same Fleuriau d'Armenonville who had sold him the castle of Rambouillet in 1706.[2]

In 1717, the ministry erected a fort on the eastern border of the Louisiana Colony in North America and named it Fort Toulouse in honor of the comte. (That fort has been partially reconstructed adjacent to its original site near the city of Wetumpka, Alabama, in the United States.)

The proposal of his marriage to Charlotte de Lorraine, Mademoiselle d'Armagnac, member of a cadet branch of the House of Guise had met with the categorical refusal of Louis XIV.[3]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

On 2 February 1723, the comte de Toulouse married Marie Victoire de Noailles, a daughter of the Anne Jules, duc de Noailles, in a private ceremony in Paris.[4] She was the widow of Louis de Pardaillan de Gondrin (1688-1712), his nephew, son of his half-brother Louis Antoine de Pardaillan de Gondrin, whose mother was Madame de Montespan. The marriage was kept secret until the death of the regent. The couple had one son:

Court[edit | edit source]

In 1693, he became a chevalier des Ordres du roi (Order of the King) and, in 1704, a knight of the Toison d’or.

He and his sisters tried to avoid the court and the intrigues[5] of their brother, the duc du Maine, and his wife Anne Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon, the duchess, at the Château de Sceaux.

When his mother died in 1707, he and his sisters mourned in private as any public display at court was forbidden by their father.

Shortly before his death in 1715, Louis XIV added a codicil to his will stating that if all legitimate members of the House of Bourbon, both those descended from Louis and more distant kinsmen, died out, the throne of France could be inherited by the duc du Maine and the comte de Toulouse.

The decision was reversed after the death of Louis XIV when Louis Alexandre's cousin, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as the new regent, had the Parlement de Paris void that portion of the will.

The comte de Toulouse died at the Château de Rambouillet on 1 December 1737. He was buried in the village 12th century Saint-Lubin church.

On 30 September 1766, the countess died at the Hôtel de Toulouse, the Parisian mansion not far from the Louvre which the count had bought from Phélypeaux, marquis de La Vrillière, in 1712.[6] She too was buried in the family crypt in the Rambouillet church.

On 25 November 1783, after having sold Rambouillet to his cousin Louis XVI, their son, the duc de Penthièvre, in a long procession, transferred the remains of his parents, his wife and their six children to the Chapelle royale de Dreux. Rebuilt in 1816 by his granddaughter, the duchesse d'Orléans, the new chapel was named Chapelle royale de Dreux after her son, Louis Philippe I became King of the French in 1830. It is now the necropolis for the current House of Orléans.

Upon the count's death, the duc de Penthièvre, succeeded his father in his posts and titles. Because of the marriage of Mademoisellle de Penthièvre to Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, the comte de Toulouse is an ancestor of the modern House of Orléans, which also descends from Toulouse's two surviving full sisters.

Ancestry[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. De Requeleyne, Bernard, Baron de Longepierre (1659-1721), in Bulletin du bibliophile et du bibliothécaire, Paris, 1903, p. 592. [1]
  2. Lenotre, G., Le Château de Rambouillet : six siècles d'histoire, Calmann-Lévy, collection « Châteaux : décors de l'histoire », Paris, 1930, p. 256; Réédition : Denoël, Paris, 1984, p. 215.
  3. De Requeleyne, Bernard, Baron de Longepierre (1659-1721), p. 598.
  4. Marie Victoire Sophie de Noailles, comtesse de Toulouse
  5. see the Cellamare conspiracy http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Anne_Louise_Maine.
  6. The mansion had been built in 1635 by the royal architect François Mansart. It is now the seat of the Banque de France.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) Cambridge University Press 
  • Lenotre, G., Le Château de Rambouillet : six siècles d'histoire, Calmann-Lévy, collection « Châteaux : décors de l'histoire », Paris, 1930, 256 p. Réédition : Denoël, Paris, 1984, 215 p. (ISBN 2-207-23023-6).
  • http://radiointensite.free.fr/articles.php?lng=fr&pg=863 - Scroll down to 41st paragraph to sentence beginning « Le mardi 25 novembre 1783, S.A.S. Mgr Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre, prince d’Anet et comte de Dreux, a fait transporter de l’église de Rambouillet dans la collégiale de Saint-Etienne de cette ville le cercueil de S.A.S. Mgr le comte de Toulouse, son père...»

Titles[edit | edit source]

Louis Alexandre, Count of Toulouse
House of Bourbon
Born: June 6 1678 Died: December 1 1737
French nobility
Preceded by
New Creation
comte de Toulouse
Succeeded by
Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre
Preceded by
Marie Anne de Bourbon
duc de Penthièvre
Succeeded by
Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre
Preceded by
New Creation
duc de Châteauvillain
Succeeded by
Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre
Preceded by
New Creation
duc de Damville
Succeeded by
Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre
Preceded by
Philippe de Bourbon-Vendôme
duc de Vendôme
Succeeded by
Louis Stanislas, Count of Provence
Preceded by
New Creation
duc d'Arc
Succeeded by
Louis Jean Marie, Duke of Penthièvre
Political offices
Preceded by
Jérôme Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain
Minister of the Navy
Succeeded by
Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre
Preceded by
Louis de Bourbon, comte de Vermandois
Admiral of France
Succeeded by
Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, duc de Penthièvre

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