Henri de Bourbon, duc de Montpensier

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Henri de Bourbon, duc de Montpensier (born May 12, 1573 in Mézières-en-Brenne , Touraine , † February 27, 1608 in Paris ), was Duke of Montpensier , Châtellerault and Saint-Fargeau , sovereign Prince of Dombes , Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon , Dauphin of Auvergne , Marquis of Mézières, Count of Mortain and Bar-sur-Seine , Viscount of Auge, Domfront and Brosses , Baron of Beaujolais , des Pays de Combrailles and Mirebeau , Seigneur of Champigny, of Argenton and Saint-Sever. He was governor of the Dauphiné and Normandy , knight of the royal orders and peer of France and French military leader at the time of the wars of religion .


Contemporary engraving by Henris de Bourbon from the Atrium heroicum Caesaraeum , 1600–1602

Henri was born the son of François de Bourbon, duc de Montpensier and Renée d'Anjou, marquise de Mézières (1550–1590) at the castle of Mézières-en-Brenne. During his father's lifetime he held the title of "Prince de Dombes" and followed his death in 1592 as Duke of Montpensier.

He commanded the army in Brittany against Philippe-Emmanuel de Lorraine , the Duke of Mercœur , and was able to take some places there, but was eventually defeated in the battle of Craon .

Together with François de Bourbon, prince de Conti , with whom he had allied for this purpose, he besieged the city of Craon on the Oudon River . The Duke of Mercœur advanced with his army to terrorize the city. Since the two princes disagreed on the leadership of their armies, they let him pass across the river and withdrew in broad daylight. Mercœur pursued them and defeated them on May 25, 1592. They lost 1200 men and many cannons, as well as the cities of Château-Gontier , Mayenne and Laval .

After the death of his father on June 4 of the same year, Henri received his title and the governorate of Normandy and conquered the other cities that were still part of the league. At the siege of Amiens in 1597 he commanded the vanguard and represented the Duke of Guyenne at the coronation of Henry IV .

He followed the king in the conquest of the Bresse and Savoy , became a knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit , presided over the assembly of the most distinguished heads of France in Rouen and died on February 27, 1608 in Paris. He was buried in the Chapelle de Saint-Louis in Champigny-sur-Veude . His grave was desecrated during the French Revolution , but the remains were later reburied.


The Duke of Montpensier was married to Henriette Catherine de Joyeuse , comtesse de Bouchage, (1585-1656), the only daughter of Marshal Henri de Joyeuse , from 1597 . The only child from this marriage, Marie , married Gaston d'Orléans in 1626 in Nantes , a younger son of Henry IV and brother of Louis XIII.

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