Louis de Bourbon, comte de Soissons

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Louis de Bourbon-Soissons on an engraving in Merian's Theatrum Europaeum

Louis de Bourbon, comte de Soissons (born May 11, 1604 in the Hôtel de Soissons in Paris ; † July 6, 1641 in La Marfée near Sedan ) was Grand Master of France and Governor of the Dauphiné from 1612 to 1641 . From 1631 he was also governor of Champagne and Brie . Coming from the House of Bourbon , he was Count of Soissons , Dreux and Clermont, and Lord of Condé and Peer of France .


Louis was the only son of Charles de Bourbons , Count of Soissons, and his wife Anne de Montafié et de Clermont and was thus a nephew of Henri I de Bourbon . Until the death of his father in 1612 he held the title of Duke of Enghien . He then succeeded him in the offices of Grand Master of France and Governor of the Dauphiné. On December 31, 1619, at the age of only 15, he was accepted into the knightly order of St. Michael .

During the rivalries between Maria de 'Medici , Louis XIII. and Cardinal Richelieu Louis took the side of the royal mother, but after her reconciliation with her son served again in the royal army. In April 1622, for example, he took part in the battle near Riez .

For a certain time Louis hoped for the hand of Louis XIII's sister, Henriette Marie , but had to say goodbye to these plans after her marriage to the English King Charles I. Instead, he now campaigned for Marie de Bourbon, duchesse de Montpensier , who, however, was married to Prince Jean-Baptiste Gaston de Bourbon at the instigation of Minister Richelieu . For this reason, Louis de Bourbon harbored a deep hatred of the royal minister for the rest of his life. Together with some other members of the French aristocracy, among whom Marie de Rohan-Montbazon , Duchess of Chevreuse, and her lover, Henri de Talleyrand-Périgord (1599–1626), Count of Chalais, were next to the unwilling groom , Louis had previously involved in an unsuccessful murder plot against Richelieu (French: Complot de Chalais ) to prevent this wedding. However, his participation in it had no consequences.

After the Journée des dupes , Cardinal Richelieu tried to bind the Condé family closer to the royal family . As a result, Louis was appointed governor of Champagne and Brie in September 1631. He was also offered the hand of Marie-Madeleine de Vignerod, a niece of Richelieu, but Louis turned her down.

In the following five years he served as a general again in the royal army. In this function he succeeded in November 1636 in liberating the town of Corbie from a Spanish occupation that had lasted since August.

In the same year he organized, together with the brother of Louis XIII, Jean-Baptiste Gaston de Bourbon, and Claude de Bourdeille , the Count of Montrésor, another assassination attempt on Richelieu, which also failed. He then fled on the night of November 19-20 to Sedan to see Frédéric-Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne , Duke of Bouillon . From there he continued his attacks on Richelieu with military support from Spain. An army marched against him under Gaspard III. de Coligny was defeated on July 6, 1641 in the battle of La Marfée near Sedan, but Louis de Bourbon was killed during this battle - it had already been decided in his favor - under unexplained circumstances by a pistol shot. It is not yet clear whether he died fighting, accidentally killed himself, or was killed in an attempted murder.

His body was brought to the Carthusian monastery of Notre Dame de Bonne-Espérance in Aubevoye near Gaillon and buried next to his father. The counties of Soissons and Dreux passed through his death to the youngest son Eugen Moritz von Savoyen-Carignan, his sister Marie Marguerite de Bourbon-Condé (1606–1692).


Despite several marriage plans, Louis de Bourbon remained unmarried. With Elisabeth des Hayes he left behind a son born out of wedlock who was legitimized in 1643:


  • Nicolas Viton de Saint-Allais : L'Art de vérifier les dates des faits historiques, des chartes, des chroniques, et autres anciens monuments, depuis la naissance de notre-seigneur. Volume 12. Vallade, Paris 1818, pp. 274-276 ( online ).
  • Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Jullien de Courcelles : Dictionnaire historique et biographique des généraux français, depuis le onzième siècle jusqu'en 1821 . Volume 3. Courcelles, Paris 1821, pp. 43-46 ( online ).
  • Charles Gavard: Galeries historiques du Palais de Versailles . Volume 9. Imprimerie royale, Paris 1848, pp. 327-328 ( online ).
  • Jean Chrétien Ferdinand Hoefer : Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours, avec les renseignements bibliographiques et l'indication des sources à consulter . Volume 44. Firmin Didot, Paris 1865, columns 134-136.
  • Louis de Bourbon, Count de Soissons . In: Encyclopædia 2003 Deluxe Edition CD-ROM . Encyclopædia Britannica, 2003.

Web links

Commons : Louis, Count of Soissons  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hilarion de Coste: Anne de Montasier Comtesse de Soissons, de Dreux et de Clermont . In: Les Eloges et vies des reynes, princesses, dames et damoiselles illustres en piété, courage et doctrine, qui ont fleury de nostre temps, et du temps de nos peres . Volume 1. Cramoisy, Paris 1647, p. 63 ( online ).
  2. Louis de Bourbon, Count de Soisson. In: Encyclopædia 2003 Deluxe Edition CD-ROM . Encyclopædia Britannica, 2003.