Louis de Bourbon, Dauphin de Viennois

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Louis, Dauphin of France , called Monseigneur or Le Grand Dauphin , (born November 1, 1661 at Fontainebleau Castle , † April 14, 1711 at Meudon Castle ) was the son of King Louis XIV (1638–1715) and his wife Maria Teresa of Spain (1638–1683).

Louis, Le Grand Dauphin

Louis was the only legitimately born child of Louis XIV to reach adulthood. He died a good four years before his father and could therefore not take the French throne. Since his eldest son also died before Louis XIV, the French crown fell in 1715 to the great-grandson of Louis XIV, the then five-year-old Louis XV. (1710-1774).



For his son Louis XIV wrote his political memoirs from 1670 and had him instructed by the best teachers, including Bossuet . The Dauphin was a loyal and rather submissive son never would have occurred to his mind, his father resistance to afford or even to disagree. But all teaching was supposedly of little use, because the Crown Prince showed little interest in politics. Louis XIV therefore considered his heir to be politically incapable. Instead of his father's talents, he had inherited the simplicity of his Spanish mother. But he shared his passions for good food and hunting with his father . He showed great affection for his legitimate half-sisters. The Dauphin Louis was a good-natured and helpful person who was charming to everyone and was generally appreciated by the court and the people .

Public work

He was one of the critics of the Edict of Fontainebleau , with which Louis XIV, under the influence of his bigoted mistress Madame de Maintenon, revoked the special rights of the Huguenots granted in the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and initiated a massive anti-Protestant policy that led to massive emigration.

During the War of the Palatinate Succession , Louis showed himself to be a brave and skilful military leader. In autumn 1688 he was given the nominal supreme command to siege the Philippsburg Fortress . The actual commander in chief of the approximately 35,000 French soldiers was Marshal Vauban .

He was only allowed to attend the meetings of the Royal Council of State at the age of 30, and although he was always present, he only spoke there twice in his life. The Dauphin died prematurely of smallpox on April 14, 1711 , which hit his father deeply and was received with great sadness by the people.


On March 7, 1680, Louis married Princess Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria , the eldest daughter of Elector Ferdinand Maria, who died the previous year, and sister of Elector Max Emanuel . He had longingly hoped to get married so that he could finally have a household of his own and gain more independence from his overpowering father. Although Maria Anna was regarded as extremely ugly and was initially quite shy, he valued his wife for her education, intelligence and musicality. After she died in 1690, he secretly married his mistress Mademoiselle de Choin.

There are three sons from his marriage to Maria Anna Victoria von Bayern:

  1. Louis (August 6, 1682 - February 18, 1712), Duke of Burgundy, Dauphin of France
  2. Philipp (December 19, 1683 - July 9, 1746)
  3. Charles (August 31, 1686 - May 4, 1714), Duke of Berry


Henry IV , King of France (1553–1610)
Louis XIII King of France (1601–1643)
Maria de 'Medici (1575-1642)
Louis XIV King of France (1638–1715)
Philip III , King of Spain (1578–1621)
Anna of Austria (1601–1666)
Margaret of Austria (1584–1611)
Louis de Bourbon (1661–1711), Dauphin of France
Philip III , King of Spain (1578–1621)
Philip IV King of Spain (1605–1665)
Margaret of Austria (1584–1611)
Maria Teresa of Spain (1638–1683)
Henry IV , King of France (1553–1610)
Elisabeth de Bourbon (1602-1644)
Maria de 'Medici (1575-1642)

A noticeable feature of the pedigree is the so-called ancestral decline caused by inter-family weddings. Instead of the usual eight great-grandparents, Louis only has four. Both his father and mother were grandsons of Henry IV and his wife. At the same time both were grandsons of Philip III. of Spain and his wife.



  • Matthieu Lahaye: Louis, Dauphin de France. Fils de roi, père de roi, jamais roi. Edited under the direction of Joël Cornette with the help of the University of Paris, VIII, 2005.
  • Matthieu Lahaye: Louis Ier d'Espagne (1661–1700): essai sur une virtualité politique. In: Revue historique, no 647, September 2008.
  • Matthieu Lahaye: Le fils de Louis XIV. Réflexion sur l'autorité dans la France du Grand Siècle. Under the direction of Joël Cornette at the University of Paris VIII, 2011.
  • Matthieu Lahaye: Le fils de Louis XIV. Monseigneur le Grand Dauphin. Seyssel, Champ Vallon 2013.
  • Charles IX. Récit d'histoire par Louis Dauphin et Bossuet, édité par Régine Pouzet, Clermont-Ferrand, Adosa, 1993, 298 p., 8 pl. ( ISBN 2-86639-002-4 )
  • Jean-Pierre Maget, Monseigneur, Louis de France, dit Le Grand Dauphin, fils de Louis XIV, Thèse sous la direction de Dominique Dinet, université de Strasbourg, 2010.
  • Collectif, Le Grand Dauphin, Fils de Louis XIV, Seigneur de Meudon, Éditions APAM (Association Publications Amis de Meudon), 2011.
  • Lucien Bély, Dictionnaire Louis XIV, éditions Robert Laffont, coll. «Bouquins», 2015, 1405 p. ( ISBN 978-2-221-12482-6 )

Web links

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