* Louis XIV mistresses and illegitimate children

Louis XIV: Mistresses and Illegitimate Children

Figure 1.--This is Louis XIV with his familly in an allegorical representation. I'm not sure who painted this or when. We can make out Louis. My gues is that it was painted some time after the death of his first wife Marie-Thérèse (1660). It seems to mix in the legitimate and illegitimate children without destinction.

King Louis XIV married twice, but he had liasons with mumerous ladies of the court outside of his actual marriages. Louis apparenly had remarkable energy. Reports suggest that he performed his marital duties nightly, but he apparently did not long remain faithful after his marriage with Marie-Thérèse (1660). Among his mistresses were: Louise de la Valliere, duchesse de Vaujours; Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, marquise de Montespan; and Marie-Angelique de Scoraille, duchesse de Fontanges. These affairs were the subject of endless court gossip and had some serious political repercussions, because Louis XIV was intensely involved in government. These affairs were less important than those of his grandson Louis XIV whose mistresses achievedconsiderable influence. The result all of Louis XIV' mistrsses were a substantial number of illegitimate children. andthat meant a lot of children. Historians differ somewhat on the actual count, but 16-17 is the usual tally. Eight of these children were legitimated and recived titles. Louis did not abandon them, but took an interest in their lives as he grew older. He saw to it that they were married into prestigious nobel families. This included branches of the Royal family. As a result, their desendents, in effect cadet branches of the royal family, would play important roles in the 18th century. By all accounts, an older Louis was more faithful to his second wife--Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon. He married her in secret (about 1685). It was also morganatic and lasted until his death.

Louis Alexandre, Count of Toulouse (1678-1737)

Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, Count of Toulouse was a legitimated prince of the blood royal He was the son of Louis XIV and of his mistress Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan. Louis Alexandre was born at the Château de Clagny in Versailles (1678). He was the third son and youngest child of Louis XIV. His mpther sid not care for him as this would have made him to pbviusly the King's illegitimte child. Rather Madame de Montchevreuil who was caring for his older sister, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, took him in. At the time he was legitimized, he was 3 years old. He was also created Count of Toulouse (1681). At the age of five, he was appointed Grand Admiral of France (1683). We are not entirely sure why. It may have has someting to do with Toulouse, an important French port. A yeat later he became colonel of an infantry regiment named after him (1684). Mext he was named governor of Guyenne (Bordeaux) (1689). He later exchanged the title for that of governor of Brittany. Then several years later and mow a teenager, hevws appointed mestre de camp of a cavalry regiment (1693). He was created a marshal of France (1696), becoming commander of the royal armies the following year (1697). He was no longer a child, but these posted seem unreasonable for such a young man. His father, Louis XIV, launched many wars, one was the War of Spanish Succession (1701-14). Now a youmg man, his father assigmed him to defend Sicily. Southern Italy was the Kingsom of the Two Sicilies. He commanded the French fleet at the Battle of Vélez-Málaga (1704). Despite the legitimization, after Louis XIV died, the Parlement of Paris reversed the king's willingness to qualify Louis Alexandre and his formerly illegitimate brothers for the secession. His brother, Louis Auguste, Duke of Maine, was excluded from the regency council, Louis Alexander was allowed a political role. He served as minister of the Navy. He desired to marry Charlotte de Lorraine, Mademoiselle d'Armagnac, who belonged to a cadet branch of the House of Guise. Louis XIV adamentally refused. [De Requeleyne, p. 598.] As a result, Louis Alexandre married Marie Victoire de Noailles, a daughter of the Anne Jules, duc de Noailles. It was a quiet, private ceremony in Paris and kept secret (1723). His bride was the widow of Louis de Pardaillan de Gondrin (1688-1712). Only with the death of the regent did the marriage become public. They had one son, Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre (1725–93). Louis Alaxandre and his sisters tended to stay away from Court and the political intrigues of his brother, the duc du Maine, and his brother's wife, Anne Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon, the duchess, at the Château de Sceaux.

Duc du Maine


De Requeleyne, Bernard. Baron de Longepierre (1659-1721),.


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Created: 12:21 AM 12/7/2007
Last updated: 10:07 AM 1/28/2020