|Duke of Enghien|
|Born||2 August 1772|
Château de Chantilly, France
|Died||21 March 1804 31) (aged|
Château de Vincennes, France
|Spouse||Charlotte de Rohan|
|House||House of Bourbon|
|Father||Louis Henri de Bourbon, Prince de Condė|
Louis Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien (duc d'Enghien pronounced [dɑ̃ɡɛ̃] ) (Louis Antoine Henri; 2 August 1772 – 21 March 1804) was a member of the House of Bourbon of France. More famous for his death than for his life, he was executed on charges of aiding Britain and plotting against France. Royalty across Europe were shocked and dismayed at his execution. Tsar Alexander I of Russia was especially alarmed, and decided to curb Napoleon's power.
The Duke of Enghien was the only son of Louis Henri de Bourbon and Bathilde d'Orléans.As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a prince du sang. He was born at the Château de Chantilly, the country residence of the Princes of Condé - a title he was born to inherit. He was given the title Duke of Enghien from birth, his father already being the Duke of Bourbon and the heir of the Prince of Condé, the Duke of Bourbon being the Heir apparent of Condé.
His mother's full name was Louise Marie Thérèse Bathilde d'Orléans; she was the only surviving daughter of Louis Philippe d'Orléans (grandson of the Regent Philippe d'Orléans ) and Louise Henriette de Bourbon. His uncle was the future Philippe Égalité and he was thus a first cousin of the future Louis-Philippe I, King of the French. He was also doubly descended from Louis XIV through his legitimated daughters, Mademoiselle de Blois and Mademoiselle de Nantes.
He was an only child, his parents separating in 1778 after his father's romantic involvement with one Marguerite Catherine Michelot, an opera singer, was discovered; it was his mother who was blamed for her husband's infidelity. Michelot was the mother of Enghien's two illegitimate sisters.
He was educated privately by the Abbé Millot, and in military matters by Commodore de Vinieux. He early on showed the warlike spirit of the House of Condé, and began his military career in 1788. At the outbreak of the French Revolution, he emigrated with his father and grandfather a few days after the Storming of the Bastille, and in exile he would seek to raise forces for the invasion of France and restoration of the monarchy to its pre-revolutionary status.
In 1792, at the outbreak of French Revolutionary Wars, he held a command in the corps of émigrés organized and commanded by his grandfather, the Prince of Condé.[ citation needed ] This Army of Condé shared in the Duke of Brunswick's unsuccessful invasion of France.
After this, the young duke continued to serve under his father and grandfather in the Condé army, and, on several occasions, distinguished himself by his bravery and ardour in the vanguard. On the dissolution of that force after the peace of Lunéville (February 1801), he privately married Charlotte de Rohan, niece of the Cardinal de Rohan, and took up his residence at Ettenheim in Baden, near the Rhine.
Early in 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul of France, heard news which seemed to connect the young duke with the Cadoudal Affair, a conspiracy which was being tracked by the French police at the time. It involved royalists Jean-Charles Pichegru and Georges Cadoudal who wished to overthrow Bonaparte's regime and reinstate the monarchy.The news ran that the duke was in company with Charles François Dumouriez and had made secret journeys into France. This was false; there is no evidence that the duke had dealings with either Cadoudal or Pichegru. However, the duke had previously been condemned in absentia for having fought against the French Republic in the Armée des Émigrés . Napoleon gave orders for the seizure of the duke.
French dragoons crossed the Rhine secretly, surrounded his house and brought him to Strasbourg (15 March 1804), and thence to the Château de Vincennes, near Paris, where a military commission of French colonels presided over by General Hulin was hastily convened to try him. The duke was charged chiefly with bearing arms against France in the late war, and with intending to take part in the new coalition then proposed against France.
The military commission, presided over by Hulin, drew up the act of condemnation, being incited thereto by orders from Anne Jean Marie René Savary, who had come charged with instructions to kill the duke. Savary prevented any chance of an interview between the condemned and the First Consul, and, on 21 March, the duke was shot in the moat of the castle, near a grave which had already been prepared. A platoon of the Gendarmes d'élite was in charge of the execution.
In 1816, his remains were exhumed and placed in the Holy Chapelof the Château de Vincennes.
Royalty across Europe were shocked and dismayed at the Duke’s death. Tsar Alexander I of Russia was especially alarmed, and decided to curb Napoleon's power.
The duc d'Enghien was the last descendant of the House of Condé; his grandfather and father survived him, but died without producing further heirs. It is now known that Joséphine and Madame de Rémusat had begged Bonaparte for mercy towards the duke; but nothing would bend his will. Whether Talleyrand, Fouché or Savary bore responsibility for the seizure of the duke is debatable, as at times Napoleon was known to claim Talleyrand conceived the idea, while at other times he took full responsibility himself.On his way to St. Helena and at Longwood, Napoleon asserted that, in the same circumstances, he would do the same again; he inserted a similar declaration in his will, stating that "it was necessary for the safety, interest, and the honour of the French people when the Comte d'Artois, by his own confession, was supporting sixty assassins at Paris."
The execution of Enghien shocked the aristocracy of Europe, who still remembered the bloodletting of the Revolution. Either Antoine Boulay, comte de la Meurthe(deputy from Meurthe in the Corps législatif) or Napoleon's chief of police, Fouché, said about his execution "C'est pire qu'un crime, c'est une faute", a statement often rendered in English as "It was worse than a crime; it was a blunder." The statement is also sometimes attributed to Talleyrand.
Conversely, in France the execution appeared to quiet domestic resistance to Napoleon, who soon crowned himself Emperor of the French. Cadoudal, dismayed at the news of Napoleon's proclamation, reputedly exclaimed, "We wanted to make a king, but we made an emperor".
The killing of the duc d'Enghien is discussed in the opening book of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace . 6 The vicomte de Mortemart, a French émigré who supposedly knew the duke personally, is the focus of attention of the Russian aristocrats gathered at Anna Pavlovna Sherer's home::
The group about Mortemart immediately began discussing the murder of the duc d'Enghien. "After the murder of the Duc, even the most partial ceased to regard [Buonaparte] as a hero. If to some people he ever was a hero, after the murder of the duc there was one martyr more in heaven and one hero less on earth." The vicomte said that the duc d'Enghien had perished by his own magnanimity, and that there were particular reasons for Buonaparte's hatred of him.(...)
It was an anecdote, then current, to the effect that the duc d'Enghien had gone secretly to Paris to visit Mademoiselle George; that at her house he came upon Bonaparte, who also enjoyed the famous actress' favors, and that in his presence Napoleon happened to fall into one of the fainting fits to which he was subject, and was thus at the Duc's mercy. The latter spared him, and this magnanimity Bonaparte subsequently repaid by death. The story was very pretty and interesting, especially at the point where the rivals suddenly recognized one another; and the ladies looked agitated.
The actress Marguerite-Joséphine Wiemer, known as "Mademoiselle George", was indeed Napoleon's mistress, but there is no evidence that the duc d'Enghien had anything to do with her, or that the story preserved to posterity by Tolstoy's masterpiece was anything more than one of the pieces of gossip and conspiracy theories current around Europe at the time.
The killing of the duc d'Enghien is treated in The Last Cavalier by Alexandre Dumas. For example:
[T]he dominant sentiment in Bonaparte's mind at that moment was neither fear nor vengeance, but rather the desire for all of France to realise that Bourbon blood, so sacred to Royalist partisans, was no more sacred to him than the blood of any other citizen in the Republic.
"Well, then", asked Cambacérès, "what have you decided?"
"It's simple", said Bonaparte. "We shall kidnap the Duc d'Enghien and be done with it."
His death was also briefly mentioned in The Count of Monte Cristo :
'There wasn't any trouble over treaties when it was a question of shooting the poor Duc d'Enghien' "
La mort du duc d'Enghien en 1804 (1909) was a one-reel silent film directed by Albert Capellani.
|Ancestors of Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien|
Louis II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé was a French general and the most famous representative of the Condé branch of the House of Bourbon. Prior to his father's death in 1646, he was styled the Duc d'Enghien. For his military prowess he was known as le Grand Condé.
The Most Serene House of Bourbon-Condé named after Condé-en-Brie, now in the Aisne département, is a French princely house and a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon. The name of the house was derived from the title of Prince of Condé that was originally assumed around 1557 by the French Protestant leader, Louis de Bourbon (1530–1569), uncle of King Henry IV of France, and borne by his male-line descendants.
The Consulate was the top-level Government of France from the fall of the Directory in the coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the Napoleonic Empire on 18 May 1804. By extension, the term The Consulate also refers to this period of French history.
Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon, was the daughter of Henri Jules de Bourbon, Prince of Condé and Anne Henriette of Bavaria. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, she was a princesse du sang. Forced to marry the Duke of Maine, legitimised son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, she revelled in politics and the arts, and held a popular salon at the Hôtel du Maine as well as at the Château de Sceaux.
Anne Jean Marie René Savary, 1st Duke of Rovigo was a French general and diplomat.
Louis de Bourbon, or Louis III, Prince of Condé, was a prince du sang as a member of the reigning House of Bourbon at the French court of Louis XIV. Styled as the Duke of Bourbon from birth, he succeeded his father as Prince of Condé in 1709; however, he was still known by the ducal title. He was prince for less than a year.
Louis Joseph de Bourbon was Prince of Condé from 1740 to his death. A member of the House of Bourbon, he held the prestigious rank of Prince du Sang.
Louis Henri Joseph de Bourbon or Louis Henri II, Prince of Condé was the Prince of Condé from 1818 to his death. He was the brother-in-law of Philippe Égalité and nephew of Victoire de Rohan.
The title of Duke of Enghien may, like many noble titles, refer to any of several historical figures.
The 4th House of Orléans, sometimes called the House of Bourbon-Orléans to distinguish it, is the fourth holder of a surname previously used by several branches of the Royal House of France, all descended in the legitimate male line from the dynasty's founder, Hugh Capet. The house was founded by Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, younger son of Louis XIII and younger brother of Louis XIV, the "Sun King".
Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, duc du Maine was an illegitimate son of the French king Louis XIV and his official mistress, Madame de Montespan. The king's favourite son, he was the founder of the semi-royal House of Bourbon-Maine named after his title and his surname.
Bathilde d'Orléans was a French princess of the blood of the House of Orléans. She was sister of Philippe Égalité, the mother of the executed Duke of Enghien and aunt of Louis Philippe I, King of the French. Married to the young Duke of Enghien, a distant cousin, she was always known as the Duchess of Bourbon following the birth of her son. She was known as Citoyenne Vérité during the French Revolution.
The House of Bourbon-Penthièvre was an illegitimate branch of the House of Bourbon, thus descending from the Capetian dynasty. It was founded by the duc de Penthièvre (1725–1793), the only child and heir of the comte de Toulouse, the youngest illegitimate son of Louis XIV of France and the marquise de Montespan, and his wife, Marie Victoire de Noailles, the daughter of Anne Jules de Noailles, duc de Noailles.
A prince du sang is a person legitimately descended in dynastic line from any of a realm's hereditary monarchs. Historically, the term has been used to refer to men and women descended in the male line from a sovereign, although as absolute primogeniture has become more common in monarchies, those with succession rights through female descent are more likely than in the past to be accorded the princely title.
Charles François de Riffardeau, marquis, then duc de Rivière was French ambassador to the Sublime Porte of the Ottoman Empire, 1815–1821, for which service he was made duc in 1825. He played a role in getting the Venus de Milo for the Musée du Louvre.
Claire Clémence de Maillé was a French noblewoman from the Brézé family and a niece of Cardinal Richelieu. She married Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, known as Le Grand Condé, and became the mother of Henri Jules. She was Princess of Condé and Duchess of Fronsac.
Anne Marie de Bourbon was the daughter of the Prince of Condé and of a Bavarian princess. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, she was a Princesse du Sang. She never married and died of lung disease.
Princess Charlotte Louise Dorothée de Rohan is reputed to have been the secret wife of Louis de Bourbon-Condé, Duc d'Enghien, an important prince du sang and émigré during the French Revolution.
Anne Thérèse of Savoy was a Savoyard princess born in Paris, France. She was the second wife of Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise, a military leader and friend of Louis XV.
The Pichegru Conspiracy, otherwise known as the Cadoudal Affair was a conspiracy involving royalists Jean-Charles Pichegru and Georges Cadoudal who wished to overthrow Napoleon Bonaparte's military regime. They were apprehended and sentenced to death, but not before the rumors of their plot reached Napoleon. Bonaparte believed Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien was in contact with the conspirators and his fear of the loss of his power prompted the execution of the innocent Duke. The affair provoked the old aristocracy to oppose the regime as well as strengthening the influence of the Minister of Police, Joseph Fouché.