Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France

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Louis Joseph
Dauphin of France
Crownprince, Le Dauphin, Louis-Joseph-Xavier-Francois of France (1781-1789) - Nationalmuseum - 132462.jpg
Portrait by Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller, 1784
Born(1781-10-22)22 October 1781
Versailles, France
Died4 June 1789(1789-06-04) (aged 7)
Château de Meudon, France
Full name
Louis Joseph Xavier François de France
House Bourbons of France
Father Louis XVI of France
Mother Marie Antoinette
Religion Roman Catholicism

Louis Joseph de France (Louis Joseph Xavier François; 22 October 1781 – 4 June 1789) was the second child and first son of King Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette. As son of a king of France, he was a fils de France ("Son of France"), and as the eldest son and heir apparent, he was Dauphin of France, (the twenty-sixth "heir to the throne" of the Valois and Bourbon monarchies).

Louis XVI of France King of France

Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last king of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.

Marie Antoinette Queen consort of France

Marie Antoinette was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She became Dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she assumed the title Queen of France and Navarre, which she held until September 1791, when she became Queen of the French as the French Revolution proceeded, a title that she held until 21 September 1792.

<i>Fils de France</i>

Fils de France was the style and rank held by the sons of the kings and dauphins of France. A daughter was known as a fille de France.

Contents

Louis Joseph died at age seven of tuberculosis and was succeeded as Dauphin de France by his four-year-old brother Louis Charles.

Louis XVII of France Duke of Normandy / Dauphin of France

Louis XVII, born Louis-Charles, was the younger son of King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette.

Biography

Louis Joseph Xavier François de France was born at the Palace of Versailles on 22 October 1781. He was named after his maternal uncle, Joseph II. The new-born was the long-awaited Dauphin, successor to his father to the throne of France, as the Salic Law, excluding women from acceding the throne, applied to his elder sister, Marie Thérèse Charlotte, Madame Royale . The birth of Louis Joseph ruined the hopes of his uncle, the comte de Provence, of succeeding his brother Louis XVI.

Palace of Versailles French palace on the outskirts of Paris

The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris.

Madame Royale was a style customarily used for the eldest living unmarried daughter of a reigning French monarch.

Louis XVIII of France King of France

Louis XVIII, known as "the Desired", was King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for a period in 1815 known as the Hundred Days. He spent twenty-three years in exile, from 1791 to 1814, during the French Revolution and the First French Empire, and again in 1815, during the period of the Hundred Days, upon the return of Napoleon I from Elba.

His private household was created upon his birth. He was under the care of Victoire de Rohan, the Governess of the Children of France, until she was replaced in 1782 by Yolande de Polastron, duchesse de Polignac, one of his mother's favourites. His sous-gouverneur was the Maréchal de camp Antoine Charles Augustin d'Allonville. His wet nurse was Geneviève Poitrine, who was later accused of transmitting tuberculosis to the young Dauphin.

Victoire de Rohan French aristocrat and royal governess

Victoire Armande Josèphe de Rohan, Princess of Guéméné was a French noblewoman and court official. She was the governess of the children of Louis XVI of France. She is known better as Madame de Guéméné, and was Lady of Clisson in her own right.

The Governess of the Children of France was office at the royal French court during the Pre-Revolutionary France and the Bourbon Restoration. She was charged with the education of the children and grandchildren of the monarch. The holder of the office was taken from the highest ranking nobility of France. The governess was supported by various deputies or under-governesses.

Maréchal de camp was a general officer rank used by the French Army until 1848.

Louis Joseph was very close to his sister and to his parents, who watched with attention over his education. He was always praised for being a very bright child for his young age; however, it soon became apparent that he was of fragile health.

Illness

Bust of Louis-Joseph by Louis-Pierre Deseine, (musee de la Revolution francaise). Bust of the Dauphin Louis Joseph Xavier Francois IMG 2274.jpg
Bust of Louis-Joseph by Louis-Pierre Deseine, (musée de la Révolution française).

Around April 1784, when he was just three years old, Louis Joseph had a series of high fevers. Out of fear for his health, he was transported to the Château de La Muette [1] where the air was reputed to have healing properties. The time spent at La Muette seemed to have helped Louis Joseph recover, and almost a year later in March 1785, Louis Joseph returned to La Muette, where he was inoculated against the smallpox. However, his health remained fragile.

The terms inoculation, vaccination, and immunization are often used synonymously to refer to artificial induction of immunity against various infectious diseases. However, there are some important historical and current differences. In English medicine, inoculation referred only to the practice of variolation until the very early 1800s. When Edward Jenner introduced smallpox vaccine in 1798, this was initially called cowpox inoculation or vaccine inoculation. Soon, to avoid confusion, smallpox inoculation continued to be referred to as variolation and cowpox inoculation was referred to as vaccination. Then, in 1891, Louis Pasteur proposed that the terms vaccine and vaccination should be extended to include the new protective procedures being developed. Immunization refers to the use of all vaccines but also extends to the use of antitoxin, which contains preformed antibody such as to diphtheria or tetanus exotoxins. Inoculation is now more or less synonymous in nontechnical usage with injection and the like, and questions along the lines of "Have you had your flu injection/vaccination/inoculation/immunization?" should not cause confusion. The focus is on what is being given and why, not the literal meaning of the technique used.

Smallpox eradicated viral disease

Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by one of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977 and the World Health Organization (WHO) certified the global eradication of the disease in 1980. The risk of death following contracting the disease was about 30%, with higher rates among babies. Often those who survived had extensive scarring of their skin and some were left blind.

In 1786, the fevers returned but his household regarded them as being of no importance. These fevers, however, were the first signs of tuberculosis. In the same year, Louis Joseph's education was turned over to men, as was customary for the sons of the kings of France. At the ceremony, it was noted that Louis Joseph had trouble walking, which was, in fact, caused by a curvature of the spine - something which was treated through the use of metal corsets. By January 1788 the fevers grew more frequent and the disease progressed quickly.

Metal corset

Metal corsets are a type of historical corset or bodice made entirely out of metal, usually iron or steel. The metal corset was popularly claimed to have been introduced to France by Catherine de' Medici in the 16th century, although this is now considered a myth. The idea that such garments were worn for fashionable purposes is debatable, with fashion historians now regarding such claims sceptically. Many of the original metal bodices that have survived are now believed to have been intended for medical purposes as orthopaedic support garments and back braces. Such garments were described by the French army surgeon Ambroise Paré in the sixteenth century as a remedy for the "crookednesse of the Bodie."

Louis Joseph died at the Château de Meudon on 4 June 1789, at the age of seven and a half, during the Estates General. He was buried on 13 June in a simple ceremony at the Basilica of St Denis. On 10 August 1793, on order of the National Convention, during the Reign of Terror, his tomb, together with those of the kings and queens of France, members of the royal family, high dignitaries, abbots were desecrated. [2]

At the death of Louis Joseph, the title of Dauphin passed to his younger brother Louis Charles, Duke of Normandy (1785–1795), who died during the French Revolution, at the Temple prison.

Legacy

Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, is named after him [3] (Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France). The Pennsylvania legislature, meeting in Philadelphia in 1785, to thank France for helping America win her independence from Great Britain, named the newly formed county, "Dauphin", northwest of Lancaster and north of York, in which Harrisburg is located. The borough of Dauphin, so named when it was incorporated in 1845, is also located in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It is also, indirectly, named for him.

Ancestry

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References

  1. Personal property of his father, Louis XVI
  2. Suzanne Glover Lindsay, The Revolutionary Exhumations at St-Denis, 1793, Essay, in Conversations: An Online Journal of the Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion (2014),
  3. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 100.

Bibliography

History of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Historical Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 22 October 1781 Died: 4 June 1789
French royalty
Preceded by
Vacant
Louis Auguste
Dauphin of France
22 October 1781 – 4 June 1789
Succeeded by
Louis Charles