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Portrait by Philippe de Champaigne, 1655
|King of France|
|Reign||14 May 1610 – 14 May 1643|
|Coronation||17 October 1610|
|Regent||Marie de' Medici (1610–14)|
|King of Navarre|
|Reign||14 May 1610 – 1620|
|Born||27 September 1601|
Château de Fontainebleau, France
|Died||14 May 1643 41) (aged|
Basilica of St Denis, France
|Spouse||Anne of Austria|
|Issue|| Louis XIV, King of France |
Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
|Father||Henry IV, King of France|
|Mother||Marie de' Medici|
Louis XIII (French pronunciation: [lwi tʁɛz] ; sometimes called the Just; 27 September 1601 – 14 May 1643) was King of France from 1610 to 1643 and King of Navarre (as Louis II) from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown.
Shortly before his ninth birthday, Louis became king of France and Navarre after his father Henry IV was assassinated. His mother, Marie de' Medici, acted as regent during his minority. Mismanagement of the kingdom and ceaseless political intrigues by Marie and her Italian favourites led the young king to take power in 1617 by exiling his mother and executing her followers, including Concino Concini, the most influential Italian at the French court.
Louis XIII, taciturn and suspicious, relied heavily on his chief ministers, first Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes and then Cardinal Richelieu, to govern the Kingdom of France. King and cardinal are remembered for establishing the Académie française , and ending the revolt of the French nobility. They systematically destroyed the castles of defiant lords, and denounced the use of private violence (dueling, carrying weapons, and maintaining private armies). By the end of the 1620s, Richelieu had established "the royal monopoly of force" as the ruling doctrine.His reign was also marked by the struggles against the Huguenots and Habsburg Spain.
Born at the Palace of Fontainebleau, Louis XIII was the eldest child of King Henry IV of France and his second wife Marie de' Medici. As son of the king, he was a Fils de France ("son of France"), and as the eldest son, Dauphin of France. His father Henry IV was the first French king of the House of Bourbon, having succeeded his second cousin, Henry III (1574–1589), in application of Salic law. Louis XIII's paternal grandparents were Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme, and Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre. His maternal grandparents were Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Joanna of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. Eleonora de' Medici, his maternal aunt, was his godmother.As a child, he was raised under the supervision of the royal governess Françoise de Montglat.
The ambassador of King James I of England to the court of France, Sir Edward Herbert, who presented his credentials to Louis XIII in 1619, remarked on Louis’s extreme congenital speech impediment and his double teeth:
...I presented to the King [Louis] a letter of credence from the King [James] my master: the King [Louis] assured me of a reciprocal affection to the King [James] my master, and of my particular welcome to his Court: his words were never many, as being so extream [ sic ] a stutterer that he would sometimes hold his tongue out of his mouth a good while before he could speak so much as one word; he had besides a double row of teeth, and was observed seldom or never to spit or blow his nose, or to sweat much, 'tho he were very laborious, and almost indefatigable in his exercises of hunting and hawking, to which he was much addicted...
Louis XIII ascended the throne in 1610 upon the assassination of his father, and his mother Marie de' Medici acted as his Regent. Although Louis XIII became of age at thirteen (1614), his mother did not give up her position as Regent until 1617, when he was 16. Marie maintained most of her husband's ministers, with the exception of Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully, who was unpopular in the country. She mainly relied on Nicolas de Neufville, seigneur de Villeroy, Noël Brûlart de Sillery, and Pierre Jeannin for political advice. Marie pursued a moderate policy, confirming the Edict of Nantes. She was not, however, able to prevent rebellion by nobles such as Henri, Prince of Condé (1588–1646), second in line to the throne after Marie's second surviving son Gaston, Duke of Orléans. Condé squabbled with Marie in 1614, and briefly raised an army, but he found little support in the country, and Marie was able to raise her own army. Nevertheless, Marie agreed to call an Estates General assembly to address Condé's grievances.
The assembly of this Estates General was delayed until Louis XIII formally came of age on his thirteenth birthday. Although his coming-of-age formally ended Marie's Regency, she remained the de facto ruler of France. The Estates General accomplished little, spending its time discussing the relationship of France to the Papacy and the venality of offices, but reaching no resolutions.
Beginning in 1615, Marie came to rely increasingly on Concino Concini, an Italian who assumed the role of her favourite, and was widely unpopular because he was a foreigner. This further antagonised Condé, who launched another rebellion in 1616. Huguenot leaders supported Condé's rebellion, which led the young Louis XIII to conclude that they would never be loyal subjects. Eventually, Condé and Queen Marie made peace via the Treaty of Loudun, which allowed Condé great power in government but did not remove Concini. With growing dissatisfaction from nobles due to Concini's position, Queen Marie, with Louis's help, imprisoned Condé to protect Concini, leading to renewed revolts against the Queen and Concini.
In the meantime, Charles d'Albert, the Grand Falconer of France, convinced Louis XIII that he should break with his mother and support the rebels. Louis staged a palace coup d'état . As a result, Concini was assassinated on 24 April 1617. His widow Leonora Dori Galigaï was tried for witchcraft, condemned, beheaded, and burned on 8 July 1617, and Marie was sent into exile in Blois. Later, Louis conferred the title of Duke of Luynes on d'Albert.
Luynes soon became as unpopular as Concini had been. Other nobles resented his monopolisation of the King. Luynes was seen as less competent than Henry IV's ministers, many now elderly or deceased, who had surrounded Marie de' Medici.
The Thirty Years' War broke out in 1618. The French court was initially unsure of which side to support. On the one hand, France's traditional rivalry with the House of Habsburg argued in favour of intervening on behalf of the Protestant powers (and Louis's father Henry IV of France had once been a Huguenot leader). On the other hand, Louis XIII had a strict Catholic upbringing, and his natural inclination was to support the Holy Roman Emperor, the Habsburg Ferdinand II.
The French nobles were further antagonised against Luynes by the 1618 revocation of the paulette tax and by the sale of offices in 1620. From her exile in Blois, Marie de' Medici became the obvious rallying point for this discontent, and the Bishop of Luçon (who became Cardinal Richelieu in 1622) was allowed to act as her chief adviser, serving as a go-between Marie and the King.
French nobles launched a rebellion in 1620, but their forces were easily routed by royal forces at Les Ponts-de-Cé in August 1620. Louis then launched an expedition against the Huguenots of Béarn who had defied a number of royal decisions. This expedition managed to re-establish Catholicism as the official religion of Béarn. However, the Béarn expedition drove Huguenots in other provinces into a rebellion led by Henri, Duke of Rohan.
In 1621 Louis XIII was formally reconciled with his mother. Luynes was appointed Constable of France, after which he and Louis set out to quell the Huguenot rebellion. The siege at the Huguenot stronghold of Montauban had to be abandoned after three months owing to the large number of royal troops who had succumbed to camp fever. One of the victims of camp fever was Luynes, who died in December 1621.
Following the death of Luynes, Louis determined that he would rule by council. His mother returned from exile and, in 1622, entered this council, where Condé recommended violent suppression of the Huguenots. The 1622 campaign, however, followed the pattern of the previous year: royal forces won some early victories, but were unable to complete a siege, this time at the fortress of Montpellier.
The rebellion was ended by the Treaty of Montpellier, signed by Louis XIII and the Duke of Rohan in October 1622. The treaty confirmed the tenets of the Edict of Nantes: several Huguenot fortresses were to be razed, but the Huguenots retained control of Montauban and La Rochelle.
Louis ultimately dismissed Noël Brûlart de Sillery and Pierre Brûlart in 1624 because of his displeasure with how they handled the diplomatic situation over the Valtellina with Spain. Valtellina was an area with Catholic inhabitants under the suzerainty of the Protestant Three Leagues. It served as an important route to Italy for France and it provided an easy connection between the Spanish and the Holy Roman empires, especially in helping each other with armies if necessary. Spain was constantly interfering in the Valtellina, which angered Louis, as he wanted to hold possession of this strategically important passageway. (In these years the French kingdom was literally surrounded by the Habsburg realms, for the Habsburgs were Kings of Spain as well as Holy Roman Emperors. In addition, the Spanish and Holy Roman empires included the territories of today's Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, and northern Italy.) He therefore found a better servitor in his Superintendent of Finances Charles de La Vieuville, who held similar views of Spain as the king, and who advised Louis to side with the Dutch via the Treaty of Compiègne.However, La Vieuville was dismissed by the middle of 1624, partly due to his bad behaviour (during his tenure as superintendent he was arrogant and incompetent) and because of a well-organized pamphlet campaign by Cardinal Richelieu against his council rival. Louis needed a new chief advisor; Cardinal Richelieu would be that counsellor.
Cardinal Richelieu played a major role in Louis XIII's reign from 1624, determining France's direction over the course of the next eighteen years. As a result of Richelieu's work, Louis XIII became one of the first examples of an absolute monarch. Under Louis and Richelieu, the crown successfully intervened in the Thirty Years' War against the Habsburgs, managed to keep the French nobility in line, and retracted the political and military privileges granted to the Huguenots by Henry IV (while maintaining their religious freedoms). Louis XIII successfully led the important Siege of La Rochelle. In addition, Louis had the port of Le Havre modernised, and he built a powerful navy.
Louis also worked to reverse the trend of promising French artists leaving for Italy to work and study. He commissioned the painters Nicolas Poussin and Philippe de Champaigne to decorate the Louvre Palace. In foreign matters, Louis organised the development and administration of New France, expanding its settlements westward along the Saint Lawrence River from Quebec City to Montreal.
In order to continue the exploration efforts of his predecessor Henry IV, Louis XIII considered a colonial venture in Morocco, and sent a fleet under Isaac de Razilly in 1619.Razilly was able to explore the coast as far as Mogador. In 1624 he was given charge of an embassy to the pirate harbour of Salé in Morocco, in order to solve the affair of the library of Mulay Zidan.
In 1630, Razilly was able to negotiate the purchase of French slaves from the Moroccans. He visited Morocco again in 1631, and helped negotiate the Franco-Moroccan Treaty (1631).The Treaty gave France preferential treatment, known as Capitulations: preferential tariffs, the establishment of a Consulate, and freedom of religion for French subjects.
Unlike other colonial powers, France, under the guidance of Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, encouraged a peaceful coexistence in New France between the Natives and the Colonists. Indians, converted to Catholicism, were considered as "natural Frenchmen" by the Ordonnance of 1627:
"The descendants of the French who are accustomed to this country [New France], together with all the Indians who will be brought to the knowledge of the faith and will profess it, shall be deemed and renowned natural Frenchmen, and as such may come to live in France when they want, and acquire, donate, and succeed and accept donations and legacies, just as true French subjects, without being required to take letters of declaration of naturalization."
Acadia was also developed under Louis XIII. In 1632, Isaac de Razilly became involved, at the request of Cardinal Richelieu, in the colonization of Acadia, by taking possession of the Habitation at Port-Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia) and developing it into a French colony. The King gave Razilly the official title of lieutenant-general for New France. He took on military tasks such as taking control of Fort Pentagouet at Majabigwaduce on the Penobscot Bay, which had been given to France in an earlier Treaty, and to inform the English they were to vacate all lands North of Pemaquid. This resulted in all the French interests in Acadia being restored.
In Brazil, the colony of Equinoctial France was established in 1612, but only lasted 4 years until it was eliminated by the Portuguese.
France-Japan relations started under Louis XIII in 1615 when Hasekura Tsunenaga, a Japanese samurai and ambassador, sent to Rome by Date Masamune, landed at Saint-Tropez for a few days. In 1636, Guillaume Courtet, a French Dominican priest, reciprocated when he set foot in Japan.
Also in 1615, Marie de' Medici incorporated the merchants of Dieppe and other harbours to found the Company of the Moluccas. In 1619, an armed expedition composed of three ships (275 crew, 106 cannon) and called the "Fleet of Montmorency" under General Augustin de Beaulieu was sent from Honfleur, to fight the Dutch in the Far East. In 1624, with the Treaty of Compiègne, Cardinal Richelieu obtained an agreement to halt the Dutch–French warfare in the Far East.
On two occasions the king's younger brother, Gaston, Duke of Orléans, had to leave France for conspiring against the King's government and for attempting to undermine the influence of both his mother and Cardinal Richelieu. After waging an unsuccessful war in Languedoc, he took refuge in Flanders. In 1643, on the death of Louis XIII, Gaston became lieutenant-general of the kingdom and fought against Spain on the northern frontiers of France.
On 24 November 1615, Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III of Spain. This marriage followed a tradition of cementing military and political alliances between the Catholic powers of France and Spain with royal marriages. The tradition went back to the marriage of Louis VII of France and Constance of Castile. The marriage was only briefly happy, and the King's duties often kept them apart. After twenty-three years of marriage and four stillbirths, Anne finally gave birth to a son on 5 September 1638, the future Louis XIV.
Many people regarded this birth as a miracle and, in show of gratitude to God for the long-awaited birth of an heir, his parents named him Louis-Dieudonné ("God-given"). As another sign of gratitude, according to several interpretations, seven months before his birth, France was dedicated by Louis XIII to the Virgin Mary, who, many believed, had interceded for the perceived miracle.However, the text of the dedication does not mention the royal pregnancy and birth as one of its reasons. Also, Louis XIII himself is said to have expressed his scepticism with regard to the miracle after his son's birth. In gratitude for having successfully given birth, the queen founded the Benedictine abbey of the Val-de-Grâce, for which Louis XIV himself laid the cornerstone of its church, an early masterpiece of French Baroque architecture.
The couple had the following offspring:
|stillborn child||Dec 1619|
|stillborn child||14 Mar 1622|
|stillborn child||Apr 1631|
|Louis Dieudonne of France (later King Louis XIV)||5 Sep 1638 – 1 Sep 1715||Married Maria Theresa of Spain (Spanish : María Teresa de Austria; French : Marie-Thérèse d'Autriche) (1638–83) in 1660. Had issue.|
|Philippe of France, Duke of Anjou (later Duke of Orléans)||21 Sep 1640 – 8 Jun 1701||married (1) Princess Henrietta of England (1644–70) in 1661. Had issue. Married (2) Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate (1652–1722) in 1671. Had issue.|
Voltaire claimed in the second edition of his Questions sur l'Encyclopédie (1771) that Louis XIII had an illegitimate son born before Louis XIV. This illegitimate son was later jailed and his face hidden beneath an iron mask (see the Man in the Iron Mask).
There is no evidence that Louis kept mistresses (a distinction that earned him the title "Louis the Chaste"), but several reports suggest that he may have been homosexual. The prolonged temporal gap between the queen's pregnancies may have been a result of Louis XIII's aversion to heterosexuality, a matter of great political consequence, since it took the couple more than 20 years of marriage before Louis XIV's birth.His interests as a teenager were focused on male courtiers and he developed an intense emotional attachment to his favourite, Charles d'Albert, although some say there is no clear evidence of a physical sexual relationship. Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux, drawing from rumours told to him by a critic of the King (the Marquise de Rambouillet), explicitly speculated in his Historiettes about what happened in the king's bed.
A further liaison with an equerry, François de Baradas, ended when the latter lost favour fighting a duel after duelling had been forbidden by royal decree.
Louis was also captivated by Henri Coiffier de Ruzé, Marquis of Cinq-Mars, who was later executed for conspiring with the Spanish enemy in time of war. Tallemant described how on a royal journey, the King "sent M. le Grand [de Cinq-Mars] to undress, who returned, adorned like a bride. 'To bed, to bed' he said to him impatiently... and the mignon was not in before the king was already kissing his hands."
Louis XIII died in Paris on 14 May 1643, the 33rd anniversary of his father's death. According to his biographer A. Lloyd Moote,
"his intestines were inflamed and ulcerated, making digestion virtually impossible; tuberculosis had spread to his lungs, accompanied by habitual cough. Either of these major ailments, or the accumulation of minor problems, may have killed him, not to mention physiological weaknesses that made him prone to disease or his doctors' remedies of enemas and bleedings, which continued right to his death."
Louis XIII shared his mother's love of the lute, developed in her childhood in Florence. One of his first toys was a lute and his personal doctor, Jean Héroard, reports him playing it for his mother in 1604, at the age of three.In 1635, Louis XIII composed the music, wrote the libretto and designed the costumes for the "Ballet de la Merlaison." The king himself danced in two performances of the ballet the same year at Chantilly and Royaumont.
In the sphere of the men's fashion, Louis helped introduce the wearing of wigs among men in 1624that became fashionable for the first time since antiquity. This would be a dominant style among men in European and European-influenced countries for nearly 200 years until the fashion changes brought about by the French Revolution.
|Ancestors of Louis XIII of France|
Marie de' Medici was Queen of France as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon. She was a member of the wealthy and powerful House of Medici. Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII of France, until 1617, when he came of age. She was noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court and extensive artistic patronage.
Anne of Austria, a Spanish and Portuguese princess of the House of Habsburg, was queen of France as the wife of Louis XIII, and regent of France during the minority of her son, Louis XIV, from 1643 to 1651. During her regency, Cardinal Mazarin served as France's chief minister. Accounts of French court life of her era emphasize her difficult marital relations with her husband, her closeness to her son Louis XIV, and her disapproval of her son's marital infidelity to her niece and daughter-in-law Maria Theresa.
Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu, commonly referred to as Cardinal Richelieu, was a French clergyman and statesman. He was consecrated as a bishop in 1607 and was appointed Foreign Secretary in 1616. Richelieu soon rose in both the Catholic Church and the French government, becoming a cardinal in 1622, and King Louis XIII's chief minister in 1624. He remained in office until his death in 1642; he was succeeded by Cardinal Mazarin, whose career he had fostered.
Cardinal Jules Mazarin, born Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino or Mazarini, was an Italian cardinal, diplomat and politician who served as the chief minister to the kings of France Louis XIII and Louis XIV from 1642 until his death in 1661. In 1654 he acquired the title Duke of Mayenne, and in 1659, 1st Duke of Rethel and Nevers.
Gaston, Duke of Orléans, was the third son of King Henry IV of France and his wife Marie de' Medici. As a son of the king, he was born a Fils de France. He later acquired the title Duke of Orléans, by which he was generally known during his adulthood. As the eldest surviving brother of King Louis XIII, he was known at court by the traditional honorific Monsieur.
Charles d'Albert, Duke of Luynes was French courtier and a favourite of Louis XIII, by whom he was made a Peer and Constable of France before dying at the height of his influence.
Concino Concini, 1st Marquis d'Ancre, was an Italian politician, best known for being a minister of Louis XIII of France, as the favourite of Louis's mother, Marie de Medici, Queen of France.
The Siege of La Rochelle was a result of a war between the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France and the Huguenots of La Rochelle in 1627–28. The siege marked the height of the struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants in France, and ended with a complete victory for King Louis XIII and the Catholics.
Marie de Rohan was a French courtier and political activist, famed for being the center of many of the intrigues of the first half of the 17th century in France. In various sources, she is often known simply as Madame de Chevreuse.
Louis de Bourbon was Count of Soissons. He was the son of Charles de Bourbon, Count of Soissons and Anne de Montafié. He was the second cousin of King Louis XIII of France and held the rank of prince of the blood.
Isaac de Razilly was a member of the French nobility appointed a knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem at the age of 18. He was born at the Château d'Oiseaumelle in the Province of Touraine, France. A member of the French navy, he served for many years during which he played an important role in the French colony of Acadia in New France. He was the son of François de Razilly and Catherine de Villiers, brother of Claude de Razilly and François de Razilly. Commandeur de la Commanderie de l'Ile Bouchard (Touraine)
Michel de Marillac was a French jurist and counsellor at the court of Louis XIII of France, one of the leading dévots. His uncle was Charles de Marillac, Archbishop of Vienne and a member of the king's council, the Conseil du Roi. A member of the circle of Marie de' Medici, he was arrested after the Queen Mother's flight in 1631 and died in prison.
The Treaty of Loudun was signed on 3 May 1616 in Loudun, France, and ended the war that originally began as a power struggle between queen mother Marie de Medici's favorite Concino Concini and Henry II de Condé, the next in line for Louis XIII's throne. The war gained religious undertones when rebellious Huguenot princes joined Condé's revolt.
Roger de Saint-Lary de Termes, duc de Bellegarde, nephew of Roger de Saint-Lary de Bellegarde, was a French duke.
The Huguenot rebellions, sometimes called the Rohan Wars after the Huguenot leader Henri de Rohan, were an event of the 1620s in which French Calvinist Protestants (Huguenots), mainly located in southwestern France, revolted against royal authority. The uprising occurred a decade following the death of Henry IV, who, himself originally a Huguenot before converting to Catholicism, had protected Protestants through the Edict of Nantes. His successor Louis XIII, under the regency of his Italian Catholic mother Marie de' Medici, became more intolerant of Protestantism. The Huguenots tried to respond by defending themselves, establishing independent political and military structures, establishing diplomatic contacts with foreign powers, and openly revolting against central power. The Huguenot rebellions came after two decades of internal peace under Henry IV, following the intermittent French Wars of Religion of 1562–1598.
Events of the year 1626 in France.
Charles I. Coskaer, marquis and later duc de La Vieuville was an important French noble and Superintendent of Finances of France from 1623 to 1624 and once again from 1651 to 1653.
Antoine Coiffier de Ruzé d'Effiat, marquis d'Effiat, was a French noble and Superintendent of Finances to Louis XIII during the years 1626 to 1632. He was also a Marshal of France.
Nicolas de L'Hôpital, marquis and later duc de Vitry, seigneur de Nandy et de Coubert, often referred to as Maréchal de Vitry was a French noble, military leader, friend of Louis XIII and Marshal of France (1617).
Blaise François Pagan (1603–1665) was a French soldier and military engineer who served in the army of Louis XIII. His military career ended in 1642 when he lost his sight and in 1645, he published Les Fortifications; this became the dominant text of its era on military fortifications and significantly influenced Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban.
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Louis XIII of France & II of Navarre
Cadet branch of the House of CapetBorn: 27 September 1601 Died: 14 May 1643
Henry IV and III
| King of France |
1610 – 1643
| King of Navarre |
1610 – 1620
| Dauphin of France |
1601 – 1610