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Henriette Louise de Bourbon

Henriette Louise
Abbess of Beaumont-lès-Tours

Full name
Henriette Louise Marie Françoise Gabrielle de Bourbon
Father Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé
Mother Louise-Françoise de Bourbon
Born (1703-01-15)15 January 1703
Palace of Versailles, France
Died 19 September 1772(1772-09-19) (aged 69)
Abbey of Beaumont-lès-Tours, France
Burial Abbey of Beaumont-lès-Tours, France

Henriette Louise de Bourbon (Henriette Louise Marie Françoise Gabrielle; 15 January 1703 – 19 September 1772) was a French Princess by birth and a member of the House of Bourbon. She was the abbess of Beaumont-lès-Tours Abbey.


Henriette Louise was born at the Palace of Versailles the seventh child and fifth daughter of Louis III, Prince of Condé, and his wife, Louise-Françoise de Bourbon. Henriette Louise's father was a grandson of le Grand Condé, and her mother was the eldest surviving legitimised daughter of King Louis XIV of France and his mistress, Madame de Montespan. She grew up at Fontevraud Abbey. She was one of nine children.

Henriette Louise was on a list presented to King Louis XV of potential brides. The list also contained the names of Henriette Louise's future sister-in-law, Caroline of Hesse-Rotenburg, and Princess Anne Charlotte of Lorraine, a future aunt of Queen Marie Antoinette and abbess of Remiremont. Henriette Louise's name had been placed on the list by her brother, the duc de Bourbon, who was Louis XV's chief minister at the time. Along with his mistress, Madame de Prie, the duke wanted to make his sister the queen in the hope of being able to influence the young king. Henriette Louise, however, did not want to marry the king at all, saying that she instead wanted to follow a religious path in life like her cousin Louise Adélaïde d'Orléans.

Henriette Louise was a member of the House of Condé, a cadet branch of the reigning House of Bourbon. As a result, she was a princesse du Sang at court. This rank allowed Henriette the style of Serene Highness. Since birth, she was known as Mademoiselle de Vermandois, Vermandois being a county which had long belonged to the House of Condé.

She owned the lands of Montond, which she acquired in 1710, and sold to her sister Louise Anne in 1732.

On 14 January 1727, Henriette Louise took the veil at the Abbey of Beaumont-lès-Tours and became the abbess of the convent in 1733 at the age of thirty. While abbess of Beaumont, she was known as, Her Serene Highness, Madame de Bourbon.

Beaumont-lès-Tours had previously been under the control of her second cousin, Gabrielle, daughter of Louis Victor de Rochechouart de Mortemart, older brother of Madame de Montespan.

Her mother died in 1743 at the Palais Bourbon. The palace now houses the National Assembly of France.

As an abbess, Henriette Louise raised her great-niece, Louise Adélaïde de Bourbon (1757–1824). The young girl had lost her mother, Charlotte de Rohan, at the age of two. Louise Adélaïde later took the veil herself and became the abbess of Remiremont Abbey.

Henriette Louise died at the Abbey of Beaumont-lès-Tours, having outlived all her siblings apart from the Princess of Conti, and was buried there on 8 January.


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