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Louis Henry II, Prince of Condé

 

Louis Henry II, Prince of Condé

Louis Henri
Prince of Condé
Reign 13 May 1818 – 30 August 1830
Predecessor Louis Joseph
Successor Title extinct
Spouse Bathilde d'Orléans
Issue
Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien
Full name
Louis Henri Joseph de Bourbon
Father Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé
Mother Charlotte de Rohan
Born (1756-04-13)13 April 1756
Hôtel de Condé, Paris, France
Died 30 August 1830(1830-08-30) (aged 74)
Château de Saint-Leu, France
Burial Basilica of Saint Denis
Signature

Louis Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (Louis Henri Joseph; 13 April 1756 - 30 August 1830) 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.

Life

He was the only son of Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé and his wife, Charlotte de Rohan. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a prince du sang and was entitled to the style of Serene Highness, prior to his accession to the Condé title, while he was known as the duke of Enghien and later as Duke of Bourbon. On succeeding his father he was entitled to the style of Royal Highness.

Marriage

On 24 April 1770, he married Bathilde d'Orléans, only surviving daughter of Louis Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Louise Henriette de Bourbon. The couple were married in the chapel at the palace of Versailles and were descended from Louis XIV to the same degree (their paternal great grandmothers were sisters, daughters of Madame de Montespan). In 1772 their only son, Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien, was born. The marriage was not a happy one, and in 1780 the couple separated. Louis never remarried.

Shortly afterwards, Louis Henri began a public affair with an opera singer, Marguerite Michelot"Mimi", which resulted in two illegitimate daughters, one of whom, Adèle, went on to marry the comte de Reuilly. During the French Revolution, Louis Henri accompanied his father into exile in England and survived the purge of the House of Bourbon in France, which cost the life of King Louis XVI and his Queen Marie-Antoinette, amongst others.

In 1804, his son, the Duke of Enghien, was abducted in Germany by order of Napoleon and executed in the moat of the Château de Vincennes on trumped up charges of treason. The Duke of Enghien had been married to Charlotte de Rohan for less than two months and had no issue.

Louis Henri returned with his father to France after the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, and both recovered their fortunes and public status. On his father's death in 1818, he assumed the title of Prince de Condé.

If French kings Henry IV or Louis XIII had no children, Louis Henri would be the last living male line member of the House of Bourbon. However this could have changed as his paternal grandmother would not have existed either as a granddaughter of Louis XIII.

End of the Condé

The line of Bourbon-Condé came to an end with Louis Henri II's death under suspicious circumstances in 1830, shortly after the July Revolution. While in exile in 1811, the duc de Bourbon had made the acquaintance at a bordello in Piccadilly of one Sophia Dawes or Daw, a maid in a brothel from the Isle of Wight. He set the woman and her mother up in London in a house on Gloucester Street. There, she went through an extensive educational program

After the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, Louis Henri brought her to Paris and arranged a marriage for her to Baron Adrien Victor de Feucheres, an officer in the royal guard. This was done to allow Sophia entry into French society. However, in the course of setting up her marriage license, Sophia lied on several particulars. Feucheres, who became an aide to the duc, believed for several years that Sophia was a natural daughter of Louis Henri II. When he discovered the truth, he separated from his wife, and informed King Louis XVIII of the real relationship between Louis Henri and Sophia. The king banned Sophia from court.

In revenge, Sophia approached the head of the house of Orléans, Louis Philippe and through him made a new entry into society. In return, she agreed to use her influence on the aging Louis Henri II to have him set up a will making the son of Louis Philippe, Prince Henri, Duke of Aumale, the old prince's main heir. Sophia was given two million francs for her services in the matter. The new Bourbon king, Charles X, eventually accepted her back at court. She was again considered acceptable by polite French society. She was even able to arrange the marriage of a niece to a nephew of Talleyrand.

By now, Louis Henri was trying to get away from the mistress who had taken over his life. In the summer of 1830, he returned to his home at St. Leu. There, he heard of the July Revolution. Sophia immediately set about to get him to recognize the new Orléans monarchy. On 27 August 1830, the Prince de Condé was found hanging in his bedroom by two handkerchiefs knotted to a window handle. Despite evidence against her from the servants, Sophia was cleared of any wrongdoing by a judicial enquiry set up by the new king. Despite this fact, the terms of the prince's will were still disputed. While Sophia did receive much of the money earmarked by the prince for her, she was refused some property. As a result of the scandal, her reputation was in tatters. She died in 1840 in London.see "Beyond Avarice" by Raymond leJeune.

There are some aspects of the relationship between Sophia and the prince that William Thackeray may have had in mind in the novel Vanity Fair regarding Becky Sharp possibly killing Joseph Sedley. The prince's lands and wealth passed to his godson, the Duke of Aumale. His father, Louis Philippe, was the feudal-law heir to Conti and Condé, being the grandson of Louise Henriette de Bourbon, a daughter of Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon, who was sister of Louis Henri II's grandfather.

Issue

  1. Louis Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien (2 August 1772 – 21 March 1804) died without issue.

Ancestry

Titles, styles, honours and arms


Titles and styles

  • 13 April 1756 – 2 August 1772 His Serene Highness The Duke of Enghien
  • 2 August 1772 – 13 May 1818 His Serene Highness The Duke of Bourbon
  • 13 May 1818 – 21 September 1824 His Serene Highness The Prince of Condé
  • 21 September 1824 30 August 1830 His Royal Highness The Prince of Condé

Bibliography

  • Smith-Hughes, Jack, Eight Studies in Justice (London: Cassell & Co., 1953), p. 124-153, Ch. VI: "Royal Justice: The Conscience of a Citizen-King".

External links

Louis Henri, Prince of Condé
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 13 April 1756? Died: 30 August 1830
French nobility
Preceded by
Louis Joseph
Prince of Condé
13 May 1818 – 30 August 1830
Title extinguished
end of dynasty
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