Thursday, 13 November 2014

Philippe de Bourbon, Duc de Vendôme

Philippe de Bourbon was born in 1655 to Louis de Bourbon (the then Duc de Vendôme) and Laura Mancini; he was their second son. Like most younger sons of noblemen he joined the army which meant that he was present at the Siege of Candia in 1669 during which he lost his uncle.

Philippe stayed in the army and eventually managed to acquire the title of Grand Prior of France in the Order of Malta - a quite prestigious post. He had been a knight of that order since his birth. As his career went on he could count among his battles that of Fleurus (1690), Steenkirk (1692), Marsaglia etc. Louis XIV had by then gained faith in Philippe and decided to put him in charge of the French troops fighting in Italy during the War of the Spanish Succession as Lieutenant General.

However, Philippe had to acknowledge that his elder brother Louis-Joseph automatically took precedence over him especially at the Battle of Cassano. Philippe would be situated in a post below his brother for the rest of the war. But there was another more down-to-earth reason for why it might just have been a good thing that Philippe did not get the sole command: his opponent, Prince Eugene of Savoy, was a better soldier than Philippe was.

Eventually, Louis-Joseph died which mean that Philippe inherited the title of Duc de Vendôme. However, Philippe had never married and upon his death in 1727 the title died out since he had no children.

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