Thursday, 13 April 2017

The Peerage

Originally, there were thirteen peerages in France: six ecclesiastical and seven lay. Since then the number of peerages all but exploded which generally decreased the value of a peerage - but not making it completely worthless. 

Since the end of the 13th century the peers took on the role of royal officer; as such it is not a title of nobility. It soon became evident to the kings that they could tie the most important nobles to themselves by granting them peerages. Consequently, from the 16th century the granting of peerages escalated. In the ancien regime the rights that came with a peerage were primarily attached to honorific functions; it was different in England. A peer enjoyed certain privileges. These included the right to a seat in the Parlement of Paris as well as the right to be judges by their peers - meaning by aristocrats who were also peers.

The dignity attached to each peerage was dependent on the age of that peerage's creation. Note that in the following list I have only included the peerages that were still in use by the time Louis XIV ascended the throne. The year in italic is the year it was founded.

The Ecclesiastical Peerages:

Archbishop-Duke of Reims
Bishop-Duke of Langres
Bishop-Duke of Laon
Bishop-Count of Beauvais
Bishop-Count of Châlons
Bishop-Count of Noyon

The Archbishop of Paris was per definition also given the title of Duc de Saint-Cloud but was not an original peer.

The Original Lay Peerages:

Duc de Bourgogne
Duc de Normandie
Duc d'Aquitaine (later renamed to Duc de Guyenne)
Comte de Flandre
Comte de Champagne
Comte de Toulouse

The Peerages during Louis XIV-Louis XVI:

Duc d'Aiguillon (1599) - House of Vignerot du Plessis
Duc d'Albret (1556) - House of de La Tour d'Auvergne
Duc d'Alencon (1367) - Royal Family              
Duc d'Amboise (1787) - House of Bourbon
Duc d'Angoulême (1317) - Royal Family
Duc d'Antin (1711) - House of Pardaillan de Gondrin
Duc d'Arpajon (1650) - House of d'Arpajon
Duc d'Aubigny (1683) - House of Richmond
Duc d'Aumale (1547) - House of Savoy then House of Bourbon
Duc d'Auvergne (1360) - Royal Family

Duc de Beaufort (1597) - House of Bourbon-Vendôme
Duc de Berry (1360) - Royal Family
Duc de Biron (1598) - House of Gontaut
Duc de Boufflers (1708) - House of Boufflers
Duc de Bourbon (1327) - House of Bourbon-Condé
Duc de Bournonville (1652) - House of Bournonville
Duc de Brissac (1611) - House of Cossé
Duc de Brunoy (1777) - Royal Family

Duc de Cardone (1652) - House of de La Mothe-Houdancourt
Duc de Charost (1672) - House of Béthune
Duc de Châteauroux (1616) - House of Bourbon-Condé, House of Mailly and Royal Family
Duc de Châteavillain (1703) - House of Bourbon
Duc de Château-Thierry (1400) - House of La Tour d'Auvergne
Duc de Chartres (1399) - Royal Family
Duc de Châtillon (1736) - House of Châtillon
Duc de Chaulnes (1621) - House of d'Albert
Duc de Chevreuse  (1612) - House of Lorraine
Duc de Choiseul (1665) - House of Choiseul
Duc de Clermont-Tonnerre (1571) - House of Clermont-Tonnerre
Duc de Coigny (1787) - House of Franquetot
Duc de Coislin (1663) - House of Cambout
Duc de Coligny (1643) - House of Coligny
Duc de Coulommiers (1410) - House of Orléans-Dunois
Duc de Créquy (1652) - House of Bonne de Blanchefort

Duc de Duras (1658) - House of Durfort

Duc d'Elbeuf (1581) - House of Lorraine
Duc d'Enghien (1566) - House of Bourbon-Condé
Duc d'Epernon (1581) House of Nogaret
Duc d'Estrées (1648) House of d'Estrées
Duc d'Eu (1458) House of Lorraine, House of Orléans and House of Bourbon

Duc de Fayel (1653) - House of La Mothe-Houdancourt
Duc de Fleury (1736) House of Fleury
Duc de Fronsac (1608) House of Bourbon-Condé, then House of Vignerot du Plessis

Duc de Gisors (1748) House of Fouquet, then House of Bourbon
Duc de Gramont (1643) House of Gramont
Duc de Guise (1528) House of Bourbon-Condé

Duc d'Harcourt (1709) House of Harcourt
Duc d'Hostun (1715) House of Hostun

Duc de Joyeuse (1581) House of Lorraine, then House of Melun
Duc de La Ferté-Senneterre (1665) House of Senneterre
Duc de La Force (1637) House of Caumont
Duc de La Meilleraye (1668) House of La Porte-Mazarin
Duc de La Guiche (1653) House of Lorraine
Duc de La Roche-Guyon (1621) House of Plessis-Liancourt
Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1622) House of La Rochefoucauld
Duc de La Valette (1622) House of Nogaret
Duc de La Vallière (1667) House of La Baume le Blanc
Duc de La Vauguyon (1757) House of Caussade
Duc de La Vieuville (1651) House of Vieuville
Duc de Lavedan (1650) House of Montaut-Navailles
Duc de Lesdiguières (1611) House of Bonne de Blanchefort
Duc du Lude (1675) House of Daillon
Duc de Luynes (1619) House of d'Albert
Duc de Lévis (1723) - House of Lévis
Duchesse de Louvois (1777) - Mesdames Tantes (shared by Madame Adelaide and Madame Sophie)

Duc de Mayenne (1673) House of Mazarin
Duc de Mercæur (1596) House of Bourbon-Vendôme
Duc de Montbazon (1588) - House of Rohan
Duc de Montausier (1644) - House of Saint-Maure
Duc de Montaut (1660) - House of Montaut-Navailles
Duc de Montmorency (1551) - House of Montmorency, then House of Bourbon-Condé
Duc de Montpensier (1539) - House of Orléans
Duc de Mortemart (1650) - House of Rochechouart

Duc de Nemours (1404) - House of Orléans
Duc de Nevers  (1347) - House of Mancini-Mazarin      
Duc de Noailles  (1663) - House of Noailles
Duc de Noirmoutier (1650) - House of La Trémoïlle

Duc d'Orléans (1344) - House of Orléans  
Duc d'Orval (1652) - House of Béthune

Duc de Praslin (1762) - House of Choiseul-Praslin
Duc de Penthièvre (1569) - House of Bourbon-Vendôme, then House of Bourbon
Duc de Piney-Luxembourg (1581) - House of Albert, House of Clermont-Tonnerre and House of Montmorency
Duc de Ponthieu (1412) - Royal Family

Duc de Rambouillet (1711) - House of Bourbon
Duc de Randan (1661) - House of Foix
Duc de Rethel-Mazarin (1347) - House of Gonzaga, House of Mancini-Mazarin and House of La Porte-Mazarin
Duc de Retz (1581) - House of Gondi
Duc de Richelieu (1683) - House of Vignerot du Plessis
Duc de Roannais (1372) - House of Gouffier, then House of La Feuillade
Duc de Rohan (1606) - House of Rohan, then House of Rohan-Chabot
Duc de Rohan-Rohan (1714) - House of Rohan-Soubise
Duc de Roquelaure (1652) - House of Roquelaure
Duc de Rosnay (1651) - House of L'Hospital

Duc de Saint-Aignan (1663) - House of Beauvilliers
Duc de Saint-Fargeau (1575) - House of Orléans
Duc de Saint-Simon (1635) - House of Rouvroy 
Duc de Sully (1606) - House of Béthune

Duc de Taillebourg (1749) - House of La Trémoïlle
Duc de Thouars (1595) - House of La Trémoïlle
Duc de Tremes/Gesvres (1648) - House of Potier

Duc d'Uzès (1572) - House of Crussol

Duc de Valentinois (1642) - House of Monaco
Duc de Valois (1344) - House of Orléans
Duc de Vendôme (1515) - House of Bourbon-Vendôme
Duc de Ventadour (1589) - House of Lévis
Duc de Verneuil (1652) - House of Bourbon
Duc de Villars (1707) - House of Villars
Duc de Villars-Brancas (1652) - House of Brancas
Duc de Villemor (1651) - House of Séguier
Duc de Villeroy (1651) - House of Neufville
Duc de Vitry (1650) - House of L'Hospital

Comte de Blois (1399) - House of Orléans
Comte du Maine (1331) - Royal Family
Comte de Perche (1566) - Royal Family
Comte de Poitou (1315) - Royal Family

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