Thursday, 15 June 2017

House of La Rochefoucauld

The House of La Rochefoucauld belonged to the oldest ranks of nobility in France; the family held a patent of nobility since 1019. Until the 15th century the family held the ranks of Lord or Baron de Rochefoucauld. It was Francis I who elevated the barony into a county in April 1528. The holder of the title Comte de Rochefoucauld was then Francois I de Rochefoucauld. His successor, Francois II, was further honoured with the titles of Prince de Marillac and Baron de Verteuil.

Surprisingly, both Francois III and Francois IV were Protestants. The former had married the sister-in-law to the Prince de Condé and was killed in the St. Bartholomew Day's Massacre. The latter was also killed but at Saint-Yrieix by the French Catholic League.

These would be the last Protestant Lords Rochefoucauld. Francois V was raised into Duc de La Rochefoucauld by Louis XIII in 1622; his Catholicism may well have been the reason for the elevation since his predecessors had been denied the title.

The male line died out in 1721; by patent of Louis XV the title was permitted to be carried by Marie-Louise de La Rochefoucauld's male children (she was the daughter of Alexandre I). However, there was a condition. In order for Marie-Louise to obtain the title for her sons she would have to marry one of her Rochefoucauld-relations. She chose Jean Baptiste de La Rochefoucauld de Roye.

The son of Marie-Louise and Jean Baptiste had inherited no less than two ducal titles: Duc de La Rochefoucauld and Duc d'Anville. He would be known as the Duc de La Rochefoucauld-d'Anville. He would meet a grisly end in 1792 when he was assassinated in the massacre of September that year.  His cousin, Francois XII, has gone down in history for his comment to Louis XVI on 12 July 1789. When the King asked if it was a revolt, Francois answered "No, sire, it is a revolution".

The family line is still in existence with the Francois de La Rochefoucauld claiming the unofficial title of the 14th Duc de La Rochefoucauld.

Alliances of the Ducs de La Rochefoucauld:
Francois V - Gabrielle du Plessis-Liancourt
Francois VI - Andrée de Vivonne
Francois VII - Jeanne du Plessis-Liancourt
Francois VIII - Magdaleine Charlotte de le Tellier de Louvois (daughter of Louis XIV's minister)
Alexandre I - Elisabeth-Marie-Louise-Nicole de Caylard de Toiras d'Amboise
Marie-Louise - Jean Baptiste de La Rochefoucauld
Louis Alexandre - Alexandrine de Rohan-Chabot
Francois XIII - Marie-Francoise de Tott

Family members:

Billedresultat for duc of la rochefoucauld
Duc de La Rochefoucauld-d'Anville -
son of Marie-Louise and Jean Baptiste
Billedresultat for de la rochefoucauld
Francois VI - wrote his memoirs of the Fronde

Billedresultat for de la rochefoucauld
Cardinal de La Rochefoucauld

Billedresultat for duchesse de la rochefoucauld
Alexandrine de Rohan-Chabot,
Duchesse de La Rochefoucauld

Francois XII - who answered Louis XVI

Buste of Félicité Sophie
de Lampion,
Duchesse de
La Rochefoucauld

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