Saturday, 16 September 2017

House of Montmorency

Dating back to the tenth century the House of Montmorency has had a finger in every part of the French elite: the court, the army, the clergy etc. This was a family with a lot of cadet branches - by 1789 no fewer than 20 adult and titled males belonged to this house. These men belonged to six different branches - since there are so many minor ones I have chosen to focus on five of these branches which are divided according to their primary title.

The Duc de Montmorency

This particular title was created no less than three times and changed quite a lot. 

First creation:
1) Anne de Montmorency - Madeleine de Savoy = 12 children
2) Francis de Montmorency - Diane de France (illegitimate daughter of Henri II) = no issue
3) Henri I de Montmorency - Antoinette de La Marck = 2 children
                                             - Louise de Budos = 2 children
4) Henri II de Montmorency never married

Henri II was executed in 1632 after having participated in an unsuccessful coup against the Cardinal de Richelieu. The title passed on to his sister, Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency, who had married the Prince de Condé

Second creation:
1) Henri, Prince de Condé - Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency = 3 children
2) Louis de Bourbon (the Grand Condé) - Claire-Clémence de Maillé-Brézé = 3 children
3) Henri Jules de Bourbon - Anne of Bavaria, Princess Palatine = 5 children

By 1689 the title was changed to that of Duc d'Enghien; however, that was not the end of the Duc de Montmorency-title. That same year the title of Duc de Beaufort was changed into that of Montmorency.

From Henri Jules and Anne of Bavaria the title of Duc d'Enghien was continued and was eventually held by King Louis Philippe

Third creation:
The third creation was granted to the branch of Montmorency-Luxembourg

1) Charles I de Montmorency-Luxembourg - Marie Anne d'Albert de Lunes = 2 children
                                                                      - Marie Gilonne Gillier de Clérembault = 4 children
2) Charles II de Montmorency-Luxembourg - Marie Sophie Colbert = 2 children
                                                                       - Madeleine Angélique de Neufville de Villeroy
3) Anne François de Montmorency-Luxembourg - Louise Françoise de Montmorency-Luxembourg = 3 children

4) Charlotte Françoise de Montmorency-Luxembourg - Anne Léon de Montmorency-Fosseux = 6 children

The line continued until 1951

Fun facts about this line:
  • All six children of Charlotte Françoise de Montmorency and her husband were christened Anne - two were girls and four were boys
  • Charlotte Marguerite caught the eye of Henri IV and allegedly arranged the marriage in order to conduct an affair with her - however, the Grand Condé was not about to share his wife and fled to Brussels with her immediately after the wedding
  • Charlotte Françoise de Montmorency served Marie Antoinette both as Dauphine and Queen
  • The son and heir of Charles II and Marie Sophie Colbert died before they did - their successor, Anne, was their great-cousin
  • Marie Renée - eldest daughter of Charles I and Marie Gilonne - was infamous for being a nymphomaniac 

D'après un portrait de Rubens (vers 1610)
Charlotte Marguerite - the would-be mistress
to Henri IV

The Duc de Piney-Luxembourg

The House of Montmorency came by the title through marriage. Madeleine-Charlotte de Clermont de Luxembourg was given the title by her mother after the previous duke resigned in 1661.

1) François-Henri de Montmorency - Madeleine-Charlotte de Clermont de Luxembourg  = 5 children
2) Charles II de Montmorency-Luxembourg (see Duc de Montmorency)

Fun facts:
  • François-Henri actually sued the French aristocracy - he wanted to be granted the title of Duc de Piney which was far older than that combined with Luxembourg. If he had been given his way he would have outranked the majority of existing dukes at court
  • Charles II continued the suit but was finally defeated when a royal edict traced the title back no longer than 1661
  • Charles II's father had been killed after a duel
  • Charlotte Marguerite took in Charles II - her nephew - as a boy and raised him with her own son

The Duc de Beaumont

Louis XV created this title as a sign of his favour towards Charles François Christian de Montmorency-Luxembourg in 1765 - although the title is that of a duke it is not a peerage.

1) Charles François Christian de Montmorency-Luxembourg - Louise Françoise de Montmorency = 1 child

2) Anne-Christian de Montmorency-Luxembourg - Armande Anne Louise de Becdelièvre = 4 children

This line died out in 1878

Billedresultat for Anne-Christian de Montmorency-Beaumont-Luxembourg
Charles François Christian de Montmorency-

The Prince de Robecq

This title was first held by Eugène de Montmorency who was the son of Jean de Montmorency. Jean had been seigneur of a number of areas including Robecq.

1) Eugène de Montmorency - Marguerite-Alexandrine de Ligne = 4 children
2) Philippe Marie de Montmorency - Marie Philippine du Croÿ = 3 children
3) Charles de Montmorency - Isabelle Alexandrine du Croÿ
4) Anne-Auguste de Montmorency - Charlotte Félicité du Bellay de la Pallüe
5) Anne-Louis-Alexandre de Montmorency - Anne Maurice de Montmorency = 2 children
                                                                       - Émilie Alexandrine de La Rochefoucauld = no issue

Fun facts:
  • The Princes de Robecq were Grandees of Spain 
  • Charlotte Félicité died at the age of just 17

The Duc de Laval

The title of Duc de Laval was first bestowed on Guy-André-Pierre de Montmorency-Laval through letters patent of October 1758.

1) Guy-André-Pierre de Montmorency-Laval - Jacqueline Marie Hortense de Bullion de Fervaques = 9 children
2) Anne Alexandre Marie Sulpice Joseph de Montmorency-Laval - Marie Louise Mauricette de Montmorency-Luxembourg = 4 children

Fun facts:
  • Guy-André-Pierre was brother to the Cardinal of Metz who became Almoner of France after the Affair of the Diamond Necklace. The Cardinal emigrated during the revolution and died in Denmark-Norway
  • Anne Alexandre Marie Sulpice Joseph fought in the American war of independence. He emigrated during the revolution

Image illustrative de l'article Guy-André-Pierre de Montmorency-Laval

The house of Montmorency died out in 1878 in the male line and in 1922 in the female line.


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