Duke of Richelieu

Richelieu: d'argent, à trois chevrons de gueules

Duke of Richelieu was a title in the peerage of France. It was created on 26 November 1629 for cardinal Richelieu who, as a clergyman, had no issue to pass it down to. It instead passed to his great-nephew, Armand Jean de Vignerot,[1] grandson of his elder sister Françoise (1577–1615), who had married René de Vignerot, lord of Pontcourlay († 1625).

Armand Jean de Vignerot added the cardinal's surname of du Plessis to his own, took the cardinal's coat of arms (d'argent à trois chevrons de gueules « sans meslange d'aulcunes autres ») and received the titles of duke of Richelieu and peer of France by letters patent in 1657.

Two new reversions of the title occurred in 1822 and 1879. In effect, Armand Emmanuel du Plessis, duc de Richelieu died without an heir, but he gained permission for the title of duke of Richelieu to pass to the son of his half-sister Simplicie, daughter of Antoine-Pierre de La Chapelle de Saint-Jean de Jumilhac, with reversion to the descendents of his younger brother should he die without a male heir - meaning that, in effect, the title passed to his nephew.

The title became extinct in 1952 with the son of the 7th Duke of Richelieu and of Alice Heine (1858–1925). Alice was widowed in 1880 and remarried to prince Albert I of Monaco in 1889.

List of dukes of Richelieu

  1. 1629–1642: Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu (1585–1642), cardinal, 1st duke of Richelieu, first minister under Louis XIII.
  2. 1657–1715: Armand Jean de Vignerot du Plessis (1629–1715), 2nd duke of Richelieu, great-nephew of the former.
  3. 1715–1788: Louis François Armand de Vignerot du Plessis (1696–1788), 3rd duke of Richelieu, marshal of France, son of the former.
  4. 1788–1791: Louis Antoine Sophie de Vignerot du Plessis (1736–1791), 4th duke of Richelieu, son of the former.
  5. 1791–1822: Armand Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis (1766–1822), 5th duke of Richelieu, président du Conseil and Foreign Minister, son of the former.
  6. 1822–1879: Armand François Odet de La Chapelle de Saint-Jean de Jumilhac (1804–1879), 6th duke of Richelieu, nephew of the former.
  7. 1879–1880: Marie Odet Richard Armand de La Chapelle de Saint-Jean de Jumilhac (1847–1880), 7th duke of Richelieu, nephew of the former.
  8. 1880–1952: Marie Odet Jean Armand de La Chapelle de Saint-Jean de Jumilhac (1875–1952), 8th and last duke of Richelieu, son of the former.

Notes and references

  1. ^ The surname Vignerot, held by the brother-in-law of Richelieu and his descendents, was also spelled Vignerod.

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