Louis Joseph de Bourbon, prince de Condé

Louis Joseph of Bourbon-Condé (Louis V, Prince of Condé) (August 9 1736May 13 1818) was Prince of Condé from 1740 to his death.

Life

He was the only son of Louis Henry I and Caroline of Hesse-Rheinfels-Rothenburg (1714-41). As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a Prince du Sang. As a young man, he married Charlotte-Godefried de Rohan-Soubise (1737-1760), the daughter of King Louis XV's friend, the Prince de Soubise. Together, they had a son, Louis Henri Joseph, and daughter, Louise-Adélaide de Condé.

Louis Joseph occupied an important place at court. During both the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI, he held the position of "Grand Maître de France" in the king's royal household, the Maison du Roi.

He was also Governor of Burgundy and a general in the French army. Louis Joseph decided to escape from France with his son and grandson following the fall of the Bastille in 1789 in fear of possible arrest or death. This decision proved fateful, since during the "Reign of Terror" that followed many of the Bourbons left living in France were arrested, put on trial and guillotined: King Louis XVI, Queen Marie-Antoinette and the Duc d'Orleans were executed in 1793, and the king's sister, Madame Élisabeth, was beheaded in 1794.

Army of Condé

The prince established himself at Coblenz in 1791, where he helped to organize and lead a large counter-revolutionary army of émigrés. In addition to containing the prince's grandson, the Duc d'Enghien, and the two sons of his cousin, the dead king's brother, the Comte d'Artois, the corps included many young aristocrats who eventually became leaders during the Bourbon Restoration years later.

This group included the Duc de Richelieu, the Duc de Blacas and Chateaubriand.

The "Army of Condé" initially fought in conjunction with the Austrians. Later, due to differences with the Austrian plan of attack, however, the Prince de Condé entered with his corps into English pay in 1795. In 1796, the army fought in Swabia. In 1797, Austria signed the Treaty of Campo Formio with the First French Republic, formally ending its hostilities against the French. With the loss of its closest allies, the army transferred into the service of the Russian tsar, Paul I and was stationed in Poland, returning in 1799 to the Rhine under Alexander Suvorov. In 1800 when Russia left the Allied coalition, the army re-entered English service and fought in Bavaria.

Later life

The army was disbanded in 1801 without having achieved much. After the dissolution of the corps, the prince spent his exile in England, where he lived with his second wife, Marie-Catherine de Brignole-Sale, the divorced wife of the Prince de Monaco, whom he had married in 1798. She died in 1813.

After the defeat of Napoleon, Louis Joseph returned to Paris, where he resumed his courtly duties as "grand maître" in the royal household of Louis XVIII. He died in 1818 and was succeeded by his son, Louis-Henri. His daughter, Louise-Adélaïde, who was a nun and had become the abbess of Remiremont Abbey, survived until 1824.

Prince de Condé


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