Counts and Dukes of Guise

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Count of Guise and Duke of Guise were titles in the French nobility.

Originally a seigneurie, Guise was erected into a countship for René, younger son of Louis II of Anjou, in 1417.

While disputed by the House of Luxembourg (1425–1444), it was ultimately retained by the House of Anjou and its descendants, passing in 1520 into the cadet House of Guise, headed by Claude of Lorraine. In 1528, it was elevated to a duchy for him. The Dukes of Guise and their family played a prominent role in the French Wars of Religion, where they were the leaders of the ultra-Catholic faction.

This creation became extinct in 1688, and the lands passed to Anne, Pfalzgravine of Simmern, a great-granddaughter of Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne (whose mother happened to have first married the 5th Duke of Guise) – although she was not the heiress in primogeniture, that being the Duke of Mantova and Montferrat. The dukedom was recreated for her and her husband Henri Jules de Bourbon-Condé in 1704.

On the extinction of her descendant Bourbon-Condé family, in 1830 the heirs were the House of Orléans, descendants of Anne's granddaughter Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon's daughter Louise Henriette de Bourbon, the Duchess of Orleans. Hence the title of Duke of Guise was used as a courtesy title for members of this family in the nineteenth century, firstly for three sons of Prince Henri, Duke of Aumale, and then for Jean, son of Robert d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres. Jean, Duke of Guise became Orléanist claimant to the throne of France as Jean III in 1926.

Counts of Guise (1417–1481 and 1491–1528)[edit]

House of Anjou[edit]

Armoiries René d'Anjou 1420.svg

House of Luxembourg[edit]

Armoiries Jean de Luxembourg-Ligny.png
Berg Arms.svg

The House of Luxembourg had disputed the countship of Guise, and with the approval of John, Duke of Bedford, English Regent of France, seized the county in 1425.

House of Anjou[edit]

Blason département fr Sarthe.svg
Armoiries Charles V d'Anjou.svg

The marriage of Charles of Le Maine, younger brother of René, to Isabelle of Luxembourg, sister of Louis, allowed him to peacefully recover Guise.

House of ArmagnacHouse of Rohan[edit]

Armoiries Armagnac-Pardiac.svg
Blason fam fr Rohan-Gié.svg

Charles IV left his lands to the Crown, but Guise was granted to his nephew Louis in 1491.

  • Louis d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours (Louis II) (1491–1503)
  • Marguerite d'Armagnac, duchesse de Nemours (Marguerite) (d. 1503)
    • held by her husband Pierre de Rohan-Gié (Peter) (1503–1504)
  • Charlotte d'Armagnac, duchesse de Nemours (Charlotte) (d. 1504)
    • held by her husband Charles de Rohan-Gié (Charles III) (1504–1520)

House of Lorraine[edit]

Armoiries Lorraine-Vaudémont.png

In 1520, the Parlement of Paris conferred the countship of Guise upon Claude of Lorraine, second son of René II of Lorraine (the grandson of René I of Naples) and heir to his French possessions. The countship was elevated to a duchy in 1528.

Dukes of Guise (1528–1688 and 1704–1830)[edit]

House of Lorraine[edit]

Armoiries Lorraine-Vaudémont.png

Marie did not marry and had no direct heirs. She willed her inheritance to Charles François de Stainville on 8 January 1688. This was undone by the Parlement of Paris at the request of indirect heirs to the estate. One of these heirs was Edward of Pfalz-Simmern, Count Palatine and his daughter Anne, because she was a great-granddaughter of Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne through her mother Anna Gonzaga.

House of Bourbon-Condé[edit]

Blason pays fr Dombes.svg

Afterwards, the title was extinguished and no longer bestowed. It returned to the royal domain. Louis Henry though left his estate to his godson, Henry of Orléans. He was bestowed with the personal title of Duke of Guise by Louis-Philippe, King of the French, his grandfather, in 1847.

House of Bourbon-Orléans[edit]

Blason duche fr Orleans (moderne).svg

From here on the title became a courtesy title used by the House of Orléans.

See also[edit]