Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne

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Portrait of Frédéric-Maurice de La Tour d’Auvergne by Robert Nanteuil

Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon (October 22, 1605 – August 9, 1652) was prince of the independent principality of Sedan, and general in the French royal army.

Born in Sedan, Ardennes, he was the son of Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne, duc de Bouillon and Elisabeth of Nassau. His brother was the famous Turenne, Marshal of France. Raised as a Protestant, he received a military education in Holland under his uncles Maurice of Nassau-Orange and Frederick Henry of Nassau-Orange.

He became duc de Bouillon, and prince of Sedan, Jametz, and Raucourt (now in Ardennes département, France) at the death of his father in 1623. He was appointed governor of Maastricht (United Provinces) in 1629. In 1634 he married Eleonora van Berg's-Heerenberg, under whose influence he converted to Catholicism.

In 1635 the duc de Bouillon came into the service of King Louis XIII of France, and was appointed maréchal de camp (i.e. brigadier general). He was deprived of his offices in the United Provinces after engaging in negotiations with Spain (the arch-enemy of the United Provinces) in 1637.

Along with the comte de Soissons, he conspired against Richelieu, and with the support of Spanish troops he and the comte de Soissons defeated the French royal troops sent after them at the Battle of La Marfée, outside of Sedan, in 1641.

Later he submitted to King Louis XIII and Richelieu, and he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in command of the French army of Italy (1642). Having again conspired against Richelieu with Cinq-Mars, he was arrested in Casale (Italy), and was released only when his wife threatened to open Sedan to the Spaniards (1642). During this misfortune, he promised to cede the strategic border principalities of Sedan and Raucourt to France.

In 1650 he joined the Fronde, and was one of its leaders with his brother Turenne. Mazarin won him over (1650) by promising him a high office and compensations for the cession of Sedan and Raucourt, exchanged in 1651 for the duchies of Albret and Château-Thierry, the counties of Auvergne and Évreux, and several other lands.

He died at Pontoise, near Paris, in 1652 and was buried in Évreux.

Children[edit]

Frédéric Maurice's eldest three children, Pierre Mignard.

Frédéric Maurice had five sons and four daughters. The five sons were:

His daughter Élisabeth married Charles III, Duke of Elbeuf (grandson of a legitimised daughter of Henry IV) and had issue.

References[edit]