Guy Aldonce de Durfort de Lorges

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Guy-Aldonce de Durfort, duc de Lorges.

Guy Aldonce de Durfort, duc de Lorges, marshal of France, (22 August 1630 – 22 October 1702), was a French nobleman and soldier, remembered chiefly as father-in-law of the Duc de St. Simon, who portrays him in his Memoirs with great affection.

Guy Aldonce was the fourth son of Guy Aldonce de Durfort (1605-1665), marquis of Duras, count of Rozan and of Lorges, maréchal de camp, and Élisabeth de La Tour d'Auvergne, daughter of Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne and the sister of Turenne.

His brother, Jacques Henri de Durfort de Duras, was also a Marshal of France. It is possible that the fame of their uncle played a major part in the military career of Jacques-Henri and Guy Aldonce.

In the War of the Grand Alliance he commanded the French army in Germany from 1690 to 1695. On 27 September 1692, he defeated 4,000 imperial cavalry under the command of Frederick Charles, Duke of Württemberg-Winnental; the following year in 1693, and took the city of Heidelberg.

He married Gabrielle de Frémont, daughter of the keeper of the King's jewels. Many of his friends considered that he had married socially beneath him, but the marriage was a happy one, and even his son-in-law Saint-Simon, who disapproved of marriage between the classes, admitted that she was an admirable wife.[1] They had one son and five daughters. Marie Gabrielle de Durfort de Lorges, his eldest daughter married Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon. Another daughter, Geneviève, married Antoine Nompar de Caumont, duke of Lauzun.

Saint-Simon praises his father-in-law warmly in his Memoirs, describing him as highly principled, frank, upright, good-natured, sincere and the most truthful man alive.[2] He supplied his son-in-law with useful material for his memoirs, particularly on the early relations between Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon.

According to Saint-Simon, his death was caused by an operation to remove a kidney-stone: the inexperienced surgeon mishandled the operation and Guy Aldonce died in agony, which he endured with great courage.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norton, Lucy (ed.) Duc de Saint-Simon "Memoirs" Prion Books London 1999 Vol.1 pp.61-2
  2. ^ Saint-Simon Memoirs p.61
  3. ^ Saint-Simon p.201