House of Beauharnais

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For other uses, see Beauharnais.
Arms of Dukes of Leuchtenberg of the House of Beauharnais

The House of Beauharnais (or Beauharnois) is a French noble house. It is now represented by the Duke of Leuchtenberg, descendant in male line of Eugène de Beauharnais.

History[edit]

Beauharnais family arms

Originating in Brittany, the Beauharnais (or Beauharnois) became established in the fourteenth century in Orléans. When that city was besieged in 1429, Jehan Beauharnais played a role in its defence and by doing so witnessed to the process of Joan of Arc's rehabilitation. The Beauharnais provided the kingdom with soldiers and magistrates, and contracted alliances in several spheres, including that of the university of law in Orléans. In the 16th century, there were Beauharnais in Orléans as magistrates, merchants, canons and other professions.

From the end of the 16th century to the end of the 17th, the offices of president and of lieutenant général to the bailliage and siège présidial of Orléans were handed down hereditarily through the Beauharnais family. The most eminent of these magistrates was Francis IV de Beauharnais, sieur of la Grillère (at Vouzon, Loir-et-Cher), born in Orléans in 1630, and dying there in 1681.

At the end of the 17th century, the office of lieutenant général du bailliage d'Orléans was ceded to an allied branch, the Curaults. The most eminent of the Beauharnais thus turned to careers in the navy and the colonial administration in the Americas. Another François de Beauharnais (1665–1746) became intendant of New France (i.e. Canada), where a seigneurie was granted to him in 1707. His nephew, Francis V de Beauharnais, was made chef d'escadre des armées royales, then governor of Martinique.

The Beauharnais of Orléans were also great landholders thanks to their many seigneuries in the region. In the 15th century they were seigneurs of la Chaussée (or Miramion), fief of the parish of Saint-Jean-de-Braye, in the suburbs of Orléans. They also had interests at Sologne until the early 16th century, and Guillaume de Beauharnais held the estate of Villechauve, at Sennely. Some years later, the Beauharnais acquiring the neighbouring seigneurie of la Grillère, at Vouzon, with they held until the beginning of the 18th century (when it passed, by the marriage of a female Beauharnais, to the Choiseul-Gouffier family).

On 20 April 1752, Francis V, marquis de Beauharnais (1714–1800), governor of Martinique, maternal great-grandfather of the future Napoleon III of France, bought the seigneurie of La Ferté-Avrain, in Sologne. He was raised to a marquis by letters patent dated July 1764 with the title of La Ferté-Beauharnais, a name the commune still bears (département of Loir-et-Cher).

Genealogy[edit]

Partial genealogy (male and female lines)

  • William I Beauharnais
  • William II Beauharnais
  • Jean Beauharnais, seigneur de Miramion
  • William III Beauharnais
  • William IV Beauharnais
  • Francis I of Beauharnais, seigneur of Miramion.
  • François II de Beauharnais (died 1651), first president of the Présidial d'Orléans (en 1598) and lieutenant général au bailliage ; Third Estate député at the States General of 1614 ; seigneur of la Grillère, at Vouzon (Loir-et-Cher).

Married to Anne Brachet ; 7 children, including

Married to Marie Mallet ; 3 children including

Married in 1663 to Marguerite Françoise Pivart de Chastullé ; 14 children, including

Married to Renée Hardouineau ; 2 sons

Married twice -

  1. his cousin Marie-Anne Pivart de Chastullé
  2. Marie-Euphémie Tascher de la Pagerie.

Two children from his first marriage:

In 1779 married Marie-Josèphe-Rose (known as "Joséphine") Tascher de la Pagerie. Two children :

  • II. Claude de Beauharnais (1717–1784), comte des Roches-Baritaud.
    • A. Claude de Beauharnais (1756–1819), comte des Roches-Baritaud, first married Adrienne de Lezay-Marnésia
      • Stéphanie (1789+1860) imperial princess, in 1806 married Charles II, grand duke of Baden, presumed mother of Gaspard Hauser.

Members by marriage[edit]

Members of the Beauharnois house[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • A. Pommier, "Recherches sur les Beauharnais du XVIIe siècle à Orléans", dans Bulletin de la Société historique et archéologique de l'Orléanais, t. XXIII, n° 235 (1937).
  • R. Gallon, Les Beauharnais, Orléans, La Galerie des Ventes d'Orléans, 1979.
  • Christian Poitou, "Napoléon III et la Sologne", dans La Sologne et son passé, 9, Bulletin du Groupe de Recherches Archéologiques et Historiques de Sologne, t. XIII, n° 2, avril-juin 1991.
  • Philippe de Montjoulvent, Les Beauharnais, 1-Les grands ancêtres, Paris, Editions Christian, 2005 (569 p.)

External links[edit]