Jules de Polignac

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Jules de Polignac
Jules Armand de Polignac 1780–1847.JPG
Prime Minister of France
In office
8 August 1829 – 29 July 1830
Monarch Charles X
Preceded by Vicomte de Martignac
Succeeded by Duc de Broglie
Personal details
Born (1780-05-14)14 May 1780
Versailles
Died 2 March 1847(1847-03-02) (aged 66)
Paris
Political party Ultra-Royalist

Prince Jules de Polignac, 3rd Duke of Polignac (Auguste Jules Armand Marie; French pronunciation: ​[ʒyl.də.pɔ.li.ɲak] ; 14 May 1780 – 2 March 1847[1]), was a French statesman. He was an ultra-royalist politician after the Revolution and prime minister under Charles X just before the 1830 July Revolution which overthrew the Bourbon dynasty.

Biography[edit]

Born in Versailles, Jules was the younger son of Jules, 1st Duke of Polignac, and Gabrielle de Polastron, a confidante and favourite of Queen Marie-Antoinette. Due to his mother's privileged position, the young Jules was raised in the environment of the court of Versailles, where his family occupied a luxurious suite of thirteen rooms. His sister, Aglaé, was married to the duc de Guîche at a young age, helping to cement the Polignac family's position as one of the leaders of high society at Versailles.

In 1789, the outbreak of the French Revolution, Jules's mother and her circle were forced to flee abroad due to threats against their lives. Gabrielle had been one of the most consistent supporters of absolutism and bequeathed these political sympathies to her son following her death in 1793.

Marrieds[edit]

Jules married twice. He married firstly, in 1816 at London to Barbara Campbell (Ardneaves House, Islay 22 Aug 1788-Saint-Mandé 23 May 1819), a young Scotswoman, who later returned with him to France, with whom he had two children:

  • Armand (1817–1890), later 4th Duc de Polignac;[2] he has male-line descendants till date who bear the principal title.
  • Seyna-Camille (1818–1833)

After her death in 1819, he married in London on 3 June 1824 Charlotte, Comtesse de Choiseul, widow of Comte Cesar de Choiseul (d 1821), née Honourable (Maria) Charlotte Parkyns (St.Marylebone 6 Jan 1792-1/2 Sep 1864). She was the youngest child (of six children) and daughter of Thomas Boothby-Parkyns Lord Rancliffe (created 1795)[3] and his wife Elizabeth Anne James, and sister of George Augustus Anne Parkyns, Lord Rancliffe [4] and Henrietta, Lady Rumbold (1789-1833) wife of Sir William Rumbold, 3rd Bt.[5] in 1824. He had met her while she was renewing her passport at the London embassy, and he was Ambassador (1823-1829).[6] They had 5 children, of whom two were born while their father was (comfortably) in prison.:

  • Alphonse de Polignac (1826–June 1863) born during his father's ambassadorship in London. He entered Polytechnique in 1849 and formulated Polignac's conjecture the same year. He married Jeanne Emilie Mirès (called Amelie by Kahan), and had issue one daughter. He died some time after a very public trial exonerated his father-in-law Jules Mirès of embezzlement.[7]
  • Charles Ludovic Marie or "Louis" (1827–1904), born during his father's ambassadorship in London; he entered Polytechnique in 1851 and pursued a military career. He married 1874 Gabriele Pss von Croy, with no issue.
  • Yolande (1830–1855), named for his mother Gabrielle de Polastron, Duchess of Polignac. She was born shortly before her father's incarceration as an Ultra.[8] She married 1848 Sosthène de La Rochefoucauld Duc de Doudeauville.
  • Camille (1832-1913), a major-general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (1832–1913), He married twice, and had issue one daughter by his first marriage, and one son Prince Victor de Polignac (dsp 1998) and two daughters by his second marriage. He has issue and descendants through his eldest daughter[9]
  • Edmond (1834–1901), later a noted musician and composer, who married Winnaretta Singer in a famous mariage blanc.

The couple's marriage was annulled by the French Chamber of Peers, but Jules and Charlotte went to England after his release 1836, and renewed their vows before the French consul in 1837.[10]

Jules de Polignac, portrait made during the First Empire

Returning to France, which was then ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte, Jules continued in his zealous loyalty to the exiled Royal Family. In 1804, a year after his sister's death, Jules was implicated in the conspiracy of Cadoudal and Pichegru to assassinate Bonaparte, and was imprisoned until 1813. After the restoration of the Bourbons, he was rewarded with various honours and positions. He held various offices, received from the pope his title of "prince" in 1820, and in 1823 King Louis XVIII made him ambassador to Great Britain. A year later, his mother's former friend ascended the throne as King Charles X. Polignac's political sympathies did not alter and he was one of the most conspicuous ultra-royalists during the Restoration era.

At the time, it was rumoured that Polignac supported ultra-royalist policies because he thought he was receiving inspiration from the Virgin Mary. There is little historical evidence for this story, however. There is no mention of such motivation in Polignac's personal memoirs or in the memoirs of the Restoration court.

On 8 August 1829 Charles X appointed him to the ministry of foreign affairs and in the following November Polignac became president of the council, effectively the most powerful politician in France. His appointment was considered a step towards overthrowing the constitution and Polignac, with other ministers, was held responsible for the decision to issue the Four Ordinances, which were the immediate cause of the revolution of July 1830.

Upon the outbreak of revolt he fled, wandering for some time among the wilds of Normandy before he was arrested at Granville. At his trial before the chamber of peers he was condemned and sentenced to 'perpetual' imprisonment at the château in Ham. But he benefited by the amnesty of 1836, when the sentence was commuted to exile. During his captivity he wrote Considerations politiques (1832). Afterwards, he spent several years in exile in England before being permitted to re-enter France on condition that he never again take up his abode in Paris.

From his second marriage to Maria-Charlotte, Jules de Polignac had fathered seven children, including Prince Ludovic de Polignac (1827-1904), a lieutenant-colonel in the French Army who participated in the colonization of Algeria; Prince Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac (1832-1913), a major-general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and Prince Edmond de Polignac (1834-1901), a composer, musical theorist and proponent of the octatonic scale.

Jules died at St. Germain in 1847 of the effects of his imprisonment; about one month prior he had assumed the title of Duc de Polignac upon the death of his older brother, Armand, who had died without children.

Comte Pierre de Polignac, later Prince Pierre, Duke of Valentinois father of Rainier III of Monaco and therefore the entire current princely family is descended from a different and cadet branch of the de Polignac family which has the comital rank only. Pierre was the youngest son, descended from the youngest son of the first Duke of Polignac.

Ancestry[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • W. Schlésinger, Les femmes du XVIIIe siècle: La duchesse de Polignac et son temps (Paris, 1889)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica
  2. ^ Paul Theroff. Polignac. An Online Gotha. retrieved 25 December 2012
  3. ^ He was son of Sir Thomas Parkyns, 4th Bt, and was created Baron Rancliffe in the Peerage of Ireland. He predeceased his father Sir Thomas Parkyns, 3rd Bt (1728-1806) and was succeeded in the barony of Rancliffe 1800 by his son George Augustus Anne, who became 4th Bt in 1806. The second Baron Rancliffe died 1850 without issue.
  4. ^ [1] Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Maria Charlotte Parkyns (Parkins) 1792 - post 1824" Genealogy of Charlotte de Polignac, nee Parkyns, retrieved 24 December 2012.
  6. ^ Sylvia Kahan. In Search of New Scales: Prince Edmond De Polignac, Octatonic Explorer University of Rochester Press, 2009
  7. ^ Kahan, p 26
  8. ^ See Kahan p.11 According to Kahan, Jules was allowed conjugal visits from his wife, and thus his last two sons were conceived in prison.
  9. ^ "Modern Day Line from Charles Allanson Knight and Jessie Anne Ramsey". Retrieved 25 December 2012
  10. ^ See Kahan p.13

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Political offices
Preceded by
The Viscount of Martignac
Prime Minister of France
1829–1830
Succeeded by
The Duke of Broglie
French nobility
Preceded by
Armand de Polignac
Duke of Polignac
1 March 1847 – 30 March 1847
Succeeded by
Jules de Polignac