House of La Trémoille

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The House of La Trémoille is an old French family which derives its name from a village (now La Trimouille) in the department of Vienne.

The family has been known since the middle of the 11th century, and since the 14th century its members have been conspicuous in French history. To this family belonged the lines of the counts of Joigny, the marquis of Royan and counts of Olonne, and the marquis and dukes of Noirmoutier.

Heirs of the crown of Naples[edit]

Anne de Laval (23 September 1505, Vitré - 1554, Craon), titular Princess of Tarento, was a French noblewoman and nominal pretender to the Kingdom of Naples. She was the daughter of Guy XVI, Count of Laval, and of Charlotte of Aragon, Princess of Taranto.[1] She was the only child of Charlotte to marry and leave heirs, thereby keeping alive in her descendants the claim of the exiled king, Federigo IV, to Naples. On 23 January 1521 she married François de la Trémoïlle, vicomte de Thouars.[1] The marriage not only brought the La Trémoïlles the countship of Laval and the Neapolitan claim in 1521, but also the rank of princes étrangers at the French court.[2]

Her eldest son, Louis III de La Trémoille, became the first duc de Thouars in 1599, while her second son, Georges, and third son, Claude, founded the cadet branches of the marquis de Royan and the ducs de Noirmoutier, respectively.[3]

Current status[edit]

Louis Jean Marie de La Trémoïlle (8 February 1910 – 9 December 1933), prince and 12th duc de La Trémoïlle, 13th duc de Thouars and premier duke of France, 13th prince de Tarente and 17th prince de Talmond,[4] was the only son and heir of Louis Charles de La Trémoïlle, 12th duc de Thouars and 12th Prince of Taranto. All four of his sisters married princes or dukes.

He was the last male of one of the most historically significant noble families of France. His death extinguished the last but one (i.e., the House of Rohan) of France's most renowned prince étranger families, whose struggles and alliances with the Valois and Bourbon kings of France constitute no small part of the history of the ancien régime.

He was killed in a fire at the estate of Leander J. McCormick in Whitchurch, Hampshire, England, at the age of 23. Some[who?] noted at the time that his mysterious death by fire in England evoked the martyrdom at English hands of Joan of Arc five centuries earlier, who had been betrayed by the young duke's ancestor, Georges de la Trémoille, founder of the fortune of the House of La Trémoïlle.[5] He died unmarried and left no known descendants.

Although the 1944 Almanach de Gotha states that his successor as 14th duchesse de Thouars was the eldest of his four sisters, Princess Charlotte (1892-1971),[4] the Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels of 1991 refrains from doing so,[6] and a 1959 ruling of the French courts declared that hereditary titles may only be transmitted "male-to-male" in "modern law".[7] (The original grant of the dukedom, in July 1563 by Charles IX, stipulated that it was heritable by both male and female successors, although when erected into a pairie by King Henri le Grand in 1599, the letters patent restricted succession to the peerage to male heirs,[8] restrictions which are inapplicable to the title of pretence, Prince of Taranto, traditionally borne by the representative heir to the historical throne of Naples, which was heritable in the female line).

Jean Charles Lamoral, the only son of the 13th duke's eldest sister, had de La Trémoïlle appended to his own princely surname in the Kingdom of Belgium as "Prince de Ligne de La Trémoïlle" on 20 December 1934,[6] and his only son, Jean Charles, bears the same title and name.[6]

Chief line[edit]

Viscounts of Thouars (elevated to duke 1563), Princes of Talmont, etc.

Notable family members[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kingdom of Naples". Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. 1911. 
  2. ^ Spanheim, Ézéchiel (1973). ed. Emile Bourgeois, ed. Relation de la Cour de France. le Temps retrouvé (in French). Paris: Mercure de France. pp. pages 121, 344–345. 
  3. ^ Père Anselme (1967) [1728]. "Des Pairs de France - Thouars: Généalogie de la Maison de La Tremoille". Histoire Genealogique et Chronologique de la Maison Royale de France, des Pairs, Grands Officiers de la Couronne (in French). Paris: Compagnie des Libraires. pp. 169, 174, 176. 
  4. ^ a b Almanach de Gotha, La Trémoïlle. Justus Perthes, 1944, p.463. French.
  5. ^ "Duke Last of Direct Male Line". New York Times. 1933-12-10. 
  6. ^ a b c Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Furstlicher Hauser Bande XIV, C.A. Starke Verlag, Ligne, Limburg, 1991, pp. 498-499. German.
  7. ^ Heraldica.org, Francois Velde, Nobility and Titles in France, 18 June 2008, retrieved 31 July 2011
  8. ^ Pere Anselme, Histoire de la Maison Royale de France et des Grands Officiers de la Couronne, Editions du Palais Royal, Paris, 1967. Chapitre V: Thouars Duché-Pairie, p. 145. French.