Louis-Auguste Juvénal des Ursins d'Harville

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Louis-Auguste Juvénal des Ursins d'Harville
Général Louis Auguste Juvénal des Ursins d'Harville.jpg
Count of Harville, Marquis of Traînel, & Doue
Born 23 April 1749
Paris, France
Died 8 May 1815(1815-05-08) (aged 66)
Harville or Lizy-sur-Ourcq, France
Buried at Doue, France

Kingdom of France Kingdom of France
Kingdom of France (1791–1792) Kingdom of France
France France
France French Empire
Kingdom of France Kingdom of France(1814)

Service/branch Gendarmerie, Cavalry
Years of service November 25, 1766 - November 18, 1801
Rank Divisional General
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleonic Wars
Awards Order of Saint Louis, Legion of Honour, Order of the Golden Eagle
Other work Senator, Peer of France

Louis-Auguste Juvénal des Ursins d'Harville, Count of Harville (23 April 1749, Paris – 8 May 1815, Harville or Lizy-sur-Ourcq, France), was a French military officer and politician in late 18th century France. A Divisional General in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, he was present at the Battle of Jemappes on 6 November 1792 and led the Reserve Division at the subsequent Siege of Namur.

Family origins[edit]

The origins of the Famille de Harville are obscure, but not entirely unknown. The House of Harville, from ancient knights of the Beauce, are known by the charters since Simon de Harville, Knight, living in 1223. In the year 1383, Pierre-Philippe de Harville was falconer for Louis of France, Count of Valois, Duke of Orleans, brother of King Charles VI. It is quite possible that a the name is derived from St. Airy, the tenth Bishop of Verdun, whose name is the likely origin for the commune still there today.

(Airy-ville → Arville → Harville)

Life before the revolution[edit]

He began his military career very young, according to Vuillemin. On November 25, 1766 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps Royal des Carabiniers. He worked his way up through the ranks, becoming a Major im the Gendarmerie in 1786, a Field Marshal in 1788, and a Lieutenant-General in the Army of the North in 1792. As a member of an ancient French noble family dating back to the Second Crusade,[1] he entered the gendarmerie at a young age. His father was Claude II Constant-Esprit Juvénal des Ursins d'Harville, Marquis de Traînel (1722–1794). Through his fourth great-grandmother, Catherine Jouvenel des Ursins, daughter of Christophe Jouvenel des Ursins and Madeleine de Luxembourg he was a cognatic descendant of the House of Luxembourg-Ligny a cadette branch of the House of Luxembourg.

Military career[edit]

The nobility had a privileged place in French society, and many political and military positions were traditionally restricted to men of high birth. According to a period account (which can be found George Sand's autobiography), the Count had been a little indifferent and hesitant at the Battle of Jemappes whilst under the command of Dumouriez.[2] Under the reign of Napoleon, he was a Knight of Honour (chevelier d'honneur), and first squire(premier écuyer) and lord-in-waiting of the Empress Joséphine. In 1808, he was made a Comte d'Empire, though his had father received the higher honour, Honneur de la Cour a generation before.

Arrest and trial[edit]

After the defection of Dumouriez in April 1793, the Count became suspect and was arrested at the request of Laurent Lecointre. On 15 April 1793 he was brought before the Revolutionary Tribunal, accused of being involved in the defection of the General-in-Chief. Referred to the Committee of Public Safety, the Count of Harville was accused by Robert and defended by Guillemardet and Camille Desmoulins, who obtained his freedom.

Travels and political career[edit]

Louis-Auguste travelled extensively throughout his life, going to Württemberg, Aachen, Italy, and Munich. He was a Sénateur in the Sénat conservateur in the First French Empire. He voted for the deposition of Napoleon and later supported the Bourbon Restoration, and on 4 June 1814, he became a Peer of France.

Marriage and family[edit]

On 6 May 1766, he was married to Marie-Henriette-Augustine-Renée d'Alpozzo, Marquise de La Trousse(1748-19 January 1836), daughter of Monsieur del Pozzo, Marquis de La Trousse. In 1778, they got a séparation de biens(separation of property), but still remained on good terms. In Sand's Story of My Life, he is said to have entered a deep depression sometime during the late 1790s, which may have resulted from him having been imprisoned, or the deaths of two people close to him: his aunt, Elisabeth-Louise, and his brother-in-law, Jean-René Henri de Chasteigner, both of whom were executed by Guillotine in July 1794.[3]

Patrilineal descent[edit]

Notable ancestors[edit]

Luxembourg connection[edit]

As stated above, the General descended from a cadet line of the House of Luxembourg, through Madeleine, daughter of Anthony II, and her daughter, Catherine, who married Claude de Harville (1555–1636). The agnatic line of the cadet branch of Brienne went extinct in 1616 and the rights of the House of Luxembourg would have passed cognatically[4] through Madeleine to her son, François II Jouvenel des Ursins (died 1650), thus forming another cadet branch.[3][5][6] He left no issue though, and the rights then passed once more collaterally through his sister, then to either Antoine (who may have been named after Anthony II) or to Francis, who adopted the arms and received the titles of his grand-uncle.


  1. ^ a b [1], Simon de Harville - Liste des seigneurs Croisés et anonymes de France 27. (Chartrier de M. de Billy, original parchemin L, tome I, f. 114)
  2. ^ [2], Story of My Life: The Autobiography of George Sand
  3. ^ a b "Racines & Histoire: Harville". 
  4. ^ Cave, Roy and Coulson, Herbert (1965). A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, Biblo and Tannen. New York: Biblo and Tannen. p. 336. 
  5. ^ "Racines & Histoire: Luxembourg-Saint-Pol". 
  6. ^ "Racines & Histoire: Jouvenel des Urisins".