Goods of the House of Orléans

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Under the Ancien Régime, the goods of the House of Orléans (biens de la maison d'Orléans) comprised two distinct parts : the apanage and the "biens patrimoniaux".

Ancien Regime[edit]

The "apanage d'Orléans"[edit]

The apanage of Orléans was originally formed by Louis XIII for his brother Gaston. Gaston died without male heirs in 1660 and the apanage reverted to the French crown. Louis XIV soon afterwards, in 1661, conceded it to his brother Philippe. Originally made up of the duchies of Orléans, of Valois and of Chartres and the seigneurie of Montargis, it was expanded bit by bit :

  • In 1672, Louis XIV added the duchy of Nemours, the counties of Dourdan and of Romorantin, the marquisats of Coucy and of Folembray.
  • In 1692, the Palais-Royal was incorporated into the apanage in contempt of a clause in the will of cardinal Richelieu which bequeathed it for the king's use
  • In 1740, Louis XV added the hôtel de Grand-Ferrare in Fontainebleau.
  • In 1751, the county of Soissons.
  • In 1766, La Fère, Marle, Ham, Saint-Gobain, the canal de l'Ourcq, and the hôtel Duplessis-Châtillon in Paris.

The "biens patrimoniaux"[edit]

The "biens patrimoniaux" had varied origins:


Also, the revenues from the apanages and the "biens patrimoniaux", as well as money raised in the roles and offices taken by members of the house of Orléans, allowed them to purchase yet other lands and châteaux :

The Goods under the July Monarchy[edit]

The act of donation-partage of 7 August 1830[edit]

Louis Philippe of France

On 7 August 1830, two days before his accession to the throne, Louis-Philippe d'Orléans passed, in the presence of his notary, Jean-Antoine-Philippe Dentend,[1] an act of "donation-partage" of his "biens patrimoniaux" to avoid them being reunited with the crown lands on his accession, according to the custom of ancient law. In this way, only the apanage d'Orléans was apportioned, in 1830, to the crown lands.

In 1826, when he coveted the throne of Greece, Louis-Philippe envisaged making a "donation-partage", a project taken up and completed in 1830. By this act, the duke of Orléans transmitted to his children the "nue-propriété" of his personal property, all the while reserving his usufruct of it.

Acquisitions under the July monarchy[edit]


  1. ^ Dentend was an illegitimate child of a younger brother of Louis-Philippe, Antoine d'Orléans (1775-1807), duc de Montpensier.