Louis, Prince of Condé (1530–1569)

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Louis I de Bourbon, Prince de Condé
Louis prince de Condé.jpg
Louis I de Bourbon, Prince de Condé
Spouse(s) Eléanor de Roucy de Roye
Francoise d'Orleans, Mademoiselle de Longueville
Noble family House of Condé
Father Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme
Mother Françoise d'Alençon
Born (1530-05-07)7 May 1530
Died 13 March 1569(1569-03-13) (aged 38)

Louis de Bourbon (7 May 1530 – 13 March 1569) was a prominent Huguenot leader and general, the founder of the House of Condé, a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon.


Born in Vendôme, he was the fifth son of Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, and the younger brother of Antoine de Bourbon who married Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre; their son, Condé's nephew, became Henry IV of France. Condé's cousin, through his father - who was the brother of Antoinette de Bourbon - was Mary of Guise.

As a soldier in the French army, Condé fought at the Siege of Metz in 1552,[1] when Francis, Duke of Guise successfully defended the city from the forces of Emperor Charles V, and again at the Battle of St. Quentin in 1557.[1]

After his conversion to Protestantism, he is suspected to have become involved in the Conspiracy of Amboise in 1560, a plot by the Huguenots and members of the House of Bourbon to abduct the adolescent King Francis II and usurp the power of the House of Guise, who were the leaders of the Catholic party. The plot failed, leading to the massacre of many Huguenots.[2] Condé was arrested in late October 1560,[3] but later released 8 March 1561.[4]

On 2 April 1562, Condé, commanding a Huguenot army, captured Orléans, with it he issued a draft stating that King Charles IX was being held hostage by the House of Guise.[5] However, Queen-mother Catherine de' Medici proclaimed she and her son were not hostages and that Condé's actions were unlawful and rebellion.[5] Condé was captured at the battle of Dreux in 1562.[6] At Orléans, the duke of Guise was assassinated, and when the Queen's fears that the war might drag on led her to negotiate a truce, Condé negotiated the Peace of Amboise with the Catholic party in 1563, which gave the Huguenots some religious toleration. In another religious civil war, Condé was killed at Jarnac in the Battle of Jarnac, 1569.

His son, Henri, also became a Huguenot general.


Condé married in 1551, Eléanor de Roucy de Roye (1536–1564),[7] heiress of Charles de Roye, who had married Madeleine de Maillé, a half-sister of Coligny.[8] She brought as her dowry the château and small town of Conti-sur-Selles, southwest of Amiens, which would pass to their youngest son, progenitor of the princes de Bourbon-Conti. They had issue:

On 8 Nov 1565 he married Francoise d'Orleans, Mademoiselle de Longueville, and had more children:

He allegedly fathered a son by his mistress Isabelle de Limeuil, who served as Maid of Honour to Catherine de' Medici and was a member of her notorious group of female spies known at the French court as the "Flying Squadron". He vigorously denied paternity much to Isabelle's chagrin.[9]

Depiction in media[edit]

Louis Condé is played by British actor Sean Teale in the TV show Reign.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Michael Mullett, Historical Dictionary of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, (Scarecrow Press, 2010), 107.
  2. ^ R.J. Knecht, The French Civil Wars, (Pearson Education Limited, 2000), 67.
  3. ^ R.J. Knecht, The French Civil Wars, 71.
  4. ^ R.J. Knecht, The French Civil Wars, 76.
  5. ^ a b R.J. Knecht, The French Civil Wars, 85-86
  6. ^ R.J. Knecht, The French Civil Wars, 101.
  7. ^ (FR) Trois Princes de Conde: A Chantilly, A. de Boislisle, Annuaire-Bulletin de la Société de l'histoire de France, Vol. 39, No. 2 (1902), 198.
  8. ^ André Ducastel, Chroniques de l'histoire de Roye,
  9. ^ Strage, Mark (1976). Women of Power: The Life and Times of Catherine de' Medici. New York and London: Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich. p.131
  10. ^ "Reign - Season 2- Sean Teale joins cast". Spoiler TV. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 


Louis, Prince of Condé (1530–1569)
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 7 May 1530 Died: 13 March 1569
French nobility
New title
Dynasty founded
Prince of Condé
1546 – 13 March 1569
Succeeded by
Henri I de Bourbon