Louise de Maisonblanche
|Louise de Maisonblanche|
|Baroness of La Queue|
|Spouse(s)||Bernard de Prez|
Louise de Bourbon de Maisonblanche
|Noble family||House of Bourbon|
|Father||Louis XIV of France|
|Mother||Claude de Vin des Œillets|
17 June 1676|
|Died||12 September 1718
La Queue-les-Yvelines, France
Louise Mary-Antoinette Josèphe Jane de Bourbon-Maisonblanche, Baroness of La Queue (Paris, 17 June 1676 – La Queue-les-Yvelines, 12 September 1718), was an illegitimate daughter of Louis XIV of France and Claude de Vin des Œillets, the called Mademoiselle des Œillets, who was the lady-in-waiting to Madame de Montespan, Louis' long term mistress.
Born in Paris in 1676, she was one of many illegitimate children that Louis XIV had. She was officially declared daughter of Philippe de Maisonblanche, old Captain of the Guards, and of Lady Gabrielle de La Tour, his spouse. Brought up in Paris by her mother, she did not receive the same attention that the daughters of Madame de Montespan and Louise de La Vallière did. She lived for a while at the château de Suisnes where her mother died in 1687 aged 50. Louise was then put in the care of François Le Signerre and her sister Catherine Le Signerre in Mulcent.
Louise remained confined at Mulcent with the Le Signerre sisters till the age of 20 in 1696. On 17 April that year, she married Bernard de Prez, Baron of La Queue. He was the lieutenant to the regiment of Burgundy. The Abbé de Brisacier undertook the service which was overseen by Alexandre Bontemps, the first gentleman of the chamber of Louise's father, Louis XIV. It was Bontemps who secured the small dowry of 40,000 Livres along with silver and jewels for the bride. This dowry was nothing compared to the dowries of her other half sisters; the Dowager Princess of Conti (1666–1739) who married Louis Armand de Bourbon in 1680 was given 1 Million Livres as did the Duchess of Bourbon who married in 1685 to Louis de Bourbon. In 1692 another sister the Françoise-Marie de Bourbon married Philippe d'Orléans and had been given 2 Million Livres as well as the Palais-Royal in Paris.
From her marriage, she was named dame Louise de Maisonblanche, fille naturelle du Roi. That style was shown on the birth certificates of her children. The couple had 11 children, 5 of which died in infancy:
- Louise Renée de Prez (Montfort l'Amaury, 27 October 1699 – 1705). Died aged 6 of measles.
- Louis Bernard de Prez (Montfort l'Amaury, 17 March 1701). Stillborn.
- Charlotte Angélique de Prez (Montfort l'Amaury, 11 October 1703 – 1723). Died of hypothermia after falling into a lake.
- Louis Charles Timothée de Prez (14 October 1704 – 1746). Died after falling from a horse; married on 2 November 1745 to Madeleine Marguerite Charlotte Soulaigre des Fossés.
- A son [Stanislas Henri de Prez?] (Montfort l'Amaury, 4 September 1706). Stillborn.
- Alexandre Paul Cyr de Prez (Montfort l'Amaury, 5 August 1708 – Neauphle le Vieux, 8 October 1777). Died of a cerebral embolism; married firstly on 3 February 1755 to Marie Jeanne de Malebranche and secondly in 1763 to Claude Marguerite Le Cousturier du Meny.
- Louise Catherine de Prez (La Queue-les-Yvelines, 16 June 1709 – 1756). Died of a stroke; married on 10 October 1745 to Timothée de Vaultier de Petitmont.
- Françoise de Prez (5 January 1711 – 1715). Died of scarlet fever.
- Guillaume Jacques de Prez (Gallais, 15 November 1713 – La Queue les Yvelines, 5 October 1804). Died of a heart attack; married in 1754 to Françoise Perrette Le Boeuf.
- Marguerite Françoise de Prez (Gallins-la-Queue, 15 May 1715 – Montfort l'Amaury, 1786). Died of pneumonia.
- Philippe Charles de Prez (Gallins-la-Queue, 8 August 1718 – February 1719). Died aged 6 months of chickenpox.
Two of her daughters, Charlotte Angélique and Louise Catherine were raised at Saint-Cyr-l'École, the home of Madame de Maintenon's famous school for young ladies of the nobility. They were both called a petit-fille du Roi in their dossiers at Saint-Cyr.
Because Louise's mother was known to had several lovers, the king always doubt about his paternity, and for this he never recognized Louise and kept her away from court, doting her poorly at the time of her marriage. Although eyewitnesses say she strongly resembled to him, the king never acknowledged her as his daughter.
Contemporary Accounts about Louise
- Bontemps, the king's confident for his domestic secrets had stated that without any father or mother, the bride of La Queue was promised a fortune for the marriage. The woman was very similar to the king, she was great and, unfortunately for him, she knew who she was, and strongly envied her three sisters and their great marriages. She and her husband lived well together and had several children who remained in the obscurity. The oldest son almost appeared at court as the simplest and least officer collected in the crowd who Bontemps didn't fail to give from time to time money.
- This Louise de Maisonblanche was a natural daughter of the king and N...des Œillets, which was a companion of Madame de Montespan. As the king didn't want to recognize her, he baptized and married her under false names of her father and mother because she didn't want to be a nun. It was the Abbé de Brisacier, Director of the Seminary of Foreigners, who married her as her guardian following the King orders and directed by Madame de Maintenon, and also established the conditions of her marriage contract including the dowry who was quite small compared with the other daughters of the King.
- fille de Philippe de Maisonblanche, ancien capitaine de cavalerie, et de dame Gabrielle de la Tour, son épouse
- Mathieu Da Vinha: Les valets de chambre de Louis XIV - (voir Bontemps).
- Extract from the memoirs of the Duc de Saint-Simon, Vol. 7-8, p. 219, quoted by Jean Lemoine.
- Charles-René d'Hozier, Genealogist of the King, quoted by Jean Lemoine.
- Jean Lemoine: Les Des Œillets, une grande comédienne, une maitresse de Louis XIV, chap. IV: La Bâtarde du Roi, Louise de Maisonblanche, pp. 49–58. Librairie Académique Perrin.
- Maurice Rat: La royale Montespan, chap. X: la Desoeillets, Paris, Plon, 1959.
- Mémoires complets et authentiques du duc de Saint-Simon, Vol. 7-8, p. 219.
- Mathieu da Vinha: Les valets de chambre de Louis XIV, Librairie Académique Perrin, 2009.