Dame Louise de Maisonblanche

Louise Marie Antoinette Josèphe Jeanne de Bourbon-Maisonblanche was born on June 17 in 1676 as daughter of Philippe de Maisonblanche, Captain of the Guards/Cavalry, and his wife Gabrielle de La Tour. This was the official version at least. The girl, her name being shortened to Louise de Maisonblanche, was actually the daughter of Claude de Vin des Œillets, a lady-in-waiting and companion of Madame de Montespan.

Louise was born during the time Mademoiselle des Œillets had an affair with Louis XIV and apparently she was not the only child born during it. Rumours state that Louise was one of three children born during this time, but that the court was only aware of one. Louis XIV was certainly aware of her, but did always doubt his paternity, for it appears that Mademoiselle des Œillets also had physical contact with others.

Claude de Vin des Œillets by Pierre Mignard

Since Louis XIV did doubt his fatherhood, Louise was not as lucky as her other half-siblings. While the children of Madame de Montespan and Louise de La Vallière were brought up with great care and attention from the King, Louise grew up in the care of her mother in Paris with only half as much comforts. The Château de Suisnes was also home to Louise and as her mother died there in 1687, Louise was placed in the care of François Le Signoret, parish-priest of Montfort-l’Amaury, and his sister Catherine.

Louise remained in their care until the age of twenty, in 1696, and married the same year. Her chosen groom was the six year older Bertrand de Prez. Louise missed out here again. In contrary to her sisters, she did not receive a large dowry from the King and the fact that she received anything at all might be due to the interest Alexandre Bontemps had in the girl. Her dowry consisted of forty-thousand Livres along with some jewels for the bride, while her half-sisters received millions.

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” ~ Charles-René d’Hozier

Although she missed out in matters of dowry, Louise at least gained a little recognition. Upon her marriage she seems to have been allowed to call herself Dame Louise de Maisonblanche, fille naturelle du Roi. Her husband was promoted several times later on and both allowed to visit court if they wished. When Louise did so, she always wore a veil to hide her face, apparently on orders of her father, for it is said she looked just like Louis XIV.

Louise and her husband had eleven children, of which five died early.

“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.” ~ Saint-Simon

Louise died on 12 September in 1718 due to smallpox as Baronne de La Queue.

2 thoughts on “Dame Louise de Maisonblanche

  1. It is a pity that no portrait of Louise has survived, but I suspect that in those circumstances it might not have been painted.

    By the way, you showed me another proof that Bontemps was a good man

    1. There is something on her house in La Queue-lès-Yvelines. It is quite weathered, but one can still see that she did look a lot like her papa.

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