La Cour

Prominent and lesser known individuals of the Sun King's court. From Ministers and Princesses to traitors and sorceresses.

  • Marie-Louise de Montmorency-Laval, Duchesse de Roquelaure

    Born around 1657, Marie-Louise de Montmorency-Laval was a daughter of Guy Urbain de Laval, Marquis de Laval-Lezay, and his wife Françoise de Sesmaisons.   She was granted a position as fille d’honneur to the Dauphine some-when before 1683 and had to give her position up the very year. A pregnant woman could not serve as fille d’honneur and Marie-Louise was in such a…

  • Philippe-Charles de France & Louis-François de France

    After the births of Louis le Grand Dauphin, Anne-Élisabeth, Marie-Anne and Marie-Thérèse, Louis XIV and his wife Marie-Thérèse were blessed with two sons. Unfortunately, just like their sisters, both did not survive infancy.   Philippe-Charles, born on August 5 in 1668 at Saint-Germain, received the title Duc d’Anjou upon his birth. Said title was until this point carried by his…

  • Anne-Élisabeth de France & Marie-Anne de France

    After the Dauphin was born in 1661, Louis XIV and his wife Marie-Thérèse became the parents of two daughters. Both of them died in infancy.   Anne-Élisabeth de France, named after her grandmothers Anne d’Autriche and Élisabeth de France, was born at the Louvre on November 18 in 1662. A bit over a month later, on December 30, the little…

  • François-Timoléon de Choisy

    One of my favourite people of Louis le Grand’s court is the Abbé de Choisy. A 17th century transvestite who lived a rather adventurous life.   Born in 1644 in Paris, he came from a not too wealthy family, which managed to enter the ranks of noblesse. Francois was the last born son of Jean III de Choisy, seigneur de…

  • Marie-Anne de Bourbon, Princesse de Conti

    Born on 2 October 1666 to Louis XIV and his mistress Louise de La Vallière, Marie-Anne was immediately taken out of the arms of her mother and trusted into those of Marie Charron, the wife of Finance Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Like her birth, this transition happened in total secrecy.   Marie-Anne was the fourth child of the couple, but all…

  • Marie-Elisabeth de Ludres, Marquise de Bayon

    A canoness, an almost-Duchesse, a mistress. Born in Lorraine in 1647 to Jean de Ludres and his wife Claude des Salles, Marie-Elisabeth came from a family related to the first Ducs de Bourgogne.   Due to her high-birth, she was admitted to the Chapitre des dames nobles de Poussay, a abbey of women, as child to be educated and raised virtuous. Isabelle,…

  • Anne de Rohan-Chabot, Princesse de Soubise

    Anne-Julie de Rohan-Chabot was born in 1648 to Marguerite de Rohan and Henri Chabot. She was the third child born in a marriage that was a proper scandal.   Her mother was the only child of Henri de Rohan, Duc de Rohan, and her family held the rank of Prince étranger. As Henri de Rohan died, Marguerite became Duchesse de…

  • Jean-Baptiste Lully, surintendant de la musique de Louis XIV

    For Louis XIV, music was not just something nice to listen to. It was a tool to create his Sun King persona and the person who understood this the best, was not French but Italian-born.   Giovanni Battista Lulli was born on 28 November 1632 in Florence, capital of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. His father Lorenzo Lulli was a miller,…

  • Marie-Thérèse de France, Madame Royale

    The fourth child and third daughter of Louis XIV and his wife Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche died two months after her fifth birthday.   Born at the château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, like her father, on 2 January in 1667, as a fille de France -daughter of France- Marie-Thérèse carried the last-name of de France. As the oldest daughter of the King, she also…

  • Marie-Anne de Bavière, Dauphine de France

    Maria-Anna Christine Victoria born on 28 November 1660, the future mother of Spain’s first Bourbon king, was the oldest daughter of Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria, and his wife Princesse Henriette-Adélaïde de Savoie, granddaughter of Henri IV de France.   Born in the Bavarian capital Munich, Marie-Anne was given an education to prepare for a future role as Queen. Aged…

  • Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de Saint-Simon

    Saint-Simon. You probably heard that name once or twice before and most likely in combination with quotes. Louis de Rouvroy, commonly called Saint-Simon, managed to write himself into the history books of the world by writing his memoirs. If he had not written those, hardly anyone would know he existed.   Louis de Rouvroy was born on 16 January 1675 in…

  • Françoise-Thérèse de Voyer de Dorée, dite Mademoiselle de Dorée

    Coming from a less prestigious and younger branch of the Voyer family, Françoise-Thérèse’s date of birth is unfortunately not known. She was a daughter of René de Voyer, Chevalier et Seigneur de Dorée, who was known as the Comte de Dorée and served as councillor to Louis XIV, while his wife acted as governess to the children Louis XIV had with Madame…

  • Louis de France, le Grand Dauphin

    Heir of a King, but never King himself, yet father of a King. Louis de France, born on 1 November in 1661, was the first-born son of Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche and the only of their children to reach adulthood. To celebrate the birth of his heir, the Sun King hosted a lavish party called the Le Grand Carrousel. He…

  • Marie-Antoinette de Rouvroy, Comtesse d’Oisy

    Born around 1660 to Pierre de Rouvroy, Seigneur de Puys and Ursule de Gontery, Marie-Antoinette was known as Mademoiselle de Rouvroy before her marriage.   With beauty and wit, she managed to wake Louis XIV’s interest in 1681. Unfortunately for her, she did not become the new Madame de Montespan and the affair did not last long. Mademoiselle de Rouvroy served…

  • Anne-Madeleine de L’Isle Marivaux, Marquise de Calvisson

    Anne-Madeleine de L’Isle Marivaux was the daughter of François de L’Isle Marivaux, Marquis de Marivaux and his wife Catherine Caillebot. The couple was married in 1630 and had six children, four sons and two daughters.   Not much is known about Anne-Madeleine, called Mademoiselle de Marivaux before her marriage, early days apart from that she was a pretty girl and…

  • Louise-Elisabeth de Rouxel, dite Madame de Grancey

    Born in 1653 to  Jacques de Rouxel, Comte de Grancey and Médavy as well as Marshal of France, and his second wife Charlotte de Mornay-Villarceaux, Louise-Elisabeth (sometimes also called Isabelle) had twenty-one siblings.   Called Mademoiselle de Grancey, after her father’s property, Louise-Elisabeth found her way into the Household of the King’s brother with the help of her mother and one…

  • Philippe de France, frère unique du roi

    When Louis XIV was born in 1638, it was regarded as a miracle. No-one really thought Louis XIII and Anne d’Autriche, a old woman by the standards of the time, were capable of producing a healthy heir. To everyone’s surprise, both also managed to produce a spare. Philippe de France was born on September 21 in 1640 at the old…

  • Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné

    When it comes to anecdotes or gossip from the court of Louis XIV, the name Madame de Sévigné shows up plenty. Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, born on February 5 in 1626, left us plenty material in form of letters to transport us back into the time of the Sun King.   Marie was born in the heart of Paris in the…

  • François Michel Le Tellier de Louvois

    Born in Paris on 18 January in 1641, François Michel Le Tellier de Louvois was the son of Michel Le Tellier. A man from a Parisian magistrate family, who became maître des requêtes under Louis XIII and, thanks to a friendship with Cardinal de Mazarin, Secretary of State for Military Affairs for the young Louis XIV.   His son, who we…

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