LOUIS XIII, the son of Henry IV. and Mary de' Medici, was born at Fontainebleau on September 27, 1601, and succeeded his father on May 14, 1610, his mother meanwhile availing herself of the confusion caused by the assassination to seize the regency. For some years the affairs of the kingdom were directed by the council of regency in which the Florentine Concini, created Marquis d'Ancre and a marshal of France, was the most prominent figure. After the assassination of D'Ancre in 1617, Marshal Luynes, the favourite of the weak young king, held the reins of power for about four years; his death of camp fever in the end of 1621, in the course of the Huguenot campaign, left Louis free to assert his own independence, which he did by carrying on the war with some vigour until its termination in the peace of Montpellier (1622). In 1624 Richelieu entered the council of state, and guided the affairs of Louis and of France for the next eighteen years (see FRANCE, vol. ix. pp. 568-571). Louis, who died at St Germain-en-Laye on May 14, 1643, was married at the age of fourteen (December 1615) to Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III. of Spain ; but his eldest son, who succeeded him as Louis XIV., was not born until twenty-three years afterwards.
LOUIS XIV., surnamed Le Grand, the elder son of the preceding, was born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on September 16, 1638, succeeded to the throne of France in his fifth year, was declared of age in September 1651, and was crowned on June 7, 1654. His marriage with the infanta Maria Theresa of Austria, daughter of the Spanish Philip IV, was solemnized at St Jean-de-Luz on June 9, 1660. On the death of Mazarin in 1661 Louis XIV. began his true reign, the leading events of which will be found recorded in the article FRANCE (vol. ix. p. 574-584). He died at Versailles on September 1, 1715. Of his legitimate children by Maria Theresa, only one, Louis the Dauphin (1661-1711), reached manhood; he was married to a Bavarian princess by whom he had three sonsLouis the Dauphin, duke of Burgundy, who was the father of Louis XV.; Philip, duke of Anjou, afterwards Philip V. of Spain; and Charles, duke of Berri.