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Princes of Condé

PRINCES OF CONDE . The title of prince of Condé (assumed from the ancient town of Condé, noticed above) was borne by a branch of the House of Bourbon. The first who assumed it was the famous Huguenot leader, Louis de Bourbon, the fifth son of Charles de Bourbon, duke of Ven-clome (see next article). His son, Henry, prince of Condé (1552-1588), also belonged to the Huguenot party. Fleeing to Germany, he raised a small army, with which in 1575 he joined Alencon. He became leader of the Hugue-nots, but after several years' fighting was taken prisoner of war. Not long after he died of poison, administered, accord-ing to the belief of his contemporaries, by his wife, Catherine de la Tr^mouille. This event, among others, awoke strong suspicions as to the legitimacy of his heir and namesake, Henry,prince of Condé (1588-1646). King Henry IV.,however, did not take advantage of the scandal. In 1609 he caused the prince of Condé to marry Charlotte de Montmorency, whom shortly after Condé was obliged to save from the king's persistent gallantry by a hasty flight, first to Spain and then to Italy, On the death of Henry, Condé returned to France, and intrigued against the regent, Mary de' Medici; but he was seized, and imprisoned for three years.

There was at that time before the court a plea for his divorce from his wife, but she now devoted herself to enliven his captivity at the cost of her own liberty. Dur-ing the rest of his life Condé was a faithful servant of the king. He strove to blot out the memory of the Huguenot connections of his house by affecting the greatest zeal against Protestants. His old ambition changed into a desire for the safe aggrandizement of his family, which he magnificently achieved, and with that end he bowed be-fore Richelieu, whose niece he forced his son to marry. His son Louis, the great Condé, is separately noticed below. The next in succession was Henry Jules, prince of Condé (1643-1709), the son of the great Coudé and of Clémence de Maillé, niece of Richelieu. He fought with distinction under his father in Franche-Comté and the Low Countries ; but he was heartless, avaricious, and undoubt-edly insane. The end of his life was marked by singular hypochoudriacalfancies. He believed at one time that he was dead, and refused to eat till some of his attendants dressed in sheets set him the example. His grandson, Louis Henry, duke of Bourbon (1692-1740), who did not assume the title of prince of Condé which belonged to him, was member of the council of regency which ruled during the minority of Louis XV., and first minister from the death of the duke of Orleans in 1723 to 1726, when he was superseded by Cardinal de Fleury. He greatly enriched his family and his mistress, De Prie, by taking every advantage of his position ; but he made him-self unpopular by the weight of taxes which he im-posed. The son of the duke of Bourbon, Louis Joseph, prince of Condé (1736-1818), after receiving a good education, distinguished himself in the Seven Years' War, and most of all by his victory at Johannisberg. As governor of Burgundy he did much to improve the industries and means of communication of that province. At the Revolution he took up arms in behalf of the king, became commander of the "army of Condé," and fought in conjunction with the Austrians till the peace of Campo-Formio in 1797, being during the last year in the pay of England. He then served the emperor of Russia in Poland, and after that (1800) returned into the pay of England, and fought in Bavaria. In 1800 Condé arrived in England, where he resided for several years. On the restoration of Louis XVIII. he returned to France. He died at Paris in 1818. He wrote Essai sur la Vie du grand Condé (1798).
See L'Histoire de l'Armée de Condé, by lluret; Vie de Louis Joseph, prince de Condé, by Chamballand ; Histoire des trois der-niers princes de la maison de Condé, by Crétineau-Joly ; and Histoire de la maison de Condé, by the Duc d'Aumale (translated by R. _. Borthwick, 1872).

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