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Condé

(1530—1830)


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A junior branch of the French royal House of Bourbon. The name was first borne by Louis I de Bourbon (1530–69), prince de Condé, a military leader of the Huguenots during the first phase of the French Wars of Religion. A bitter enemy of the Guise faction, he was killed at the battle of Jarnac. Henry I de Bourbon (1552–88) took over his father's leadership of the Huguenots. He briefly renounced his faith at the time of the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre (1572), but subsequently embarrassed his cousin, the future Henry IV, with his Protestant fanaticism.

Henry II de Bourbon (1588–1646) was brought up as a Catholic; he plotted during the regency of Marie de Medici, and distinguished himself only by fathering Louis II de Bourbon, his successor, known as the Great Condé. The latter married a niece of Cardinal Richelieu, and excelled as a military commander in the last phase of the Thirty Years War. During the first Fronde he sided with the court party; disagreements with Mazarin led to his arrest and imprisonment (1650), and on the failure of his insurrection against the government (1651–52), he fled and took service in the Spanish armies in the Netherlands. When he was allowed to return to France in 1660, he conquered Franche-Comté for Louis XIV (1668), and held high command in the war against the United Provinces of the Netherlands (1672); but Louis never really forgave him for his part in the Fronde, and his treasonable defection to the Spaniards.

Subjects: World History.


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