Bourbon: The French Bourbons
Robert of Clermont, sixth son of Louis IX of France, married (1272) Beatrice, heiress of Bourbon, and is considered the founder of the line. Robert's son, Louis, was created (1327) 1st duc de Bourbon. The ducal title remained with the descendants of his eldest son until 1527, when Charles, duc de Bourbon, died without issue. Because of his treason, his extensive fiefs were seized by the crown and the ducal title was discontinued.
A younger son of Louis, 1st duc de Bourbon, gave issue to the line of Bourbon-Vendôme. The marriage (1548) of Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme, with Jeanne d'Albret added vast territories in S France (see Albret) and the title king of Navarre to his other fiefs (Vendôme, Périgord, Rouergue). From Antoine's brother, Louis I de Condé, the houses of Condé and Conti were issued.
Antoine's son became (1589) the first Bourbon king of France as Henry IV, the older branches of Louis IX's issue having become extinct (see Valois). Henry IV was succeeded by his son, Louis XIII, and his grandson, Louis XIV. Louis XIV's descendants ruled France (except during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, 1792–1814) until the deposition (1830) of Charles X (see France). With the death (1883) of Henri, comte de Chambord, grandson of Charles X, the senior French branch of Bourbon came to an end. From Louis XIV's brother Philip the cadet branch of Bourbon-Orléans (see Orléans, family) is issued; it furnished one king, Louis Philippe (1830–48), and his heirs inherited the claim to the French crown in 1883. A Spanish Bourbon line of pretenders to the crown descends through Jaime, the son of the Spanish King Alfonso XIII.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies