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 Louis XV

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Louis XV

  • Birth 15 Feb 1710 Versailles, Departement des Yvelines, Île-de-France, France
  • Death 10 May 1774 Versailles, Departement des Yvelines, Île-de-France, France
  • Burial Saint-Denis, Departement de Seine-Saint-Denis, Île-de-France, France
  • Memorial ID 84275134

King of France and Navarre. Louis XV, third son of Louis, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife Marie Adélaïde of Savoy, was born in the Palace of Versailles. He succeeded his great-grandfather King Louis XIV at the age of five. The intermediate heirs of his great-grandfather--his grandfather Louis, Le Grand Dauphin; his father Louis the duke; and his two elder brothers--had all predeceased his great-grandfather. Louis had been left an orphan in 1712, due to an outbreak of measles which claimed the lives of his parents and his remaining brother. His first cousin twice removed, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, served as Regent until he reached his majority in 1723 at the age of thirteen. In 1721, the eleven year old was engaged to his first cousin, three year old Maria Anna Victoria of Spain. However, due to concerns about the health of the young king and the need to produce an heir, that engagement was broken and a princess sought who was old enough to have children. In September of 1725, twenty-one year old Marie Leszczynska, daughter of the deposed King of Poland, married the fifteen year old king. The marriage produced many children, but the king's infidelities were legendary. He had numerous mistresses. Two of his most notorious mistresses included Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry. Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise de Pompadour, was his official mistress from 1745 to 1764. Marie Jeanne Bécu, the Comtesse du Barry, was the official mistress from 1768 until Louis' death in 1774. Several of his mistresses exerted influence in his choice of minister of state. The most peaceful and prosperous portion of Louis' reign was during the ministry from 1726 to 1743, when the Cardinal de Fleury ruled France with the king's consent. After the death of Fleury in 1743, the king ruled without a first minister. The king entered the War of the Austrian Succession on the side of Prussia. France won that war and the king's popularity peaked. However, Louis shocked Europe in 1748 by agreeing to restore to Austria all the territory won in the war. While he was hailed elsewhere, his popularity in France sharply declined. In addition, France lost in the Seven Years War with Britain. In January of 1757, Louis survived an assassination attempt. The perpetrator suffered hours of torture and dismemberment and, still alive, burning at the stake. The king, who had forgiven the would-be assassin, apparently had no hand in the selection of the manner of execution. The Parlement of Paris had chosen the gruesome method, which had not been utilized in 147 years. Louis XV contracted smallpox and died at the Palace of Versailles in 1774. Since his son Louis the dauphin had predeceased him, the throne passed to his grandson, Louis XVI. The dissatisfaction with the monarchy under the reign of Louis XV contributed to a general unrest which culminated in the French Revolution.

Bio by: Anne Philbrick





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Anne Philbrick
  • Added: 31 Jan 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 84275134
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Louis XV (15 Feb 1710–10 May 1774), Find A Grave Memorial no. 84275134, citing Saint Denis Basilique, Saint-Denis, Departement de Seine-Saint-Denis, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .