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 Madame de Montespan

Photo added by Anne Philbrick

Madame de Montespan

  • Birth 5 Oct 1641 France
  • Death 27 May 1707 France
  • Burial La Fleche, Departement de la Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France
  • Memorial ID 84655153

Mistress of French King Louis XIV. Françoise de Rochechouart de Mortemart, daughter of Gabriel de Rochechouart and his wife Diane de Grandseigne, was born into two of the oldest noble families of France. She later adopted the name Athénaïs, such that she was Françoise-Athénaïs. She received her formal education at the Convent of Saint Mary at Saintes. On January 28, 1663, Françoise married Louis Henri de Pardaillan de Gondrin, Marquess of Montespan. The couple had two children. However, Madame de Montespan had other ambitions. She successfully replaced Louise de La Vallière as mistress of Louis XIV. She bore him seven children. They were entrusted to her friend Madame Scarron, the future Marquise de Maintenon, with whom they spent much of their childhood. Madame Scarron bought a house on the outskirts of Paris around the time of the birth of Françoise's first child. This later became known as the Château de Maintenon, and is where the children were raised. In 1673, the first three living illegitimate children were legitimized by Louis XIV. In 1674, an official separation from her husband was declared by the courts. Another child was legitimized in 1676, with two more children in 1681. Their first child, Louise Françoise de Bourbon, died in 1672. The eldest "Légitimé" was Louis Auguste de Bourbon, who was eventually given the title of Duke of Maine. Louis César de Bourbon, who was given the titles Count of Vexin and Abbot of Saint-Denis, died at age 10. The eldest "Légitimée" daughter, Louise Françoise de Bourbon, was given the title of Mademoiselle de Nantes, and married at age 11 the Duke of Bourbon, who eventually also became the Prince of Condé. Their next daughter, Louise Marie Anne de Bourbon, legitimized in 1676 and given the title of Mademoiselle de Tours, died in 1674 at the age of six. Françoise Marie de Bourbon was given the title of Mademoiselle de Blois and married future regent Philippe II, Duke of Orléans. Their final child, Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, received numerous titles, including the Count of Toulouse, and took an active role in the military and politics. Suspicion that Madame de Montespan might have had a hand in the scandal of the "Affaire des Poisons" of 1677 was the beginning of the end for her. The king took another mistress. In 1691, she retired to the Filles de Saint-Joseph Convent in Paris. After her death in 1707, her heart was sent to the Convent of La Flèche in Anjou. Her entrails were lost on the way to the priory of Saint Menoux, near Bourbon. The rest of her remains was buried in the tomb of her family in Poitiers.

Bio by: Anne Philbrick

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Anne Philbrick
  • Added: 7 Feb 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 84655153
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Madame de Montespan (5 Oct 1641–27 May 1707), Find A Grave Memorial no. 84655153, citing Convent of La Flèche, La Fleche, Departement de la Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .