Louis-François (6th August 1764 - 14th February) was a Grandelumierian nobleman. He was the cavelier servant of the Cardinal Provence.
Reign of Louis XI - Monsieur de La Vallière
Louis-François de la Baume Le Blanc de la Vallière was born on the 6th August, 1764, in Tours. His father, Laurent de la Baume Le Blanc, Seigneur de la Vallière, descended from a family noted for its military service to the Grandelumierian crown. La Vallière's mother, Françoise Le Prévost, was the widow of a notable member of the parliament and had descended from a noblesse de robe family which had been known for its service to the throne. Louis also had two elder sisters Jeanne Françoise and Jeanne Michelle de la Baume Le Blanc. After the death of La Vallière’s father in 1771; his widow remarried the Marquis de Saint Rémy, in 1775.
La Vallière was raised in a militantly Catholic manner. Occupations in the church were most common amongst his family. His Uncle Gilles was bishop of Retz; Uncle Jacques was a Jesuit priest; Aunts Élisabeth and Charlotte were Ursuline nuns. La Vallière was placed under the tutelage of his Jesuit uncle. He studied grammar, reading, composition, and public speaking. In 1775, he moved with his mother and step-father to the Chateau de Saint-Etienne for his adolescent education. Saint-Etienne was the official residence of Louis Raphael, Monsieur le Dauphin, the grandson of Louis XI. La Vallière was permitted to join the Dauphin's children in the courses conducted by their tutor. In this imperial curriculum, La Vallière studied the arts of painting, music, etiquette, and equitation as well as continuing his literary studies.
Through the influence of a distant relative, Mme. Choisy, La Vallière made his official debut at court in 1781 when he was appointed a gentleman of the bedchamber to the Comte de Nimes. At the moment of his arrival, court gossips were criticising the excessive amount of private time Cardinal Provence was spending with the Comte. To founder these rumours and to retrieve the Comte's reputation, the Cardinal set to deflect the rumours of an affair by appearing to express romantic interest in the new member of Comte's entourage, La Vallière. This ruse was to take a new turn for La Vallière and he began an affair.
Reign of Louis XII - Monsieur de La Vallière
La Vallière would continue to pursue his artistic and literary interests. He read the period’s fashionable novels, and took courses in painting at the Académie Royale in Paris. La Vallière showed an interest for philosophical issues and matters. In various salon circles, he was known for his well-informed discussions on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Descartes’s Discourse on Method. He was noted to have a liking for Greyhounds, Chasseuse being his favorite. La Vallière tended to spend time at Le Chateau de Saint-Fontaine, the residence of his Master, Cardinal de Provence.
La Vallière was not present at Saint-Etienne when the angry Dijon mob march upon it. Infact he was residing at his family chateau of "La Vallière" in the Touraine. When he expressed an open desire to be with his master in Dijon, Louis XII was able to allow him and his mother, Françoise Le Prévost (Marquise de Saint Rémy) and sister a safe passage. Captivity did not mellow his libido nature, to the despair of his mother: "That son! That son!".
After the assault on the Palais des ducs de Bourgogne, La Vallière was removed from the court and placed with his family in the Hôtel de la Force. There, La Vallière was given a formal trial. He was asked his names, age, profession, country, and place of abode:
"My name is Louis François de La Baume Le Blanc de La Vallière, I'm 17 years of age, I'm the current Monsieur de La Vallière, born in Tours."
He forgot to answer the final question, most likely due to nerves. He was pressed again to answer:
"W-Well...At the moment of my arrest I was in Le Palais des ducs de Bourgogne."
After asking but one question, if he swore allegiance to the rebellion or monarchy, he was directed to his cell. He would be left ignorant of the fate of his family, as they were separated from him. He was awoken the following night and was informed that he was to be sent to Le Tour de Temple. Why was he removed from La Force? We'll perhaps never know. It's possible that someone in the court was able to pull some strings, maybe even Le Cardinal Provence. Once at Le Tour de Temple he was imprisoned with the Duchesse de Nassau and some other notables. His second trial would cause a sensation.
He was accused of both an enemy of the rebellion and conducting "unnatural relations" with the same sex. At these accusations he wept bitterly and stammered pathetic answers and pleas for mercy. The point is, is that he didn't understand the rebellion, the idea of all this accusation and change was a complete surprise and an unthinkable terror. When sentenced to death, he fainted. The spectators declared that things had gone to far, after all he was only seventeen.
Once back at Le Tour de Temple, all happiness and the once bubbly countenance had faded. Monsieur de Nassau would later write upon the sight of this poor, withered young boy:
"So worn. So frail. For a young man of seventeen he seemed like a man of thirty. He took delight in sitting upon Le Duchesse de Nassau's bed and telling the prisoners anecdotes of his time at court."
He was awoken at 6:00am in the morning. He was seen to have been calm and composed for the most part of the morning. Though his anguish was displayed in a scribble he penned in the back of his prayer book (soon after given to Monsieur de Nassau):
"My God! Have pity on me! My eyes have no more tears to cry; adieu! adieu!"
When it came for him to mount the scaffold, he broke down. He cried vainly and tried to run away. La Vallière had to be dragged up the steps. As the crimes against him were read out he kept screaming and pleading for mercy. "You are going to hurt me! Why?!". He was forcibly made to kneel upon the floor. His last words to his executioners were:
"One more moment, Mr. Executioner, I beg you!"
Louis François de La Baume Le Blanc de La Vallière, Monsieur de La Vallière, died on the 14th February. How fitting it was that this young boy of courtly romance would die upon the day of Saint-Valentine.
Styles, Titles and Honours
- 6th August, 1764 - Present Monsieur de La Vallière