Louis Emmanuel (27th December 1706 - 17th December 1752) was the first born child of Louis XI and his Consort Elisabeth Justine. He was known as Monsieur le Dauphin at court from the time of his birth. He was one of the favourite children of Louis XI who much favoured his eldest child, and was described as a bright and kindly individual.

Reign of Louis XI

Louis Emmanuel was born in the Imperial Palace of Saint-Etienne, in the Principality of Bourgogne, on the 27th December 1706. The room was filled with Courtiers who waited to see the future Dauphin, excited to know if it would be male or female. Once the Dauphin was delivered, amongst the general excitement, the Empress fainted from the lack of fresh air. The Dame d'Honneur had the room was eventually cleared, and the Emperor was said to be most pleased with his first-born child and son. Louis was then taken off by a maid to be seen to by the Governess of the Imperial Children. Louis would have limited contact with either parent due to the strict etiquette on the raising of children at court.


Monsieur le Dauphin, 1713.

The young Dauphin was baptised in March 1713, in Saint-Etienne Chapel by Cardinal Vosges who also acted as the Godfather of the boy, while his Godmother would be the Duchesse de Nassau, the Dame d'Honneur. He was cared for by his governess, Comtesse du Bar, throughout this time, taking charge of his education. She would name Cardinal Vosges as his chief court tutor. From an early age, he had taken an interest in the military and had aspired to serve in the army. Beyond this, the young boy was educated in Latin and French, classical history, theology, physics and geography, as well as musical composition. His relationship with his father was favourable. Louis was, with his sister Madame Premiere, the favourite child of Louis XI, who would dote on his eldest children, frequently enjoying their company when the demands of government were dealt with. Upon visits to his sisters at Fontevraud Abbey he became acquainted with the then Mademoiselle de Vendôme. Together they'd form a close romantic relationship. She'd become his first mistress in the years to come.

However, by December 1714, the young boy caught a rather severe flu, which greatly weakened his immune system. During this time he was sent to Dauphine in the south, hoping the warmer weather might help him recover. Despite the fact he did eventually recover from the flu, he would remain in Dauphine until 1718 when his Father would call upon him to return to Court.

800px-Luis I, rey de España

Louis le Dauphin, 1723.

When the young boy and his entourage returned, he was arranged to wed his first cousin, Marie Philippine, immediately. Louis was not said to be best pleased by the arrangement, as he, aged 12, was none too fond of the idea of marrying the 4-year-old cousin. Nevertheless, the arrangement went on as planned. The Dauphin, much like his father, would not see nor speak to his fiancee before the wedding itself.

From the age of 14 he would become enthusiastic towards hunting trips and other equestrian sports, regularly attending his fathers' hunting trips. He became known for his frequent riding trips and hunting trips, often staying in Croyais Chateau, known for its hunting grounds. These trips would often last for weeks at a time, whether or not in the company of his father.

He would originally see little of his siblings, though he had been close to his sister Marie Amelie while the pair had been young, he had no seen her since she left for the Fontevraud abbey. This only changed with their return to court in 1725, in which case he would be delighted to see his sisters once again. He would spend several weeks catching up with his eldest siblings, having been unaware of the nature of their upbringing in the Fontevraud abbey.


Louis le Dauphin and Elisabeth Justine.

1728 would be the year of his arranged marriage to Marie Philippine de Bretagne, his now 14-year-old cousin. This secured the Brittany-Burgundy alliance for another generation. Until now, Philippine had remained in the Palais-des-Ducs-de-Bourgogne with her own minor court consisting of a handful of noble women and men, mostly instructed with her education for her position. The marriage would take place in the Notre Dame de Dijon. The marriage itself was a lavish affair put on by the Emperor, at the expense of the national treasury. The Emperor's carriage would lead the procession to the Cathedral, where many of the courtiers would now be gathered. It would be at the altar that Louis Emmanuel would finally see his fiancee in person. The marriage ceremony lasted a few hours and finished at the signing of the document of marriage. The Dauphin and Dauphine would then ride through Dijon to the Palais-des-Ducs-de-Bourgogne, with general celebration. The Emperor would put on a ball and fireworks for the pair, though many of the celebrations were kept in honour of the Emperor himself, the wedding being treated as an extension of his glory and fertility. The first child would be delivered in 1729, with their eldest son, Louis Raphael, the Duc de Provence. This child was followed by several more, eleven in total born alive.

In 1733 however, the Dauphin would take part in the War of the Palatine, fighting in many battles at his fathers' side. He had always been rather interested in military affairs and had grown into the position. Despite his serving in the army, he suffered illness a few times in his adult life, with the weakened immune system from his young age.

Regency of Sophie

When his father had left to the south and left his aunt and uncle, the Prince and Princesse de Bretagne, as the Regents of the Empire, the Dauphin returned to hunting trips and riding, moving to a small residence in Provence to hunt. He rarely interacted with the court during this time and was not affected by the revolution in the early regency.

He wrote to his wife the Dauphine often nevertheless, despite their continued physical distance. He would also make small trips to visit his father in the Duchy of Dauphine. His first mistress, Comtesse Marie Claudine de Landau, passed away on October 20th, 1743 from an attack of tuberculosis. However, in 1743, he himself would contract an illness and would remain in Provence permanently until shortly after his fathers' return in 1744.

Return of Louis XI

He would return to court in late October 1744. He'd father five children during this period with Dame Françoise Louise d'Amboise. Tragically three of these children would die during infancy. He would occupy himself at court with various activities, and took to educating himself in the needs of court and politics. He had learnt much regarding finances from private tutors and theorists and a few bankers. This would prepare him for the life of a monarch suitable to deal with the debt crisis.

However, before he would ever manage to tackle this, the smallpox outbreak brought about the death of many citizens and courtiers. He himself contracted the disease, and would die in 1752.


Legitimate Issue

To his marriage with Marie Philippine, he had fifteen children, thirteen of which were brought to full term, with their styles at the time of their birth;

  • Louis Raphael, Duc de Provence (24th July, 1729 - 18th February 1769)
  • Louis Joseph, Duc de Forez (13th June, 1730 - Present)
  • Marie Sophie, Mademoiselle de Dauphiné (15th April, 1731 - Present)
  • Hélène Béatrice, Mademoiselle de Dauphiné (2nd February, 1732 - 18th January, 1733)
  • Anne Thérèse, Mademoiselle de Dauphiné (29th August, 1733 - Present)
  • Louise Élisabeth, Mademoiselle de Dauphiné (24th June, 1734 - Present)
  • Stillborn male (8th March 1735)
  • Marie Etiennette, Mademoiselle de Dauphiné (3rd April, 1736 - Present)
  • Marie Geneveive, Mademoiselle de Dauphiné (3rd April, 1736 - Present)
  • Stillborn male (3rd April, 1736)
  • Henri Alexandre, Comte de Charolais (12th July, 1737 - Present)
  • Louis Jacques, Comte de Mâcon (13th July, 1738 - Present)
  • Charles François, Comte d'Auxerre (13th July, 1738 - Present)
  • Marie Louise, Mademoiselle de Dauphiné (8th September, 1739 - Present)
  • Auguste Philippe, Comte de Beaujeu (9th July, 1740 - Present)

Illegitimate Issue 

With various other women, he had 5 children;

With Comtesse Marie Claudine de Landau (youngest sister of Cardinal Joseph-Baptiste de Vendome (later Pope Jean XXIII)):

  • Louis Jean Marie de Landau (16th November, 1730 - Present)

With Dame Françoise Louise d'Amboise (niece to Monsieur):

  • Charles d'Amboise (19th December, 1740 - 1743)
  • Philippe d'Amboise (7th January, 1743 - 1744)
  • Louis d'Amboise (7th January, 1743 - 1744)
  • Marie Anne d'Amboise (2nd October, 1744 - Present)
  • Louis d'Amboise (2nd October, 1745 - Present)


Styles and Titles:

  • 27th December 1706 - 17th December 1752 His Imperial Highness, the Dauphin


  • Knight of the Order of Saint-Benignus
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.