Charles-Joseph, 7th Prince of Ligne

Prince of Ligne
Reign 7 April 1766 13 December 1814
Predecessor Claude Lamoral
Successor Eugène
Born (1735-05-23)23 May 1735
Died 13 December 1814(1814-12-13) (aged 79)
Spouse Princess Franziska of Liechtenstein
Issue Marie-Christine, Princess of Clary-Aldringen
Prince Charles-Joseph Antoine
Prince François Léopold
Prince Louis-Eugène
Prince Adalbert Xavier
Euphémie Christine, Countess Pálffy ab Erdöd
Flore, Baroness Spiegel
Full name
Charles-Joseph Lamoral Francois Alexis de Ligne
House House of Ligne
Father Claude Lamoral, 6th Prince of Ligne
Mother Elisabeth Alexandrine de Salm
Religion Roman Catholicism

Charles-Joseph Lamoral, 7th Prince de Ligne in French; in German Karl-Joseph Lamoral 7. Fürst von Ligne[1] (also known as Karl Fürst von Ligne or Fürst de Ligne[2] ): (23 May 1735 13 December 1814) was a Field marshal and writer, and member of the princely family of Ligne.

Military service

He was born in Brussels, the son of Field Marshal Claude Lamoral, 6th Prince of Ligne and Elisabeth Alexandrina zu Salm,[3] daughter of Ludwig Otto, 5ter Fürst zu Salm and his wife Albertine von Nassau-Hadamar.[4]
As an Austrian subject he entered the imperial army at an early age. He distinguished himself by his valour in the Seven Years' War, notably at Breslau, Leuthen, Hochkirch and Maxen, and after the war rose rapidly to the rank of lieutenant field marshal. He became the intimate friend and counsellor of the emperor Joseph II, and, inheriting his father's vast estates, lived in the greatest splendour and luxury till the War of the Bavarian Succession brought him again into active service.

This war was short and uneventful, and the prince then travelled in England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France, devoting himself impartially to the courts, the camps, the salons and the learned assemblies of philosophers and scientists in each country. He developed a great admiration for Frederick the Great, even to the point of justifying his seizure of Silesia.

In 1784 he was again employed in military work, and was promoted to Feldzeugmeister. In 1787 he was with Catherine II in Russia and accompanied her in her journey to the Crimea. In 1789 he was present at the siege of Belgrade.

Shortly after the siege of Belgrade he was invited to place himself at the head of the Belgian revolutionary movement, in which one of his sons and many of his relatives were prominent, but declined with great courtesy, saying that "he never revolted in the winter." Though suspected by Joseph of collusion with the rebels, the two friends were not long estranged, and after the death of the emperor the prince remained in Vienna. His Brabant estates were overrun by the French in 1792–93, and his eldest son killed in action at La Croix-du Bois in the Argonne (14 September 1792). He was given the rank of field marshal (1809) and an honorary command at court.

Later life

Despite the loss of his estates, Charles-Joseph lived in comparative luxury in his later life, and devoted himself to his literary work. He lived long enough to characterize the proceedings of the Congress of Vienna with the famous mot: "Le Congrès ne marche pas, il danse."[5] He has been described as one of the most charming men who ever lived. He died, aged 79, in Vienna in December 1814 and was buried at the Kahlenberg cemetery.[6]

Collected works

His collected works appeared in thirty-four volumes at Vienna during the last years of his life (Mélanges militaires, littéraires, sentimentaires), and he bequeathed his manuscripts to the emperor's Trabant Guard, of which he was captain (Œuvres posthumes, Dresden and Vienna, 1817). Selections were published in French, German and English:

The most important of his numerous works on all military subjects is the Fantaisies et préjuge's militaires, which originally appeared in 1780. A modern edition is that published by J Dumaine (Paris, 1879). A German version (Miltarische Vorurtheile und Phantasien, etc.) appeared as early as 1783. This work, though it deals lightly and cavalierly with the most important subjects (the prince even proposes to found an international academy of the art of war, wherein the reputation of generals could be impartially weighed), is a military classic, and indispensable to the students of the post-Frederician period. On the whole, it may be said that the prince adhered to the school of Guibert, and a full discussion will be found in Max Jahns' Gesch. d. Kriegswissenschaften. Another very celebrated work by the prince is the mock autobiography of Prince Eugène of Savoy (1809).

Other works of his include:

Marriage and issue

On 6 August 1755, in Valtice or Feldsberg, Charles-Joseph married Princess Franziska Xaveria Maria of Liechtenstein (Vienna, 27 November 1739 – Vienna, 17 May 1821), sister of Franz Joseph I, Prince of Liechtenstein. The couple had 7 children.

He also had two illegitimate daughters: "Adèle" (1809–1810) by Adelaide Fleury; and another one (?) (1770–1770) by Angélique d'Hannetaire (1749–1822). Charles-Joseph legitimated in 1810 the illegitimate beloved daughter of his son Charles, called "Fanny-Christine" (4 January 1788 – 19 May 1867). She is called "Titine" in the diaries and letters of the family; she married Maurice O'Donnell von Tyrconnell (1780–1843).

His grandson, Eugene Lamoral de Ligne (1804–1880), was a distinguished Belgian statesman, and his grandson, Count Maximilian Karl Lamoral O'Donnell von Tyrconnell (1812–1895), helped save the life of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria in Vienna in 1853.


Regarding personal names: Fürst is a title, translated as 'Prince', not a first or middle name. The feminine form is Fürstin.


See also


See Revue de Bruxelles (October 1839); Reiffenberg, "Le Feld. maréchal Prince Charles Joseph de Ligne," Mémoires de l'académie de Bruxelles, vol. xix.; Peetermans, Le Prince de Ligne, ou un écrivain grand seigneur (Liege, 1857), Etudes et notices historique concernant l'histoire des Pays Bas, vol. iii. (Brussels, 1890)

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charles-Joseph de Ligne.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Charles-Joseph, 7th Prince of Ligne

Les Lettres de Catherine II au Prince de Ligne (1780–1796). Edited by La Princesse Charles de Ligne. [Bruxelles, 1924]

Charles-Joseph, 7th Prince of Ligne
Born: 23 May 1735 Died: 13 December 1814
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Claude Lamoral
Prince of Ligne
Succeeded by
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/27/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.