Luis of Spain, Count of Chinchón

Luis of Spain
Count of Chinchón

Luis of Spain
Born (1727-07-25)25 July 1727
Seville, Spain
Died 7 August 1785(1785-08-07) (aged 58)
Arenas de San Pedro, Ávila
House House of Bourbon
Father Philip V of Spain
Mother Elisabeth Farnese

Luis Antonio Jaime of Spain (25 July 1727 – 7 August 1785), Infante of Spain, Cardinal Deacon of the titular church of Santa Maria della Scala in Rome, Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain, 13th Count of Chinchón, Grandee of Spain First Class, known as the Cardinal-Infante, was a son of Philip V, King of Spain and his second wife, Elisabeth Farnese.

He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest-ever cardinal.[1]


Early years

Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbón y Farnesio, de Baviera y d'Este was born the youngest son of King Philip V, King of Spain, and his second wife, Elizabeth Farnese. While barely eight years of age, Luis was created 699th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1735 and ordained Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain on 9 September 1735, and subsequently named Cardinal Deacon of the Title of the church of Santa Maria della Scala in Rome on 19 December. On 18 December 1754 he abandoned the ecclesiastical life for lack of vocation, renounced his ecclesiastical titles and dignities and assumed the title of 13th Conde de Chinchón (Count of Chinchón) granted by his brother Infante Felipe.

When his older half-brother King Ferdinand VI died without issue in 1759, Luis claimed the throne on the grounds that, he was the only surviving son of Philip V still residing in Spain (his older brothers were Charles, King of Naples and Sicily, and Philip, Duke of Parma, both reigning in Italy). However valid his claim, Luis lost the succession to his oldest brother Charles, while Charles' third son became Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies.

Infante Luis was a patron of the arts and culture, and admirer of musician Luigi Boccherini, architect Ventura Rodríguez and painters Francisco de Goya, Luis Paret y Alcázar, and Charles Joseph Flipart.


Coats of arms of the Infante Luis de Spain, as Cardinal of Toledo in the Archbishop's Palace of Alcalá de Henares (Community of Madrid - Spain).

King Charles III, fearful of his brother, exiled Luis far away from the Court of Madrid. On 27 June (some say 28 January), 1776 at Olias del Rey Luis contracted a Morganatic marriage with an Aragonese aristocrat, María Teresa de Vallabriga y Rozas, Español y Drummond (5 September 1758 Zaragoza, 16 February 1820), 99th Noble Dame of the Royal Order of Queen María Luisa on 7 December 1800, 13th Condesa de Chinchón Grandee of Spain 1st Class, daughter of José Ignacio de Vallabriga y Español, ... y ..., ?th Conde de Torrescasas, of the House of the Condes de Torres Levas, and wife Josefa de Rozas y Drummond, ... and .... This was much to the liking of Charles, because Luis now could not have children with a better claim to the throne.


Since Luis' children had been born of a morganatic marriage, they could not receive royal titles, and thus the descendants of Charles were the legitimate Spanish heirs (even though the children of Charles had been born in Naples). The couple had four children:

Charles had a great deal of appreciation and devotion to his younger brother, and even during his exile, Luis was treated quite well by the Spanish court. Luis loved his brother equally as much, which is why Luis later accepted Charles as King and accepted his exile. Despite this, Luis remained bitter and saddened by the fact that he lost the opportunity to be King. Luis died disgraced and in internal exile in 1785.


See also


  1. McWhirter, Ross, McFarlan, Donald, Boehm, David A., and McWhirter, Norris. 1989. 1990 Guinness Book of World Records. Sterling Pub. Co. p. 270.
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