Louis César de Bourbon, Légitimé de France, Count of Vexin (Génitoy, 20 June 1672 – Paris, 10 January 1683) was a son of Louis XIV of France and his mistress Madame de Montespan. He was the Abbot of Saint-Denis and of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Louis César, born at the château du Génitoy, was the second son born to Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. Named after Julius Caesar, his older brother Louis Auguste de Bourbon was named after Augustus and the later born Louis Alexandre de Bourbon was named after Alexander the Great.
Louis César was born at a time when the court was in mourning for Princess Marie-Thérèse of France, known as la petite Madame, who had died in March 1672.
Louis César would grow up with his older brother Louis-Auguste in the care of Madame Scarron in a house on the rue de Vaugirad in Paris. This house had been purchased by the king specifically for his illegitimate children. The next year, while his father was on a military tour at Tournai, he was joined by a sister, Louise Françoise de Bourbon, born in June, Louis César and his parents, as well as the Queen Marie Thérèse d'Autriche were present as was Madame Scarron.
Scarron was greatly attached to Louis Auguste, not so much Louise Françoise or Louis César. On 19 December 1673, Louis XIV officially recognised his children with Montespan with Letters Patent from the Parlement de Paris. This made all these children Enfant's Légitimé's de France, Legitimate Children of France.
With this legitimisation, Louis César received the title Count of Vexin, an ancient title dating from the 10th century. His brother became the duc du Maine and his sister Mademoiselle de Nantes.
From early in his life, Vexin had had a crooked spine since birth. This caused him to limp and was not helped by one of his shoulders being higher than the other. His father, who adored him, decided the child was to be destined for the church. His father bestowed the title of Abbot of Saint Denis on his son. The Royal Cathedral of Saint Denis, Cathédrale royale de Saint-Denis, was the traditional burial place of the kings of France since the 7th century and was one of the wealthiest churches in France.
Despite being the Abbot of Saint Denis, he was too young to carry out any duties and thus remained at the court of his father whilst under the care of Scarron. In 1674, another sister joined the family: Louise Marie Anne was born in November 1674 and was created Mademoiselle de Tours after her legitimisation in 1676.
The doctors at court tried to help with Louis-César's condition but failed using the awful treatments. After such treatments, Louis César's general condition worsened after 1675. He was watched over by his mother and his maternal aunt, the marquise de Thianges. He would never be a strong child.
In between 1677 and 1678, he was joined by two more siblings: Françoise Marie de Bourbon born May 1677; and Louis Alexandre de Bourbon in June at Clagny.
In 1678, it was thought that he may die; again he was "treated" but did not do anything other than keep him alive. His condition was so bad that he was bedridden for days at a time.
Around the time of Françoise Marie, his mother was supposedly involved in the Affaire des Poisons which made her lose favour with the king, who sought comfort with another mistress, Angélique de Fontanges. After that time, he spent more time with his mother at her private residence, the Château de Clagny. His mother stayed with him much of the time.
Louis César died in Paris in 1683 at the age of 10. His mother was distraught; Vexin was buried at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Six months later, Queen Marie Thérèse d'Autriche died at Versailles. She was buried at Saint Denis.
|Siblings and family|
|Full siblings - by Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, marquise de Montespan (5 October 1641 – 27 May 1707)|
| Louise Françoise de Bourbon || at the end of March, 1669 || 23 February 1672 |
| Louis Auguste de Bourbon, duc du Maine || 31 March 1670||14 May 1736|| Legitimised on 20 December 1673. Held numerous offices, of which: Colonel-Général des Suisses et des Grisons, Governor of Languedoc, Général des Galères, and Grand-Maître de l'Artillerie. Was also duc d'Aumale, comte d'Eu and prince de Dombes. Had issue with Anne Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon. Founder of the House of Bourbon-du Maine.|
| Louis César de Bourbon, comte de Vexin, abbé de Saint-Denis et de Saint-Germain-des-Prés|| 20 June 1672 || 10 January 1683 ||Legitimised on 20 December 1673.|
| Louise Françoise de Bourbon, Mlle de Nantes, duchesse de Bourbon, princesse de Condé||1 June 1673||16 June 1743||Legitimised on 20 December 1673. Married Louis de Bourbon, duc d'Enghien, (later duc de Bourbon, and then prince de Condé). Had issue.|
| Louise Marie Anne de Bourbon, Mlle de Tours ||12 November 1674||15 September 1681 ||Legitimised in January 1676.|
| Françoise Marie de Bourbon, Mlle de Blois, duchesse d'Orléans||4 May 1677||1 February 1749||Legitimised in November 1681. Married Philippe d'Orléans, duc de Chartres, (later duc d'Orléans), the Regent of France under Louis XV. Had issue.|
| Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse ||6 June 1678||1 December 1737||Legitimised on 22 November 1681. Held numerous offices, of which: Admiral of France, Governor of Guyenne, Governor of Brittany, and Grand-Veneur de France. Was also duc de Damville, de Rambouillet et de Penthièvre. Had issue. Founder of the House of Bourbon-Toulouse.|
|Paternal legitimate half-siblings - by Marie Thérèse d'Autriche, Infanta of Spain, Queen of France and of Navarre (20 September 1638 – 30 July 1683) |
| Louis of France, le Grand Dauphin || 1 November 1661 || 14 April 1711||Fils de France. Dauphin of France (1661–1711). Had issue. Father of Louis, duc de Bourgogne (later Dauphin of France), Philippe, duc d'Anjou (later King of Spain) and Charles, duc de Berry. Grandfather of Louis, duc d'Anjou (later Dauphin, and then King of France)|
| Princess Anne Élisabeth of France||18 November 1662||30 December 1662||Fille de France. Died in infancy.|
| Princess Marie Anne of France||16 November 1664||26 December 1664 (?)||Fille de France. Died in infancy or became Louise Marie-Therese (The Black Nun of Moret).|
| Princess Marie Thérèse of France, Madame Royale||2 January 1667||1 March 1672||Fille de France. Known as Madame Royale and la Petite Madame|
| Philippe Charles of France duc d'Anjou||5 August 1668||10 July 1671||Fils de France.|
|Louis-François of France, duc d'Anjou||14 June 1672||4 November 1672||Fils de France. Died in infancy.|
| Paternal illegitimate half-siblings - by Louise-Françoise de La Baume Le Blanc, duchesse de La Vallière et de Vaujours (6 August 1644 – 6 June 1710)|
|Charles de Bourbon||19 December 1663||15 July 1665||Not legitimised.|
|Philippe de Bourbon||7 January 1665||1666||Not legitimised.|
|Marie Anne de Bourbon, Mlle de Blois, duchesse de La Vallière, princesse de Conti || 2 October 1666|| 3 May 1739||Legitimised on 14 May 1667. Married Louis Armand de Bourbon, prince de Conti.|
| Louis de Bourbon, comte de Vermandois||3 October 1667||18 November 1683||Legitimised on 20 February 1669. Held the office of Admiral of France.|
|Paternal illegitimate half-siblings - by Claude de Vin, Mademoiselle des Oeillets (c. 1637 - 18 May 1687)|
|Louise de Maisonblanche||1676||12 September 1718||In 1696 she married Bernard de Prez, Baron de La Queue. |
|by Marie Angelique de Scorailles, Duchess de Fontanges (1661 - 28 June 1681)|
|Maternal legitimate half-siblings - by Louis Henri de Pardaillan de Gondrin, Marquis of Montespan (1640 - 1 December 1691)|
| Marie-Christine de Pardaillan de Gondrin || 1663 ||1675 || died in childhood.|
| Louis Antoine de Pardaillan de Gondrin, marquis d'Antin, Gondrin and Montespan later duc d'Antin ||Paris, 5 September 1665 || Paris, 2 November 1736 || married Julie Françoise de Crussol d'Uzès and had issue.|
| Ancestors of Louis César, Count of Vexin|
|16. Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme|
|8. Henry IV of France|
|17. Jeanne III of Navarre|
|4. Louis XIII of France|
|18. Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany|
|9. Marie de' Medici|
|19. Archduchess Joanna of Austria|
|2. Louis XIV of France|
|20. Philip II of Spain|
|10. Philip III of Spain|
|21. Anna of Austria|
|5. Anne of Austria|
|22. Charles II, Archduke of Austria|
|11. Margaret of Austria|
|23. Maria Anna of Bavaria|
|1. Louis César de Bourbon|
|24. René de Rochechouart, Seigneur de Mortemart|
|12. Gaspard de Rochechouart, Marquis of Mortemart|
|25. Jeanne de Saulx de Tavannes|
|6. Gabriel de Rochechouart, Duke of Mortemart|
|26. Charles, Count of Maure|
|13. Louise de Maure, Countess of Maure|
|27. Diane de Pérusse des Cars, Princess of Carency|
|3. Françoise-Athénaïs, Marchioness of Montespan|
|28. Pierre de Grandsaigne, Seigneur de La Flotte|
|14. Jean de Grandseigne, Marquis of Marsillac|
|29. Françoise Baillard|
|7. Diane de Grandseigne|
|30. François de La Béraudière, Seigneur de Villechèze|
|15. Catherine de La Béraudière, Lady of Villenon|
|31. Anne Adrienne Frotier|
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 20 June 1672 – 19 December 1673 Louis-César de Bourbon
- 19 December 1673 – 10 January 1683 His Highness Louis-César de Bourbon, Legitimé de France, "Count of Vexin"
- ↑ Hilton, Lisa, Athénaïs:The Real Queen of France, p. 172
- ↑ even more ancient than Vexin, this title dated from the 6th century
- ↑ ib. Spanheim, Ézéchiel, pp. 100-105, 323-327.