Elisabeth Philippine Marie Helene de Bourbon (1764 - 1794)

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Nicknames: "Madame Elisabeth"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Versailles, Seine-Et-Oise, France
Death: Died in Guillotined at Paris, Seine, France
Occupation: Princess of France, Petite-Fille de France
Managed by: Douglas Nimmo
Last Updated:

About Elisabeth Philippine Marie Helene de Bourbon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89lisabeth_de_France Princess Élisabeth of France From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 (Redirected from Élisabeth de France)

Jump to: navigation, search Élisabeth Princess Élisabeth of France Full name Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène Father Louis, Dauphin of France Mother Duchess Maria Josepha of Saxony Born 3 May 1764(1764-05-03) Palace of Versailles, France Died 10 May 1794 (aged 30) Paris, France Burial Cimetière des Errancis, Paris, France, (first)

Catacombs of Paris (final) Madame Elisabeth by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun.

Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène de France[1], Fille de France (Daughter of France), known as Madame Élisabeth, (3 May 1764 – 10 May 1794), was the youngest sister of King Louis XVI of France. Having lived through the French Revolution beside the king and his family, she was executed during the Reign of Terror in Paris. Contents [show]

   * 1 Life
         o 1.1 Early life
   * 2 Revolution
         o 2.1 Trial and execution
   * 3 Assessment
   * 4 References
   * 5 Sources
   * 6 External links
         o 6.1 Primary source
   * 7 Ancestors
   * 8 See also

[edit] Life [edit] Early life Élisabeth as a child by François-Hubert Drouais, 1770

Élisabeth was born on 3 May 1764 in the Palace of Versailles in France, the youngest child of Louis, Dauphin of France, and his wife, Marie-Josèphe of Saxony. Her paternal grandparents were King Louis XV of France and his consort, Queen Maria Leszczyńska. As the granddaughter of the king, she was a Petite-Fille de France. Her maternal grandparents were King Augustus III of Poland, also the Elector of Saxony, and his wife, the ArchduchessMaria Josepha, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I.

Orphaned at the age of three, she was brought up by Madame de Mackau and resided in Montreuil, where she is said to have given many proofs of a benevolent character. She was raised by Marie Louise de Rohan, comtesse de Marsan and Governess of the Children of France and sister of the Prince of Soubise, her grandfathers companion. She was given a good education, said to have been higher than that of her sister-in-law Marie Antoinette. She is described as a skillfull rider, and was interested in art; several of her paintings are still preserved.

Élisabeth was deeply religious, affected by her aunts, but was also described as an independent woman. She was devoted to her brother the king, and refused all offers of marriage so that she might remain by his side: in 1777, a marriage was suggested to Joseph II (Holy Roman Emperor), but she declined with her brother's consent. [edit] Revolution

Élisabeth and her brother, Charles-Philippe, comte d'Artois, were the staunchest conservatives in the royal family. Unlike Artois, however, Élisabeth refused to emigrate when the gravity of the events set forth by the French Revolution became clear. After the march of women to Versailles on 5 October 1789, and the transfer of the royal family to Paris, she chose to reside in the Tuileries Palace with the king and his family, rather than with her aunts at Bellevue. She corresponded with her exiled brother, Comte d'Artois, and one of her letters where intercepted by the national assembly, where she expressed her wiev, that a foreign intervention by the exiled French royalists and foreign monarchys where necessary to restore the old regime, as her brother signed any reform that was put before him: she is described as a loyal but also independent woman, who did have political conflicts with the royal couple as she was unvilling to all compromises in the limitation to the powers of the curch and the monarchy.

She chose not to emigrate with her aunts, but accompanied the royal family on their unsuccessfull escape attempt of 20 June 1791, was arrested at Varennes and returned to Paris with them. During the storming of the Tuileries, she showed herself to the crowd, who mistook her for the queen.

Madame Élisabeth was present at the Legislative Assembly session when Louis XVI was suspended. She was imprisoned in the Temple Tower with the royal family. With the execution of the former king (21 January 1793), and the removal of her nephew, the young "Louis XVII" (3 July), Élisabeth was left alone with the former queen, Marie Antoinette, and the king and queen's daughter, Princess Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, Madame Royale, in the tower. The former queen was taken to the Conciergerie on 2 August 1793, and was executed the following 16 October. Marie Antoinette's last letter, written in the early hours of her execution day, was addressed to Élisabeth, but never reached her; Élisabeth and Marie-Thérèse were kept in ignorance of the Marie Antoinette's death. [edit] Trial and execution

Élisabeth was not regarded as dangerous by Robespierre, and the original plan had been to banish her from France. On 9 May 1794, however, Élisabeth was transferred to the Conciergerie and hauled before the Revolutionary Tribunal. She was accused of assisting the king's flight, of supplying émigrés with funds, and of encouraging the resistance of the royal troops during the events of 10 August 1792. Furthermore, she was also accused of molesting her nephew, the former dauphin. This charge, supposedly extracted from the child under duress, actually helped invoke sympathy for Élisabeth from the public[citation needed]. During the trial, she replied, when addressed as "The Sister of a Tyrant"; "If my brother had been what you call him, you would not have been where you are, nor I where I am". She was condemned to death and guillotined the following day.

All the men and women to be executed with Madame Élisabeth bowed to her and kissed her; she in turn blessed them. She was made to sit closest to the guillotine but was executed last and thus had to hear the blade fall on the necks of all the people before her. It is said that when she was strapped to the board, her shawl fell off, exposing her shoulders, and she cried to the executioner "In the name of decency, Monsieur, cover my bosom!", just as she was guillotined.[2]

Her body was buried in a common grave at the "Errancis" cemetery (cimetière des Errancis) in Paris.[3] After the Revolution, her remains, with that of other victims, were placed in the Catacombs of Paris. A medallion represents her at the Basilica of Saint Denis. [edit] Assessment

Élisabeth, who had turned thirty one week before her death, was executed essentially because she was a sister of the king. However, the general consensus of the French revolutionaries was that she was a supporter of the ultra-right royalist faction. There is much evidence to suggest that she actively supported the intrigues of her brother, the comte d'Artois, to bring foreign armies into France to crush the Revolution. In monarchist circles, her exemplary private life elicited much admiration. Élisabeth was much praised for her charitable nature, familial devotion and devout Catholic faith. There can be no question that she saw the Revolution as the incarnation of evil on earth[citation needed] and viewed civil war as the only means to drive it from the land.

Royalist literature often represents her as a Catholic martyr, while left-wing historians severely criticise her for extreme conservatism, which seemed excessive even to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette[citation needed]. Several biographies have been published of her in French, while extensive treatment of her life is given in Antonia Fraser's biography of Marie Antoinette and Deborah Cadbury's investigative biography of Louis XVII. [edit] References

  1. ^ Achaintre, Nicolas Louis, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de Bourbon, Vol. 2, (Rue de L'Ecole de Medecine, 1824), 168.
  2. ^ Balde, Jean, Madame Elisabeth, princesse martyre, Spes, 1934
  3. ^ de Rochegude, Félix, Promenades dans toutes les rues de Paris, VIIIe arrondissement, Hachette, Paris, 1910, p. 46.

[edit] Sources

   * This page is a translation of its French equivalent.

[edit] External links [edit] Primary source

   * (French) Duchess of Angoulême's Memoirs on the Captivity in the Temple (from the autograph manuscript; see in particular Part 3)
   * Duchess of Angoulême's Memoirs on the Captivity in the Temple, (1823 English translation of a slightly redacted French edition; see in particular Part 3)

This page was last modified on 24 July 2010 at 22:26.

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Élisabeth de France's Timeline

1764
May 3, 1764
Versailles, Seine-Et-Oise, France
1794
May 10, 1794
Age 30
Guillotined at Paris, Seine, France
1794
Age 29
France