Jules, III. duc de Polignac

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Jules Auguste Armand Marie de Polignac

Also Known As: "3rd Duke of Polignac"
Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Versailles, Île-de-France, France
Death: March 2, 1847 (66)
Paris, Île-de-France, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Jules François Armand, I. duc de Polignac and Gabrielle de Polastron, duchesse de Polignac
Husband of Barbara Campbell and Maria Charlotte Parkyns
Father of Seyna-Camille de Polignac; Louis Charles de Polignac; Alphonse de Polignac; Yolande de Polignac; Camille, prince de Polignac and 1 other
Brother of Aglaé Louise Françoise Gabrielle de Polignac; Armand, II. duc de Polignac and Camille Henri Melchior, comte de Polignac

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About Jules, III. duc de Polignac

Prince Jules de Polignac, 3rd Duke of Polignac was a French statesman. He played a part in ultra-royalist reaction after the Revolution. He was appointed Prime minister by Charles X just before the 1830 July Revolution which overthrew the Bourbon Restoration.

Born Auguste Jules Armand Marie on May 14, 1780 in Versailles, Jules was the younger son of Jules, 1st Duke of Polignac, and Yolande de Polastron, a confidante and favourite of Queen Marie-Antoinette. Due to his mother's privileged position, the young Jules was raised in the environment of the court of Versailles, where his family occupied a luxurious suite of thirteen rooms. His sister, Agläié, was married to the duc de Guîche at a young age, helping to cement the Polignac family's position as one of the leaders of high society at Versailles.

In 1789, the outbreak of the French Revolution, Jules's mother Gabrielle and her circle were forced to flee abroad due to threats against their lives. Gabrielle had been one of the most consistent supporters of absolutism and she was strongly opposed to anti-monarchism; throughout much of 1788 and 1789, she had been actively involved in various schemes to discredit the reformist movement, led by the Prince Charles, comte d'Artois, her close personal friend. She bequeathed these political sympathies to her son and following her premature death in 1793, Charles took a protective interest in her son's career.

Jules's mother Gabrielle died in Austria shortly after the execution of Queen Marie-Antoinette in France; the cause of death was given either as cancer or consumption, depending on conflicting sources. Ten years later, Jules's sister, Agläié, the duchesse de Guîche, died in an accidental house fire.

Jules married twice. Firstly, in 1816 to Barbara Campbell (1788–1819), who later returned with him to France, with whom he had two children:

  • Armand (1817–1890)
  • Seyna-Camille (1818–1833)

After her death in 1819, he married Maria Charlotte Parkyns (1792–1864)in 1824 and had 5 children:

  • Alphonse (1826–1863)
  • Louis (1827–1904)
  • Yolande (1830–1855)
  • Camille (1832–1913)
  • Edmond (1834–1901)

Returning to France, which was then ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte, Jules continued in his zealous loyalty to the exiled Royal Family. In 1804, a year after his sister's death, Jules was implicated in the conspiracy of Cadoudal and Pichegru to assassinate Bonaparte, and was imprisoned until 1813. After the restoration of the Bourbons, he was rewarded with various honours and positions. He held various offices, received from the pope his title of "prince" in 1820, and in 1823 King Louis XVIII made him ambassador to Great Britain. A year later, his mother's former friend ascended the throne as King Charles X. Polignac's political sympathies did not alter and he was one of the most conspicuous ultra-royalists during the Restoration era.

At the time, it was rumoured that Polignac supported the hardline Ultra (-royalist) policies because he thought he was receiving Divine inspiration from the Virgin Mary. There is little historical evidence for this story, however. There is no mention of such motivation in Polignac's personal memoirs or in the memoirs of the Restoration court.

On 8 August 1829 Charles X appointed him to the ministry of foreign affairs and in the following November Polignac became president of the council, effectively the most powerful politician in France. His appointment was considered a step towards overthrowing the constitution and Polignac, with other ministers, was held responsible for the decision to issue the Four Ordinances, which were the immediate cause of the revolution of July 1830.

Upon the outbreak of revolt he fled, wandering for some time among the wilds of Normandy before he was arrested at Granville. At his trial before the chamber of peers he was condemned and sentenced to 'perpetual' imprisonment at the château in Ham. But he benefited by the amnesty of 1836, when the sentence was commuted to exile. During his captivity he wrote Considerations politiques (1832). Afterwards, he spent several years in exile in England before being permitted to re-enter France on condition that he never again take up his abode in Paris.

From his second marriage to Maria-Charlotte, Jules de Polignac had fathered seven children, including the noted mathematician Prince Alphonse de Polignac, inventor of the theory of twin primes; Prince Ludovic de Polignac, a lieutenant-colonel in the French Army who participated in the colonization of Algeria; Prince Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac , a major-general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and Prince Edmond de Polignac, a composer, musical theorist and proponent of the octatonic scale.

Jules died at St. Germain in 1847; about one month prior he had assumed the title of Duc de Polignac upon the death of his older brother, Armand, who had died without children.

From A branch of the de Polignac family is descended Prince Pierre, Duke of Valentinois of Manaco.

Source: Wikipedia

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Jules, III. duc de Polignac's Timeline

May 14, 1780
Versailles, Île-de-France, France
Age 37
Age 45
Age 46
London, Middlesex, England
November 16, 1830
Age 50
Age 51
Millemont, Seine et Oise, France
April 19, 1834
Age 53
March 2, 1847
Age 66
Paris, Île-de-France, France