ORLEANS, Gaston, Duke of. 16500



Manuscript Document (”lettre patente”) Signed ‘Gaston’, as “Fils de France” and as Lieutenant General of the Armies of His Majesty against Cardinal Richelieu and his adherents, addressed to the military, evidently the grant of concessions in a number of named villages, countersigned by Coulac. On paper, in French. 8 x 12 inches, with an integral leaf docketed on verso, light damp stains. Impressed seal. Vichy, 3 July 1632. Dating from Gaston’s conspiracy against Richelieu and the Queen. Gaston, Duke of Orléans (1608 – 1660), was the third son of King Henry IV of France and his wife Marie de Medici. As a son of the king, he was born a Fils de France. He later acquired the title Duke of Orléans, by which he was generally known during his adulthood. As the eldest surviving brother of King Louis XIII, he was known at court by the traditional honorific Monsieur. He had nominal command of the army which besieged La Rochelle in 1628, having already entered upon a course of political intrigue that would occupy the remainder of his life. He was the heir presumptive to the throne of France from the death of his brother Nicolas Henri in 1611 until the birth of his elder brother’s first son in 1638. On two occasions, he had to leave France for conspiring against the government of his mother and her Prime Minister Cardinal Richelieu. After waging an unsuccessful war in Languedoc leading to the Battle of Castelnaudary in 1632, he took refuge in Flanders. Reconciled with his brother Louis XIII, he plotted against Richelieu in 1635, fled from the country again, and then submitted to the King and the Cardinal. Gaston was the father of the famous Madame de Montpensier.