French Bourbons in Europe
The earliest documented member of the Bourbon family was a French feudal lord, Aimar, who became baron of Bourbon in the late 9th century. See more about the French Bourbons here. In 1276 a Bourbon heiress, Béatrix de Bourbon (died 1310), a direct descendant of Aimar, married Robert de France, comte de Clermont, sixth son of the Capetian king Louis IX. Robert’s son Louis (1279-1342) was created 1st duc de Bourbon in 1327. Louis had two sons; the eldest founded a branch of the family that acquired through marriage the countship of Montpensier and that became extinct in 1527 with the death of Duc Charles de Bourbon, constable of France.
Henry IV, king of France, who was also Henry III of Navarre, was the first member of the house of Bourbon to achieve royal rank. He was descended through his father, Antoine de Bourbon (1518-62), duc de Vendóme, from the younger son of Louis, 1st duc de Bourbon. With the death in 1589 of the last member of the Valois branch of the Capetian kings, Henry of Navarre, claiming his descent from Louis IX, became king of France.
Henry, who was succeeded as king by his son Louis XIII, had linked the house of Bourbon, through his daughters, with three major royal houses of Europe. Elizabeth (1602-44) was married to Philip IV, king of Spain, Christina (1606-63) to Victor Amadeus I of Savoy, and Henrietta Maria to Charles I, king of England.
Louis XIII was succeeded by his son Louis XIV, whose direct descendants continued to rule France as the elder line of the house of Bourbon. A brother of Louis XIV, Philippe I (1640-1701), duc d’Orléans, was the founder of the collateral branch of Bourbons known as the house of Orléans. A grandson of Louis XIV, Philippe, duc d’Anjou, became Philip V of Spain, the founder of the Spanish house of Bourbon.
Both the son and eldest grandson of Louis XIV died before that monarch’s reign ended; he was succeeded by his great-grandson, Louis XV; this king also outlived his son and was succeeded by his oldest grandson, Louis XVI. Louis XVI and his only son, Louis Charles de France, sometimes known as Louis XVII, although he never reigned, lost their lives during the French Revolution. After the defeat of Napoleon, in 1814, a brother of Louis XVI became king as Louis XVIII, and on his death a younger brother, Charles X, reigned as the last Bourbon king of France.
After the overthrow of Charles X in the July Revolution of 1830, Louis Philippe, duc d’Orléans, was proclaimed king of the French by the Orleanists, a party that supported the claim of the house of Orléans to the throne of France. A group known as the Legitimists, however, continued to view the representatives of the elder line of the house of Bourbon as the rightful rulers of France; the Legitimists thus recognized the eldest son of Charles X, Louis, duc d’Angouléme, as Louis XIX, although he had renounced his right to rule. After Louis Philippe was deposed in 1848, Louis’s nephew, Henri, comte de Chambord, was proclaimed King Henry V by the Legitimists. At his death in 1883 the elder line of Bourbons became extinct, and the Legitimists accepted the comte de Paris as the Bourbon successor.
Bourbon Family, name of a family of French origin, members of which became rulers of several European countries. The chief family seat was the castle and town of Bourbon, the first capital of the former province of Bourbonnais in central France.
The Spanish house of Bourbon was founded by Philippe, duc d’Anjou, a grandson of King Louis XIV of France and great-grandson of Philip IV of Spain. See about the Spanish Bourbons here
The Italian house of Bourbon was founded by two sons of Philip V of Spain. In 1734 Carlos de Borbón, later Charles III of Spain, conquered Naples and Sicily and became Charles IV, king of the Two Sicilies. See about the Italian Bourbons here
Source: “Borbon (Family)” Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia
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