Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé - Biography - Army of Condé

Army of Condé

During the French Revolution, the prince was a dedicated supporter of the monarchy and one of the principle leaders of the counter-revolutionary movement. He established himself at Coblenz in 1791, where he helped to organize and lead a large counter-revolutionary army of émigrés. In addition to containing the prince's grandson, the Duke of Enghien, and the two sons of his cousin, the late king's brother, the Comte d'Artois, the corps included many young aristocrats who eventually became leaders during the Bourbon Restoration years later.

This group included the Duke of Richelieu, the Duke of Blacas and Chateaubriand.

The Army of Condé initially fought in conjunction with the Austrians. Later, due to differences with the Austrian plan of attack, however, the Prince de Condé entered with his corps into English pay in 1795. In 1796, the army fought in Swabia. In 1797, Austria signed the Treaty of Campo Formio with the First French Republic, formally ending its hostilities against the French. With the loss of its closest allies, the army transferred into the service of the Russian tsar, Paul I and was stationed in Poland, returning in 1799 to the Rhine under Alexander Suvorov. In 1800 when Russia left the Allied coalition, the army re-entered English service and fought in Bavaria.

The army was disbanded in 1801 without having achieved its principle ambition, restoring Bourbon rule in France. After the dissolution of the corps, the prince spent his exile in England, where he lived with his second wife, Maria Caterina Brignole, the divorced wife of Honoré III, Prince of Monaco, whom he had married in 1798. She died in 1813.

With the defeat of Napoleon, Louis Joseph returned to Paris, where he resumed his courtly duties as grand maître in the royal household of Louis XVIII. He died in 1818 and was succeeded by his son, Louis Henri. His daughter, Louise Adélaïde de Bourbon, who was a nun and had become the abbess of Remiremont Abbey, survived until 1824. He was buried at the Basilica of St Denis.

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