[7], By 1666, Madame de Montespan was trying to take the place of Louis XIV's current mistress, Louise de La Vallière. He openly challenged the king and held a symbolic funeral for his wife in front of his children. Many at the time suspected that she had been poisoned by her rival, although none could prove it. She profited from unrequited or spurned love and once even remarked: “What a boon it is to our profession when lovers resort to desperate measures.”. The king would come to formally recognize at least three of the seven children he had with Madame de Montespan, allowing them to establish themselves in high ranks in courtly France as well, but not quite as high as their mother. Hilton pointed out that Monvoisin painted the picture of a tall, dark lady, where the marquise was petite and blonde. This had the effect of making her even more appealing to men of intellect and power. Her eldest (and most disloyal) child with the king, the duc du Maine, though, was hardly able to conceal his joy on the death of his mother. Like Marie-Antoinette after her, the Marquise de Montespan’s proximity to power was just kindling for her critics. In 1675, the priest Lécuyer refused to give her absolution, which was necessary for her to take Easter communion, a requisite for all Catholics. When the king fell for Madame de Montespan, the marquis responded with ire. [2], Françoise de Rochechouart de Mortemart was born on 5 October 1640 and baptised the same day at the Château of Lussac-les-Châteaux[3] in today's Vienne department, in the Poitou-Charentes region in France. Later, even after her departure from court, Madame de Montespan's favourite fashions were still being copied. As the maîtresse-en-titre, Madame de Montespan represented all that was hedonistic and amoral about Versailles. Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart, the Marquise de Montespan, had just about everything one could want in 17th-century France. Meanwhile, King Louis XIV established apartments for Madame de Montespan that were joined with his own. It is now believed that Mlle de Fontanges died from natural causes. Soon they regretted their decision. On 28 January 1663, Françoise married Louis Henri de Pardaillan de Gondrin, Marquis of Montespan, who was one year her junior. Pierre de Grandsaigne, Lord of La Flotte, 6. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In 1679, the Witch of Paris was brought before the investigative tribunal. Whether or not this search actually transpired, however, remains in contention. In 1673, the couple's three living illegitimate children were legitimated by Louis XIV and given the royal surname of de Bourbon. Gabriel Nicolas de La Reynie, Paris' first Lieutenant General of Police and the chief judge of the court, before whom the famous poisoning cases were brought, heard testimony that placed Madame de Montespan's first visits to the so-called witch Catherine Monvoisin, known as La Voisin, in 1665. In addition to seeking Louis' love, some charged Madame de Montespan with also conspiring to kill him, but inconsistencies in this testimony suggest that the royal mistress was innocent of these charges.          Sexual Content World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). The former Marquise de Montespan lost her position as the king’s favorite mistress to her former governess who later married the king in a politically unofficial marriage. A portrait of Madame de Montespan in the Louvre. At the age of twelve, she began her formal education at the Convent of St Mary at Saintes, where her sister Gabrielle had started hers almost a decade earlier. Françoise later recounted that as she had neglected to bring along the proper kneeling cushions for the ceremony, the couple had to kneel on dog cushions. Next, the baby's body would be crushed, and the drained blood and mashed bones would be used in the mixture. Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, marquise of Montespan (5 October 1640 – 27 May 1707), better known as Madame de Montespan, was the most celebrated maîtresse en titre of King Louis XIV of France, by whom she had seven children. She also became friends at court with another lady-in-waiting to the queen, Louise Boyer, the wife of Anne, Duke of Noailles. The king forbade her children to wear mourning for her.[5]. As a way to express her gratitude for her request, they sacrificed a newborn's life by slitting its throat with a knife. The eldest, a son, Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, became the duc du Maine; the second child, a son, Louis-César de Bourbon, became the comte de Vexin; and the third, a daughter, Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, became Mademoiselle de Nantes and in 1685 married the son of the head of the House of Condé, a cadet branch of the reigning House of Bourbon. Eventually, she was pushed to assist Madame de Montespan in her preparations for the King. [4] She soon became pregnant with her first child, Christine. Reproduction Date: Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, marquise of Montespan (5 October 1640 – 27 May 1707), better known as Madame de Montespan, was the most celebrated maîtresse en titre of King Louis XIV of France, by whom she had seven children. DeAgostini/Getty ImagesAn illustration of the alleged black mass that Madame de Montespan held. She was born as the result of a convergence between two of the oldest noble families in France, the Mortemarts and the Marsillacs. See Lisa Hilton, Françoise d'Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon, French Roman Catholic Religious Sisters and Nuns, Princess Louisa Frances, Duchess of Bourbon, Princess Frances Mary, Duchess of Orléans, Louis Henri de Pardaillan de Gondrin, Marquis of Montespan, Louis Antoine de Pardaillan de Gondrin, Marquis of Antin, Henri d'Orléans, Count of Paris and Duke of France, Gabriel de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Duke of Mortemart, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2012, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2012, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from July 2012, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2012, Articles needing additional references from July 2012, All articles needing additional references, WorldHeritage articles needing page number citations from June 2012, Articles lacking reliable references from July 2012, WorldHeritage articles needing page number citations from July 2012, WorldHeritage articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica without Wikisource reference, WorldHeritage articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Commons category without a link on Wikidata, French Roman Catholic religious sisters and nuns, 8.

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