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Louis XIV, King of France > Biography

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Given Names: Louis  Family Name: Bourbon
Known As: Dieudonne, The Sun King
Titles: King of France (1643 - 1715)
St. Germain-en-Laye (near Paris), France
(Age 77, Natural Causes)
  English/Scottish Royal Blood: 3.266573%   [?] Buried: Unknown place
Father: Louis XIII, King of France 27 Sep 1601 - 14 May 1643
Mother: Anne of Austria 22 Sep 1601 - 20 Jan 1666
Marriage: Marie-Theresa of Austria 10 Sep 1638 - 30 Jul 1683
  Date: 9 Jun 1660 His Age: 22 Her Age: 22
  Place:  St. Jean-de-Luz, France
+3  Louis 1661 - 15 Apr 1711
  (The number to the left of each offspring indicates the total number of children for that person.)
Marriage: Francoise d'Aubigne 27 Nov 1635 - 15 Apr 1719
  Date: 12 Jun 1684 His Age: 45 Her Age: 48
  Place:  Fontainebleau, France
  None listed
Affair: Françoise-Athénaïs, Madame de Montespan 26 Apr 1641 - 27 May 1707
+7  Francoise-Marie de Blois 1677 - 1749
+9  Louise Françoise de Bourbon 1 Jun 1673 - 16 Jun 1743
  (6 others not in database)
Events: Coronation 1654 Rheims, Champagne, France

  • Although Louis missed daily mass only once in the 72 years he ruled, Archbishop Bossuet once said that the king was as religiously enlightened as a charcoal brazier.
  • Contrary to the popular image of Louis XIV today, he was a clean air fanatic who had a lifelong aversion to strong scents.
  • When his wife Marie-Theresa died, Louis said to his children's governess and future second wife, Madame de Maintenon, "This is the only time she has ever given me any trouble."
  • Louis ate very little during the day but consumed enormous dinners late in the evening. His second wife, Madame de Maintenon, said that she would be dead within a week if she ate half as much as Louis did at supper. An autopsy showed that Louis's stomach and intestines were about twice as big as those of an average 5' 5" tall man.
  • Louis advised his son, the Dauphin, that every time he conferred a favour he should remember that nine men would be disappointed and one would be ungrateful.
  • Louis liked to hunt and was an excellent shot.
  • Louis hated Paris, and it was smart for courtiers to avoid saying they had spent any time there.
  • "England is a little garden full of sour weeds," observed Louis.
  • Louis was so magnanimous to the exiled James II of England that he allowed James to practice the king's touch for scrofula--in France, in accordance with James' claim to the throne of France.
  • When Louis and Madame de Maintenon were in their seventies, she complained to her confessor that Louis insisted on his conjugal rights every day and often twice a day.
  • Louis reigned for 72 years, longer than any other European monarch.
  • As Louis was dying, he told his five-year old great-grandson, who would become Louis XV, "You are going to be a great king. Do not copy me in my love of building or in my love of war. On the contrary, try to live peacefully with your neighbours."
  • Died of gangrene.
  • Several historians have noted that Louis was better at playing the role of king, especially in public, than any other sovereign. He even had a term for the business of being a king - metier du roi. But as he grew older, his behaviour in private was sometimes like an actor off-stage. The Duke of St. Simon went in to a private audience with Louis once and found him sitting on a table, swinging his legs.
  • The Sieur de la Salle named the Louisiana territory after Louis.
  • The town of Louisbourg, on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, was named after Louis in 1713 by French settlers.
  • Portrayed by Sacha Guitry in the 1954 film, "Royal Affairs in Versailles," which Guitry directed.
  • The subject of a 1966 series for French television, "The Rise of Louis XIV."
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