Belle-Isle. I. Charles Louis Angnste Fou-qnet, duke de, a French soldier and statesman, born at Villefranche, in Rouergue, Sept. 22, 1684, died Jan. 26, 1761. He was at the siege of Lille in 1708, and at the conference of Ras-tadt in 1714. In 1732 he became lieutenant general, was the chief negotiator of the treaty of 1735, by which France acquired Lorraine, and was afterward governor of Metz and the three Lorraine bishoprics. Cardinal Fleury in 1741 appointed him marshal and plenipotentiary in Germany, where he assiduously worked to put the elector of Bavaria, whom he accompanied to Frankfort, on the German throne as the emperor Charles VII. Schlosser says that "he and his brother conducted the whole affairs of Germany, as it seemed most agreeable to the ambition of the one and to the vanity and the pride of the other, but by no means to the true advantage of their country." In the war against Maria Theresa and her allies, he took Prague, Oct. 26, 1741, but finally barely escaped, amid great disasters, to Eger, Dec. 17, 1742. In December, 1744, while proceeding to Berlin, he was arrested by the English at Hanover and detained in Windsor castle from Feb. 19 to Aug. 12, 1745, when he was exchanged.
In 1746, as general-in-chief, he operated successfully against the enemy on the French-Sardinian frontier, but his invasion of Savoy in 1747 ended fatally. He was nevertheless promoted from the rank of count to that of duke and peer (1748), became a member of the academy (1749), and subsequently minister of war, and was to the last one of the most ambitious, brilliant, and influential of the unscrupulous ministers of Louis XV. His memoirs were published in London in 1760. II. Louis Charles Arniand Fonquet, chevalier de, brother of the preceding and associated with him in diplomatic and military life, born in 1693, killed in battle, July 15,1747. He was a dashing soldier, ambitious intriguer, and dissolute cavalier. At Exilles, Savoy, at the head of 50 battalions of his brother's division, he attempted against the advice of his most experienced officers to storm the inaccessible rocks and forts behind which the Piedmontese, though numbering only 21 battalions, were impregnably intrenched. He perished with almost all his officers and many of the men.