Bonaparte. I. Louis, king of Holland, third brother of Napoleon, born in Ajaccio in September, 1778, died in Leghorn, July 25, 1846. Napoleon wished him to study military science at Chalons, but this project was not carried out, and he subsequently served under his brother in Italy and Egypt, and displayed bravery in various engagements, especially at the battle of Arcole. He cooperated with Napoleon on the 18th Brumaire, and rose to the rank of colonel. He was in love with a schoolmate of his sister Caroline, and consented with great reluctance, at the urgent request of Napoleon and Josephine, to marry Hortense, Josephine's daughter. (See Beauhaenais.) Hortense was equally indifferent to the alliance, which proved unhappy. In 1804 he was made general and councillor of state, and after the establishment of the empire he became prince and constable, governor general of the transalpine departments, and military commander of Paris as successor of Murat, who took the place first destined to Louis at the head of the reserve in the proposed expedition against England. Against the wishes of Louis, the crown of Holland was forced upon him by Napoleon, and he was proclaimed king at SaintCloud, June 5, 1806. Napoleon, in replying to the Dutch admiral Verhuel's discourse on that occasion, intimated to Louis that, although king of Holland, he should never cease to be a Frenchman; but Louis after his accession to the throne proposed to devote himself exclusively to the interests of his kingdom, and hence arose interminable difficulties with Napoleon. Louis promoted science, letters, art, the construction of canals and dikes, a vast system of drainage, and various other ameliorations.
He resisted Napoleon's design of converting the Dutch army and nation into tools for his conquests and ambition. But while Louis lost no opportunity to propitiate Holland, Hortense sided with Napoleon, and otherwise gave Louis serious cause for deploring their ill-fated union, though she imparted brilliancy to the court of the Hague. The death of their first-born child, Napoleon Louis Charles, in 1807, increased his unhappiness. In the autumn of that year he became altogether estranged from his wife, and she went to Paris, where on April 20, 1808, she gave birth to the future Napoleon III. Louis transferred his capital from the Hague to Utrecht, and eventually to Amsterdam. His relations with Napoleon became still more embittered by the injury which the blockade against England inflicted upon Dutch commerce. Louis resisted this measure as long as possible, and upon finally submitting to it he closed the Dutch ports not only against English but all foreign shipping. The emperor charged him with playing into the hands of England, and allowing Holland to be used as a neutral ground for his enemies.
Louis had a stormy interview with Napoleon in Paris in December, 1809; and during his residence in that city he was almost reduced to the condition of a prisoner, the emperor insisting upon regarding Holland as a sort of French dependency, and preventing Louis from returning to his kingdom. On the latter's taking measures to baffle the occupation of Amsterdam by French troops, Napoleon threatened him with the annexation of Holland. Finally he was compelled to yield so far as to interdict all commercial relations with England, to withdraw the privileges granted to the Dutch nobility, and to organize a powerful navy and army to support France against England in case of need. After assisting at Napoleon's marriage with Maria Louisa, having been previously obliged to sanction his divorce from Josephine, Louis returned to Amsterdam in April, 1810, by way of Aix-la-Chapelle; while Hortense, ordered by the emperor to resume her position as queen, took the direct route to Holland, but remained only for a short time, Louis taking little or no notice of her departure.
Having been compelled to ratify, though only conditionally, a treaty signed by Admiral Verhuel, authorizing small French garrisons in several localities, and his subsequent protests against Napoleon's increasing usurpations in Holland proving unavailing, he was finally obliged to abdicate in favor of his eldest surviving son Napoleon Louis, appointing Hortense as regent, and left Amsterdam July 1, 1810, a short time before the annexation of Holland to France. But he never ceased to protest against this measure, and to assert his claims and those of his family to the Dutch throne. He took up his residence at Teplitz, July 9, under the name of Count St. Leu. Resisting Napoleon's order, conveyed to him through Decazes, to return to France, he left for Gratz, and on Dec. 30 declined the estates offered to him by the senate in compensation for his throne, and also forbade Hortense to accept the endowment. In August, 1813, after the outbreak of war between France and Austria, he left the latter country for Switzerland, having repeatedly but in vain applied to Napoleon for the restoration of his ldngdom, the emperor finally declaring that he would rather see the house of Orange restored than his brother.
Louis made an unsuccessful effort to be reinstated by the people of Holland during their war of independence, and afterward went to Paris. Napoleon received him coldly, and did not wish him to reside in the capital unless he would relinquish all ideas of dominion in Holland, and would sustain his own power, in which case he would be acknowledged as a French prince and constable of the empire. Louis nevertheless remained in Paris, maintaining his pretensions with characteristic obstinacy, and was the only one of Napoleon's brothers who durst defy him to the last. After the overthrow of the emperor in 1814, he joined Maria Louisa, who had left Paris against his advice; the allies permitted him to reside in France, but he would not witness the humiliation of his country, and went to Lausanne. Hortense having obtained from Louis XVIII., through the medium of the czar Alexander, a grant of the domain of St. Leu, with the title of duchess, Louis spurned the king's letters patent, issued May 30, 1814, which raised St. Leu to a duchy; and he also scorned to accept his share of the annuity of 2,500,000 francs which the treaty of Fontainebleau had provided for him and the other princes of the Bonaparte family.
His protest to that effect was published at Aarau on Aug. 2, 1814, and soon after he left Switzerland for Rome. Hortense refusing to surrender the custody of their son Napoleon Louis, he was obliged to have recourse to the tribunal at Paris, which conceded this right to him March 7, 1815; after which he retired to Florence with the young prince, who died at Forli in 1831. His health, affected by this and other sorrows, was soon hopelessly impaired by apoplectic fits, which culminated in partial paralysis. The abortive attempts of his youngest son Louis Napoleon at Strasburg (1836) and Boulogne (1840) became new sources of chagrin. He implored his personal friends among the members of the French cabinet to intercede with Louis Philippe not to deprive him of his son's society during the last moments of his life. But the king insisting upon guarantees which the captive prince would not give, Louis despaired of seeing him again. When he was apprised of his escape from Ham, though in a dying condition, he hastened from Florence to Leghorn to meet him, but arrived only to be informed of his son's inability to procure a passport from England for Italy. This disappointment brought on a fit from which he died, unattended by any member of his family.
He was buried in the church of Santa Croce, and his remains were subsequently transferred to the church of St. Leu in Paris. Despite his life-long difficulties with Louis, the emperor gave precedence in his will to his children over those of Joseph and Lucien in the right of succession, and also pardoned him for what he denounced as libellous assertions in the Documents histo-riques et reflexions sur le gouvernement de la Ilollande (3 vols., Paris and London, 1820), the most important publication by Louis, and which throws much light upon his and Napoleon's career. He was also the author of several volumes of poetry, of a novel descriptive of Dutch life and manners (Marie, ou les peines d'amour, 3 vols.; 2d ed., under the title of Marie, ou les Hollandaises 1814), and of a Memoire sur la versification (Paris, 1814), which obtained from the institute a' prize offered by himself for the best essay on versification. He afterward enlarged this work (2 vols., Rome, 1825-'6), adding adaptations of Ruth et Noemi, an opera, Lu-crece, a tragedy, and Moliere's L'Avare, as specimens of Greek and Latin forms of versification which he wished to see adopted in French poetry.
His other writings include Histoire du parlement anglais depuis son origine jusqu'en Van VII, with autograph notes by Napoleon (Paris, 1820); Reponse d Sir Walter Scott sur son Histoire de Napoleon (1828-'9); and Observations sur VHistoire de Napoleon par Norvins (1834). The last surviving son of Louis and Hortense was the late emperor Napoleon III. (See Bonaparte, Napoleon III.) II. Napoleon Louis, second son of the preceding, born in Paris, Oct. 11, 1804, died in Forli, Italy, March 17, 1831. He was the first of the Bonaparte princes whose name was inscribed on the official records; he was baptized by Pope Pius VII., and Napoleon I. and Madame Laetitia were his sponsors. The death of his brother made him heir presumptive to the Dutch throne, and while Hortense was regent he was for a short time recognized as king of Holland. The emperor made him in 1809 grand duke of Oleves and Berg, and his mother had him educated by the abbe Bertrand. In conformity with the decisions of the tribunals, he was subsequently taken away from her to join his father in Italy. In 1827 he married his cousin Charlotte, the younger daughter of Joseph, ex-king of Spain. He became an ardent liberal, and during the revolutionary outbreak of 1831 he and his brother Louis Napoleon organized the defensive operations of the Italian patriots on the line from Foligno to Civita Castel-lana, and were about to seize the latter fort and set free the prisoners of state detained there, when their parents dissuaded them from compromising the Italian cause by giving to the French a pretext for deserting it.
They went thereupon to Bologna, and when that city was occupied by the Austrians, they removed to Forli, where Prince Napoleon Louis died of the measles. He was noted for his scientific attainments and his mechanical inventions. He established a paper manufactory on a plan of his own, published an essay on balloons, translated into French the "History of the Sacking of Rome," by his reputed ancestor Jacopo Buonaparte (Florence, 1829), and published some other writings.