Bourbon, a French ducal and royal family, different branches of which have reigned as kings over France, Spain, and Naples, and as sovereign dukes over Parma. I. Ducal Family. The fief of Bourbon, now called Bourbon-l'Archambault, was early in the 10th century in the possession of Adhemar or Aimar, a descendant of Childebrand, brother of Charles Martel, and in the 13th century in that of the house of Dampierre, which held it till 1272, when Beatrix, the heiress, married the sixth son of Louis IX., Robert, count of Clermont, who thus became the head of the family. The fief, then only a seigniory, was erected into a dukedom by Charles IV. for Louis, son of Robert and Beatrix (1327). He left two sons: Pierre I., the elder, who continued the ducal dynasty, and Jacques L, count of La Marche, the ancestor of the royal line. The second duke, Pierre I., was killed in 1356 at Poitiers. - His son Louis II. (1337-1409) distinguished himself in the war against the English, and was appointed conjointly with Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy, to superintend the education of the young king Charles VI., who had married his sister. He was the true founder of the greatness of his house.
To the duchy of Bourbon and county of Clermont he added, through his two marriages or by purchase, the duchy of Auvergne, the county of Montpensier, the principality of Dombes, and several minor feudal estates; so that he became one of the most powerful vassals of the crown, his possessions extending from the Cher to the Rh6ne. - Jean I. succeeded his father Louis II.; was taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt (1415), and carried to England; paid his ransom three times without being released; and at last concluded a treaty by which he gave up to the English king the principal strongholds of his duchy, at the same time acknowledging Henry VI. as king of France; but his son declined to abide by these terms, and the duke died in 1434 in London, after 18 years' captivity. - Chaeles I., known until his father's death as count of Clermont, did good service for the French king against the English, and was one of the negotiators of the treaty of Arras between Charles VII. and the duke of Burgundy in 1435. He subsequently engaged in the revolt known as la praguerie, but soon made his peace with the king, a daughter of whom his son, the count of Clermont, afterward married.
He died in 1456. - Jean II., son of Charles I., was a faithful servant to Charles VII., but became the controlling mind of the ligue du Men public against Louis XI. By the treaty of Conflans he obtained favorable terms, being successively appointed governor of Languedoc, knight of St. Michael, and grand constable of France. - On his death in 1487 the.duchy reverted to his eldest brother, the archbishop of Lyons, who died the following year, when their younger brother, Pierre II. of Beaujeu, got possession of it. He married Anne, daughter of Louis XI. On the death of that king, Anne governed under the name of her brother, Charles VIII. Her only child was a daughter, Susanne, who married her cousin, Charles of Montpensier, the last duke, popularly known as the constable de Bourbon. He belonged to a younger branch of the family, and by his marriage with the heiress of the elder became the richest prince in France, and was appointed grand constable by Francis I. Louisa of Savoy, mother of the king, fell in love with him, but he repelled her advances. By her hostility he was deprived of his pensions, amounting to 76,000 livres; and on his wife's death, as she had left no child, Louisa claimed the Bourbon estates as the nearest of kin, and' a lawsuit was brought against him.
A judgment being rendered in her favor, Bourbon entered into secret negotiations with Charles V. and Henry VIII. It was agreed that a kingdom should be created for the constable in S. E. France, and the remainder of the country given up to the other confederates. Francis I. was informed of the plot, and Bourbon fled in disguise and raised in Germany 6,000 soldiers, with whom he entered the service of the emperor. He contributed greatly to the victory of Pavia, where Francis I. was taken prisoner. However, he was not treated by the emperor with the regard which he anticipated; and being at the head of a body of German mercenaries, who for months had received no pay, he was obliged to lead them against Rome. He was shot (May 6, 1527) while scaling the wall, upon which the soldiers stormed the city, which for two months was given up to pillage and bloodshed. His remains were removed to Gaeta, where a monument was erected to his memory; while the French parliament ordered the threshold of his mansion in Paris to be painted yellow, to signify that he had died bearing arms against his native country.
II. Royal Dynasties of Bouebon. 1. France. The head of the younger branch of the Bourbons, which gave kings to France, was Jacques, count of La Marche, second son of Louis, first duke of Bourbon. The sixth descendant of Jacques, Antoine de Bourbon, duke of Vendome, married Jeanne d'Albret, the heiress of Navarre, by whom he had a son, Henri, prince of Bearn, born in 1553, who succeeded his father in 1562, and in 1589, on the death of Henry III., the last prince of the Valois family, was the heir apparent to the crown of France. Henry the Bearnais, as he was called by the Catholics, made his claims good by courage, energy, and perseverance. At last, in 1594, he was acknowledged king of France as Henry IV., and was assassinated in 1610 by Ravaillac. Six of his descendants in the direct line occupied the throne after him: Louis XIII., 1610-1643; Louis XIV., 1643-1715; Louis XV., 1715-1774; Louis XVI., 1774-1793; Louis XVIII., 1814-1824; and Charles X., 1824-1830. The reign of Louis XIV. lasted 72 years. This prince's sons and grandsons, excepting Philip, who was excluded on account of his accession to the throne of Spain, died before him, and he was succeeded by his great-grandson, then a child. Their two successive reigns covered together nearly a century and a half.
The disorders and corruption which prevailed during the latter part of that period prepared the French revolution, to which Louis XVI. fell a victim. For more than 20 years his brothers were exiles from France; they returned to their country under the protection of foreign armies. Hence the comparative unpopularity of Louis XVIII. and Charles X., which caused at last the overthrow of the latter in 1830. The present head of this elder branch, and pretender to the throne (1873), is the count de Cham-bord, formerly duke de Bordeaux (called by his adherents Henry V.), the posthumous son of the duke de Berry, second son of Charles X., who was assassinated in 1820. The younger branch, known as Bourbon-Orleans, traces its origin to Philip, duke of Orleans, the brother of Louis XIV. It ascended the throne in 1830 in the person of his fourth descendant, who was styled Louis Philippe I., king of the French. He reigned 18 years, and lost his crown in the revolution of February, 1848. His surviving sons are the dukes de Nemours, Aumale, Montpensier, and the prince de Join-ville. The present aspirant to the throne as the head of this branch is their nephew the count de Paris, the elder son of the last duke of Orleans, who was accidentally killed in 1842. 2. Spain. On the death of Charles II., the last prince of the Austrian house of Spain, the crown passed under his will to Philip, duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV., who reigned as Philip V., 1700-1746. His successors were Ferdinand VI., 1746-1759; Charles III., 1759-1788; Charles IV., 1788-1808; Ferdinand VII., 1814-1833; and Isabella II., who lost her throne in 1868, and in 1870 renounced her claims in favor of her son Alfonso. 3. Naples. Don Carlos, the second son of Philip V. of Spain, obtained in 1734-'5 the crowns of Naples and Sicily, which he kept till 1759, when he ascended the throne of Spain as Charles III., transmitting his Italian crowns to his third son, Ferdinand IV., who on his restoration in 1815 styled himself Ferdinand I. of the Two Sicilies. He reigned 66 years, including the period of the French invasion, and was succeeded by his son Francis I., 1825-1830, the father of Ferdinand II., who in 1859 was succeeded by his son Francis II., whose possessions were in the following year conquered by Victor Emanuel. His eldest son is Prince Louis, count of Trani, born in 1838. 4. Parma. The infante Don Carlos, before becoming king of Naples, had been for a time duke of Parma and Piacenza. In 1748, by the treaty of Aix-la-Ohapelle, his younger brother Philip, son-in-law of Louis XV., was invested with the duchy of Parma, which he transmitted to his son Ferdinand, whose heir was Louis I. The last named in 1801 exchanged his duchy for Tuscany, which had been erected into a kingdom under the name of Etruria. His son Charles II. succeeded him in 1803, under the guardianship of his' mother, Maria Louisa, daughter of Charles IV. of Spain. In 180V the same princess, on the promise by Napoleon of another kingdom in Portugal, consented to a resignation for herself and son; but the promise was never fulfilled, and they had to be contented in 1815 with the hereditary duchy of Lucca. In 1847 Charles II. was again put in possession of the duchy of Parma by the death of the empress Maria Louisa, to whom it had been given by the congress of Vienna. In 1849 he abdicated in favor of his son Charles III., who had in 1847 married a French princess, Louise Marie Therese, daughter of the duke of Berry. On the assassination of Charles III. in 1854, his son Robert I. was proclaimed duke, under the regency of his mother, who died in 1864, after the annexation of Parma in 1859-'60 to the dominions of Victor Emanuel. - Among the houses derived from the royal Bourbon family of France, the most important are those of Conde and Conti.