Princes De Conti, a junior branch of the Conde family of France, originating from Conti or Conty, a village near Amiens. Francois de Bourbon, who died childless in 1614, and who was a son of the first prince of Conde, was the first to assume the title. The following are the most prominent members of the family. I. Louise Marguerite de Lorraine, princess de, wife of the preceding, born about 1577, died at Eu, April 30, 1631. She was a daughter of the duke Henri de Guise, le Balafre (the scarred), and of Catharine of Cleves, and is said to have attracted the attention of Henry IV., and to have been supplanted in his affection by Gabrielle d'Estrees. She married the prince de Conti in 1605. The only child by him dying soon after birth, she is said to have had a child by Bassompierre. She was one of the most dissolute, brilliant, influential princesses of her day, and spent the end of her life at Eu, for having given umbrage to Richelieu by her devotion to Maria de' Medici, to whom she remained faithful in adversity.
She is considered the author of Les adventures de la cour de Perse, oil, sous des noms Strangers, sont ra-contees plusieurs histoires d'amour et de guerre arrivees de notre temps (Paris, 1629), as well as of the Histoire des amours du grand Alcandre (Henry IV.), published in 1652, in which she figures under the name of Milagarde. II. Ai-mand de Bourbon, regarded as the chief of the Conti family, born in Paris in 1629, died in 1666. He was a son of Henry II. de Bourbon and Charlotte de Montmorency, a younger brother of the great Conde, and godson of Richelieu. He was of feeble constitution, though of fine figure, and was destined for the church, being early provided with several rich benefices. But his love of pleasure and active life, together with the influence of his sister the duchess de Longueville, toward whom he was said to entertain more than a brotherly affection, led him to abandon theology, and to engage in the war of the Fronde against the court. After a short imprisonment he went over to the opposite side, married a niece of Mazarin, became governor of Guienne, and commanded armies in Spain (1655) and Italy (1657). Like his sister, he became devout in the latter part of his life, and wrote religious treatises.
III. Louis Armand de Bourbon, elder son of the preceding, born in 1661, died at Fontainebleau in 1685. He was dissolute and brilliant like his father, and distinguished himself with Prince Eugene and others against the Turks. Louis XIV. banished him from court for having engaged in this warfare in spite of his prohibition, but subsequently pardoned him. His wife, Mile, de Blois, a daughter of Louis XIV. and Mme. de la Valliere, was remarkable for her beauty and accomplishments. IV. Francois Louis de Bourbon, brother of the preceding, born in Paris in 1664, died in 1709. After the death of his brother, with whom he had fought in Hungary against the Turks, he exchanged the title of prince de la Roche-sur-Yon for that of Conti. He was banished to Chantilly, Louis XIV. bearing him a grudge for having characterized him as a stage king in the drawing room, and a chess king on the battlefield. The great Conde on his deathbed obtamed the pardon of his nephew, who soon distinguished himself in the field, especially at the battle of Neerwinden (1693), where he was wounded.
He was elected king of Poland by a part of the nobles in 1697, but his rival Augustus of Saxony had seized the throne before he reached that kingdom, and he returned to France. In 1709 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the French army, but died at the moment of his departure for Flanders. He has been extolled by Saint-Simon and others as the hero of the Conti family. V. Louis Francois de Bourbon, grandson of the preceding, born in 1717, died in 1776. He displayed courage and skill in Piedmont, especially at the battle of Coni (1744), and in Flanders (1746). VI. Louis Francois Joseph de Bourbon, only son of the preceding, born in 1734, died in Barcelona in 1814. He bore for a long time the title of count de la Marche, and was for some time in the army. He was one of the first of the princes to leave France in 1789, after having protested against the revolution, but gave his allegiance to it on his unexpected return to Paris in 1790. He was under arrest in Marseilles, together with his cousins, the Orleans princes, from 1793 to 1795; after which he was expelled from French territory by the directory, and fled to Barcelona. He was the last prince of the house of Conti.