Louis XIII, king of France, the second of the house of Bourbon, born at Fontainebleau, Sept. 27, 1601, died at St. Germain-en-Laye, May 14, 1643. He was the eldest son of Henry IV. by Maria de' Medici, and succeeded his father in 1610 when in his ninth year, his mother exercising the regency during his minority. A weak woman and a tool in the hands of her Italian favorites, she was unable to preside over the education of the young king, whose time was spent in useless occupations. In 1615 he married Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III. of Spain. In 1617 he tired of his mother's favorite Concini, and resolved upon shaking off his yoke. He gave orders for his arrest alive or dead, and Concini was murdered. (See Ancre.) He intrusted the affairs of state to his own favorite Albert de Luynes, whom he promoted to the rank of great constable. Louis XIII. possessed great personal bravery, which he evinced in 1620 at the battle of the Pont-de-Ce, where he routed his mother's troops, and in 1621 at the siege of Montauban, which he endeavored to take from the Protestants. He concluded peace with the latter on the death of De Luynes, but was unable to check the disorder which prevailed all over the kingdom.
In 1624 he became reconciled to his mother, and appointed as his prime minister her chief adviser, Cardinal Richelieu, behind whom thenceforth the king nearly disappeared; and Richelieu for 18 years controlled the destinies not only of France but of Europe. (See Richelieu.) Louis had a sincere appreciation of Richelieu; in spite of all intrigues, and notwithstanding his own dislike of the man, he retained him in power until his death. He more than once placed himself at the head of his armies to support the policy of his minister, and on such occasions deserved general admiration by his valor and sometimes by his military talents; he distinguished himself during the siege of La Rochelle, 1627-'8; in the following year he devised and conducted a most brilliant attack at the Pas de Suze (Susa), against the duke of Savoy; and finally, in 1636, his self-possession and firmness saved France from invasion; he advanced toward the allied army, which had already taken Corbie in Picardy, retook that town, and obliged the enemy to retreat. He liked seclusion, and contented himself with the society of a few friends. Some ladies attracted his attention. Mlle, de Lafayette and Mme. de Hautefort among the number; but such was his reputation that their virtue was never questioned.