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DE BROGLIE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 627 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DE BROGLIE, the name of a noble French family which, originally Piedmontese, emigrated to France in the year 1643. The head of the family, FRANCOIS MARIE (1611-1656), then took the title of comte de Broglie. He had already distinguished BROGLIE himself as a soldier, and died, as a lieutenant-general, at the siege of Valenza on the 2nd of July 1656. His son, VICTOR MAURICE, COMTE DE BROGLIE (1647-1727), served under Conde, Turenne and other great commanders of the age of Louis XIV., becoming marechal de camp in 1676, lieutenant-general in 1688, and finally marshal of France in 1724. The eldest son of Victor Marie, FRANCOIS MARIE, afterwards DUC DE BROGLIE (1671-1745), entered the army at an early age, and had a varied career of active service before he was made, at the age of twenty-three, lieutenant-colonel of the king's regiment of cavalry. He served continuously in the War of the Spanish Succession and was present at Malplaquet. He was made lieutenant-general in 1710, and served with Villars in the last. campaign of the war and at the battle of Denain. During the peace he continued in military employment, and in 1719 he was made director-general of cavalry and dragoons. He was also employed in diplomatic missions, and was ambassador in England in 1724. The war in Italy called him into the field again in 1733, and in the following year he was made marshal of France. In the campaign of 1734 he was one of the chief commanders on the French side, and he fought the battles of Parma a1}d Guastalla. A famous episode was his narrow personal escape when his quarters on t),l.e Secchia were raided by the enemy on the night of the 14th of September 1734. In 1735 he directed a war of positions with credit, but he was soon replaced by Marshal de Noailles. He was governor-general of Alsace when Frederick the Great paid a secret visit to Strassburg (1740). In 1742 de Broglie was appointed to command the French army in Germany, but such powers as he had possessed were failing him, and he had always been the " man of small means," safe and cautious, but lacking in elasticity and daring. The only success obtained was in the action of Sahay (25th May 1742), for which he was made a duke. He returned to France in 1743, and died two years later. His son, VICTOR FRANCOIS, Duc DE BROGLIE (1718-1804), served with his father at Parma and Guastalla, and in 1934 obtained a colonelcy. In the German War he took part in the storming of Prague in 1742, and was made a brigadier. In 1744 and 1745 he saw further service on the Rhine, and in 1756 he was made marechal de camp. He subsequently served with Marshal Saxe in the low countries, and was present at Roucoux, Val and Maastricht. At the end of the war he was made a lieutenant-general. During the Seven Years' War he served successively under d'Estrees, Soubise and Contades, being present at all the battles from Hastenbeck onwards. His victory over Prince Ferdinand at Bergen (1759) won him the rank of marshal of France from his own sovereign and that of prince of the empire from the emperor Francis I. In 176o he won an action at Corbach, but was defeated at Vellinghausen in 1761. After the war he fell into disgrace and was not recalled to active employment until 1778, when he was given command of the troops designed to operate against England. He played a prominent part in the Revolution, which he opposed with determination. After his emigration, de Broglie commanded the " army of the princes " for a short time (1792). He died at Munster in 1804. Another son of the first duke, CHARLES FRANCOIS, COMTE DE BROGLIE (1719-1781), served for some years in the army, and afterwards became one of the foremost diplomatists in the service of Louis XV. He is chiefly remembered in connexion with the Secret du Roi, the private, as distinct from the official, diplomatic service of Louis, of which he was the ablest and most important member. The son of Victor Francois, VICTOR CLAUDE, PRINCE DE BROGLIE (1757-1794), served in the army, attaining the rank of marechal de camp. He adopted revolutionary opinions, served with Lafayette and Rochambeau in America, was a member of the Jacobin Club, and sat in the Constituent Assembly, constantly voting on the Liberal side. He served as chief of the staff to the Republican army on the Rhine; but in the Terror he was denounced, arrested and executed at Paris on the 27th of June 1794. His dying admonition to his little son was to remain faithful to the principles of the Revolution, however unjust and ungrateful.
End of Article: DE BROGLIE
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