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LOUDUN

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 27 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LOUDUN, a town of western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Vienne, on an eminence overlooking a fertile plain, 45 M. by rail S.W. of Tours. Pop. (1906) 3931. It was formerly surrounded by walls, of which a single gateway and two towers remain. Of the old castle of the counts of Anjou which was destroyed under Richelieu, the site now forming a public promenade, a fine rectangular donjon of the 12th century is preserved; at its base traces of Roman constructions have been found, with fragments of porphyry pavement, mosaics and mural paintings. The Carmelite convent was the scene of the trial of Urban Grandier, who was burnt alive for witchcraft ,in 1634; the old Romanesque church of Sainte Croix, of which he was cure, is now used as a market. The church of St Pierre-du-Marche, Gothic in style with a Renaissance portal, has a lofty stone spire. There are several curious old houses in the town. into a brilliant victory, and was promoted Feldzeugmeister and made commander-in-chief in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. In 176o he destroyed a whole corps of Frederick's army under Fouque at Landshut and stormed the important fortress of Glatz. In r 76o he sustained a reverse at Frederick's hands in the battle of Liegnitz (Aug. 15th, 1760), which action led to bitter controversy with Daun and Lacy, the commanders of the main army, who, Loudon claimed, had left his corps unsupported. In 1761 he operated, as usual, in Silesia, but he found his Russian allies as timid as they had been after Kunersdorf, and all attempts against Frederick's entrenched camp of Bunzelwitz (see SEVEN YEARS' WAR) failed. He brilliantly seized his one fleeting opportunity, however, and stormed Schweidnitz on the night of Sept. 3o/October 1st, 1761. His tireless activity continued to the end of the war, in conspicuous contrast with the temporizing strategy of Daun and Lacy. The student of the later campaigns of the Seven Years' War will probably admit that there was need of more aggressiveness than Daun displayed, and of more caution than suited Loudon's genius. But neither recognized this, and the last three years of the war are marked by an ever-increasing friction between the " Fabius" and the " Marcellus," as they were called, of the Austrian army. After the peace, therefore, when Daun became the virtual commander-in-chief of the army, Loudon fell into the back-ground. Offers were made, by Frederick the Great amongst others, to induce Loudon to transfer his services elsewhere. Loudon did not entertain these proposals, although negotiations went on for some years, and on Lacy succeeding Daun as president of the council of war Loudon was made inspector-general of infantry. Dissensions, however, continued between Loudon and Lacy, and on the accession of Joseph II., who was intimate with his rival, Loudon retired to his estate near Kuttenberg. Maria Theresa and Kaunitz caused him, however, to be made commander-in-chief in Bohemia and Moravia in 1769. This post he held for three years, and at the end of this time, contemplating retirement from the service, he settled again on his estate. Maria Theresa once more persuaded him to remain in the army, and, as his estate had diminished in value owing to agrarian troubles in Bohemia, she repurchased it from him (1776) on generous terms. Loudon then settled at Hadersdorf near Vienna, and shortly afterwards was made a field-marshal. Of this Carlyle (Frederick the Great) records that when Frederick the Great met Loudon in 1776 he deliberately addressed him in the emperor's presence as " Herr Feldmarschall." But the hint was not taken until February 1778. In 1778 came the War of the Bavarian Succession. Joseph and Lacy were now reconciled to Loudon, and Loudon and Lacy commanded the two armies in the field. On this occasion, however, Loudon seems to have in a measure fallen below his reputation, while Lacy, who was opposed to Frederick's own army, earned new laurels. For two years after this Loudon lived quietly at Hadersdorf, and then the reverses of other generals in the Turkish War called him for the last time into the field. Though old and broken in health, he was commander-inchief in fact as well as in name, and he won a last brilliant success by capturing Belgrade in three weeks, 1789. He died within the year, on the 14th of July at Neu-Titschein in Moravia, still on duty. His last appointment was that of commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Austria, which had been created for him by the new emperor Leopold: Loudon was buried in the grounds of Hadersdorf. Eight years before his death the emperor Joseph had caused a marble bust of this great soldier to be placed in the chamber of the council of war. His son JOHANN LUDWIG ALEXIUS, Freiherr von Loudon (1762—1822) fought in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars with credit, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-field-marshal. See memoir by v. Arneth in Allgemeine deutsche Biographic, s.v. " Laudon," and life by G. B. Malleson.
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Part of the article is missing-- between "There are several curious old houses in the town." and "into a brilliant victory, and was promoted Feldzeugmeister and made..." Unfortunately, probably because of this omission, One never learns Loudun's first name.
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