Henri, Prince of Condé (1588–1646)

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Henri II de Bourbon
Henri, Prince of Condé.jpg
Prince of Condé
Tenure5 March 1588 – 26 December 1646
PredecessorHenri I
SuccessorLouis II
Born1 September 1588
Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Saintonge, France
Died26 December 1646(1646-12-26) (aged 58)
Hôtel de Condé, Paris, France
SpouseCharlotte Marguerite de Montmorency
Anne Geneviève, Duchess of Longueville
Louis II, Prince of Condé
Armand, Prince of Conti
Henri de Bourbon
FatherHenri I, Prince of Condé
MotherCharlotte Catherine de La Trémoille
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureHenri II de Bourbon's signature

Henri II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (1 September 1588 – 26 December 1646) was the head of the senior-most cadet branch of the House of Bourbon for nearly all his life and heir presumptive to the King of France for the first few years of his life. Henri was the father of Louis, le Grand Condé, the celebrated French general.


Henri was born in 1588, the third child and only son of Henri I, Prince of Condé and Charlotte Catherine de La Trémoille, daughter of Louis III de La Trémoille, Duke of Thouars.[1] His mother was in prison at Saint-Jean-d'Angély at the time, accused of killing her husband.[2] He had two older sisters, namely Catherine de Bourbon, his paternal half-sister who died unwed in 1595, and Éléonore de Bourbon, who in 1606 was married, aged 19, to 51-year-old Philip William, Prince of Orange.

Henri was a posthumous child, his father having died nearly six months before his birth. He therefore became Prince of Condé within weeks of his birth, as soon as he was recognized and confirmed by the King of France.

King Henry III of France died in August 1589, when Henri was less than one year old, and was succeeded by Henry IV of France, who was the first cousin of Henri's late father, and Henri's godfather. At this point, the new king had no son or brother, and his closest agnatic kin was none other than Henri himself. Thus, from being a distant member of the ruling dynasty, Henri became Prince du Sang and heir presumptive to France, and remained so for twelve years, until the birth of the future Louis XIII of France in September 1601.[3] Henri was raised as a Catholic[4] at the insistence of Pope Clement VIII.[5] Henri's father and grandfather had been leaders of the Calvinist Huguenots. Henri's mother was in prison for six years, accused of poisoning her husband; she was later released.

From 1612 to 1616 he was Lieutenant General of New France.

Later, during the years 1611–38, Henri was second-in-line to the throne of France, behind Gaston, Duke of Orleans. This was the period between the death of Nicolas Henri, Duke of Orleans in November 1611 and the birth of the future Louis XIV of France in September 1638.

Marriage and issue[edit]

A portrait of Henri II, Prince of Conde.
Henri II, Prince of Condé, Grand Veneur de France.

In 1609, Henri married Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency,[6] daughter of Henri I de Montmorency, Duke of Montmorency by his second wife, Louise de Budos.[7] In 1610, Marie de Médici, wife of King Henry IV, gave the Hôtel de Condé in Paris to Henri as part of a recompense for his agreeing to marry Charlotte. From then on, the Hôtel de Condé became the main residence of the Princes of Condé until 1764. Henri and Charlotte were blessed with three children, all of them protagonists of the Fronde, namely:

Reportedly, King Henry IV fancied Charlotte himself, and arranged the marriage with Condé in order to provide cover for an affair. However, Condé would have none of it, and escaped with his wife first to Brussels and later to Milan, both of which were under the rule of the House of Habsburg. The Condé affair became part of the international conflict known as the War of the Jülich Succession (one of the precursors to the Thirty Years' War).


Henry's ancestors in three generations
Henry II de Bourbon, prince de Condé Father:
Henri I de Bourbon, prince de Condé
Father's father:
Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé
Father's father's father:
Charles of Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme
Father's father's mother:
Françoise of Alençon
Father's mother:
Eléanor de Roucy de Roye
Father's mother's father:
Charles de Roye
Father's mother's mother:
Madeleine de Maillé
Charlotte Catherine de La Trémoille
Mother's father:
Louis III de La Trémoille
Mother's father's father:
François II de La Trémoille
Mother's father's mother:
Anne de Laval
Mother's mother:
Jeanne de Montmorency
Mother's mother's father:
Anne de Montmorency
Mother's mother's mother:
Madeleine of Savoy


  1. ^ Knecht 1989, p. 134.
  2. ^ Collins 2017, p. 122.
  3. ^ Pitts 2009, p. 158.
  4. ^ Williams 1912, p. 149.
  5. ^ Pitts 2009, p. 218.
  6. ^ Roche 1967, p. 226.
  7. ^ Ward, Prothero & Leathes 1911, p. vii.


  • Collins, James (2017). "Dynastic Instability, the Emergence of the French Monarchical Commonwealth and the Coming of the Rhetoric of "L'etat", 1360s to 1650s". In von Friedeburg, Robert; Morrill, John (eds.). Monarchy Transformed: Princes and their Elites in Early Modern Western Europe. Cambridge University Press.
  • Knecht, R.J. (1989). The French Wars of Religion, 1559-1598. Longman.
  • Pitts, Vincent J. (2009). Henri IV of France, his Reign and Age. The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Roche, Daniel (1967). "Aperçus sur la fortune et les revenus des princes de Condé à l'aube du XVIIIe siècle". Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine Année (in French). 14 (3).
  • Ward, A.W.; Prothero, G.W.; Leathes, Stanley, eds. (1911). The Cambridge Modern History. Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams, Hugh Noel (1912). The Love-affairs of the Condés: (1530-1740). Charles Scribner's Sons.
Henri, Prince of Condé (1588–1646)
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 11 September 1588 Died: 26 December 1646
French royalty
Preceded by Heir to the Throne
as Heir presumptive
9 May 1590 — 27 September 1601
Succeeded by
French nobility
Preceded by Prince of Condé
5 March 1588 – 26 December 1646
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by Lieutenant General of New France
1612 – 8 October 1619
Succeeded by
Henri II de Montmorency,
admiral of France