Biography of Louis XV - Archontology
Louis XV

Louis XV

b. 15 Feb 1710, Versailles
d. 10 May 1774, Versailles

Title: Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre = Dei Gratia Francorum et Navarrae Rex (By the Grace of God, King of France and Navarre)
Term: 1 Sep 1715 - 10 May 1774
Chronology: 1 Sep 1715, succeeded to the throne [1]
12 Sep 1715, regency of Philippe de France duc d'Orléans formally commenced; royal lit de justice announced at the session of the Parlement of Paris (installation of Regency proclaimed by an act of the Parlement of Paris 2 Sep 1715) [2]
25 Oct 1722, consecrated and crowned, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Reims [3]
22 Feb 1723, period of Regency formally ended; royal lit de justice announced at the session of the Parlement of Paris [4]
10 May 1774, died
Names/titles: Private name: Louis de France; duc d'Anjou (duke of Anjou) [from 15 Feb 1710]; Premier fils de France et dauphin de Viennois (First Son of France and Dauphin of Viennois) [from 8 Mar 1712]
Son of Louis de France, duc de Bourgogne, dauphin de Viennois (from 14 Apr 1711) and Maria Adelaida (French: Marie-Adélaïde), princess of Savoy; great-grandson of Louis XIV; became dauphin de Viennois after deaths of grandfather (14 Apr 1711), father (18 Feb 1712), and elder brother, Louis de France, duc de Bretagne (8 Mar 1712); succeeded Louis XIV (1 Sep 1715) under the regency of Philippe de France duc d'Orléans, grandson of King Louis XIII; attained his legal majority in 1723; after the death of duc d'Orléans (2 Dec 1723), appointed as his first minister Louis-Henri duc de Bourbon; André-Hercule de Fleury (cardinal from 11 Sep 1726) replaced Bourbon as chief minister in 1726; married (4 Sep 1725) Maria Karolina Zofia Felicja Leszczyńska (French: Marie-Caroline-Sophie-Félicité), daughter of king Stanisław I of Poland and Katarzyna Opalińska w Lódzia; developed personal influence on French politics only after Fleury's death (1743); occupied himself with a succession of mistresses, several of whom exercised considerable political influence (Comtesse de Mailly 1737-1739; Marquise de Vintimille 1739-1741; Madame de La Tournelle 1742-1744, made duchesse de Châteauroux in 1743; Madame de Pompadour 1745-1764); entered the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) against Austria and Great Britain; concluded an alliance with Austria and went to war with Great Britain and Prussia (Seven Years' War, 1756-1763); lost to the British almost all French colonial possessions in North America and India; diplomatic failures in Poland enabled Russia, Austria, and Prussia to partition Poland (1772) and eliminated French influence in central Europe; grew increasingly unpopular by the end of his reign marked by a decline in the crown's moral and political authority, as well as by reverses in foreign and military affairs.
Biographical sources: "Louis XV: The Monarchy in Decline", by George Peabody Gooch (London, New York: Longmans, Green, 1956; Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1976); "Louis the Beloved: the life of Louis XV", by Olivier Bernier (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1984).

[1] Recueil général des anciennes lois françaises, 21:1-2.
[2] Recueil général des anciennes lois françaises, 21:2-36.
[3] Recueil général des anciennes lois françaises, 21:210.
[4] Recueil général des anciennes lois françaises, 21:213.
Last updated on: 25 Jun 2009 20:00:00; URL: