Louis XVII is the name given to Louis Charles of France (March 27th 1785 - June 8th 1795), second wire of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, Duc of Normandy, dolphin of France as from 1789, then royal Prince of 1791 to 1792. According to the dynastic order, he is recognized like King de France, of died of Louis XVI in 1793 with his death with the Prison of the Temple to old 10 years in 1795, by the united powers and his uncle, future Louis XVIII.
ChildhoodThe future Louis XVII was born with the Château from Versailles in 1785. Like second wire of Louis XVI, it is thus not intended for the birth to take the succession of his/her father, but the death of slow fever of his/her older brother Louis de France on June 4th 1789 makes of it the dolphin of France, then “royal prince” as from 1790.
After the day of the August 10th, 1792, Louis-Charles is imprisoned with his parents with the Prison of the Temple. Very early for its age, it includes/understands the difficult situation of its family. Entrusted to the guard of his/her father, this one continues his education before being separate about it, the morning of the January 21st 1793.
Captivity with the Temple
Under the terms of the principle according to which dynastic continuity is automatic in France (the Dolphin succeeds the preceding king as of the moment of died of this last), Louis-Charles succeeds his father, guillotine on January 21st, 1793.
Under the name of Louis XVII , it is recognized like such by Sir, younger brother of Louis XVI and future Louis XVIII, then emigrated with Hamm, close to Düsseldorf in Westphalia. The the Vendée NS and the Chouan S, but also of faithful royalists in other provinces, will fight and die on its behalf. Their standards carry the inscription: “Louis XVII Lives”.
The young person Louis XVII is entrusted to his mother, also imprisoned with the Temple, until the July 3rd 1793. After this date, it is under the guard of the Simon shoe-maker and his wife, who reside at the Temple. The intention of the Jacobin S is then to make a small ordinary citizen of it and to make him forget its royal condition.
The child is then implied in the lawsuit of his mother, Marie-Antoinette. One thus makes sign with the child a declaration of recognition of inceste, to add a count of indictment against his mother and to make following a swelling of testicle noted on him.
Simon, who deals with the child, is considered by the historians as being a coarse character. But as long as the Louis young person remained under his guard, it was relatively well treated. However, Simon is recalled to his municipal functions in January 1794. Louis-Charles is then locked up with the secrecy in an obscure room, without hygiene nor help, for six months, until the death of Maximilien de Robespierre, in July 1794. Its health condition is degraded, it is corroded by the Gale and saw squatted. Its food is been useful to him through a counter and nobody speaks to him nor does not visit him. In this 9 year old child, these living conditions involve a rapid degradation of its health condition.
After the death of Robespierre, its fate improves relatively, even if he remains prisoner in the Tour of the Temple. Louis XVII dies in his prison, probably of a Péritonite tubercular patient, on June 8th, 1795, at 10 years and after soon 3 years of captivity.
Authentification of the body of Louis XVII
According to the historian Georges Bordonove, in his Louis XVII and the enigma of the Temple , Louis XVII would have died not in 1795 but rather between 1st and on January 3rd, 1794. Its death would have involved the revocation of Simon and the replacement of Louis XVII by a child who, it, would have died in 1795. This assumption, shared by Louis Hastier, is exceeded today by the positive analyzes DNA carried out in 2000 on the heart of the dead child to the Temple in 1795.
An autopsy is practiced in prison on the body of the young prince and its heart was preserved by the surgeon Philippe-Jean Pelletan. The body is then buried with the Cimetière Holy-Marguerite, then covered with quicklime. The bones were never found and those released at the 19th century with the cemetery co. Marguerite, come from several skeletons, of which a cranium of a young adult of at least eighteen years. The heart of Louis XVII changed several times of hand as Relique before being placed, in 1975, in the royal crypt of the Basilique of Saint-Denis, place where were buried his/her parents and most of kings de France. Genetic analyzes by comparison of DNA mitochondrial, practiced by professor Jean-Jacques Cassiman of the KU Leuven in Belgium, and by Doctor Berndt Brinkmann of the German university of Muenster, on the heart of supposed Louis XVII, and the hair of Marie-Antoinette, showed in 2000, that it belongs well to a descendant of the latter. Like, on its side, the historical investigation, led by the historian Philippe Delorme, confirmed that this heart is well that which Doctor Philippe-Jean Pelletan “withdrew” on the corpse of the dead child from the Temple on June 8th, 1795, this two information - genetic signature and historical “traceability” - make it possible to conclude that it is indeed the heart of Louis XVII. This conclusion at the same time rehabilitating testimonys of contemporaries collected by the historian Alcide de Beauchesne. This shown authenticity, the funeral urn containing the heart was placed, the June 8th 2004, in the Chapelle of the Bourbons of the basilica Saint-Denis, at the time of a ceremony gathering of the family members of Bourbon and various personalities.
In spite of that, some continue to want to show the survival of the prince to the episode of the Temple but for the majority of the specialists, the analysis DNA of the heart, combined with the survey carried out into its origin and the adventures of its history, is sufficient to attest death of the prince to the Temple. It is in particular the case of the professor Jean Tulard, member of the Academy of Science Morals and Policies
Rumors ran quickly according to which the dolphin would have escaped from the Temple and that the young boy had been delivered by royalists, having replaced the body. A rather widespread rumor said even that Georges Danton would have taken part in this escape.
Many applicants - more than the one hundred, most famous being the Prussian clock and watch maker Karl-Wilhelm Naundorff) - appeared through Europe lasting several decades; some their descendants preserved a small number of partisans today.
The baron de Richemont, died in the castle of Vaurenard with Gleizé meadows of Villefranche-sur-Saône on August 10th, 1853, also had many partisans, among whom the Sosthèsnes Viscount of Rochefoucauld, duke of Doudeauville, aide-de-camp of Charles X.
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