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Louis Philippe

Louis Philippe, King of the French, was the son of the Duke of Orleans (Egalite) and Louise de Bourbon, a descendant of Madame de Montespan. He was born in 1773, and educated by Madame de Genlis (q.v.). In the days of the first revolution he was a Jacobin, and served with distinction at Valmy and Jemappes. After the defeat of Neerwinden he went over with Dumouriez to the Austrians, but refused to serve against his country, preferring to become a tutor under the name of Chaband Latour in Switzerland. After passing three years in America he came to England in 1800 and lived at Twickenham for several years. In 1809 he married Amelie, daughter of Ferdinand IV. of Naples, and remained in Sicily for some time afterwards. At the Congress of Vienna in 1814 he was suggested as a candidate for the French throne, but was passed over in favour of the elder branch, to whom he always protested his fidelity, which was always, however, suspected. Louis Philippe again retired to England in 1815, but from 1817 to 1830 lived at the Palais Royal, giving his support to the Liberal party. During the Revolution of July, 1830, he kept very quiet, and accepted from Charles X. the post of lieutenant-general of the kingdom; but in August he accepted the crown offered him by the Chamber of Deputies. Laffitte, Casimir Perier, and Thiers were Louis' ministers, but Lafayette, who had had an equal share in the Revolution, was got rid of. Revolutionary outbursts took place in 1831 at Lyon, and in 1832 at Paris, and these were repeated in 1834, while the Duchess of Berri attempted a Legitimist rising in La Vendee. The attempt of Fieschi on the king's life in July, 1835, which was only one of seven, was followed by the enactment of severe repressive laws, and the government became despotic in character. From 1840 till 1848 Guizot conducted the Government, On February 22, 1847, the third French Revolution began with a great banquet which the leaders of the Opposition had arranged, and were not able to abandon. Next day the mob marched on the Tuileries, and the king tried to mend matters by again calling Thiers to his counsels and agreeing to Liberal measures. It was, however, too late; he was obliged to abdicate and to leave Paris under escort as quickly as possible. On March 3 the royal family landed at Newhaven, and two years later, in 1850, the Citizen King died at Claremont. Louis Philippe resigned his claims in favour of his grandson, the Comte de Paris (q.v.); his eldest son, the Duke of Orleans, had died from the results of a carriage accident in 1842. [Guizot, Louis Blanc, Thiers.]