Louis XV 1710-1774
Oil on canvas by
unknown artist after the painting by L.M. Van
Louis XV, also called Louis le
or The Well-Beloved, was
king of France from 1715 until his death in 1774.
He followed his great-grandfather,
Louis XIV, to the
throne, who had died on
September 1, 1715.
Louis XV died on May 10, 1774,
and his grandson Louis-Auguste became
Here is more about Louis'
House of Bourbon.
Governments of France.
The Reign of
For the first time in history
did a French officer become
maréchal général de France,
when Louis XV bestowed this honor on
Claude Louis Hector de Villars in 1733.
In 1756, the European part of
Seven Years' War broke
Here is a
list of the men who acted as
Controller General under Louis XV.
Attempt on Louis XV
Fourty-two year old
Robert François Damiens,
a former soldier then servant, stabbed Louis XV at the
Versailles castle with a penknife on January 5, 1757.
He was tortured and quartered
later that year. Apparently, he was mentally deranged.
Affair (L'affaire de Bretagne)
The Brittany Affair started out
as the private feud between
Louis-René de Caradeuc de La
leader (procureur-général) of the parlement at Rennes
fighting the Jesuits
Emmanuel Armand de Vignerot du
Plessis de Richelieu, Duc d'Aiguillon,
royal chief administrator of Brittany,
great-nephew of Cardinal Richelieu
This affair turned into the
open struggle between
Here is Brittany on a map:
Province of Brittany, France
Click to enlarge
In 1765, the parlement of
Brittany, led by Chalotais, accused d'Aiguillon of arbitrary
actions. In turn, Aiguillon tweaked the
law so that Chalotais' son was not able to inherit his
father's office. And right back at him, Chalotais,
officially defending the privileges of the province, was
breathing down d'Aiguillon's neck with unprecedented vigor.
The parlement of Rennes
went on strike in May 1765.
The King was going to protect
his representative d'Aiguillon, so, on November 10, 1765, Chalotais and
four other magistrates were arrested.
1766, Chalotais was free to
go, but only into exile to Saintes.
In 1768, d'Aiguillon had to
On April 4, 1770, d'Aiguillon
himself was ordered to appear before
the parlement of Paris. But Louis annulled the
charges and d'Aiguillon became Foreign Secretary in June
In 1771, Chancellor
Maupeou initiated a judicial spring cleaning. He
exiled the unruly members of parlement, set up
regional courts, abolished the sale of office and replaced
it with judges on the payroll, and cut the
powers of the parlement to oppose registration of
royal edicts, which in turn enabled Finance Minister
J.M. Terray to implement
much needed reforms.
This was the
and it was working well until
Louis XVI decided to
dig his own grave by abolishing it in 1774.
Today's Map of
Brittany (région), Rennes (capital), France
Regarding Louis' finances, see
Taxation in Pre-Revolutionary France
list of all controller generals of