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Duke de La Chastre's coat of arms

Claude-Louis-Raoul de La Châtre, otherwise known as Louis, duc de La Chastre (born 30 September 1745; died 13 July 1824) was an aristocratic French military commander, diplomat and politician of the 18th and 19th centuries.[1]


The elder son of Lieutenant-General Charles-Louis, marquis de La Châtre (1724-1793) by his wife Isabelle (1725-1794) daughter of Claude, marquis de Traînel, his relatives included Maria Antonia, Duchess of Bavaria and Electress of Saxony as well as Charles Edward Stuart (The Young Pretender).

Styled comte de Nançay after 1734, he was commissioned as a Sous-lieutenant in the French Army in 1756, becoming a Lieutenant in the Régiment du Boulonnois in 1761, Captain in 1764 and then in 1770 Lieutenant-Colonel in the Grenadiers. In 1771 he was seconded as Colonel of the Régiment de Royal-Vaisseaux, becoming a Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber to Prince Louis, comte de Provence and in 1774 Mestre-de-camp of the Régiment des dragons de Monsieur. He was promoted Brigadier in 1781, Maréchal-de-camp in 1788 and commanded the Guyenne Cavalry Regiment (1786–89).

After being appointed Royal Bailiff of Berry in 1788, he sat briefly as a deputy of the Estates-General in 1789.

His father, the marquis, was guillotined by the Revolutionaries in 1793 (when he succeeded to his father's titles), but La Chastre managed to escape to England where he raised the Régiment Loyal-Émigrant. Having commanded his troops with distinction throughout the Low Countries, Quiberon and Portugal, he returned to London in 1807.

He became the first to the Court of St James's under the Bourbon Restoration.

La Chastre was created a peer of France (1815) and duke (1816) by King Louis XVIII, in addition to receiving other honours.

He married in 1778 Vigée Le Brun,[2] the celebrated artist; they later divorced.

Honours and titles

Collar of the Saint-Esprit

  • Crown of a Duke of France.svg Duc de France
  • Ordre Royal et Militaire de Saint-Louis Chevalier ribbon.svg Grand-croix, Ordre de Saint-Louis
  • SMOM-gc.svg Chevalier, Ordre de Malte
  • Cavaliere SSML BAR.svg Chevalier, Ordres Royaux, Militaires et Hospitaliers de Notre-Dame du Mont-Carmel et de Saint-Lazare de Jérusalem Réunis
  • Ordre du Saint-Esprit Chevalier ribbon.svg Chevalier, Ordre du Saint-Esprit
  • Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg Officier, Légion d'honneur

See also

  • List of Ambassadors of France to the United Kingdom
  • Maison de La Châtre (French)


External links

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