Guy Aldonce de Durfort de Lorges
Guy Aldonce de Durfort, duc de Lorges, marshal of France, (1630–1702), is probably mainly known as Saint-Simon's father-in-law. However, he also was a renowned soldier, who commanded the French Army during the retreat from Sassbach, where his uncle Marshal Turenne had been killed.
Birth and originsEdit
Guy Aldonce was born on 22 August 1630, at the Château de Duras, as the fourth son of Guy Aldonce de Durfort (1605-1665) and Élisabeth de La Tour d'Auvergne. His father was marquis of Duras, comte de Rauzan and comte de Lorges, as well as maréchal de camp in the French army. Guy's mother was a daughter of Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne and sister of the Marshal Turenne. Guy's parents had twelve children.
He appears below among his siblings as the fourth child:
- Jacques Henri (1625–1704), marquis de Duras;
- Frédérique Maurice (1626–1693), called Rauzan;
- Armand (1630–1631), twin brother of Guy Aldonce II, died of the pest in his infancy;
- Guy Aldonce (1630–1702), the subject of this article;
- Élisabeth (1632–1715), married on 3 June 1656 Frédéric-Charles de La Rochefoucauld (1633-1690), comte de Roye;
- Henriette (1633 – after 1667), married in 1653 Louis de Bourbon-Lavedan (1608-1667), marquis de Malauze;
- Louis (1641–1709), marquis de Blanquefort, who became Count Feversham;
- Charles Henri (died 1661), comte de Montgommery;
- Henri (killed in Portugal), baron de Pujols;
- Godefroy (killed 1669), comte de Rozan, colonel of foot, fell at Candia, Crete;
- Louise Marie Madeleine, died young;
- Marie (1648–1689), dame de compagnie of Elizabeth Charlotte, Madame Palatine, duchesse d'Orléans, died unmarried.
Guy was the fourth son, but his twin brother, Armand died as an infant and he therefore occupied the third position and was often called the third son. His father gave his subsidiary titles as courtesy titles to his sons. Guy was therefore, after the death of his twin brother, styled comte de Lorges. He was numbered "Guy Aldonce II de Durfort" in the Durfort family. His father was Guy Aldonce I de Durfort.
Guy's eldest brother, Jacques Henri de Durfort de Duras, was also a Marshal of France. It is possible that the fame of their uncle Turenne played a major part in the military careers of Jacques-Henri and Guy Aldonce.
In the Franco-Dutch War (1672–1678) Guy Aldonce served under Turenne. When Turenne was killed in the Battle of Salzbach on 27 July 1675, he and the marquis de Vaubrun took over and commanded during the retreat from Sassbach and the Battle of Altenheim in August, where Vaubrun is killed. However he has to relinquish this command to Condé.
In the War of the Grand Alliance (1688–1697) he commanded the French army of the Rhine from 1690 to 1695. On 27 September 1692, he defeated 4,000 imperial cavalry under the command of Frederick Charles, Duke of Württemberg-Winnental, and in 1693 took the city of Heidelberg.
He married Gabrielle de Frémont, daughter of the keeper of the King's jewels. Many of his friends considered that he had married socially beneath him, but the marriage was a happy one, and even his son-in-law Saint-Simon, who disapproved of marriage between the classes, admitted that she was an admirable wife. They had one son and five daughters:
- Marie Gabrielle (1678–1743), who married Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon;
- Geneviève (1680-1740), called "Mademoiselle de Quintin", who married Antoine Nompar de Caumont, duke of Lauzun;
- Guy Nicolas (1683–1758), who became duc de Lorges;
- Élisabeth Gabrielle (died 1727), abbess of Andecy; and
- Claude Suzanne Thérèse (died 1745), abbess of Saint-Amand, Rouen; and
- Marie Louise Gabrielle.
Saint-Simon praises his father-in-law warmly in his Memoirs, describing him as highly principled, frank, upright, good-natured, sincere and the most truthful man alive. He supplied his son-in-law with useful material for his memoirs, particularly on the early relations between Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon.
His death was caused by an operation to remove a kidney stone; the inexperienced surgeon mishandled the operation and Guy Aldonce died in agonising pain, which he endured with great courage. He was succeeded by his son Guy Nicolas, who would marry firstly Geneviève Chamillart (1685-1714) and then secondly in 1720 Marie Anne Antoinette de Mesmes (1696–1757), eldest daughter of Jean-Antoine de Mesmes.
|0||1630, 22 Aug.||Born at Château de Duras.|
|46||1676, 19 Mar.||Marries Geneviève Frémont d'Auneuil.|
|53||1688, 31 Dec.||Holy Spirit|
|61||1691, 21 Mar.||Becomes duke.|
|72||1702, 22 Oct.||Died in Paris during a kidney stone operation.|
- Norton, Lucy (ed.) Duc de Saint-Simon "Memoirs" Prion Books London 1999 Vol.1 pp.61-2
- Saint-Simon Memoirs p.61
- Saint-Simon 1893, p. 324: "M. le maréchal de Lorge mourut le samedi 2 octobre  ..."
- La Chesnaye des Bois 1772, p. 716: "... & mourut au Château de Duras, le matin du 8 Janvier 1665, âgé de 59 ans, 5 mois."