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Louis, Duke of Burgundy (1751–1761)

Louis Joseph Xavier, Duke of Burgundy (13 September 1751 – 22 March 1761), was a French prince of the House of Bourbon and heir apparent of the throne of France. Although he was the first live-birth son, he died of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis at the young age of 9.

Louis Joseph
Duke of Burgundy
Jean-Martial Frédou, Louis-Joseph-Xavier de France, duc de Bourgogne (1760).jpg
Portrait by Jean-Martial Frédou, 1760.
Born(1751-09-13)13 September 1751
Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
Died22 March 1761(1761-03-22) (aged 9)
Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
FatherLouis, Dauphin of France
MotherPrincess Maria Josepha of Saxony

Early lifeEdit

Louis Joseph in 1754, by Jean-Marc Nattier.

Louis Joseph Xavier was born at the Palace of Versailles. He was the third surviving child and eldest son of Louis, Dauphin of France and Maria Josepha of Saxony, and was thus the oldest brother to the future kings Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X. It is a known fact that he was the favorite child of his parents,[1] and was said to be handsome and bright.[1]

He was put in the care of Marie Isabelle de Rohan and given the title of Duke of Burgundy by his grandfather, King Louis XV. He was much loved by those who were close to him, especially his older sister Marie Zéphyrine, who died at the age of five in 1755. It is unknown if the Duke, who was not even four years old yet, was affected by this. But it is known, however, that the absence of his older sister was felt by the Duke.


The Duke of Burgundy and his mother, by Quentin de La Tour, 1761.

The young Duke was pushed off a wooden horse by one of his playmates in 1759. As he was recognized for his kindness, he did not tell anyone about this, in order to prevent his friend from getting into any trouble. After this incident, the Duke of Burgundy's health started to deteriorate quickly. The family's physician, Dr. Barbier, decided to operate on him in 1760. The Duke was operated on while he was conscious. Knowing that he would die, the Dauphin had him baptised on 29 November 1760, with Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska, his grandparents, as his godparents. Until that moment, he had been known just as "Burgundy". By 1761, the Duke was bound to his bed, unable to move his legs, with what was diagnosed as extra pulmonary tuberculosis of the bone.[2] He would later die from this disease, on 22 March 1761.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Zhand Shakibi, Revolutions and the Collapse of the Monarchy, (I.B. Tauris, 2007), 58.
  2. ^ Jean-Dominique Bourzat, Les après-midi de Louis XVI, (La Compagnie Litteraire, 2008), 9.
  3. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 11.
Louis, Duke of Burgundy (1751–1761)
Born: 13 September 1751 Died: 22 March 1761
French royalty
Preceded by
Louis of France, Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy
Succeeded by
Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz