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BEAUHARNAIS, the name of a French family, well known from the 15th century onward in Orléanais, where its members occupied honourable positions. One of them, Jean Jacques de Beauharnais, seigneur de Miramion, had for wife Marie Bonneau, who in 1661 founded a female charitable order, called after her the Miramiones. François de Beauharnais, marquis de la Ferté-Beauharnais, was a deputy in the states-general of 1789, and a devoted defender of the monarchy. He emigrated and served in Condé's army. Later he gave his adherence to Napoleon, and became ambassador in Etruria and Spain; he died in 1823. His brother Alexandre, vicomte de Beauharnais, married Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie (afterwards the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte) and had two children by her - Eugène de Beauharnais (q.v.) and Hortense, who married Louis Bonaparte, king of Holland, and became mother of Napoleon III. Claude de Beauharnais, comte des Roches-Baritaud, uncle of the marquis and of the vicomte de Beauharnais, served in the navy and became a vice-admiral. He married Marie Anne Françoise (called Fanny) Mouchard, a woman of letters who had a celebrated salon. His son, also named Claude (d. 1819), was created a peer of France in 1814, and was the father of Stéphanie de Beauharnais, who married the grand-duke of Baden. The house of Beauharnais is still represented in Russia by the dukes of Leuchtenberg, descendants of Prince Eugène.

(M. P.*)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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