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La Fayette, Louise De

LA FAYETTE, LOUISE DE (c. 1616-1665), was one of the fourteen children of John, comte de La Fayette, and Marguerite de Bourbon-Busset. Louise became maid of honour to Anne of Austria, and Richelieu sought to attract the attention of Louis XIII. to her in the hope that she might counterbalance the influence exercised over him by Marie de Hautefort. The affair did not turn out as the minister wished. The king did indeed make her the confidante of his affairs and of his resentment against the cardinal, but she, far from repeating his confidences to the minister, set herself to encourage the king in his resistance to Richelieu's dominion. She refused, nevertheless, to become Louis's mistress, and after taking leave of the king in Anne of Austria's presence retired to the convent of the Filles de SainteMarie in 1637. Here she was repeatedly visited by Louis, with whom she maintained a correspondence. Richelieu intercepted the letters, and by omissions and falsifications succeeded in destroying their mutual confidence. The cessation of their intercourse was regretted by the queen, who had been reconciled with her husband through the influence of Louise. At the time of her death in January 1665 Mile de La Fayette was superior of a convent of her order which she had founded at Chaillot.

See Memoires de Madame de Motteville; Victor Cousin, Madame de Hautefort (Paris, 1868) ; L'Abbe Sorin, Louise-Angele de La Fayette (Paris, 1893).

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

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