- Dauphin of France
The Dauphin of France (French: Dauphin de France, IPA: [dofɛ̃])—strictly, The Dauphin of Viennois (Dauphin de Viennois)—was the title given to the heir apparent to the throne of France from 1350 to 1791, and from 1824 to 1830. The word is literally the French for dolphin, as a reference to the animal they bore on their flag.
Guy VIII, Count of Vienne, had a dolphin on his coat of arms and had been nicknamed le Dauphin. The title of Dauphin de Viennois descended in his family the LeVieux Princes of Ivetot until 1349, when Humbert II sold his seigneurie, called the Dauphiné, to King Philippe VI on condition that the heir of France assumed the title of le Dauphin. The wife of the Dauphin was known as la Dauphine.
The first French prince called le Dauphin was Charles V. The title was roughly equivalent to the English title Prince of Wales, the Scottish title Duke of Rothesay, or the Spanish title Prince of Asturias. The official style of a Dauphin of France, prior to 1461, was par la grâce de Dieu, dauphin de Viennois, comte de Valentinois et de Diois ("By the Grace of God, Dauphin of Viennois, Count of Valentinois and of Diois"). A Dauphin of France would unite the coat of arms of the Dauphiné, which featured Dolphins, with the French fleurs-de-lys, and might, where appropriate, further unite that with other arms (e.g. Francis, son of Francis I, was ruling Duke of Brittany, so united the coat of arms of that province with the typical arms of a Dauphin of France; Francis II, while Dauphin, was also King of Scots by marriage to Mary I, and so added the arms of the Kingdom of Scotland to those of the Dauphin of France).
Originally, the Dauphin was personally responsible for the rule of the Dauphiné, which was legally part of the Holy Roman Empire, and which the Emperors, in gifting the rule of the province to the French heirs, had stipulated must never be united with France. Because of this, the Dauphiné suffered from anarchy in the 14th and 15th centuries (since the Dauphins of France were frequently minors, or concerned with other matters).
During his period as Dauphin, Louis, son of Charles VII, defied his father by remaining in the province longer than the King had permitted and by engaging in personal politics more beneficial to the Dauphiné than to France. For example, Louis married Charlotte of Savoy against his father's wishes. Savoy was a traditional ally of the Dauphiné, and Louis wished to reaffirm that alliance to stamp out rebels and robbers in the province. Louis was driven out of the Dauphiné by Charles VII's soldiers in 1456, leaving the region to fall back into disorder. After his succession as Louis XI of France in 1461, Louis united the Dauphiné with France, bringing it permanently under royal control.
The title of Dauphin was automatically conferred upon the next heir apparent to the French throne in the direct line upon birth, accession of the parent to the throne, or death of the previous Dauphin, unlike the English title Prince of Wales, which has always been in the gift of the monarch rather than an automatic right at birth.
The sons of the King of France hold the style and rank of Son of France, while male-line grandsons hold the style and rank of Grandson of France. The sons and grandsons of the Dauphin ranked higher than their cousins, being treated as the king's children and grandchildren, respectively. The sons of the Dauphin, though grandsons of the king, are ranked as Sons of France, while the grandsons of the Dauphin ranked as Grandsons of France; other great-grandsons of the king ranked merely as Princes of the Blood.
The title was abolished by the Constitution of 1791, which made France a constitutional monarchy. Under the constitution the heir to the throne (Dauphin Louis-Charles at that time) was restyled as Prince Royal (a Prince of the Blood would be retitled as prince français), taking effect from the inception of the Legislative Assembly on 1 October 1791. The title was restored in potentia under the Bourbon Restoration of Louis XVIII; there was not, however, another Dauphin until his death. With the accession of his brother Charles X, Charles' son and heir, Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, automatically became Dauphin.
However, with the removal of the Bourbons the title fell once again into disuse (the heirs of Louis-Philippe being titled as Prince Royal). After the death of Henri, comte de Chambord, Carlos, Duke of Madrid, the heir of the legitimist claimant, Juan, Count of Montizón, made use of the title in pretense, as have the Spanish legitimist claimants since.
Gallery of Arms
Arms of Dauphin Francis, King-consort of Scots.
List of Dauphins of France
Picture Name Heir of Birth Became Dauphin Ceased to be Dauphin Death Other Titles before/while Dauphin Regnal Name Dauphine Charles, 1st Dauphin of France John II 21 January 1338 22 August 1350 8 April 1364
16 September 1380 Duke of Normandy Charles V Joanna of Bourbon John, 2nd Dauphin of France Charles V 7 June 1366 21 December 1366 – – Charles, 3rd Dauphin of France Charles V 3 December 1368 16 September 1380
21 October 1422 Charles VI – Charles, 4th Dauphin of France Charles VI 26 September 1386 28 December 1386 – – Charles, 5th Dauphin of France Charles VI 6 February 1392 13 January 1401 Duke of Guyenne – – Louis, 6th Dauphin of France Charles VI 22 January 1397 13 January 1401 18 December 1415 Duke of Guyenne – Margaret of Burgundy John, 7th Dauphin of France Charles VI 31 August 1398 18 December 1415 5 April 1417 Duke of Touraine – Jacqueline of Hainaut Charles, 8th Dauphin of France Charles VI 22 February 1403 5 April 1417 21 October 1422
22 July 1461 Count of Ponthieu Charles VII – Louis, 9th Dauphin of France Charles VII 3 July 1423 22 July 1461
30 August 1483 Louis XI Margaret of Scotland;
Charlotte of Savoy
François, 10th Dauphin of France Louis XI 1466 – – Charles, 11th Dauphin of France Louis XI 30 June 1470 30 August 1483
7 April 1498 Charles VIII – Charles-Orland, 12th Dauphin of France Charles VIII 11 October 1492 16 December 1495 – – Charles, 13th Dauphin of France Charles VIII 8 September 1496 2 October 1496 – – François, 14th Dauphin of France Charles VIII July 1497 – – François, 15th Dauphin of France Francis I 28 September 1518 10 August 1536 Duke of Brittany – – Henry, 16th Dauphin of France Francis I 31 March 1519 10 August 1536 31 March 1547
10 July 1559 Duke of Orléans, Duke of Brittany Henry II Catherine de' Medici Francis, 17th Dauphin of France Henry II 19 January 1544 31 March 1547 10 July 1559
5 December 1560 King-consort of Scotland Francis II Mary, Queen of Scots Louis, 18th Dauphin of France Henry IV 27 September 1601 14 May 1610
14 May 1643 Louis XIII – Louis-Dieudonné, 19th Dauphin of France Louis XIII 5 September 1638 14 May 1643
1 September 1715 Louis XIV – Louis, le Grand Dauphin, 20th Dauphin of France Louis XIV 1 November 1661 14 April 1711 – Duchess Maria Anna of Bavaria Louis, le Petit Dauphin, 21st Dauphin of France Louis XIV 16 August 1682 14 April 1711 18 February 1712 Duke of Burgundy – Princess Maria Adelaide of Savoy Louis, 22nd Dauphin of France Louis XIV 8 January 1707 18 February 1712 8 March 1712 Duke of Brittany – – Louis, 23rd Dauphin of France Louis XIV 15 February 1710 8 March 1712 1 September 1715
10 May 1774 Duke of Anjou Louis XV – Louis, 24th Dauphin of France Louis XV 4 September 1729 20 December 1765 – Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain;
Duchess Maria Josepha of Saxony
Louis-Auguste, 25th Dauphin of France Louis XV 23 August 1754 20 December 1765 10 May 1774
21 January 1793 Duke of Berry Louis XVI Arcduchess Maria Antonia of Austria Louis-Joseph, 26th Dauphin of France Louis XVI 22 October 1781 4 June 1789 – – Louis-Charles, 27th Dauphin of France Louis XVI 27 March 1785 4 June 1789 1 October 1791
retitled as Prince-royal
8 June 1795 Duke of Normandy Louis XVII – Louis-Antoine, 28th Dauphin of France Charles X 6 August 1775 16 September 1824 2 August 1830
3 June 1844 Duke of Angoulême Louis XIX Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte of France Picture Name Heir of Birth Became Dauphin Ceased to be Dauphin Death Other Titles while Dauphin Regnal Name Dauphine
In Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck encounters two odd characters who turn out to be professional con men. One of them claims that he should be treated with deference, since he is "really" an impoverished English duke, and the other, not to be outdone, reveals that he is "really" the Dauphin ("Looy the Seventeen, son of Looy the Sixteen and Marie Antoinette").
Alphonse Daudet also wrote a short story called "The Death of the Dauphin", about a young Dauphin who wants to stop Death from approaching him.
It is also mentioned in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian
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