Condé, Louis II de Bourbon

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Condé, Louis II de Bourbon


Born Sept. 8, 1621, in Paris; died Dec. 11, 1686, in Fontainebleau. French military leader.

Until 1646, when his father died, condé was duke of Enghien; afterward he became prince of Conde. During the Thirty Years’ War of 1618–48, the French troops under his command won a brilliant victory over the Spanish at Rocroi (1643). His further victories at Freiburg, Nordlingen (1644—45, with Turenne), Dunkerque (1646), and Lens (1648) hastened the conclusion of a peace treaty advantageous to France in Westphalia (1648). At the start of the Fronde, condé commanded the government troops laying siege to Paris (1649); later, he headed the feudal opposition and tried to seize power. In 1650 he was arrested.

After he was freed in 1651, he became the head of the Fronde of the Princes. He was defeated outside Paris in 1652 in a battle against Turenne’s troops. At the conclusion of the Fronde he fled to the Netherlands and was appointed commander in chief of the Spanish Army, with which he ravaged northern France from 1653 to 1658. In 1660 he returned to France. In 1668, during the War of Devolution, Condé captured the Franche-Comté within two weeks. From 1672 to 1675 he successfully led the military operations in France’s war with Holland (1672–78). Contemporaries nicknamed him the Great Condé.


Malo, H. Le Grand Conde. Paris, 1937.
Mongredien, G. Le Grand Conde. Paris, 1959.