Gabriel de Rochechouart de Mortemart

Gabriel de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Duke of Mortemart (1600 – 26 December 1675) was a French nobleman and father of the Marquise de Montespan. He was a friend of the French King Louis XIII.

Gabriel de Rochechouart
Duke of Mortemart
Died26 December 1675
Paris, France
Diane de Grandseigne (m. 16321666)
FatherGaspard de Rochechouart
MotherLouise de Maure
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Gabriel de Rochechouart de Mortemart, was the son of Gaspard de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquis of Mortemart, and of Louise de Maure, suo jure Countess of Maure. His younger brother, Louis de Rochechouart de Mortemart, died without children in 1669.

He spent a great part of his childhood with the future king of France Louis XIII, until the assassination of the latter's father, Henry IV, in 1610. In 1630, he was named the First Gentleman of the Chamber to Louis XIII, which entitled him to a pension of 6000 livres. He also maintained the confidence of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu and was an intimate of the Spanish-born queen, Anne of Austria.

He and his some of his descendants cultivated what became known as the esprit Mortemart,[1] a particular type of wit which allowed impossible things to be said.

He was popular at the royal court, although his brother Louis and his cousin François de Rochechouart had been banished for their involvement in the Day of the Dupes in November 1630, when the enemies of Cardinal Richelieu mistakenly believed that they had succeeded in persuading Louis XIII to dismiss Richelieu from power.

In 1632, he married Diane de Grandseigne (1615 11 February 1666), the daughter of Jean de Grandseigne, Marquis de Marsillac, and of Catherine de La Béraudière, dame de Villenon.

A year after his marriage, he was created a Knight of the Orders of the King.[2]

During his infancy, till he succeeded his father, he was known as the Marquis de Vivonne, a subsidiary title which was raised to a duchy in 1668.

When his father died in 1643, he took the title of Marquis de Mortemart.

On 23 December 1663, Louis XIV raised the Marquisate of Mortemart, to a duchy. The same day, Anne de Noailles became Duke of Noailles; the two families were united in 1723 when Gabriel's grandson, Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, Count of Toulouse, the son of Madame de Montespan, married a granddaughter of Anne, Marie Victoire de Noailles.

In 1669, he was named Governor of Paris.

Gabriel de Rochechouart de Mortemart died in Paris on 26 December 1675.


Peer of France, Prince of Tonnay-Charente, Viscount of Rochechouart (the oldest title in France, 980), Marquis of Montpipeau (granted by Louis XIII), Count of Limoges (1661), Duke of Vivonne (1668). Lordships and parishes of Montrol, Nouic, Blond, Vaulry, Beuilaufa, Le Fraisse, Javerdat, Saint-Victurnien (Barony), Oradour-sur-Glane (Châtellenie) along with the Baronies of Châtellenies of Lussac, Verrières and Dienné.


Parti de trois et coupé de un, qui font huit quartiers: 1, de gueules au croissant de vair (Maure); 2, d'azur à trois fleurs de lys d;or au bâton de gueules (Bourbon); 3, de gueules a neuf mâcles d'or (Rohan); 4, burelé d'argent et d'azur à trois chevrons de gueules (La Rochefoucauld); 5, d'argent à la guivre d'azure engoulant un enfant au naturel (Milan); 6, de gueules aux chaînes posées en croix, sautoir et orle d'or (Navarre); 7, de gueules au pal de vair (des Cars); 8, d'hermine plain (Bretagne); sur le tout, fascé-ondé-enté d'argent et de gueules (Rochechouart).[3]


Louis Victor de Rochechouart de Mortemart
Duke of Mortemart
25 August 1636 -
15 December 1688
Born in Paris, he died at Chaillot; married and had 6 children; current descendants include the Dukes of Noailles;
Gabrielle de Rochechouart de Mortemart
marquise de Thianges
12 September 1693
Married Claude Leonor Damas, Marquis of Thianges and had issue; her daughter Diane Gabrielle Damas de Thianges married Philippe Jules Mancini and had issue; currant descendants include the Prince of Monaco through Prince Pierre, Duke of Valentinois, also a descendant of the duchesse de Polignac;
Françoise de Rochechouart de Mortemart
Athénaïs de Montespan
Madame de Montespan
Marquise de Montepsan
5 October 1641 –
27 May 1707
Born at the Château of Lussac-les-Châteaux, she married Louis Henri de Pardaillan de Gondrin and had issue; was King Louis XIV's maîtresse-en-titre and had issue including the future duc du Maine, Madame la Duchesse, Duchess of Orléans and Count of Toulouse;
Marie Christine de Rochechouart de Mortemart
? Little is known of her;
Marie-Madeleine Gabrielle Adélaïde de Rochechouart de Mortemart
Abbess of Fontevrault
1645 -
15 August 1704
Never married, entered the Abbey of Fontevraud as a nun, where she eventually became the abbess; known as the Reine des abbesses; through her writings, she is known as Gabrielle de Rochechouart.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 1600 25 July 1643 the Marquis of Vivonne
  • 25 July 1643 23 December 1663 the Marquis of Mortemart
  • 23 December 1663 26 December 1675 the Duke of Mortemart


  1. Van Helden, D.G.H., 80 Esprits fins et esprits géométriques dans les portraits de Saint-Simon, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands, 1975, pp. 42-71, ISBN 90 247 1726 4 (French)
  2. Order of the Holy Spirit#Composition
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