Charles de La Vieuville

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Charles de La Vieuville
duc de La Vieuville
Charles de la Vieuville.jpg
Coat of arms Blason Charles de La Vieuville (1582-1653).svg
Superintendent of Finances
Marie Bouhier
Noble family La Vieuville
Religion Roman Catholicism
Occupation Superintendent of Finances

Charles I. Coskaer, marquis and later duc de La Vieuville (1582 – 9 January 1653)[1] was an important French noble and Superintendent of Finances of France from 1623 to 1624[2] and once again from 1651 to 1653 .[3]


He descended from the dynasty of the seigneurs of La Vieuville and was the son of Robert, seigneur de La Vieuville.[4] Being a grandnephew to a finance minister of both Henry III and Henry IV he had good connections at court.[5] He started his career being Captain of the Garde Écossaise,[6] where he quickly rose to favour of the king, so that already in 1619 he became a knight of the king's orders.[7] As the year 1623 passed, the king (who always sought an effective model of governance) found virtually all his major advisors (like Brûlart and Puysieux) and his previous superintendent, Henri de Schomberg, ineffective. This resulted partly because of an inclination towards Spain, the deadly enemy of France, by some of the ministers, as well as the inability of the military man Schomberg of governing the finances.[8] This vacuum of power was filled by the trusted captain of the king's guards. During the years he was superintendent, and due to the fact that he was the king's only advisor, he had a very important role at the French court. His views went quite well with Louis XIII's ‘’bon français’’ (good Frenchman) views. He advised the king to side with the Dutch and had the idea to interfere directly in the Bündner Wirren.[9] Yet he didn't prove to fulfill quite what Louis XIII expected and Louis XIII became very disappointed with him. La Vieuville had grown very arrogant and incompetent and members of his family were very corrupt.[10] Another factor was that Cardinal Richelieu who had just entered the Royal Council, had previously published various pamphlets and spread several rumours against his rival La Vieuville, in order to become the king's advisor himself.[11] Finally, he should have been executed, yet he fled from France to the Spanish Netherlands.[12] Later in Louis XIII's reign he was pardoned and returned to France, eventually becoming superintendent once more during Louis XIV's early reign.[13]

Family and issue

Effigy of Charles de La Vieuville and his wife (by Gilles Guérin)

La Vieuville married Marie Bouhier de Beaumarchais in 1611. Marie was the daughter of Vincent Bouhier, seigneur de Beaumarchais and held the titles of dame de Nogent-l'Anaud and baronne de Saint-Martin de Blois. She had a sister, Lucrèce, who was married to Nicolas de L'Hôpital.

La Vieuville had all his 13 children with Marie:

  • Vincent; in service of Charles I of England; died in 1643 at the Battle of Newbury
  • Charles II, duc de La Vieuville
  • Charles-François, died 6 days old
  • Henri, Knight of the Order of Malta, Maréchal des Armées et Camps du Roi, Abbot of Savigny (died in 1652)
  • François-Henri, Abbot of Savigny (as successor of his brother), from 1660: Bishop of Rennes (died in 1675)
  • Françoise de Paule, died in Flanders in 1635
  • Louise, religious Carmelite nun, died at her convent in Paris
  • Lucrèce-Françoise, married Ambroise-François, duc de Bournonville and Peer of France
  • Marie, died in Brussels
  • Marie, died old, entered the Minims
  • Dorothée, died young, entered the Mimins as well
  • Marie, abesse of Notre-Dame de Meaux
  • Henriette, religious, died at La Ferté-Milon

In popular culture

  • In the 1630s, La Vieuville was portrayed by the famous Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck
  • La Vieuville's important role during the early reign of Louis XIII was portrayed by A. Lloyd Moote in his biography "Louis XIII, the Just"[14]


  1. Histoire Génealogique et Chronologique de la Maison Royale de France- Père Anselme-Vol. VIII-3rd edition-Paris-Compagnie des Libraires associés-1733
  2. A. Lloyd Moote: "Louis XIII, the Just", chap. 6 and 7
  3. Wikipedia page Superintendent of Finances
  4. French Wikipedia page Charles Ier de La Vieuville
  5. A. Lloyd Moote: "Louis XIII, the Just", p. 107
  6. A. Lloyd Moote: "Louis XIII, the Just", p. 107
  7. French Wikipedia page Charles Ier de La Vieuville
  8. A. Lloyd Moote: "Louis XIII, the Just", p. 107-108
  9. A. Lloyd Moote: "Louis XIII, the Just", p. 135
  10. A. Lloyd Moote: "Louis XIII, the Just", p.114
  11. A. Lloyd Moote: "Louis XIII, the Just", p. 109
  12. French Wikipedia page Charles Ier de La Vieuville
  13. French Wikipedia page Charles Ier de La Vieuville
  14. A. Lloyd Moote: "Louis XIII, the Just", ch. 5, 6 + 7