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LOUVOIS, MARQUIS DE—LOVAT, 12th BARON


and the title of Louviers le Franc for the bravery of its inhabitants in driving the English from Pont de l’Arche, Verneuil and Harcourt. It passed through various troubles successively at the period of the League of the Public Weal under Louis XI., in the religious wars (when the parlement of Rouen sat for a time at Louviers) and in the wars of the Fronde.

See G. Petit, Hist. de Louviers (Louviers, 1877).


LOUVOIS, FRANÇOIS MICHEL LE TELLIER, Marquis de (1641–1691), French statesman, war minister of Louis XIV., was born at Paris on the 18th of January 1641. His father, Michel le Tellier (q.v.), married him to an heiress, the marquise de Courtenvaux, and instructed him in the management of state business. The young man won the king’s confidence, and in 1666 he succeeded his father as war minister. His talents were perceived by Turenne in the war of Devolution (1667–68), who gave him instruction in the art of providing armies. After the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, Louvois devoted himself to organizing the French army. The years between 1668 and 1672, says Camille Rousset, “were years of preparation, when Lionne was labouring with all his might to find allies, Colbert to find money, and Louvois soldiers for Louis.” The work of Louvois in these years is bound up with the historical development of the French army and of armies in general (see Army). Here need only be mentioned Louvois’s reorganization of the military orders of merit, his foundation of the Hôtel des Invalides, and the almost forcible enrolment of the nobility and gentry of France, in which Louvois carried out part of Louis’s measures for curbing the spirit of independence by service in the army or at court. The success of his measures is to be seen in the victories of the great war of 1672–78. After the peace of Nijmwegen Louvois was high in favour, his father had been made chancellor, and the influence of Colbert was waning. The ten years of peace between 1678 and 1688 were distinguished in French history by the rise of Madame de Maintenon, the capture of Strassburg and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in all of which Louvois bore a prominent part. The surprise of Strassburg in 1681 in time of peace was not only planned but executed by Louvois and Monclar. A saving clause in the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which provided for some liberty of conscience, if not of worship, Louvois sharply annulled with the phrase “Sa majesté veut qu’on fasse sentir les dernières rigueurs à ceux qui ne voudront pas se faire de sa religion.” He claimed also the credit of inventing the dragonnades, and mitigated the rigour of the soldiery only in so far as the licence accorded was prejudicial to discipline. Discipline, indeed, and complete subjection to the royal authority was the political faith of Louvois. Colbert died in 1683, and had been replaced by Le Pelletier, an adherent of Louvois, in the controller-generalship of finances, and by Louvois himself in his ministry for public buildings, which he took that he might be the minister able to gratify the king’s two favourite pastimes, war and building. Louvois was able to superintend the successes of the first years of the war of the League of Augsburg, but died suddenly of apoplexy after leaving the king’s cabinet on July 16, 1691. His sudden death caused a suspicion of poison. Louvois was one of the greatest of the rare class of great war ministers. French history can only point to Carnot as his equal. Both had to organize armies out of old material on a new system, both were admirable contrivers of campaigns, and both devoted themselves to the material well-being of the soldiers. In private life and in the means employed for gaining his ends, Louvois was unscrupulous and shameless.

The principal authority for Louvois’s life and times is Camille Rousset’s Histoire de Louvois (Paris, 1872), a great work founded on the 900 volumes of his despatches at the Depôt de la Guerre. Saint Simon from his class prejudices is hardly to be trusted, but Madame de Sévigné throws many side-lights on his times. Testament politique de Louvois (1695) is spurious.


LOUŸS, PIERRE (1870–  ), French novelist and poet, was born in Paris on the 10th of December 1870. When he was nineteen he founded a review, La Conque, which brought him into contact with the leaders of the Parnassians, and counted Swinburne, Maeterlinck, Mallarmé and others among its contributors. He won notoriety by his novel Aphrodite (1896), which gave a vivid picture of Alexandrian morals at the beginning of the Christian era. His Chansons de Bilitis, roman lyrique (1894), which purported to be a translation from the Greek, is a glorification of Sapphic love, which in subject-matter is objectionable in the highest degree; but its delicate decadent prose is typical of a modern French literary school, and some of the “songs” were set to music by Debussy and others. Later books are: La Femme et le pantin (1898); Les Aventures du roi Pausole (1900); Sanguines (1903); Archipel (1906). Louÿs married in 1899 Louise de Heredia, younger daughter of the poet.


LOVAT, SIMON FRASER, 12th Baron (c. 1667–1747), Scottish chief and Jacobite intriguer, was born about 1667 and was the second son of Thomas Fraser, third son of the 8th Lord Lovat. The barony of Lovat dates from about 1460, in the person of Hugh Fraser, a descendant of Simon Fraser (killed at Halidon Hill in 1338) who acquired the tower and fort of Lovat near Beauly, Inverness-shire, and from whom the clan Fraser was called “Macshimi” (sons of Simon). Young Simon was educated at King’s College, Aberdeen, and his correspondence afterwards gives proof, not only of a command of good English and idiomatic French, but of such an acquaintance with the Latin classics as to leave him never at a loss for an apt quotation from Virgil or Horace. Whether Lovat ever felt any real loyalty to the Stuarts or was actuated by self-interest it is difficult to determine, but that he was a born traitor and deceiver there can be no doubt. One of his first acts on leaving college was to recruit three hundred men from his clan to form part of a regiment in the service of William and Mary, in which he himself was to hold a command,—his object being to have a body of well-trained soldiers under his influence, whom at a moment’s notice he might carry over to the interest of King James. Among other outrages in which he was engaged about this time was a rape and forced marriage committed on the widow of the 10th Lord Lovat with the view apparently of securing his own succession to the estates; and it is a curious instance of influence that, after being subjected by him to horrible ill-usage, she is said to have become seriously attached to him. A prosecution, however, having been instituted against him by Lady Lovat’s family, Simon retired first to his native strongholds in the Highlands, and afterwards to France, where he found his way in July 1702 to the court of St Germain. In 1699, on his father’s death, he assumed the title of Lord Lovat. One of his first steps towards gaining influence in France seems to have been to announce his conversion to the Catholic faith. He then proceeded to put the project of restoring the exiled family into a practical shape. Hitherto nothing seems to have been known among the Jacobite exiles of the efficiency of the Highlanders as a military force. But Lovat saw that, as they were the only part of the British population accustomed to the independent use of arms, they could be at once put in action against the reigning power. His plan therefore was to land five thousand French troops at Dundee, where they might reach the north-eastern passes of the Highlands in a day’s march, and be in a position to divert the British troops till the Highlands should have time to rise. Immediately afterwards five hundred men were to land on the west coast, seize Fort William or Inverlochy, and thus prevent the access of any military force from the south to the central Highlands. The whole scheme indicates Lovat’s sagacity as a military strategist, and his plan was continuously kept in view in all future attempts of the Jacobites, and finally acted on in the outbreak of 1745. The advisers of the Pretender seem to have been either slow to trust their coadjutor or to comprehend his project. At last, however, he was despatched (1703) on a secret mission to the Highlands to sound those of the chiefs who were likely to rise, and to ascertain what forces they could bring into the field. He found, however, that there was little disposition to join the rebellion, and he then apparently made up his mind to secure his own safety by revealing all that he knew to the government of Queen Anne. He persuaded the duke of Queensberry that his rival, the duke of Atholl, was in the Jacobite plot, and that if Queensberry supported him he could obtain evidence of this at St Germain. Queensberry foolishly entered into the intrigue with him against Atholl, but when Lovat had gone to France with a pass from