Monday, December 7, 2009

Monarchist Profile: Louis Marie de Lescure

Louis-Marie de Salgues Marquis de Lescure was born on October 13, 1766 at Versailles into a noble family hailing from the Albigenses region of southern France. The struggling aristocracy often seems to produce the best loyalists and as he grew older Lescure made a good match, marrying in 1791 a cousin of another future famous royalist leader Henri de la Rochejaquelein. He attended the military academy from the age of 16 and early on was known for being very quiet, shy, brilliant and extremely religious but of the more austere type rather than the 'show-off' religious which was all too common at the time. He worked his way up to command a cavalry company just prior to the outbreak of the French Revolution.

At first, Lescure thought perhaps some good might come from the revolt, recognizing that many people were suffering. However, after the Royal Family came under attack his sacred loyalty to his Most Christian King demanded he resist. Fearing arrest he left the country for a short time as an emigre but soon returned. He defended the Tuileries from the republican mob and later sheltered many friends and family members from the horrors of the Terror. When the revolutionaries tried to conscript loyal peasants into their republican army they rose up in opposition and looked to their nobility to lead them, including the Marquis Lescure. Joining with de la Rochejaquelein he was from the outset one of the top commanders of the royalist army.

He was arrested by the republicans who knew he would be one of the first to oppose them but his fellow royalists liberated him and he led his faithful troops into battle at Thouars, took Fontenay-le-comte and Saumur where he was wounded, always leading from the front and showing great courage. At Torfu, the last counterrevolutionary success on the left bank of the Loire, he rallied his troops saying, "Are there four hundred men brave men who will come and die with me?" to which his dispirited soldiers renewed their energy and shouted as one, "Yes, monsieur l'Marquis!" Repulsed at Nantes, the Vendee royalist rebels went on to other victories at Tiffauges and Cholet before moving to the area of Chatillon.

During this time the Catholic and Royal Army was opposed by the revolutionary General Francois Joseph Westermann, one of the most successful and utterly ruthless commanders on the republican side. As both sides battled for Chatillon, the place changing hands numerous times, Marquis de Lescure was badly wounded and after enduring terrible suffering died on November 4, 1793. His beloved wife left very touching accounts of her attentive care of her husband throughout these trials and her heartbreak at his loss. He was buried in an unmarked grave so the republicans could not violate it and Lescure was hailed by his soldiers as the "Saint of Poitou". For his character, skill, devotion, courage and steadfast loyalty to his God and his King Louis Marie de Lescure deserves a place of honor in the pantheon of great heroes for faith and monarchy in the Kingdom of France.


  1. It must have been so sad, for Catholics and royalists in this period, to see so much that they loved destroyed.

  2. It had to have been. On the whole, it was effectively the end of Christendom. On an individual level so many of them were killed or rather oppressed, terrorized, humiliated and then killed, but also on a larger level the Kingdom of France, eldest daughter of the Church, was destroyed, never to be the same again, the Holy Roman Empire was swept away and so on.

  3. It was a time of great personal and collective tragedy. You're right to draw attention to the way the revolutionaries often made sure to humiliate before killing their enemies. The often totally unnecessary and gratuitous "twisting of the knife," as it were, really shows the degree of hatred behind their actions.

  4. There are some events in history, and I think the French Revolution was one of them, that are so horrible, so completely inhuman, I think (and it's just my opinion -far out it may be) that demonic forces had to be directly involved. Instances where the revolutionaries went in and killed every living thing; men, women, children, livestock, pets -everything; that sort of mindless bloodlust against the innocent on the individual level and against the most sacred institutions on the national level can, I think, be attributed to dark forces not of this world.

  5. It isn't far out, that may very well be. In her novel "Trianon," Elena Maria Vidal writes, for instance, of the Duc d'Orléans consulting with dark forces through diabolists, which, given that it is Elena Maria Vidal, I really don't think is just made up for the story.

  6. I had heard that, and it doesn't really surprise me given the context. Many years ago I was reading a book on Louis XIV and though I knew there was some dabbling in witchcraft going on there in certain quarters I was suprised to read how widespread a problem it was; really taking on the proprtions of an epidemic. The King had nothing to do with it but of course he didn't take religion terribly seriously (brushing off St Margaret Mary, his private life etc) and this stuff took root. I should say, given all of that, and was horrors came with the revolution, one of the things that always struck me about the counterrevolutionaries like Lescure here and those like him was how chivalrous, gallant and humane they were. Maybe I'm too close to the events of "La Cristiada" but I don't know if I could have behaved the same way after all they had endured at the hands of such a vile enemy. That they did speaks very highly of them.


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