Broglie brôˈyə, brôglēˈ [key], French noble family of Piedmontese origin, who settled in France in the 17th cent. Victor Maurice, comte de Broglie, 1647–1727, was marshal of France and fought in the wars of King Louis XIV. His son François Marie, duc de Broglie, 1671–1745, marshal of France, fought at Malplaquet (1709), in the War of the Polish Succession, and in the War of the Austrian Succession. King Louis XV conferred on him the ducal title inherited by his son Victor François, duc de Broglie, 1718–1804, marshal of France, who distinguished himself in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War. Holy Roman Emperor Francis I made him prince of the Holy Roman Empire (1757), a title that remained in the family. In the French Revolution he emigrated and commanded (1792) the army of the princes against the revolutionary forces. Charles François, comte de Broglie, 1719–81, brother of Victor François, was ambassador to Poland (1752) and later headed the “secret cabinet” of Louis XV, the king's secret organization of political advisers and spies. Achille Charles Léon Victor, duc de Broglie, 1785–1870, grandson of Victor François, was a statesman and diplomat under Emperor Napoleon I and a leader of the moderate liberals after the Restoration. He occupied several cabinet posts, including that of premier (1835–36), under King Louis Philippe, and was (1847–48) ambassador to London. After the February Revolution (1848) he was elected (1849) to the assembly. He opposed Emperor Napoleon III. He married a daughter of Mme de Staël. His son, Jacques Victor Albert, duc de Broglie, 1821–1901, was a historian and politician. He was a member of the national assembly (1871), ambassador to London (1871–72), premier (1873–74; 1877), and a liberal monarchist leader in the senate. He wrote Histoire de l'église et de l'empire romain au IVe siècle (6 vol., 1856–66), an apologia for the Church as preserver of civilization in the late Roman period, and also edited the memoirs of his father (tr. 1887). He was the grandfather of the scientists Maurice, duc de Broglie, and Louis Victor, duc de Broglie (see separate articles). Gabriel Marie Joseph Anselme, prince de Broglie 1931–, served as a technical councillor to French cabinets in 1966–68, 1969, and 1970.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies