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Louis XIII

Louis XIII (27 September 1601 – 14 May 1643) was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.

Born at the Château de Fontainebleau, Louis XIII was the oldest child of Henry IV of France (1553–1610) and Marie de' Medici (1575–1642). As son of the King, he was a Fils de France, and as the eldest son, the Dauphin. His father was the first Bourbon King of France.

Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority. Mismanagement of the kingdom and ceaseless political intrigues by Marie de Medici and her Italian favourites led the young king to take power, in 1617, by exiling his mother and executing her followers, including Concino Concini, the most influential Italian at the French court.

Louis XIII, taciturn and suspicious, leaned heavily on his Prime Minister Cardinal Richelieu, to govern the Kingdom.

James I’s ambassador to Paris, Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury, who presented his credentials to Louis XIII in 1619, remarked on Louis’ extreme congenital speech impediment, and his double teeth:
...I presented to the King [Louis] a letter of credence from the King [James] my master: the king [Louis] assured me of a reciprocal affection to the king [James] my master, and of my particular welcome to his Court: his words were never many, as being so extream [sic] a stutterer that he would sometimes hold his tongue out of his mouth a good while before he could speak so much as one word; he had besides a double row of teeth, and was observed seldom or never to spit or blow his nose, or to sweat much, 'tho he were very laborious, and almost indefatigable in his exercises of hunting and hawking, to which he was much addicted...

On 24 November 1615, Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III of Spain. This marriage followed a tradition of cementing military and political alliances between the Catholic powers of France and Spain with Royal marriages...  The marriage was only briefly happy, and the King's duties often kept them apart. After twenty-three years of marriage and four miscarriages, Anne finally gave birth to a son on 5 September 1638, the future Louis XIV.

- Wikipedia (March 2012)

His reign is synonymous with French Late Renaissance style.


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