The New International Encyclopædia/Enghien, Louis Antoine Henri de Bourbon, Duc d'
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Enghien, Louis Antoine Henri de Bourbon, Duc d'
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ENGHIEN, äN'gyāN', Louis Antoine Henri de Bourbon, Duc d' (1772-1804). A member of the Bourbon family, celebrated in history for his tragic fate, he was the only son of Prince Louis Henri Joseph de Bourbon, and was born at Chantilly, August 2, 1772. In 1789 he left France and traveled through several countries of Europe. In 1792 he entered the corps of émigrés (q.v.) assembled by his grandfather, the Prince of Condé, on the Rhine, and showed himself to be a brave and efficient officer. After the Peace of Lunéville in 1801 he went to reside at Ettenheim, an old castle on the German side of the Rhine, not far from Strassburg, and within the territories of the Duke of Baden. Here he married the Princess Charlotte of Rohan-Rochefort, and lived as a private citizen. When the conspiracy headed by Cadoudal and Piehegrn against the life of Bonaparte was discovered at Paris (1804), the police were led to believe that the Duc d'Enghien was privy to it, and the evidence seemed to justify their belief. The unfortunate error of a spy further tended to confirm the strong suspicions of Bonaparte, and he resolved to seize the person of the unfortunate prince and make of him a terrible example for future conspirators. On the night of March 15, 1804, the neutral territory of Baden was invaded and the Duke captured and carried a prisoner to Vincennes. On March 20th he was tried before a court martial consisting of eight officers, and after a brief examination was condemned to death. The grave of the victim had been prepared in expectation of this sentence, and at three o'clock on the morning of March 21st he was shot. His innocence was soon established beyond doubt, and the execution of the Duc d'Enghien has fixed a deep and lasting stigma on the character of Napoleon. Consult: Dupin, Pièces judiciaires (Paris, 1823); id., Mémoires historiques sur la catastrophe du duc d'Enghien (Paris, 1834); Constant, Le duc d'Enghien (Paris, 1869); Welschinger, L'Europe et l'exécution du duc d'Enghien (Amiens, 1890); Ropes, The First Napoleon (Boston, 1885); Fay, “The Execution of the Duc d'Enghien,” in American Historical Review (New York, 1899).