1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Marie Thérèse

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MARIE THÉRÈSE (1638–1683), queen consort of France, was born on the 10th of September 1638 at the Escurial, being the daughter of Philip IV. of Spain and Elizabeth of France. By pretending to seek a bride for his master in Margaret of Savoy, Mazarin had induced the king of Spain to make proposals for the marriage of his daughter with Louis XIV., and the treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 stipulated for her marriage with the French king, Marie renouncing any claim to the Spanish succession. As the treaty, however, hinged on the payment of her dowry, which was practically impossible for Spain, Mazarin could evade the other terms of the contract. Marie Thérèse was married in June 1660, when Philip IV. with his whole court accompanied the bride to the Isle of Pheasants in the Bidassoa, where she was met by Louis. The new queen’s amiability and her undoubted virtues failed to secure her husband’s regard and affection. She saw herself neglected in turn for Louise de la Vallière, Mme. de Montespan and others; but Marie Thérèse was too pious and too humble openly to resent the position in which she was placed by the king’s avowed infidelities. With the growing influence of Madame de Maintenon over his mind and affections he bestowed more attention on his wife, which she repaid by lavishing kindness on the mistress. She had no part in political affairs except in 1672, when she acted as regent during Louis XIV.’s campaign in Holland. She died on the 30th of July 1683 at Versailles, not without suspicion of foul play on the part of her doctors. Of her six children only one survived her, the dauphin Louis, who died in 1711.

See the funeral oration of Bossuet (Paris, 1684), E. Ducéré, Le Mariage de Louis XIV. d’après les contemporains et des documents inédits (Bayonne, 1905); Dr Cabanès, Les Morts mystérieuses de l’histoire (1900), and the literature dealing with her rivals Louise de la Vallière, Madame de Montespan and Madame de Maintenon.