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Maria Karolina Sobieska

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Father  James Louis Sobieski
Siblings  Maria Clementina Sobieska
Name  Maria Sobieska
Maria Karolina Sobieska
Born  25 November 1697 Olawa, Poland (1697-11-25)
Burial  St. Kazimierz Church, Warsaw, Poland
Issue Detail  Marie Louise, Princess of Guemene Godefroy, Duke of Bouillon
Mother  Hedwig Elisabeth of Neuburg
Died  May 8, 1740, Zhovkva, Ukraine
Spouse  Charles Godefroy de La Tour d'Auvergne (m. 1724)
Children  Marie Louise de La Tour d'Auvergne, Godefroy de La Tour d'Auvergne
Parents  James Louis Sobieski, Countess Palatine Hedwig Elisabeth of Neuburg
Similar People  James Louis Sobieski, Maria Clementina Sobieska, Marie Casimire Louise de, John III Sobieski, James Francis Edward S

Maria Karolina Sobieska (25 November 1697 – 8 May 1740 ) was a Polish noble lady, daughter of Jakub Ludwik Sobieski. Known as Marie Charlotte or just Charlotte, she was the Princess of Turenne and later Duchess of Bouillon by marriage. Charlotte was the last surviving member of the House of Sobieski.



Born to James Louis Sobieski and his wife Countess Palatine Hedwig Elisabeth of Neuburg, she was the couple's third daughter. Her younger sister Clementina, married the Jacobite pretender James Francis Edward Stuart.

Her paternal cousins included (children of her aunt Theresa Kunegunda Sobieska) Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor and Clemens August of Bavaria, Archbishop of Cologne. Her maternal cousins included the famous Elisabeth Farnese, the future John V of Portugal as well as his consort Maria Anna of Austria.

Her childhood was spent in Silesia. She was asked for her hand by many an aristocrat including Antonio Ferrante Gonzaga, Duke of Guastalla. She, however, rejected him due to the duke's mental illness.

Having travelled to Neuburg, her mother's birthplace, she embarked on an affair with Michal Kazimierz "Rybenko" Radziwill, a future Great Hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. She had wanted to marry him but her father would not allow the couple to elope. A depressed Charlotte, wanted to leave the court and join a convent but Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (another first cousin), took it upon himself to find her a suitable husband.

The candidate was found in form of Frederic Casimir de La Tour d'Auvergne, son of Emmanuel Theodose de La Tour d'Auvergne and Marie Armande Victoire de La Tremouille. He was the heir to the sovereign Duchy of Bouillon which the La Tour d'Auvergne's had ruled for over a century. As heir, he was styled the prince de Turenne. Charlotte married Frederic Casimir by proxy on 25 August 1723 at Neuss (modern day Germany). The couple met for the first time at Strassburg on 20 September and were married formally.

At the French court, the House of La Tour d'Auvergne ranked as Foreign Princes. This entitled them to the style of Highness. As such, prior to becoming Duchess of Bouillon, Charlotte was styled as Her Highness the Princess of Turenne.

Frederic Casimir died in Strassburg on 1 October 1723 leaving Charlotte a widow having been married for fourteen days. Seven months later, she married her dead husband's younger brother Charles Godefroy who was now prince de Turenne and heir to Bouillon. The new couple married on 2 April 1724 in Paris. The marriage produced two children; a daughter named Marie Louise (mistress of her first cousin Charles Edward Stuart, the Jacobite pretender) and a son named Godefroy who was the penultimate Duke of Bouillon.

The marriage was not happy. The couple divorced and Charlotte moved to Silesia. Moving again, this time to Zolkiew, she spent her last years trying to protect her father's estates of which she was the heiress to from 1737. At her father's death, she inherited the Duchy of Olawa where she was born.

Before her death, she designated her old lover, Michal Kazimierz "Rybenko" Radziwill, as her heir. A part of her library was transmitted into the famous Zaluski Library which was succeeded by today's National Library of Poland.

She was accused of poisoning the famous contemporary actress Adrienne Lecouvreur who was her rival, yet it was proved that the actress died of natural causes.

She was buried at the Church of Saint Kazimierz in Warsaw, Poland. Charlotte's heart was embalmed and placed in the parish church of Zolkiew. Her tombstone was designed in 1747 by her former lover. It displays a crack indicating the extinction of the Sobieski family of which she was the last surviving member.

Her husband outlived her, dying in 1771. Her son lived until 1792 and her daughter was executed in The Terror of the French Revolution.


Children with her second husband;

  • Marie Louise Henriette Jeanne de La Tour d'Auvergne (15 August 1725–1793) married the Prince of Guemene and had issue; was guillotined during the revolution; had a secret child with her cousin Charles Edward Stuart;
  • Godefroy Charles Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne (26 January 1728–3 December 1792) married Louise Henriette Gabrielle de Lorraine and had issue, she was a grand daughter of Charles de Lorraine, Count of Marsan.
  • Titles and styles

  • 25 November 1697 – 25 August 1723 Maria Karolina Sobieska
  • 25 August 1723 – 1 October 1723 Her Highness the Princess of Turenne
  • 1 October 1723 – 2 April 1724 Her Highness the Dowager Princess of Turenne
  • 2 April 1724 – 17 April 1730 Her Highness the Princess of Turenne
  • 17 April 1730 – 8 May 1740 Her Highness the Duchess of Bouillon
  • References

    Maria Karolina Sobieska Wikipedia