Jean-Claude Lowell-Valois (August 14th, 1709-July 6th, 1742) was the Duc d'Orleans, Head of the WBTCo., Aide-de-Camp to several courtiers.
Early Life- Seigneur d'Orleans
Jean-Claude Lowell-Valois was born on August 14th, 1709 to Florentine Borde and Raphael Poulin in Vienna. As his parents died when he only 4, Jean was brought up in secret by his grandfather Albertus in Vienna. His great-grandfather, Cornelius the Duc d'Orleans, ordered that he be raised by traditional Confucian as well as modern scholars. In 1718, Jean moved to Grandelumiere with his brother to live with their great-grandfather, Cornelius.
As a very young adult, he helped his older brother Henri with managing the Colonies of the Empire and collecting revenue from the estates. Aged 16, he married Elisabeth de Chardonceau. They had 4 children: Marie-Louise Antoinette (1735), Louis Charles (1727), Henrietta Maria (1730), Jeanne Sophie (1731), and one stillborn baby.
Soon after the couple's fourth child was born, Élisabeth grew bored of Jean. This was well caused by her cousin, Madame Therese. As Élisabeth spiralled into a frenzy of wild affairs and gambling, leaving Jean alone and pitiable. He became more interested in his work, leaving his wife to her own duties. The couple rarely saw each other, causing multiple rumours about their marriage from the court. Jean confided to his cousin-in-law, Marie Therese, to help keep the thought of his wife's affairs at bay. The two had multiple affairs together, earning a reputation of "play boy" for Jean. Thankfully, Élisabeth did not find out about these affairs. Their relationship was not harmed by any of these events, and even so grew close in the end.
Regency- Monsieur le Duc
Death of Henri
On the 24th of January 1739, the Duc Henri Alois passed away suddenly with no living legitimate descendants. Shortly before his death, he dictated that his possessions would be passed to Jean, with the exception of the masses of wealth which were all donated to the State and Church. Jean was given all of Henri's former offices. Jean's first act as Duc was to grant his grandfather, Albertus, a small pension and state rooms in 2 of his chateaux.
Jean entered court suddenly but seamlessly, acting very similarly to his brother, but much shyer than his predecessors. That is until all changed in the Revolution.
The unrest and later Revolution in early 1741 occurred around the same time as Jean being granted his titles. After mobs of hundreds gathered to Dijon, Jean suddenly found himself in the mix of everything going on. He led voyages outside the palace to gather supplies, seeing as though the mobs had trapped them inside the palace. On one of the voyages, a servant recognized Jean's face and saw to it he be beat. He was rushed back to the palace by some of his disguised guards. He sustained brutal wounds to his arms, legs, and face. The Regent demanded that he not be allowed on a voyage again. Soon after, the Regents along with Comtesse Marie Claudine were taken prisoner in the Temple. Many Nobility were taken hostage to the Bastion including himself, Cardinal Vendome, Princesse Helene, and many more. While in captivity, Jean watched from his cell window as Dijon was burnt to the ground by the Rebellion. He was later released by the Cardinal Vendôme with many of the other Nobility members. Together they helped free the Regents from their prison at the Temple.
As Dijon was being rebuilt, Jean spent much of his time with the Imperial family in the various residences that they would visit periodically. Upon Albertus's release from captivity, Jean became more outspoken, yet very distant and cold. He continued to help with the government as needed as times would continue to change.
After the court moved back to Chateau de Saint-Etienne, Jean's health started to deteriorate. He had caught a rare and violent strain of Typhus that turned the skin white. There were many attempts to stop the illness, none were successful. On July 6th, early in the morning, Jean collapsed in his daughter Henriette's room. The Duchesse had been on a hunting trip with her friend, Marie Therese. Henriette had called for the guards to take him out of her room and into his chambers. Doctors were called to examine him, finding that he had little time to live. The court was called to the bedside of the Duc. Even the Regent attended this grewsome end to his life. Only one of his children was at his bedside at his death, Henriette Marie. Jean wrote his will on his deathbed, leaving many of his belongings to his family. Henriette stayed with her Father until his death, sobbing hysterically, until her Grandmother told her she must leave the room. Madame la Duchesse did not find out about the death of her husband until she returned from her hunting trip with Madame Therese.
Jean-Claude, the Duc d'Orleans, was buried in the Chateau de Vincennes in the Necropolis Wing alongside his daughter Jeanne and her family.
To his marriage with Élisabeth Josephine he had four legitimate children, with their styles at the time of their birth;
- Marie-Louise Antoinette, Comtesse de Toulouse (1727 - 1749)
- Louis Charles, Petit Seigneur (1729 - 1743)
- Henriette Marie, Duchesse de Anonde (1730 - 1747)
- Jeanne Sophie, Comtesse de Treves (1731 - 1756)
Unlike his grandfather and great-grandfather, Jean had no illegitimate children proclaimed.