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Albertus Lowell-Valois (January 7th, 1655- September 13th, 1744) was the Comte de Sancerre and Duc d'Orleans.
Albertus2

As the Minister to the Joseon Court (ca. 1671)

Early Life and Family

Albertus was born as Zhu Huilong on January 4th, 1655 in the Beijing residence of his father Zhu Yunguang (Cornelius Lowell-Valois). His Mother, the Consort Mei, was named the Chief Consort as Albertus was the First-Born-Son. Albertus is descended from the Zhu Ruling house of the Former Ming Empire. He was raised in a strict atmosphere of court life in the Confucian Qing Empire until 1670 when he moved to the Joseon capital Seoul as a Minister of Relations after having passed the Imperial Examinations and being ranked top in the session. 

In 1674, Albertus married only 5 consorts, a very odd thing for someone of such status. They are as follows:

  1. Consort Biang (1650-1706) mother to Henri and Jean-Claude's father, died in Saxony
  2. Consort Ming (1658-1724) had 3 daughter, all of which married to Korean Nobles and had issues, was executed for treason in Seoul after divorcing Albertus in 1679
  3. Consort Hua (1656-1724) a Daur noble, had no heirs and was executed with Consort Ming following her divorce with Albertus in 1678
  4. Consort Kong (1654-1725) Had 3 sons, all married Okinawan nobles, died in Chateau de Vincennes
  5. Consort Cao (1652-1723) had 5 sons, all of which died young, was murdered by her guards in Chateau de Villandry

Move to the West

In 1680, Albertus resigned his post to move with the surviving members of his family to Vienna after being disgraced by King Yeongjo of Joseon's actions of Neo-Confucianism against Traditional ideas. He quickly became prominent due to being his father's secretary and made very frequent trips back to the Qing Empire and even the Joseon Kingdom for his father's office.

By 1704, Albertus' father had moved the remains of the family to Saxony under German names. However, Albertus refused to be a servant. He quickly moved to Prussia alone in 1705 and became a minister in Berlin, taking only his grandson, Henri Alois, and Henri's Father with him.

Albertus

As a Socialite in Vienna (ca. 1713)

In 1708, Albertus moved again with his grandson back to Vienna and worked as a socialite.

In Grandelumiere

Albertus' father began to suffer various health issues by late July of 1723. This caused Albertus to decide to move to take care of him, finding his father in Grandelumiere. At this point it is said that the two had a private conversation discussing who would be Cornelius's successor. Albertus resolved to step asside in favor of his grandsons.

Cornelius died in October of 1725 after an assassination that was supposedly aimed towards Albertus for suspicious reasons. This not only made Albertus mourn, but he also felt guilty for his father's death. Albertus from that point forward vowed to remain quiet in his grandson's estate under pension. He had kept that vow until his last surviving grandson died in 1744.

Revolution of 1741 and Later Life

With the chaos of riots in Dijon holding his gradson Jean-Claude in the capital, Albertus was in charge of the affairs of Orleans. He remained at Villandry and would only travel in case of emergency.

Revolutionaries stormed Villandry in an ambush in the night following great tensions in both Dijon and Orleans. Albertus was taken to a makeshift prison far from home in Middleburg. While in prison, Albertus almost immediately began work on assisting the escape of several officials and counter-revolutionaries. He himself would escape upon the revolution's end.

In April of 1743, Albertus's distant cousin, the Head of House Lowell-Valois. rewarded Albertus for his efforts while in prison by giving him the title of Comte de Sancerre. Albertus spent the remaining year and a half of his life in and out of court following various scandals that would tarnish his memory.

Relatives and General Family

While Albertus had no more legitimate male living blood descendents in line of his succession, he had quite an extensive family. He was the distant cousin of the Empress Elisabeth Justine, as well as several other members of high Court. His brother, Andreus lived with Albertus's widow until their deaths in Vincennes.

Albertus had 12 legitimate children, 7 of which lived to produce further heirs. It is estimated however, that there were only approximately 10 legitimate descendants left in the world living as part of Albertus's legitimate line at the time of his death, none of which are in Grandelumiere. His two grandchildren that moved to Grandelumiere, Jean-Claude and Henri Alois, died in the 1730s and 1740s as widowers.

Albertus with household

Albertus, his wife Katrin (holding their child), and a group of his illegitimate daughters from various affairs

While Albertus had 5 wives and 12 legitimate children (followed by a 6th wife and 13th child), Albertus seems to have bested his own father in extra-marital affairs. When asked of his affairs by another courtier in the 1730s, he reportedly shrugged off a number between 200 and 220 affairs. When asked of illegitimate offspring, he proclaimed to have had between 150 and 190, most of which he outlived, or so he reports. He was later asked whether he discriminated between social positions or genders, to which he shook his head no. 

Of his countless illegitimate children, he is said to have allowed more than 10 to live in the estates he owned in Grandelumiere, the rest being supported privately and secretly. He protected them by allowing them to live privately in his chateaux. This is also said for his protection of several of his illegitimate siblings and their families. It is said that they all met in private when Albertus was permitted to leave court on occasion.  Of his illegitimate decendants was the de Pauppine family, who played a small role in the 1768 Revolution on both sides of the conflict.

Albertus finally married a lower noble from Austria named Katrin von Hohenstaufen, the former Countess of Teschen, in August of 1744. They had one child together, Angeline Apollina.

1744 Disappearance and Secret Marriage

In early August of 1744, Albertus lost his health to an extent that it was thought that he may die. To avoid allowing other courtiers to know, he was granted permission to leave court in private by His Majesty. He was taken to Vincennes to either recover or die in peace. Fortunately, he recovered. However, his pregnant lover, Katrin (who had been pregnant since around New Years 1743-44), was not about to allow Albertus to leave her for court once again.

Albertus with final wife

Albertus and Katrin, commissioned shortly after the wedding in 1744

On August 14th, 1744, Albertus decided that while he was allowed to be away from court, they may elope. That very day, Albertus and Katrin set off for Munich. They were granted passage into Bavaria and on August 28th, Albertus and Katrin were wed in a morganatic wedding, attended by servants, Katrin's sister Anna, and Albertus's illegitimate brother Henri de Amne. The wedding was in good time, as Katrin bore a child as they returned to Grandelumiere on September 3rd, 1744. Their daughter was given the name Angeline Apollina.

Death and subsequent reaction

Albertus never returned to Court for fear of scandal and died very quietly while playing a game of chess in the early morning hours of September 13th, 1744. Albertus's daughter, the 10-day old Angeline, died shortly before he himself passed. His death was never mentioned to the Court officially, as was requested, and it was assumed that he merely moved quietly to his city residence in Middleburg by the majority, but some courtiers were told of his death because of the closeness of the relationship they had with Albertus.

Albertus's widow, Katrin moved to Villandry after his death, the court still not even knowing of her existence. The Duchy of Orleans. was passed to Andreus's son, Jean-Claude Moreau Lowell-Valois. The County of Sancerre was given back to the rest of the House of Lowell-Valois

Following Albertus's death, the entire Cornelian line was granted permission to leave court under the guise of being needed to conduct business in Amne. In reality they all left in order to run the estates that Albertus had left behind. Albertus's nephew and successor as Duc d'Orleans, Jean-Claude ordered the reconstruction of a cenotaph for all of the members of the family that died at Villandry as well as a completed Necropolis Wing at Vincennes. His father, Andreus, designed the crypt in mourning.

Albertus is buried with his wife and daughter in the Necropolis Wing of Chateau de Vincennes with his wife and daughter. His effigial gisant depicts that of his death as well as the comfort of hs wife and the loss of his daughter. His father, Cornelius, is buried in the adjacent room.

While the court never officially showed mourning, Albertus's relatives remained out of public view until early November, and afterwards still wore black ribbons at court until the the new year. Following this, the remnants of the Cornelian line, including several of the illegitimate lines, returned to their usual escapades of court.