Louis XVI. (17541793)

Louis XVI., the grandson of the preceding and his successor; had in 1770 married Marie Antoinette, the youngest daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria, and a woman young, beautiful, and accomplished, in high esteem for the purity of her character; his accession was hailed with enthusiasm, and he set himself to restore the ruined finances of the country by taking into his counsel those who could best advise him in her straitened state, but these one and all found the problem an impossible one, owing to the unwillingness of the nobility to sacrifice any of their privileges for the public good; this led to the summoning of the States-General in 1789, and the outbreak of the Revolution by the fall of the Bastille in July of that year; in the midst of this Louis, well-intentioned but without strength of character, was submissive to the wishes of his court and the queen, lost his popularity by his hesitating conduct, the secret support he gave to the Emigrants (q.v.), his attempt at flight, and by his negotiations with foreign enemies, and subjected himself to persecution at the hands of the nation; he was therefore suspended from his functions, shut up in the Temple, arraigned before the Convention, and condemned to death as “guilty of conspiracy against the liberty of the nation and a crime against the general safety of the State”; he was accordingly guillotined on the 21st January; he protested his innocence on the scaffold, but his voice was drowned by the beating of drums; he was accompanied by the Abbé Edgeworth, his confessor, who, as he laid his head on the block, exclaimed, “Son of St. Louis, ascend to heaven” (17541793).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Louis XV. * Louis XVII.
Loudon, John Claudius
Louis I., le Débonnaire
Louis VI., le Gros
Louis VII., the Young
Louis VIII., the Lion
Louis IX., Saint Louis
Louis XI.
Louis XIII.
Louis XIV.
Louis XV.
Louis XVI.
Louis XVII.
Louis XVIII.
Louis Napoleon
Louis Philippe
Louis-d'Or
Louisiana
Louisville
Lourdes
Louth
Louvet