Refuting Anjouist Misinformation

There is a great deal of misinformation (and downright lies) spread by Anjouists and their propaganda machine.  A great many of these falsehoods have been addressed in other articles.

“There is no nationality rule”

It is true that those of the Old Regime would  not speak of “nationality,” but just because the word doesn’t exist doesn’t mean that the concept doesn’t.  A simple review of the history of France would reveal this to be true.

The term for French national was régnicole/naturel françois (natural Frenchman).  The very existence of the droit d’aubaine, whereby the property of a foreigner was forfeit to the crown upon a foreigner’s death, is proof that the French had a concept of who was French and who was foreign.

A natural Frenchman was a person “born in the kingdom, country, lands and lordships of the obedience of the King of France.”  In other words, the main way to obtain the French nationality was by jus soli, to be born on French soil or under French vassalage.

The Fundamental Laws of France required that the King be a natural Frenchman.  This rule is attested in many places.

Bossuet:

What need be to speak of the Most Christian House of France, which by its noble constitution is incapable of being subject to a foreign family

Jurist Pierre de Belloy:

Now it is quite certain that, without a Salic law, the Crown would have been exploited by an infinite number of non-French Princes [Princes non François], by the marriages of my daughters, daughters of France, who are married in a foreign nation, often in England, Spain, in Germany, in Lorraine, in other provinces of Europe…

Belloy again:

For the government of which we all scourge by the testimony of the oldest stories of this kingdom, that our Fathers had nothing ever in greater horror, than to be dominated by other than by a Prince of their nation, hated to death the Lordship, which they have at all times, called foreign tyranny.

André Favyn:

Arnulf opposed the Nobility of France, who never wished to recognise a Foreign Prince for their king; even if he is the blood of France.

Arrêt le Maistre of 1593:

…and that it is necessary to employ the authority which has been committed to him to prevent that, under pretext of religion, [the crown] be transferred in foreign hands against the laws of the kingdom

…said court declares all treaties made and to be made hereafter for the establishment of a foreign prince and princess of null effect and value, as done to the prejudice of the Salic law and other fundamental laws of the state.

More on this topic here.  And this related article discusses the natural right of succession and how it is consistent with the nationality rule.

“Don Luis is a French citizen”

Yes, it is true that Don Luis is a citizen of the French Republic.  However, it was decided in the 14th century that one could not pass on a claim one does not have.  This was the justification for Male Collaterality, a component of the Salic law.

Male Collaterality, using the above logic, states that the throne only passes through the male line because a female cannot pass on a claim she does not herself possess.

By this same logic, a foreigner cannot pass on a claim he does not have.  Don Luis’ ancestors were foreigners:

Carlos IV of Spain.  Born in Portici, Naples.  Died in Rome, Papal States.

Infante Francisco de Paula, Duke of Cadiz.  Born in Arunjuez, Spain.  Died in Madrid, Spain.

Francis, Duke of Cadiz.  Born Arunjuez, Spain.  Died in Paris, France (exile).

Alfonso “XII” (de facto) of Spain.  Born in Arunjuez, Spain.  Died in Arunjuez, Spain.

Alfonso “XIII”* (de facto) of Spain.  Born in Madrid, Spain.  Died in Rome, Italy.

Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia.  Born in Segovia, Spain.  Died in Gallen, Switzerland.

Alfonso, Duke of Cadiz.  Born in Rome, Italy.  Died in Avon, Colorado, United States (skiing accident).

[*Alfonso “XIII” became the de jure King of Spain withe the extinction of the Carlist line.]

Thus, by the logic established in the 14th century, Don Luis has no claim to the French throne.

“The Marriage of Ferdinand Philippe was invalid”

This is a flat lie.  Ferdinand Philippe did, in fact, marry a Protestant, but the marriage was never annulled.  In the laws of the Church, a marriage is considered valid until it is annulled.  Further, the children of annulled marriages are considered legitimate.

“The late Count of Paris was born in Belgium”

It is true that the late Count of Paris, Henri VII, was born in Belgium.  This was because of a law of exile passed by the French Republic.  Some members of the House of Orleans were born outside of France.  However, this was during laws of exile or when it was otherwise unsafe to be in France, such as during the reign of Napoleon.

These Anjouist claims are further debunked here.

“Henri IV was a foreigner”

Anjouists make this claim because Henri IV was born in Bearn in the Kingdom of Navarre.  However, the Parlement de Paris ruled that the Bearnais were natural Frenchman in 1505.  The Parlement would confirm this again in 1579.

No one at the time considered Henri IV a foreigner, even when the Parlement of Paris explicitly denied the throne to foreigners in 1593.

“There have been foreign Kings of France”

Just as with Henri IV, this claim is false.  Since the election of Hugh Capet, no King of France has been a foreigner.  The fact is that there is no evidence of any King of France being a foreigner.

“The Salic law calls the Spanish Bourbons to the throne”

It is impossible for the Salic law to call a foreigner to the French throne.  The famous Judgment of le Maistre of 1593 specifically states that to put the kingdom into foreign hands was “contrary to the Salic law and the fundamental times of the state.”

Earlier, the jurist Pierre de Belloy stated the purpose of the Salic law was to keep the kingdom out of foreign hands:

Indeed, it must be considered that the reason for the law of France and other kingdoms, which the Salic law is kept, which excludes the female sex from the succession of the crown, is not only tested on the imbecility, and infirm condition of the sex, which is too often found also to the male sex: But mainly to prevent, that it does not fall in foreign hands, and that the kingdom is governed by other than by a Frenchman

[On the Salic Law. P. 85-86]

The jurist Claude de Seyssel had a similar opinion:

And the first specialty that I find good there is that the kingdom goes by male succession, without being able to fall into the hands of a woman, according to the law that the French call “salic”, which is a very good thing. Because, falling in a feminine line, it comes into the hands and power [it can come into power] of a man of strange nation, which is pernicious and dangerous thing: yet that which comes from such a strange nation [the one who comes from strange nation]is other food and condition and has other mores, other language and other way of living than those of the country where he comes to dominate.

[La Grand Monarchie de France (1558). P. 8. Claude de Seyssel]

“‘Foreign prince’ means a prince not of the Blood of France”

This is flatly false and comes from the false and absurd claims of Henri François d’Aguesseau.

The meaning of “foreign prince” is simply the plain, natural meaning of the words.  That is to say, a prince who is not a Frenchman.

Belloy makes this point clear:

Now it is quite certain that, without a Salic law, the Crown would have been exploited by an infinite number of non-French Princes [Princes non François], by the marriages of my daughters, daughters of France, who are married in a foreign nation, often in England, Spain, in Germany, in Lorraine, in other provinces of Europe…

The words of André Favyn reinforce this:

Arnulf opposed the Nobility of France, who never wished to recognise a Foreign Prince for their king; even if he is the blood of France.

Further the Judment of le Maistre of 1593, and the writings of Belloy and others, equates foreign prince with “foreign hands”:

…and that it is necessary to employ the authority which has been committed to him to prevent that, under pretext of religion, [the crown] be transferred in foreign hands against the laws of the kingdom

…said court declares all treaties made and to be made hereafter for the establishment of a foreign prince and princess of null effect and value, as done to the prejudice of the Salic law and other fundamental laws of the state.

This further proves that a foreign prince is simply a prince who is not French.

Further evidence of this is the revisionist view of the election of Hugh Capet over the “foreign” Charles de Lorraine.

The Contenant L’Histoire depuis Hugues Capet Jusques a Louis XI stated that the French chose Hugh Capet because he was a “natural Frenchman” who had the “air of France.”  Charles de Lorraine, however, was viewed as a foreigner:

There remained of the Carolingian race only Charles, Duke of Lorraine.  This Prince was absent [and thus foreign], of little virtue, and very bad in the minds of the French; Hugh Capet, on the contrary, was in the heart of the Kingdom [meaning he was French], Mighty and esteemful…

And:

It could be said that this poor Prince [Charles de Lorraine] had deposed himself by making himself a foreigner, and that this state could not suffer a chief who was a vassal of another king.

“The Spanish Bourbons are French by blood”

This is one of the most frequent claims made by Anjouists and is one that is ignorant of history, but sounds good to modern ears.

As we said above the standard for determining who was a natural Frenchman was jus soli, to be “born in the kingdom, country, lands and lordships of the obedience of the King of France.”

To be “French by blood” was not really a big concept in the Old Regime.  The principle of jus sanguinis, nationality by blood, was used only in limited circumstances.

This began in 1576 after the Edict of Pacification, which declared Protestants who fled the kingdom because of the Wars of Religion would not lose their status as regnicoles.

The most famous example of this it the L’Arrêt Mabile, where a woman born in England was declared an natural Frenchwoman.  Mabile moved to France, took letters of naturalness (which weren’t necessary, but showed her desire to remain in France), and sued for an inheritance of her share of her late grandmother’s estate.

Citing the aforesaid Edict of Pacification, the Parlement of Paris declared her a natural Frenchwoman.

There were plenty of such cases.  There were also cases of people “accidentally” born abroad.  In such cases, it was shown that the birth abroad was “accidental” and that the parents never left France “sans esprit de retour” (“without spirit of return”).  Just like with Mabile, the petitioners were required to maintain residence in France.

Some cases even stretched as far back as two generations, where the petitioner had a French grandfather.

It was only after the fall of the Old Regime that nationality by jus sanguinis became automatic.  See the Civil Code of Napoleon:

Every child born of a Frenchman in a foreign country is French. Every child born in a foreign country of a Frenchman who shall have lost the quality of a Frenchman, may at any time recover this quality by complying with the formalities prescribed in the ninth article.

The Civil Code would go on to be adopted by the Bourbon Restoration of Louis XVIII, legalising the Code.

If we look at the Spanish Bourbons, we can see that they left France and settled in their territories of Spain and Naples.  As we said, jus sanguinis was used only in limited circumstances, and there is no evidence of it being used past the second generation.  By 1883, when the de jure Henri V died, the Spanish Bourbons had been outside France for four generations:

Carlos III.  Born in Madrid, Spain.  Died in Madrid, Spain.

Carlos IV.  Born in Portici, Naples.  Died in Rome, Papal States.

Infante Carlos (de jure Carlos V of Spain).  Born in Aranjuez, SpainDied in Trieste, Austria.

Juan, Count of Montizon (de jure Juan III of Spain).  Born in Aranjuez, Spain.  Died in Hove, England.

Under the legal system of the Old Regime, and the time when Felipe V left France to become King of Spain, the Spanish Bourbons became foreigners.  Thus, they were excluded by the Salic law and the Fundamental Laws of France.

A similar argument Anjouists use is that of ethnicity.  This is wrong on two fronts.  First, the Fundamental Laws demand someone who is a natural Frenchman.  We have already demonstrated this fact above, and this is what was understood by the historians and jurists of France during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Second, like almost all royal families, the French and Spanish Bourbons are of mixed ethnicity, marrying princesses from foreign houses.

“Monarchy is based on blood”

This is only partially true.  It is true that the monarchy is hereditary, but not everyone descended from the Kings of France are in the line of succession.

Firstly, only legitimate children are in the line of succession.  It has been this way from the beginning of the Capetian monarchy.  Louis XIV rather famously tried adding his illegitimate sons to the line of succession and make them Princes of the Blood.  He forced the Parlement to register his decree, but upon his death, the decree was revoked.

Secondly, there is the exclusion of women.  Belloy comments on this:

Also as we cannot deny, that naturally under the name of Children, the girls are understood, and their posterity: So that causes, which are judged by the only instinct of the blood and natural explanation of the word Children, hope from the entrails of Nature, all its and all lines must be heard, as the name of parents, includes the paternal and maternal line: However, as regards and belongs to the effects of the ordinance of the civil law, or the singular law of Here [France], the denomination of the children must be made by the interpretation and the civil significance of those who descend from the males, to whom only the law has had regard, and on which it has placed its intention.

[On the Salic Law. P. 84-85]

Belloy states that women have the blood of their fathers, but the law still denies them the throne.  He further goes on to state that there “something more than the right of agnation” to the laws of succession:

But it is clear, that our Law has considered something more than the right of agnation, so that only the males know how to succeed one after the other to the Crown, for the dignity of the sex. Provided and provided that they were derived from males, so that the foreigners, who would bear the quality of males, rows of daughters, could not be called: for the fear that our father had a foreign government

[P. 299]

The reason Belloy gives is the same as in his earlier quotes: to deny the throne to foreigners.

Further, if we took this Anjouist blood obsession to the fullest, then the Capetian monarchy itself would be illegitimate.  It was Charles de Lorraine, a Carolingian and son of Louis IV, who had the best claim to the throne by blood.  This is the position of Historia Francorum Senonensis, which claimed that Hugh Capet was a usurper and that Charles de Lorraine was the rightful King of the Franks.

“Inalienability of the Crown gives the throne to the Spanish Bourbons”

One of the principles of the Fundamental Laws is Inalienability (Unavailability) of the Crown.  This rule states that the crown is not the property of the king.  It means that custom guides succession and that the king cannot abdicate, nor can he choose his successor.  It also means a Prince of the Blood cannot renounce the throne, at least under normal circumstances.

This argument is made by Anjouists to negate the Treaty of Utrecht, whereby Felipe V renounced his right to the French throne.

This argument, however, is totally pointless, and the fact remains that the validity of Utrecht is actually irrelevant.  It is a simple fact that the Spanish Bourbons became foreigners, thus excluding them from the line of succession to the French throne.

If there is one uniting thread to the principles of the Fundamental Laws, it is keeping the kingdom out of foreign hands.  The Inalienability of the Crown is no different.  The rule was created to negate the Treaty of Troyes, whereby Charles VII was disinherited from the French throne, giving the throne instead to Henry VI of England.

The French had to fight the rest of the Hundred Years’ War to enforce this newly established rule.  They were successful and managed to keep France out of foreign hands.

It is important to remember that succession to the throne is a type of natural right, that is to say, it is the nature of the prince which calls him to the throne. For a prince to be called to the throne he must have the following nature:

  • He must be a legitimate, hereditary descendant of Hugh Capet;
  • He must be a male;
  • He must be descended in the male line;
  • He must be French;
  • His line of descent must be French*;
  • And he must be a Catholic.

The most senior agnate of Hugh Capet who meets all the qualifications above is, by his nature, the rightful King of France.

*One cannot pass on a claim one does not have.  Thus a foreigner cannot pass on a claim to his descendants.