Rohan, Louis-rene-edouard

Rohan, Louis-Rene-Edouard,

Prince of Guemene, a French prelate, was born at Paris, Sept. 25, 1734. His education was carried on at the College of Plessis and the Seminary of Saint-Magloire. In 1760 he was elected coadjutor to his uncle, the bishop of Strasburg. with the title of bishop of Canopus in partibus, in which position he showed more love for pleasure than zeal in religious exercises. Made member of the French Academy in 1761, he was in 1772 sent as ambassador to Vienna. Here he was at first received with great favor, but by his extravagant mode of life and interference in political affairs he fell under the displeasure of Maria Theresa, and at her request was recalled to France in 1774. After his return he was appointed grand almoner, in 1778 was made cardinal, and later master of the Sorbonne and bishop of Strasburg. In addition to these honors, he held several rich abbeys, but his large fortune was not in any way adequate to his scandalous luxury. In 1785 he was arrested and imprisoned in the Bastile for the part he had taken in the affair of the diamond necklace, which so gravely compromised Marie Antoinette. The friends of Rohan were indignant at the government, the clergy protested against his imprisonment, and at his trial he was finally acquitted, without even an expression of blame for his evident misconduct. But he could not recover from the disgrace of his dismissal from court, and retired to his diocese of Strasburg, where he lived in comparative quiet for a few years. In 1789 he was deputy of the clergy of Hagenau to the States- general, but, being accused of disloyal conduct, resigned his seat. In order to be out of the jurisdiction of the French government, he retired to a part of his diocese beyond the Rhine, and finally, in 1801, in consequence of the concordat, resigned the bishopric of Strasburg entirely. He died at Ettenheim, Feb. 17, 1803. The cardinal de Rohan was a man of fine appearance and agreeable manners. It is not to be denied that he had a fine mind and great amiability, but he possessed no judgment, put no check upon his passions or conduct, and was weak and easily led by favorites. See Memoire de l'Abbe Georgel; Levis, Souvenirs.

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