Knights of the Order of St. Louis

Before the Legion of Honor, there was the Order of St. Louis. Is one of your ancestors part of it?

  • Reference books and official directories kept in the National Archives

Directory of more than 24,000 knights in the Royal Order and military of Saint-Louis, from Louis XIV to Charles X

Created by an edict of Louis XIV of April 1693, the Royal and Military Order of Saint-Louis is constituted of three ranks : Knight, Commander and Grand Cross. He honors land and sea officers who have demonstrated military bravery and served the King for more than 10 years.

The appointment to the Order was not restricted to the nobles but to the Catholics. In 1791, the Order was united with military merit under the name of Military Decoration and the decoration was removed in October 1792. But Louis XVIII, king in exile after the execution of his brother Louis XVI in January 1793, continues to appoint Emigrant officers and Vendean chiefs in the Order of St. Louis. When returning to France in 1814 he recreates the order of St. Louis.

The appointments are made until 1830, date of the new exile of Charles X. For more than 130 years, the 24,000 Knights of St. Louis are the best servants of the monarchy.

  • Ouvrages de références et répertoires officiels conservés aux Archives nationales

Répertoire de plus de 24 000 personnes faites chevaliers dans l'Ordre royal et militaire de Saint-Louis, de Louis XIV à Charles X