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Jacques I, Prince of Monaco: Map

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Portrait, oil on canvas, of Jacques I, Prince of Monaco (1689–1751) by Nicolas de Largilliere (1656–1746)
Jacques François Léonor Goyon de Matignon (November 21, 1689 – April 23, 1751) was count of Thorigny and as Jacques I the fourth Sovereign Consort Prince of Monaco and the fourth Duke of Valentinois from 1731 until 1733. He was son of Jacques III Goyon de Matignon, Count Consort of Thorigny, and Charlotte Goyon de Matignon, Countess of Thorigny.

Jacques came from an ancient Norman family. "Thorigny" is now called Torigni-sur-Viremarker, where the Mairie, or town hall, is the former family chateau. His uncle was Marshal of France Charles-Auguste de Goyon-Matignon.



When Antonio I of Monaco was looking for a wedding partner for his daughter and heir Louise Hippolyte, the family proposed him as a candidate. The prospect of his own Principality was very attractive and his candidacy was supported by King Louis XIV, who wanted to consolidate the French influence in Monaco.

Jacques and Louise Hippolyte married on October 20, 1715 and had eight children:

  • Antoine Charles (December 16, 1717 – February 24, 1718)
  • Charlotte Therese Nathalíe (March 19, 1719), nun
  • Honoré Camille Léonor (1720 – 1795), prince of Monaco 1733-1795
  • Charles (January 1, 1722 – August 24, 1749)
  • Louise Francisca (July 15, 1724 – September 15, 1729)
  • François-Charles (February 4, 1726 – December 9, 1743)
  • Charles-Maurice (May 14, 1727 – January 18, 1798); ∞ (November 10, 1749) Marie Christine de Rouvrois (May 1728 – July 15, 1774)
  • Louise Francisca Therese (July 20, 1728 – June 20, 1743)


The marriage wasn't very happy. Jacques preferred to stay more in Versailles than in Monaco, where he had several mistresses.

After the death of Antonio I of Monaco, Louise Hippolyte traveled from Paris to Monaco on April 4, 1731 and received an enthusiast reception by the population. When Jacques joined her few time later, the reception was much colder.

At the end of 1731, Louise Hippolyte died of smallpox. Jacques I neglected the affairs of state and, under pressure from the population, had to leave the country in May 1732. He abdicated in favor of his son Honoré the next year.

He spent the last years of his live in Versailles and Parismarker. It was at Versailles that Mademoiselle du Maine, a grand daughter of Louis XV and Madame de Montespan was proposed as a wife for the widowed Prince; despite having a large dowry, (she was the daughter of the duc du Maine and his wife, the formidable Anne Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon) the marriage never materialised and the Prince never married again.

His Paris residence was named after him Hôtel Matignonmarker and is today the official residence of the Prime Minister of France.



Prince Consort to the Reigning Monarch of Monaco


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