Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise

Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise (1580? - 1642), was a French Huguenot leader.

The younger brother of Henri de Rohan, he inherited his title through his mother Catherine de Parthenay. He served his apprenticeship as a soldier under Maurice of Nassau in the Low Countries. In the religious wars from 1621 onwards his elder brother chiefly commanded on land and in the south, Soubise in the west and along the sea-coast. His exploits in the conflict have been sympathetically related by his brother, one of the most highly-regarded military critics of the time.

Soubise's chief exploit was a singularly bold and well-conducted attack (in 1625) on the Royalist fleet in the river Blavet (which included the cutting of a boom in the face of superior numbers) and the occupation of the islands of and Oléron in 1625. He commanded at La Rochelle during the famous siege (1627-1628). According to his brother, the failure of the defence and of the English attack on Île de Ré was mainly due to the alternate obstinacy of the townsfolk and the English commanders in refusing to listen to Soubise's advice.

When surrender became inevitable he fled to England, which he had previously visited in quest of succour. He died in 1642 in London. The Soubise title afterwards served as the chief second designation (not for heirs apparent, but for the chief collateral branch for the time being) of the house of Rohan-Chabot.


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