Marsin, Ferdinand, Comte de

From Project WSS
Jump to navigationJump to search

Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Personalities >> Marsin, Ferdinand, Comte de

Marsin (aka Marchin), Ferdinand, Comte de

French maréchal de camp (1693-1701), lieutenant-general (1701-1703), maréchal (1703-1706)

born 10 February 1656, Liège, Spanish Netherlands

died 9 September 1706, Turin, Duchy of Savoy


Ferdinand de Marsin circa 1704 – Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ferdinand was the son of Jean-Gaspard-Ferdinand de Marchin (or Marsin), Comte de Granville and lieutenant-general of the Holy Roman Empire and of Marie de Balzac, Comtesse de Clermont d'Entragues (1617-1691).

In August 1673, at the death of his father, Ferdinand left Liège and went to Paris to offer his service to King Louis XIV. He received command of the Compagnie des Gendarmes de Flandre which was part of the Gendarmerie de France.

On 11 August 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), Marsin took part in the Battle of Seneffe.

On 24 August 1688, Marsin was promoted to brigadier of cavalry.

In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), Marsin served at the Army of Germany under the command of the Comte de Duras. On 1 July 1690, Marsin took part in the Battle of Fleurus where he was wounded. In 1691, he was at the siege of Mons before being transferred to the Army of Germany. In 1693, he was promoted to maréchal de camp. On 29 July of the same year, he fought in the Battle of Landen and in October was at the siege of Charleroi. He campaigned in Flanders during most of the war. After the campaign of 1694, he was created Chevalier de Saint-Louis. On 14 November 1695, he was appointed Director-General of the Cavalry and sent to Italy. In 1696, Marsin was at the siege of Valencia; in 1697 at the siege of Ath.

In 1698, Marsin ceded his captaincy in the Compagnie des Gendarmes de Flandre.

In 1700, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–13), Marsin was sent to the Duchy of Milan.

On 28 June 1701, Marsin was promoted to lieutenant-general and appointed as ambassador at the court of King Philip V of Spain. Marsin arrived in Madrid in August.

In April 1702, Marsin accompanied Philip V to Italy. On 15 August, Marsin distinguished himself at the Battle of Luzzara where he was thrice wounded and had two horses killed under him. In December, he was recalled to France.

On 2 February 1703, Marsin was admitted as chevalier in the Ordre du Saint-Esprit. In August and September, during the campaign on the Rhine, Marsin assisted to the siege and capture of Alt-Breisach. On 12 October, he was promoted to maréchal de France. In November, he took part in the siege corps at the capture of Landau. In mid-November, he succeeded to Villars as commander of the French Army of the Danube which acted in conjunction with the Bavarian Army of Elector Maximilian II Emanuel. In December, Marsin took part in the siege and capture of Augsburg where he resided during the following winter.

On 13 August 1704, together with the Elector of Bavaria]] and the Maréchal de Tallard, he commanded the Franco-Bavarian army which was utterly defeated by Prince Eugène de Savoie and the Duke of Marlborough in the Battle of Blenheim. His corps covered the retreat of the defeated army.

In 1705, Marsin was appointed governor of Valenciennes. On 4 April, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Army of Alsace.

In July 1706, Marsin was transferred to Italy where, together with the Duc d'Orléans, he replaced the Duc de Vendôme at the head of the army. On 7 September, they were defeated in the Battle of Turin in which Marsin had a leg broken by a musket ball and taken prisoner. His leg had to be amputated. On 9 September, he died of his wounds. He his buried in the church of the Madona dell Campagna near Turin


This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts – Biographie Nationale, Vol. 13, 1894-1895 – “Marchin (Ferdinand, comte de)”


N.B.: the section describing Marsin's service between 1701 and 1706 is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.