Louis XVII (1785-1795)
The dauphin, heir to the throne of France, died in prison of tuberculosis during the French Revolution. Even before the death was announced, rumors circulated that royalist sympathizers had freed him and replaced him with a double. Madame Simon, the wife of the jailer, asserted that Louis had been smuggled out of prison in a basket of dirty laundry and replaced by a child with rickets. Eventually, over a hundred royal pretenders claimed his identity, a situation Mark Twain satirized in the duke and “dolphin” sections of Huckleberry Finn.