Author Topic: The mother and sister of Francois I  (Read 17924 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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The mother and sister of Francois I
« on: September 24, 2005, 03:00:34 PM »
I thought that Louise of Savoy and Marguerite d'Angouleme, respectively mother and sister of King Francois I, deserved their own thread.

Louise of Savoy was born on 11 September 1476, the daughter of Philip II, Duke of Savoy (a descendant of Jean II), and his wife Margaret of Bourbon (a descendant of King Philippe III).

When Louise was 12, she married Charles, Comte d'Angouleme, great-grandson of Charles V of France. Charles was 17 years her senior.

The couple's first child, Marguerite d'Angouleme, was born on April 11 1492. A son, Francois, followed on September 12 1494.

Louise was a spirited, intelligent woman, and was keen for her children to be brought up in the spirit of the Renaissance. Louise became a widow at 19 with the death of her husband. She was quick to provide for her children, and moved them to the court of Louis XII, cousin to her late husband. Louis was fond of Francois, and allowed the latter to marry his daughter Claude in 1514.

At the same time, Louis designated Francois as his heir, to Louise's delight. Both Charles VIII and Louis XII had not had sons, so Francois was the nearest male relative of the king. He became King with Louis' death in 1515.

Francois had a great liking and respect for his mother, and declared her Duchesse d'Angouleme and Duchesse d'Anjou upon his accession. Quickly, Louise became Queen Mother of France in all but name, her timid daughter in law Queen Claude fading into the background.

When Francois was absent from France, Louise acted as regent, and it was she who negotiated the Treaty of Cambrai between France and the HRE in 1529. Louise signed the treaty for France, while the Archduchess Margaret, daughter of Maximilian I, signed for the Empire.

Louise was 55 when she died on September 22 1531. She is buried in St Denis is Paris.

More later!
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2005, 03:17:27 PM »
Louise of Savoy:

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2005, 03:40:15 PM »
Louise absolutely hated her son's beautiful mistress Francoise de Foix. So much so that she diverted funds away from the french armies who were fighting in Italy, so that theywould lose and bring discredit on the commanders who happened to be Francoise's brothers!

Eventually Louise hit on a better idea. In 1526 she introduced Francois to the much younger and blonder Anne de Pisseleu, who quickly took Francoise's place.

Francoise went back to her husband and when Francois asked her to return the jewellery he had given her (to give to Anne), she had the whole lot melted down and sent back as nuggets!

Francoise invented a kind of chocolate treat for Francois: it was raisins soaked in brandy and then dipped in chocolate. These are still called "Francoises de Foix" apparently.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2005, 05:03:37 PM »
She strikes me as a sort of 'Margaret Beaufort' of France . . .  ::)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2005, 05:14:29 PM »
Marguerite d'Angouleme
She is sometimes called Marguerite of Navarre. She was born, as stated earlier, on April 11 1492 to Louise of Savoy and Charles, Comte d'Angouleme.

I find it very hard to put Marguerite's achievements into my own words, so I'll quote Wikipedia:

Marguerite's father, Charles of Orléans, Count of Angoulême, was a direct descendant of Charles V, and a claimant to the crown, if both Charles VIII of France and the presumptive heir, Louis, Duke of Orléans, failed to produce male offspring. In 1491, Charles married 15-year-old Louise of Savoy, daughter of Marguerite of Bourbon, sister of the Duke of Beaujeu—considered one of the most brilliant feminine minds in France. Louise named her first-born "Marguerite" after her maternal grandmother, Marguerite of Bourbon.

Two years after Marguerite's birth, the family moved from Angoulême to Cognac, "where the Italian influence reigned supreme, and where Boccaccio was looked upon as a little less than a god". Marguerite's brother, Francis—to become King Francis I of France—was born there on September 12, 1494.

Thanks to her mother Louise, Marguerite's mind was tutored from her earliest childhood by excellent teachers. She learnt Latin and read the Bible and Sophocles in their original languages. The young princess was to be called "the Maecenas to the learned ones of her brother's kingdom".

Louise of Savoy became a widow at 20, with a daughter nearing four and a son only one year old, who was now (as a result of his father's death) heir presumptive to the throne of France. When Marguerite was 10, Louise tried to marry her to the Prince of Wales, later Henry VIII of England; but this was "declined with thanks".

Someone wrote of her that Marguerite needed to love more than to be loved. "Never", she wrote, "shall a man attain to the perfect love of God who has not loved to perfection some creature in this world." Perhaps the one real love in her life was Gaston de Foix, nephew of King Louis XI. But Gaston went to Italy and died a hero at Ravenna, when the French defeated Spanish and Papal forces.

Marguerite was married at 17 to Charles, Duke of Alençon, 20, by decree of King Louis XII of France (who also arranged the marriage of his 10-year-old daughter, Claude, to Francis). This charming, intelligent, remarkably educated girl was forced to marry a generally kind, but practically illiterate man for political expediency—"the radiant young princess of the violet-blue eyes ... had become the bride of a laggard and a dolt". She had been bartered to save Louis' royal pride, by keeping the County of Armagnac in the family.

After the death of her first husband in 1525, Marguerite married Henry II of Navarre. (Now a principality of Spain, the capital of Navarre, Pamplona, is famous for the annual running of the bulls). Marguerite bore Henry a daughter, Jeanne d'Albret (mother of the future Henry IV of France).

Her first and only son, Jean, was born in Blois in July, 1530, when Marguerite was 38, middle-aged if not already old by 16th century standards. But the child died on Christmas Day the same year. Scholars believe that her grief motivated writing her most controversial work, Miroir de l'âme pécheresse in 1531. Sorbonne theologians condemned this as heresy. A monk said Marguerite should be sewn into a sack and thrown into the Seine. Students at the College of Navarre satirized her in a play as "a fury from Hell". But her brother forced the dropping of the charge and an apology from the Sorbonne.

Marguerite became the most influential woman in France, with the exception of her mother, when her brother acceded to the crown as Francis I in 1515. Her salon became famously known as the "New Parnassus". The writer, Pierre Brantôme, said of her: "She was a great princess. But in addition to all that, she was very kind, gentle, gracious, charitable, a great dispenser of alms and friendly to all." The Dutch humanist, Erasmus, wrote to her: "For a long time I have cherished all the many excellent gifts that God bestowed upon you; prudence worth of a philosopher; chastity; moderation; piety; an invincible strength of soul, and a marvelous contempt for all the vanities of this world. Who could keep from admiring, in a great King's sister, such qualities as these, so rare even among the priests and monks?"

Marguerite wrote many poems and plays and the classic collection of stories, the Heptameron. Anne Boleyn, before becoming the second wife of King Henry VIII of England, was lady-in-waiting to Queen Marguerite, who gave her the original manuscript of Marguerite's most controversial poem (condemned by Sorbonne theologians), Mirror of a Sinful Soul. Later Anne's daughter, Elizabeth—to become Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)—at age twelve, translated this poem for publication in English.

As a generous patron of the arts, Marguerite befriended and protected many artists and writers, among them François Rabelais (1483-1553), Clement Marot (1496-1544), and Pierre de Ronsard (1524-85); also, Marguerite was mediator between Roman Catholics and Protestants (including John Calvin (1509-64)). Although Margaret espoused reform within the Catholic Church, she was not a Calvinist. She did, however, do her best to protect the Reformers and dissuaded Francis I from intolerant measures as long as she could.

After her death, six "Catholic Wars" occurred, including the terrible "St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre" of 1572. Eminent American historian Will Durant wrote: "In Marguerite the Renaissance and the Reformation were for a moment one. Her influence radiated throughout France. Every free spirit looked upon her as protectoress and ideal .... Marguerite was the embodiment of charity. She would walk unescorted in the streets of Pau [Navarre], allowing any one to approach her and would listen at first hand to the sorrows of the people. .... She called herself, 'The Prime Minister of the Poor'." Henri, her husband, King of Navarre, believed in what she was doing, even to the extent of setting up a public works system that became a model for France. Together he and Marguerite financed the education of needy students.

Jules Michelet (1798-1874), the most celebrated historian of his time, wrote of her: "Let us always remember this tender Queen of Navarre, in whose arms our people, fleeing from prison or the pyre, found safety, honor, and friendship. Our gratitude to you, Mother of our [French] Renaissance! Your hearth was that of our saints, your heart the nest of our freedom."

Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), French philosopher and critic, whose Dictionnaire historique et critique (Historical and Critical Dictionary, 1697) greatly influenced the French Encyclopedists and the rationalist philosophers of the 18th century, such as Voltaire and Diderot, esteemed her highly, writing: "... for a queen to grant her protection to people persecuted for opinions which she believes to be false; to open a sanctuary to them; to preserve them from the flames prepared for them; to furnish them with a subsistence; liberally to relieve the troubles and inconveniences of their exile, is an heroic magnanimity which has hardly any precedent ..."

Marguerite's most remarkable adventure involved freeing her brother, King François, captured in the Battle of Pavia, Italy, 1525, and held prisoner in Spain by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor who had once been rejected by her uncle, King Louis, as Marguerite's suitor. (A Venetian ambassador of that time praised Marguerite as knowing all the secrets of diplomatic art, hence to be treated with deference and circumspection.) In a critical period of the negotiations, Queen Marguerite rode horseback twelve hours a day, for many days, through wintery woods, to meet a safe-conduct deadline, writing letters at night.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) died while guest of Marguerite and her brother, after designing a large chateau for them.

In 1550, one year after Marguerite's death, a tributary poem, Annae, Margaritae, Ianae, sororum virginum heroidum Anglarum, in mortem Diuae Margaritae Valesiae, Nauarrorum Reginae, Hecatodistichon, was published in England. It was written by the nieces of Jane Seymour (1505-37), third wife of King Henry VIII.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2005, 05:16:54 PM »
A pic of Marguerite:

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2005, 02:07:24 AM »
Quote
Marguerite d'Angouleme

In 1550, one year after Marguerite's death, a tributary poem, Annae, Margaritae, Ianae, sororum virginum heroidum Anglarum, in mortem Diuae Margaritae Valesiae, Nauarrorum Reginae, Hecatodistichon, was published in England. It was written by the nieces of Jane Seymour (1505-37), third wife of King Henry VIII.[/i]


Anyone know who Anne and Margaret were in this poem? Was it written by the daughters of the Duke of Somerset?

The court of Francois I was relatively tolerant towards the reformers. Not only was Marguerite interested in their ideas, but also Anne de Pisseleu, Francois' last mistress, who wielded considerable influence.

On the other side was Diane de Poitiers the mistress of the Dauphin, who favoured a harsher policy against the protestants. The Dauphin's wife, Catherine de' Medicis, was at this time a person of little consequence!

bell_the_cat

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2005, 02:10:53 AM »
"Annae, Margaritae, Ianae, sororum virginum heroidum Anglarum, in mortem divae Margaritae Valesiae . . . Hecatodistichon was printed at Paris in 1550, and a French translation appeared in 1551. Despite the title, this volume contains 104 elegiac distichs written on the death of Marguerite (or Margaret) of Angoulême, Queen of Navarre, in 1549. It was written by Anne, Margaret and Jane Seymour, daughters of Edward Seymour, first Duke of Somerset. The publication of such a memorial volume written by women was obviously appropriate, both because of the high degree of its authors (they were nieces of a former Queen of England, as Denisot is not behindhand in advising the reader in his introductory epistle, and their father, Protector of the Realm during the minority of Edward VI, was the most powerful man in England until his downfall and execution in 1552), and because Margaret herself was a notable poetess, playwright, and author of the prose Heptameron. She was also a patroness of letters, and her brilliant court was frequented by literary men, among them Dolet, Marot, and Rabelais.
Anne was Somerset’s eldest daughter, and in later life was married to John Dudley, son of the Earl of Warwick, and than again to the diplomatist Sir Henry Unton. She died in 1588. Margaret was sought in marriage by Lord Strange, son of the Earl of Derby, but the marriage did not come off and she died soon after her father’s disgrace. Jane was an important cause of his downfall, because of rumors that in his high-flying ambition he was aiming at a marriage between her and the young King. She survived the family catastrophe and was a maid-of-honor to Queen Elizabeth, dying in 1560. Her tomb is in the Abbey. The present volume is prefaced by an epistle from the Franch Humanist Nicolas Denisot (1515-1559), from which we learn they had been his pupils. He also also mentions another tutor, Johannes Crannus, possibly to be Englished as John Crane. Are we to suppose that their father, a man with a long history of French associations, sent them there to put the summa manus on their education? They had three sisters, Elizabeth, Mary and Catharine, who evidently did not share their literary bent."

Here's a quote from the web: Anne, Margaret and Jane were the daughters of the Lord Protector, evidently.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2005, 07:20:53 AM »
Both Marguerite and Louise were very much 'Renaissance Women'.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

ilyala

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2005, 03:50:30 AM »
is it just me or marguerite looks a lot like her brother? especially in the first portrait

bell_the_cat

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2005, 09:28:04 AM »
I think she looks like Francois as well, they both have those heavy lidded eyes that look as if they are just about to drop off to sleep!

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2005, 09:58:19 AM »
Quote
I think she looks like Francois as well, they both have those heavy lidded eyes that look as if they are just about to drop off to sleep!


I think the term is 'sensuous' eyes, bell.  ;D
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2005, 10:15:03 AM »
She was obviously an animal lover. I've just noticed the parrot in the first picture. It must have been brought back from the Americas by the Conquistadors!

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2005, 04:32:29 PM »
The dog in the seonc pic is sooo cute . . .  :D
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

umigon

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Re: The mother and sister of Francois I
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2005, 06:16:03 AM »
A shame I came so late to this discussion! Those two were certainly very interesting historical figures.

Both Louise and Marguerite had such an influence in François that many compared their happy triangle with the Holy Trinity! They were François's most important and constant advisors!