Galéas de Saint-Séverin

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Galeazzo da Sanseverino
Galéas de Saint-Séverin
Born 1460s
Lombardy
Died February 24, 1525(1525-02-24)
Battle of Pavia
Allegiance Duchy of Milan, kingdom of France
Years of service 1495–1525
Rank Grand écuyer de France
Unit cavalry
Commands held Milanese army (1495–1500); French cavalry (1509–1525)
Battles/wars Battle of Fornoue (1495)
Battle of Agnadel (1509)
Battle of Pavia (1525)
Awards knight of the Order of Saint Michael

Galéas de Saint-Séverin (in Italian Galeazzo da Sanseverino', d. 24 February 1525) was an Italian-French condottiere and grand écuyer de France ("Grand Squire", the courtier responsible for the royal stables).

Born c. 1460 as the fourth son of Roberto Sanseverino d'Aragona, first count of Caiazzo (1418-1487), who was the son of Elisa Sforza, sister of duke Francesco Sforza, the duke of Milan. Young Galeazzo together with his brothers was a courtier of Francesco's son and successor (and thus his first cousin once removed), Ludovico Sforza. He was taught by master-at-arms and scholar Pietro del Monte (1457-1509) and befriended Leonardo da Vinci (who lived in his house in Milan). He was married to Bianca, illegitimate daughter of Ludovico Sforza, in 1489. Bianca died six years later, in 1496, from an "affliction of the stomach", while Galeazzo was away campaigning; leading the forces of Ludovico Sforza, he succeeds in tying up the duke of Orléans following the Battle of Fornoue He is made a knight of the Order of Saint Michael in 1494 on a visit to Lyon. In 1498, he married again, the widow Elisabetta del Carretto (1481-1531), with whom he had a son, Giulio (d. 1528). He fell into French captivity, together with his liege, Ludovico Sforza, after the battle of Novara (1500), but unlike Sforza he is released after a few months, upon payment of a ransom by his brothers. He then went to Innsbruck to the court of emperor Maximilian I, following the court to Nuremberg in 1499, where he befriends Albrecht Dürer.

Due to the intervention of his brothers and of cardinal Federico Sanseverino, he is reconciled with Louis XII of France in 1504 and follows him to Naples, receiving the rank of councilor of state, chamberlain of the king and grand écuyer de France and in 1505 is given the castle of Mehun-sur-Yèvre. He wins a lawsuit against his enemy, Marshal of France Jacques de Trivulce, in 1517, regaining his properties in Milan which Trivulce had confiscated. He accompanies Francis I of France on his encounter with Henry VIII of England at Calais in 1520. He is made count of Martigues in 1522. In the service of France, Galeazzo campaigned in the Italian Wars from 1509 until his death in the battle of Pavia in 1525, where the French cavalry was decimated by a force of 1,500 Basque arquebusiers.

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