Marie Touchet, mistress of Charles IX of France
|Died||March 28, 1638 (aged 88 or 89)
|Spouse(s)||Charles Balzac d'Entragues|
|Children||Charles de Valois
Catherine Henriette de Balzac
Humble origins, mistress to the king
Although born to a bourgeois family at Orléans, the daughter of Marie Mathy and a Huguenot lieutenant Jean Touchet "held her row at court as well as any of the first class ladies" (Le Laboureur, historian). Her anagrammed name was even Je Charme Tout (the letters I and J were then considered interchangeable) meaning "I charm all." Henry, King of Navarre was responsible for this clever wordplay.
By her late teens, she was mistress to Charles IX. In 1573 she bore the king a son, Charles de Valois. It would be his only son, for just one year later the king died, at which time his and Marie's son was entrusted to the care of his younger brother and successor, Henry III of France. The new king was faithful to his dead brother's wishes and raised little Charles dutifully. Marie Touchet received a pension for her services to Charles IX, and continued as a part of the royal circle.
Marie went on to marry the marquis d'Entragues, Charles Balzac d'Entragues, and in 1579 had a daughter, Catherine Henriette de Balzac d'Entragues. Catherine Henriette would follow in her mother's footsteps, later becoming the mistress of Henry IV of France. Marie died in Paris.
- de Balzac, Honoré, Catherine de ́Medici, (Robert Brothers, 1894), 310.
- Pardoe, Julia, The Life of Marie de Medicis, Queen of France, (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 67.
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