Antoinette de Maignelais
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Antoinette de Maignelais (1434–1474) was the chief mistress of Charles VII of France from 1450 until his death. The Baroness of Villequier by marriage, she replaced her cousin Agnès Sorel as the king's favourite mistress after Sorel's sudden death in 1450. Later in life she was the mistress of Francis II, Duke of Brittany.
Antoinette was the daughter of Jean II de Maignelais and Marie de Jouy. Through her father she was a first cousin of Agnès Sorel, who served Charles VII as his titular mistress from roughly 1441 until her sudden death in 1450.
Even before her cousin's death, Antoinette had caught the king's eye. In 1448, when she was fourteen years old, he gave her the lands of Maignelais, which had been the object of a long lawsuit between her ancestor Raoul de Maignelais and the Duke de Bourbon. In the end, the estate had remained in the duke's possession.
In her sixteenth year, shortly after Agnès died, Charles VII married Antoinette to his first gentleman of the bedchamber, André, Baron de Villequier, of Guerche in Touraine. On this occasion the king presented Antoinette with the isles of Oleron, Marennes, and Arvert as a marriage portion, with a pension of 2,000 livres a year for life. The letters granting these advantages are dated October, 1450. For her and her husband, the king ordered the construction of the Château de la Guerche. She became a widow after only four years of marriage.
In 1458, Charles presented her daughter, Jane de Maignelais, with 8,250 francs upon her marriage to the Sire of Rochefort. Antoinette also had another daughter. Charles VII acknowledged neither daughter.
When the king died in 1461, Antoinette became the mistress of Francis II, Duke of Brittany. With Francis II, she had two sons and two daughters. She died peaceably at Francis II's court in 1474.
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