Louis de Brézé

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Louis de Brézé, Seigneur d'Anet and Comte de Maulevrier (died July 23, 1531) was a French nobleman, the grandson of King Charles VII of France by his natural daughter with his mistress Agnès Sorel.

Birthright, marriage, political intrigues[edit]

Louis was the son of Jacques de Brézé, Sénéchal of Normandy, and Charlotte de France, the middle of the king's three daughters by Agnès Sorel. His paternal grandfather was Pierre de Brézé, who had built a Gothic château near the foundation of the dismantled donjon of Anet. This Louis inherited at his father's death in 1490. Louis's first wife was Catherine de Dreux.

He married Diane de Poitiers on March 29, 1515, and they had two daughters. Louis was much older than Diane, but they were loyal to one another and had a happy marriage until his death.[1] He was influential at court, being named Sénéchal of Normandy and Master of the Hunt. His home was the family seat, the Château d'Anet, which stood in a royal hunting preserve in the valley of the Eure.

In 1523, Louis discovered a plot against King Francis I. He did not know at the time that his father-in-law, Jean de Poitiers, Seigneur de Saint Vallier, was involved in the plot. Jean was condemned to death over that involvement, but reprieved by the king due to his having no direct involvement.

Before his death in 1531, Louis encouraged the marriage of Prince Henry to the Pope's great-niece, Catherine de' Medici, thus setting up the triangle that was to continue until Henry's death, with his widow, Diane de Poitiers, becoming Henry's mistress. For Diane King Henry II rebuilt the old Château d'Anet, which became one of the first French Renaissance châteaus, and she would be entrusted with much of the management of royal court business.

The tomb that Diane erected for Louis in the cathedral of Rouen was one of the early projects of French Renaissance sculptor Jean Goujon.[2]


  1. ^ Wilson, Katharina M. (1991). An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers, p. 994. Garland Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-8240-8547-7.
  2. ^ Blunt, Anthony, and Beresford, Richard (1999). Art and Architecture in France, 1500-1700, pp. 77-78. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07748-3.