Louis de Brézé

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Louis de Brézé
Jean Clouet - Louis de Brézé.jpg
possible portrait of Louis de Brézé
(school of Jean Clouet)
Bornc 1460
Died23 July 1531
Resting placeRouen, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, France
ResidenceChâteau d'Anet
Château du Bec-Crespin
OccupationNobleman
Spouse(s)Catherine de Dreux
Diane de Poitiers
ChildrenFrançoise de Brézé
Louise de Brézé
Parent(s)Jacques de Brézé
Charlotte de Valois
RelativesCharles VII of France (grandfather)
Agnès Sorel (grandmother)

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

Early life[edit]

Louis was the son of Jacques de Brézé, Sénéchal of Normandy, and Charlotte de Valois, the second of Charles VII's three daughters by Agnès Sorel.[1] His paternal grandfather was Pierre de Brézé, noted for valour at Formigny, a grand steward of Normandy.[1]

Career[edit]

In 1523, Louis uncovered a plot against King Francis I.[2] He did not know at the time that his father-in-law, Jean de Poitiers, Seigneur de Saint Vallier, was involved in the plot.[2] Jean was condemned to death over that involvement, but reprieved by the king due to his having no direct involvement.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Louis 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. He also inherited the Château du Bec-Crespin.[3]

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.[citation needed]

Marriage and Children[edit]

Louis' first wife was Catherine de Dreux. Later, he married Diane de Poitiers on 29 March 1515; she was 15, and he 39 years older. They had two daughters.[4]


Death and legacy[edit]

Louis died on 23 July 1531.[6] It has been expressly stated in an old Norman manuscript, that his bowels were interred at Anet, his heart in the abbey of Coulombs, near his father, and his body carried to Notre Dame, at Rouen, and placed near that of his grandfather, Pierre de Breze. The tomb that Diane erected for Louis in the cathedral of Rouen was one of the early projects of French Renaissance sculptor Jean Goujon.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wellman 2013, p. 191.
  2. ^ a b c Wellman 2013, p. 192.
  3. ^ Histoire 2015.
  4. ^ Wellman 2013, p. 190.
  5. ^ a b Carroll 1998, p. 20.
  6. ^ Wellman 2013, p. 194.
  7. ^ Blunt & Beresford 1990, p. 77-78.

Sources[edit]

  • Blunt, Anthony; Beresford, Richard (1990). Art and Architecture in France, 1500-1700. Yale University Press.
  • Carroll, Stuart (1998). Noble Power During the French Wars of Religion: The Guise Affinity and the Catholic Cause in Normandy. Cambridge University Press.
  • Wellman, Kathleen (2013). Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France. Yale University Press.
  • "Histoire". Chateau du Bec-Crespin. 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.