Louis de Brézé
|Louis de Brézé|
possible portrait of Louis de Brézé
(school of Jean Clouet)
|Died||23 July 1531|
|Resting place||Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, France|
Château du Bec-Crespin
|Spouse(s)||Catherine de Dreux
Diane de Poitiers
|Children||Françoise de Brézé
Louise de Brézé
|Parent(s)||Jacques de Brézé
Charlotte de Valois
|Relatives||Charles VII of France (grandfather)
Agnès Sorel (grandmother)
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. His paternal grandfather was Pierre de Brézé, noted for valour at Formigny, a grand steward of Normandy.
In 1523, Louis uncovered 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.
His first wife was Catherine de Dreux. Later, he married Diane de Poitiers on 29 March 1515; they had two daughters. 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. He also inherited the Château du Bec-Crespin.
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.
Death and legacy
Louis died on 23 July 1531. 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.
- Kathleen Wellman, Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France, (Yale University Press, 2013), 191.
- Kathleen Wellman, Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France, 192.
- Kathleen Wellman, Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France, 190.
- "Histoire". Chateau du Bec-Crespin. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- Kathleen Wellman, Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France, 194.
- Anthony Blunt and Richard Beresford, Art and Architecture in France, 1500-1700, (Yale University Press, 1990), 77-78.