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The marmousets (referred to as les petites gens) is a nickname, first recorded in the chronicles of Jean Froissart, for a group of counselors to Charles VI of France. Although they were neither princes nor civil servants, they were simply very close to the king. Thanks to this position, they were able to access the highest functions of the state. These men were endowed with another quality, the solidarity between them. Chosen by Charles VI in 1388, they vowed to remain united and friends.

Their name, essentially the same as marmoset, referring to monkeys, was also a term for the English at the time.


King Charles was crowned at the age of 11, since when his four uncles (the dukes of Burgundy, Berry, Anjou and Bourbon) had been entrusted with governing France. The Cardinal of Laon proposed in court that Charles VI relieve the dukes of their duties and assume control of the government on 2 November 1388.[1] The marmousets swore to stay united as friends, interdependent towards one another. Their relationship ended on 5 August 1392 due to the king's decline into insanity. [2]

Bureau de la Rivière, Pierre de Villaines and Jean Le Mercier were imprisoned,[3] Jean de Montaigu escaped to Avignon, and Olivier de Clisson was fined 100,000 francs, dismissed of his title and banished from France.[3] Some of the Marmousets eventually returned to their duties in minor posts, and while they were no longer a faction many of their ideas were later put into practice by Charles VII, who became the natural heir of their policies.[2]



  1. ^ Kibler, William W. (1995). Medieval France: An Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Routledge. p. 91. ISBN 978-0824044442.
  2. ^ a b Wagner, John A. (2006). Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War. Greenwood Press. p. 212. ISBN 0-313-32736-X.
  3. ^ a b Knecht, Robert (2007). Valois: Kings of France 1328-1589. Hambledon Continuum. p. 48. ISBN 1-85285-522-3.

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