Sebastiano de Montecuccoli

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Count Sebastiano de Montecuccoli, also spelt Montecucoli or Montecuculli (died 7 October 1536) was an Italian nobleman in the service of Francis I of France, executed for allegedly having poisoned the King's eldest son.

Montecuccoli was secretary to the Dauphin Francis, the heir to the French throne. After the unexpected death of the Dauphin on 10 August 1536 he was suspected of having poisoned the thirsty young man by bringing him a glass of water.[1] A book about toxicology was found in Montecuccoli's possession, and he had previously been in the service of Charles V, but had come to France with Catherine de Medici. Under torture Montecuccoli confessed to having tried to poison King Francis and the Dauphin on behalf of the Emperor. Later he retracted his confession, but was executed by écartelage at the Place de la Grenette in Lyons on 7 October 1536. This manner of execution was reserved for regicides and meant that the victim was torn to pieces by four horses galloping into four different directions. Charles V officially protested against the charges levelled at his government.[2] The true cause of the Dauphin's death is believed to have been tuberculosis.[3]


  1. ^ Frieda pp. 60–61
  2. ^ Frieda p. 62
  3. ^ Seward p. 192