Francis I of France

Francis I of France

Overview
Francis I (12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547) was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 monarch. His permanent rivalry with the Emperor Charles V for hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 in Europe was the origin of a long and ruinous military conflict that gave rise to the Protestant revolution
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

.

Francis was an ally of Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

, with whom he formed the Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Francis I of France'
Start a new discussion about 'Francis I of France'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Timeline

1515   King Francis I of France succeeds to the French throne.

1516   The Treaty of Noyon between France and Spain is signed. Francis I of France recognises Charles's claim to Naples, and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor recognises Francis's claim to Milan.

1532   Henry VIII and François I sign a secret treaty against Emperor Charles V.

1534   French explorer Jacques Cartier plants a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula and takes possession of the territory in the name of Francis I of France.

1539   Treaty of Toledo signed by King Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

 
Encyclopedia
Francis I (12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547) was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 monarch. His permanent rivalry with the Emperor Charles V for hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 in Europe was the origin of a long and ruinous military conflict that gave rise to the Protestant revolution
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

.

Francis was an ally of Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

, with whom he formed the Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

. His great rivals were King Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

.

Early life and accession


Francis was born at the Château de Cognac in the town of Cognac
Cognac
Cognac is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river's left bank, with the smaller right...

 400 km southwest of Paris, which at that time lay in the province of Saintonge
Saintonge
Saintonge is a small region on the Atlantic coast of France within the département Charente-Maritime, west and south of Charente in the administrative region of Poitou-Charentes....

, a part of the Duchy of Aquitaine. The town lies today in the French department of Charente
Charente
Charente is a department in southwestern France, in the Poitou-Charentes region, named after the Charente River, the most important river in the department, and also the river beside which the department's two largest towns, Angoulême and Cognac, are sited.-History:Charente is one of the original...

.

Francis was the only son of Charles, Count of Angoulême
Charles, Count of Angoulême
Charles d'Orléans, Count of Angoulême was a member of the French Orléans family descended from Louis I de Valois, Duke of Orléans, who was the son of Charles V of France. He was the son of John, Count of Angoulême and Marguerite de Rohan, and was Count of Angoulême from 1467-1496...

 and Louise of Savoy
Louise of Savoy
Louise of Savoy was a French noble, Duchess regnant of Auvergne and Bourbon, Duchess of Nemours, the mother of King Francis I of France...

 and a great-great-grandson of King Charles V
Charles V of France
Charles V , called the Wise, was King of France from 1364 to his death in 1380 and a member of the House of Valois...

. His family was not expected to inherit the throne, as his third cousin King Charles VIII
Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, , was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. Charles was a member of the House of Valois...

 was still young, as was his father's cousin the Duke of Orléans
Louis XII of France
Louis proved to be a popular king. At the end of his reign the crown deficit was no greater than it had been when he succeeded Charles VIII in 1498, despite several expensive military campaigns in Italy. His fiscal reforms of 1504 and 1508 tightened and improved procedures for the collection of taxes...

. However, Charles VIII died childless in 1498 and left the throne to the Duke of Orléans, who became Louis XII. The Salic Law
Salic law
Salic law was a body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century...

 prevailed in France, and women were ineligible to inherit the throne. Therefore, four-year-old Francis (who was already Count of Angoulême after the death of his own father two years prior) became the heir presumptive
Heir Presumptive
An heir presumptive or heiress presumptive is the person provisionally scheduled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir or heiress apparent or of a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question...

 to the throne of France and was vested with the title of Duke of Valois.

In 1506, Louis XII, who had married three times but had no son, betrothed his daughter Claude of France
Claude of France
Claude of France was a princess and queen consort of France and ruling Duchess of Brittany. She was the eldest daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne, Duchess of Brittany....

 to Francis. Claude was heiress to the Duchy of Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

 through her mother, Anne of Brittany
Anne of Brittany
Anne, Duchess of Brittany , also known as Anna of Brittany , was a Breton ruler, who was to become queen to two successive French kings. She was born in Nantes, Brittany, and was the daughter of Francis II, Duke of Brittany and Margaret of Foix. Her maternal grandparents were Queen Eleanor of...

. The marriage took place on 18 May 1514. Louis died shortly afterwards and Francis inherited the throne. He was crowned King of France
Coronation of the French monarch
The accession of the King of France was legitimated by coronation ceremony performed with the Crown of Charlemagne at Notre-Dame de Reims. However, the person did not need to be crowned in order to be recognized as French monarch; the new king ascended the throne when the coffin of the previous...

 in the Cathedral of Reims on New Years Day 1515, with Claude as his queen consort.

Reign


As Francis was receiving his education, ideas emerging from the Italian renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 were influential in France. Some of his tutors, such as Desmoulins (his Latin instructor) and Christophe de Longueil
Christophe de Longueil
Christophe de Longueil was a Belgian humanist. He is also known by his Latin name, Christophe Longolius.He was born in Mechelen, and studied jurisprudence in Valence. He became a lawyer in 1511, and served from 1513 as an official in Paris...

 (a Belgian humanist), were attracted by these new ways of thinking and attempted to influence Francis. Francis' mother was fascinated by renaissance art, and passed this interest on to her son. Although Francis did not receive a humanist education, he was more influenced by humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 than any previous French king.

Patron of the arts



By the time he ascended the throne in 1515, the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 had arrived in France, and Francis became a major patron of the arts. At the time of his accession, the royal palaces of France were ornamented with only a scattering of great paintings, and not a single piece of sculpture, either ancient or modern. During Francis' reign the magnificent art collection of the French kings, which can still be seen at the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

, was begun.

Francis patronized many great artists of his time, including Andrea del Sarto
Andrea del Sarto
Andrea del Sarto was an Italian painter from Florence, whose career flourished during the High Renaissance and early Mannerism. Though highly regarded during his lifetime as an artist senza errori , his renown was eclipsed after his death by that of his contemporaries, Leonardo da Vinci,...

 and Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

; the latter was persuaded to make France his home during his last years. While Leonardo painted very little during his years in France, he brought with him many of his greatest works, including the Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa is a portrait by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is a painting in oil on a poplar panel, completed circa 1503–1519...

(known in France as La Joconde), and these remained in France after his death. Other major artists to receive Francis' patronage include the goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini
Benvenuto Cellini
Benvenuto Cellini was an Italian goldsmith, sculptor, painter, soldier and musician, who also wrote a famous autobiography. He was one of the most important artists of Mannerism.-Youth:...

 and the painters Rosso
Rosso Fiorentino
Giovanni Battista di Jacopo , known as Rosso Fiorentino , or Il Rosso, was an Italian Mannerist painter, in oil and fresco, belonging to the Florentine school.-Biography:...

, Romano
Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano was an Italian painter and architect. A pupil of Raphael, his stylistic deviations from high Renaissance classicism help define the 16th-century style known as Mannerism...

 and Primaticcio, all of whom were employed in decorating Francis' various palaces and were exceedingly loyal. Francis also commissioned a number of agents in Italy to procure notable works of art and ship them to France.

Man of letters




Francis was also renowned as a man of letters. When Francis comes up in a conversation among characters in Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione, count of was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author.-Biography:Castiglione was born into an illustrious Lombard family at Casatico, near Mantua, where his family had constructed an impressive palazzo...

's Book of the Courtier, it is as the great hope to bring culture to the war-obsessed French nation. Not only did Francis support a number of major writers of the period, he was a poet himself, if not one of immense quality. Francis worked hard at improving the royal library. He appointed the great French humanist Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé was a French scholar.-Life:Budé was born in Paris. He went to the University of Orléans to study law, but for several years, being possessed of ample means, he led an idle and dissipated life...

 as chief librarian, and began to expand the collection. Francis employed agents in Italy looking for rare books and manuscripts, just as he had looking for art works. During his reign, the size of the library increased greatly. Not only did Francis expand the library, there is also, according to Knecht, evidence that he read the books he bought for it, a much rarer feat in the royal annals. Francis set an important precedent by opening his library to scholars from around the world in order to facilitate the diffusion of knowledge.

In 1537, Francis signed the Ordonnance de Montpellier
Ordonnance de Montpellier
The Ordonnance de Montpellier, signed on December 28, 1537 by Francis I of France, established the first legal deposit system.In the Ordonnance, Francis decreed that no book be sold in France until a copy was deposited in his library. The decree was not widely followed and the legal deposit...

, decreeing that his library be given a copy of every book to be sold in France.

Francis's older sister, Marguerite
Marguerite de Navarre
Marguerite de Navarre , also known as Marguerite of Angoulême and Margaret of Navarre, was the queen consort of Henry II of Navarre...

, Queen of Navarre, was also an accomplished writer, producing the classic, Heptameron
Heptameron
The Heptameron is a collection of 72 short stories written in French by Marguerite of Navarre, published in 1558. It has the form of a frame narrative and was inspired by The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio...

.

He also corresponded with the abbess and philosopher Claude de Bectoz
Claude de Bectoz
-Life:Both her mother, Michelette de Salvaing, and father, Jacques de Bactoz, were from well-known families in the Dauphiné. Denys Fauchier taught her to write Latin and verse...

, of whose letters he was so fond that he would carry them around and show them to the ladies of his court. Together with his sister, he visited her in Tarascon
Tarascon
Tarascon , sometimes referred to as Tarascon-sur-Rhône, is a commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in southern France.-Geography:...

.

Construction



Francis poured vast amounts of money into new structures. He continued the work of his predecessors on the Château d'Amboise
Château d'Amboise
The royal Château at Amboise is a château located in Amboise, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France.-Origins and royal residence:...

 and also started renovations on the Château de Blois
Château de Blois
The Royal Château de Blois is located in the Loir-et-Cher département in the Loire Valley, in France, in the center of the city of Blois. The residence of several French kings, it is also the place where Joan of Arc went in 1429 to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her...

. Early in his reign, he also began construction of the magnificent Château de Chambord
Château de Chambord
The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures.The building, which was never...

, inspired by the styles of the Italian renaissance, and perhaps even designed by Leonardo da Vinci. Francis rebuilt the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

, transforming it from a medieval fortress into a building of Renaissance splendour. He financed the building of a new City Hall (Hôtel de Ville
Hôtel de Ville, Paris
The Hôtel de Ville |City Hall]]) in :Paris, France, is the building housing the City of Paris's administration. Standing on the place de l'Hôtel de Ville in the city's IVe arrondissement, it has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357...

) for Paris in order to have control over the building's design. He constructed the Château de Madrid
Château de Madrid
The Château de Madrid was a Renaissance building in France. It was built in Neuilly, on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, near Paris, in the early 16th century, but fell into disuse in the 17th and 18th centuries and was almost completely demolished in the 1790s.The construction of the château was...

 in the Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

, and rebuilt the Château de St-Germain-en-Laye
Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris from the centre.Inhabitants are called Saint-Germanois...

. The largest of Francis' building projects was the reconstruction and expansion of the royal château of Fontainebleau
Château de Fontainebleau
The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 55 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The palace as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on an early 16th century structure of Francis I. The building is arranged around a series of courtyards...

, which quickly became his favourite place of residence, as well as the residence of his official mistress – Anne, duchess of Étampes
Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly
Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly , Duchess of Étampes, was the mistress of Francis I of France.She was a daughter of Adrien de Pisseleu, seigneur d'Heilly, a nobleman of Picardy, who, with the rise of his daughter at court, was made seigneur of Meudon, master of waters and forests of Île de France, of...

. Each of Francis' projects was luxuriously decorated both inside and outside. Fontainebleau, for instance, had a gushing fountain in its courtyard where quantities of wine were mixed with the water.

Military action



Militarily and politically, Francis's reign was less successful; he tried and failed to become Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

, and pursued a series of wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

 in Italy. Francis managed to defeat the Swiss at Marignano
Battle of Marignano
The Battle of Marignano was fought during the phase of the Italian Wars called the War of the League of Cambrai, between France and the Old Swiss Confederacy. It took place on September 13 and 15, 1515, near the town today called Melegnano, 16 km southeast of Milan...

 in 1515, which enabled him to capture the Italian city-state of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

.

Much of the military activity of Francis's reign was focused on his sworn enemy, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Francis and Charles had an intense personal rivalry and a bitter mutual hatred which they inherited from their predecessors' wars in Burgundy and Orleans; Charles, in fact, brashly challenged Francis to single combat, multiple times. In addition to the Holy Roman Empire, Charles personally ruled Spain, Austria and a number of smaller possessions neighboring France, and was thus a threat to Francis's kingdom.

Francis attempted to arrange an alliance with Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 with negotiations taking place at the famous Field of Cloth of Gold on 7 June 1520 but, despite a lavish fortnight of diplomacy, they ultimately failed to reach agreement.

Francis' most devastating defeat occurred at the Battle of Pavia
Battle of Pavia
The Battle of Pavia, fought on the morning of 24 February 1525, was the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26.A Spanish-Imperial army under the nominal command of Charles de Lannoy attacked the French army under the personal command of Francis I of France in the great hunting preserve...

 (24 February 1525), where he was captured by Charles: Cesare Hercolani
Cesare Hercolani
Cesare Hercolani was an Italian condottiere, or mercenary leader.He was born in Forlì in 1499. The Hercolanis were a noble family, and Cesare became a venture captain under Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor....

 hurt his horse and Francis was captured by Spaniards Juan de Urbieta
Juan de Urbieta
Juan de Urbieta Berástegui y Lezo was an Spanish infantryman who became famous when he captured king Francis I of France near the end of the Battle of Pavia on 24 February, 1525.-Capture of King Francis I:...

, Diego Dávila and Alonso Pita
Alonso Pita da Veiga
Alonso Pita da Veiga, born in Ferrol in 15th century Galicia, Spain, was one of the most remarkable officers of the Spanish Tercios fighting under the orders of Count Fernando de Andrade in the Battle of Pavia , and in other battles of the Italian Wars between the years 1513-1525...

. For this reason, Hercolani was named "victor of the battle of Pavia". The famous Zuppa alla Pavese, now a renowned recipe, was said to have been invented on the spot to feed the captive king right after the battle.
Francis was held captive in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 and in a letter to his mother he wrote, "Of all things, nothing remains to me but honour and life, which is safe." This line has come down in history famously as "All is lost save honour." In the Treaty of Madrid signed on 14 January 1526, Francis I was forced to make major concessions to Charles V before he was freed on 17 March 1526. Francis was allowed to return to France in exchange for his two sons, Francis and Henry
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, but once he was free he argued that his agreement with Charles was made under duress
Duress
In jurisprudence, duress or coercion refers to a situation whereby a person performs an act as a result of violence, threat or other pressure against the person. Black's Law Dictionary defines duress as "any unlawful threat or coercion used... to induce another to act [or not act] in a manner...

, and also claimed that the agreement was void, as his sons had been taken hostage suggesting his word alone was not trusted, and he repudiated it.

Francis continued to persevere in his hatred of Charles V and desire to control Italy via more wars in Italy. On January 27, 1534 he concluded a secret alliance treaty with the Landgrave of Hesse, directed against Charles V on the pretext of assisting the Duke of Wurttemberg
Württemberg
Württemberg , formerly known as Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg, is an area and a former state in southwestern Germany, including parts of the regions Swabia and Franconia....

 (removed from power by Charles V since 1519) to regain his traditional seat. The repudiation of the Treaty of Madrid led to the War of the League of Cognac
War of the League of Cognac
The War of the League of Cognac was fought between the Habsburg dominions of Charles V—primarily Spain and the Holy Roman Empire—and the League of Cognac, an alliance including France, Pope Clement VII, the Republic of Venice, England, the Duchy of Milan and Republic of Florence.- Prelude :Shocked...

. After the failure of the league, he obtained the help of the Ottoman Empire and went to war again in Italy in the Italian War of 1536–1538 after the death of Francesco II Sforza
Francesco II Sforza
Francesco II Sforza , also known as Francesco Maria Sforza, was the last Duke of Milan from 1521 until his death.He was the son of Ludovico Sforza and Beatrice d'Este...

, the ruler of Milan. He was defeated once again by Charles V and forced to sign the Treaty of Nice. However, the Treaty of Nice collapsed and led to Francis' final attempt on Italy in the Italian War of 1542–1546. This time, Francis managed to hold off the forces of Charles V and England's Henry VIII; Charles V was forced to sign the Treaty of Crepy because of financial problems and problems with the Schmalkaldic League
Schmalkaldic League
The Schmalkaldic League was a defensive alliance of Lutheran princes within the Holy Roman Empire during the mid-16th century. Although originally started for religious motives soon after the start of the Protestant Reformation, its members eventually intended for the League to replace the Holy...

.

Relations with the New World and Asia


In order to counter-balance the power of the Habsburg Empire under Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, and especially its control of large parts of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 through the Crown of Spain, Francis I endeavoured to develop contacts with the New World and Asia. Fleets were sent to the Americas and the Far East, and close contacts were developed with the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, that would permit the development of French Mediterranean trade as well as the establishment of a strategic military alliance.

The port city now known as Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

 was founded in 1517, in Francis I's early years on the throne. Founding a new port was urgently needed in order to replace the ancient harbours of Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur is a commune in the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine across from le Havre and very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie...

 and Harfleur
Harfleur
-Population:-Places of interest:* The church of St-Martin, dating from the fourteenth century.* The seventeenth century Hôtel de Ville .* Medieval ramparts * The fifteenth century museums of fishing and of archaeology and history....

 whose utility had decreased due to silting. Le Havre was originally named Franciscopolis after the King who founded it, but this name did not survive later reigns.

Americas



In 1524, Francis assisted the citizens of Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

 in financing the expedition of Giovanni da Verrazzano to North America; on this expedition, Verrazzano claimed Newfoundland for the French crown and founded New Angoulême
New Angoulême
New Angoulême was the name given in 1524 by the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano to the site of what would become New York City. The name commemorated not only the town of Angoulême, in the Charente region in France, but also Verrazzano's patron King Francis I of France, who had been Count...

 on the actual site of New York City.

In 1531, Bertrand d'Ornesan, Baron de Saint-Blancard
Bertrand d'Ornesan
Bertrand d'Ornesan, also Bertrand d'Ornezan, Baron de Saint-Blancard, was a French admiral in the service of King Francis I of France...

 tried to establish a French trading post at Pernambuco
Pernambuco
Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the...

, Brazil.

In 1534, Francis sent Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer of Breton origin who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big...

 to explore the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to find certaines îles et pays où l'on dit qu'il se doit trouver grande quantité d'or et autres riches choses ("certain islands and lands where it is said there must be great quantities of gold and other riches"). In 1541, Francis sent Jean-François de la Roque de Roberval
Jean-François de la Roque de Roberval
Jean-François de La Rocque de Roberval was a French nobleman and adventurer who, through his friendship with King Francis, became the first Lieutenant General of New France. As a corsair he attacked towns and shipping throughout the Spanish Main, from Cuba to Colombia...

 to settle Canada and to provide for the spread of "the Holy Catholic faith."

Far East Asia




French trade with East Asia was initiated during the reign of Francis I with the help of shipowner Jean Ango
Jean Ango
Jean Ango was a French ship-owner who provided ships to Francis I for exploration of the globe. A native of Dieppe, Ango took over his father's import-export business, and ventured into the spice trade with Africa and India...

. In July 1527, a French Norman
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

 trading ship from the city of Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 is recorded by the Portuguese João de Barros
João de Barros
João de Barros , called the Portuguese Livy, is one of the first great Portuguese historians, most famous for his Décadas da Ásia , a history of the Portuguese in India and Asia.-Early years:...

 to have arrived in the Indian city of Diu. In 1529, Jean Parmentier
Jean Parmentier
Jean Parmentier , born in Dieppe, France, was a navigator, cartographer, and poet. Jean and his brother Raoul made numerous voyages for the shipowner Jean Ango, and sailed to the coasts of Brazil, North America, West Africa and Sumatra....

 of Dieppe
Dieppe, Seine-Maritime
Dieppe is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in France. In 1999, the population of the whole Dieppe urban area was 81,419.A port on the English Channel, famous for its scallops, and with a regular ferry service from the Gare Maritime to Newhaven in England, Dieppe also has a popular pebbled...

, onboard the Sacre and the Pensée, reached Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

. Upon its return, the expedition triggered the development of the Dieppe maps
Dieppe maps
The Dieppe maps are a series of world maps produced in Dieppe, France, in the 1540s, 1550s and 1560s. They are large hand-produced maps, commissioned for wealthy and royal patrons, including Henry II of France and Henry VIII of England...

, influencing the work of Dieppe
Dieppe, Seine-Maritime
Dieppe is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in France. In 1999, the population of the whole Dieppe urban area was 81,419.A port on the English Channel, famous for its scallops, and with a regular ferry service from the Gare Maritime to Newhaven in England, Dieppe also has a popular pebbled...

 cartographers, such as Tom Brown.Jean Rotz
Jean Rotz
Jean Rotz, also called Johne Rotz, was a 16th century French artist-cartographer. He was born to a Scottish father and a French mother.-Career:Rotz was a member of the school of the Dieppe maps...

.

Ottoman Empire


Under the reign of Francis I, France became the first country in Europe to establish formal relations with the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, and to set up instruction in the Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, through the instruction of Guillaume Postel
Guillaume Postel
Guillaume Postel was a French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, professor, and religious universalist.Born in the village of Barenton in Basse-Normandie, Postel made his way to Paris to further his education...

 at the Collège de France
Collège de France
The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles...

.

In a watershed moment in European diplomacy, Francis came to an understanding with the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, which transformed into a Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

. The alliance has been called "the first nonideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a Christian and non-Christian empire". It did however cause quite a scandal in the Christian world, and was designated as "the impious alliance", or "the sacrilegious union of the Lily
Fleur-de-Lis
Fleur-de-Lis is a fictional character, a comic book secret agent published by DC Comics. She debuted in Infinity, Inc. #34 , and was created by Len Wein, Randy Lofficier and Ross Andru.-Fictional character biography:...

 and the Crescent
Crescent
In art and symbolism, a crescent is generally the shape produced when a circular disk has a segment of another circle removed from its edge, so that what remains is a shape enclosed by two circular arcs of different diameters which intersect at two points .In astronomy, a crescent...

"; nevertheless, it endured since it served the objective interests of both parties. The two powers colluded against Charles V, and, in 1543, they even combined for a joint naval assault in the Siege of Nice
Siege of Nice
The Siege of Nice occurred in 1543 and was part of the Italian War of 1542–46 in which Francis I and Suleiman the Magnificent collaborated in a Franco-Ottoman alliance against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and Henry VIII of England. At that time, Nice was under the control of Charles III, Duke...

.

In 1533, Francis I sent as ambassador to Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, colonel Pierre de Piton
Pierre de Piton
Pierre de Piton was a French colonel of the 16th century, and an ambassador to the kingdom of Morocco. He was sent in 1533 by Francis I, initiating France-Morocco relations....

, initiating official France-Morocco relations. In a letter to Francis I dated 13 August 1533, the Wattassid ruler of Fez
Fes
Fes or Fez is the second largest city of Morocco, after Casablanca, with a population of approximately 1 million . It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane region....

, Ahmed ben Mohammed
Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad
Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad, also Sultan Ahmad, was a Sultan of the Moroccan Wattasid dynasty. He ruled from 1526 to 1545, and again between 1547 and 1549....

, welcomed French overtures and granted freedom of shipping and protection of French traders.

Implementation of bureaucratic reform



Francis I took several steps to eradicate the monopoly of Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 as the language of knowledge. In 1530, he declared French the national language of the kingdom, and that same year opened the Collège des trois langues, or Collège Royal, following the recommendation of humanist Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé was a French scholar.-Life:Budé was born in Paris. He went to the University of Orléans to study law, but for several years, being possessed of ample means, he led an idle and dissipated life...

, in which were taught Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Hebrew and Chaldean
Chaldean Neo-Aramaic
Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is a Northeastern Neo-Aramaic dialect. Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is spoken on the plain of Mosul in northern Iraq, as well as by the Chaldean communities worldwide. Most speakers are Chaldean Catholics....

, and from 1539 Arabic under Guillaume Postel
Guillaume Postel
Guillaume Postel was a French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, professor, and religious universalist.Born in the village of Barenton in Basse-Normandie, Postel made his way to Paris to further his education...

.

In 1539, in his castle in Villers-Cotterêts
Villers-Cotterêts
Villers-Cotterêts is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France.-Geography:It is located NE of Paris via the RN2 facing Laon...

, Francis signed the important edict known as Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts
Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts
The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts is an extensive piece of reform legislation signed into law by Francis I of France on August 10, 1539 in the city of Villers-Cotterêts....

, which, among other reforms, made French the administrative language of the kingdom, replacing Latin. This same edict required priests to register births, marriages and deaths and to establish a registry office in every parish. This established the first records of vital statistics with filiations available in Europe.

Religion


It was during Francis' reign that divisions in the Christian religion in Western Europe erupted. Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

's preaching and writing led to the formation of the Protestant movement
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 which spread through much of Europe, including France.

Initially, under the influence of his beloved sister Marguerite de Navarre, Francis was relatively tolerant of the new movement, and even considered it politically useful, as it caused many German princes to turn against his enemy, Charles V. In 1533 he even dared to suggest to Pope Clement VII the convening of a church council where Catholic and Protestant rulers will have equal vote in order to settle their differences - an offer rejected by both the Pope and Charles V. However, Francis' attitude toward Protestantism changed following the "Affair of the Placards
Affair of the placards
The Affair of the Placards was an incident in which anti-Catholic posters appeared in public places in Paris and in four major provincial cities: Blois, Rouen, Tours and Orléans, overnight during 17 October 1534. One was actually posted on the bedchamber door of King Francis I at Amboise, an...

", on the night of 17 October 1534, in which notices appeared on the streets of Paris and other major cities denouncing Mass. A notice was even posted on the door to the king's room, and, it is said, the box in which he kept his handkerchief. Antoine Marcourt
Antoine Marcourt
Antoine Marcourt was a Protestant Pastor of the 16th century. He was from the French region of Picardy, and became the first pastor of Neuchâtel....

, a Protestant pastor, was responsible for the notices.
The most fervent Catholics were outraged by the notice's allegations. Francis himself came to view the movement as a plot against him, and began to persecute its followers. Protestants were jailed and executed. In some areas whole villages were destroyed. Printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 was censored and leading Protestants like John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 were forced into exile. The persecutions soon numbered tens of thousands of homeless people.

These persecutions against Protestants were codified in the Edict of Fontainebleau (1540)
Edict of Fontainebleau (1540)
The Edict of Fontainebleau was issued June 1, 1540 by the French King Francis I while at his Palace of Fontainebleau. It occurred after the insulting "Affair of the Placards" turned Francis I's policy from one of tolerance to the persecution of the Protestants...

 issued by Francis. Major persecutions continued, as when Francis I ordered the massacre of the Waldensians
Waldensians
Waldensians, Waldenses or Vaudois are names for a Christian movement of the later Middle Ages, descendants of which still exist in various regions, primarily in North-Western Italy. There is considerable uncertainty about the earlier history of the Waldenses because of a lack of extant source...

 at the Massacre of Mérindol
Massacre of Mérindol
The Massacre of Mérindol took place in 1545, when Francis I of France ordered the Waldensians of the city of Mérindol to be punished for dissident religious activities.-Arrêt de Mérindol:...

 in 1545.

Death



Francis died at the château de Rambouillet
Château de Rambouillet
The château de Rambouillet is a castle in the town of Rambouillet, Yvelines department, in the Île-de-France region in northern France, southwest of Paris...

 on 31 March 1547, on his son and heir's 28th birthday. It is said that "he died complaining about the weight of a crown that he had first perceived as a gift from God".

Francis I was interred with his first wife, Claude de France, Duchess of Bretagne, in Saint Denis Basilica
Saint Denis Basilica
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis is a large medieval abbey church in the commune of Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris. The abbey church was created a cathedral in 1966 and is the seat of the Bishop of Saint-Denis, Pascal Michel Ghislain Delannoy...

. He was succeeded by his son, Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

.

Francis' tomb, that of his wife and of his mother, along with the tombs of other French kings and members of the royal family, were desecrated on 20 October 1793, during the Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
The Reign of Terror , also known simply as The Terror , was a period of violence that occurred after the onset of the French Revolution, incited by conflict between rival political factions, the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions of "enemies of...

, at the height of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

.

Legacy


Francis' legacy is generally considered a mixed one. He achieved great cultural feats, but they came at the expense of France's economic well-being.

The persecution of the Protestants was to lead France into decades of civil war
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

, which did not end until 1598 with the Edict of Nantes
Edict of Nantes
The Edict of Nantes, issued on 13 April 1598, by Henry IV of France, granted the Calvinist Protestants of France substantial rights in a nation still considered essentially Catholic. In the Edict, Henry aimed primarily to promote civil unity...

.

Francis I in films, stage, and literature


The amorous exploits of Francis inspired the 1832 play by Fanny Kemble
Fanny Kemble
Frances Anne Kemble , was a famous British actress and author in the early and mid nineteenth century.-Youth and acting career:...

 (1809–1893) Francis the First and the 1832 play by Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

 (1802–1885), Le Roi s'amuse
Le roi s'amuse
Le roi s'amuse is a play written by Victor Hugo in 1832. While it depicts the escapades of Francis I of France, censors of the time believed that it also contained insulting references to King Louis-Philippe and banned it after one performance...

("The King's Amusement") featuring the jester Triboulet
Triboulet
Triboulet was a microcephalic jester of kings Louis XII and Francis I of France.He appears in Victor Hugo's Le Roi s'amuse and its opera version, Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto: "Rigoletto" was a blend of "Triboulet" and French rigoler , intending to deflect the censorship that Hugo's work had received...

, which later inspired the opera of Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

 (1813–1901), Rigoletto.

Francis was first played in a George Méliès movie by an unknown actor in 1907, and has also been played by Claude Garry (1910), Aimé Simon-Girard
Aimé Simon-Girard
Aimé Simon-Girard , in Paris, France was a French film actor. He was the son of the tenor Nicholas Simon-Max and the soprano Juliette Simon-Girard....

 (1937), Sacha Guitry
Sacha Guitry
Alexandre-Pierre Georges Guitry was a French stage actor, film actor, director, screenwriter, and playwright of the Boulevard theatre.- Biography :...

 (1937), Gérard Oury
Gérard Oury
Gérard Oury was a French film director, actor and writer. His real name was Max-Gérard Houry Tannenbaum.- A commercially successful French filmmaker :...

 (1953), Jean Marais
Jean Marais
-Biography:A native of Cherbourg, France, Marais starred in several movies directed by Jean Cocteau, for a time his lover, most famously Beauty and the Beast and Orphée ....

 (1955), Pedro Armendáriz
Pedro Armendáriz
Pedro Armendáriz was a Mexican actor of the cinema of Mexico and Hollywood.-Early life:Born Pedro Gregorio Armendáriz Hastings in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico to Pedro Armendáriz García-Conde and Adela Hastings . He was also the cousin of actress Gloria Marín...

 (1956), Claude Titre (1962), Bernard Pierre Donnadieu (1990), Timothy West
Timothy West
Timothy Lancaster West, CBE is an English film, stage and television actor.-Career:West's craggy looks ensured a career as a character actor rather than a leading man. He began his career as an Assistant Stage Manager at the Wimbledon Theatre in 1956, and followed this with several seasons of...

 (1998).

Francis was portrayed by Peter Gilmore
Peter Gilmore
Peter Gilmore is a British actor, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Captain James Onedin in the BBC Television period drama The Onedin Line. He also had roles in eleven Carry On films, and played the heroic lead in the adventure film Warlords of Atlantis...

 in the comedy film "Carry on Henry
Carry On Henry
Carry On Henry is the 21st of the Carry On series and was released in 1971. It tells a fictionalised story involving Sid James as Henry VIII, who chases after Barbara Windsor's character Bettina. James and Windsor feature alongside other regulars Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Terry...

" charting the fictitious two extra wives of Henry VIII (including Marie cousin of King Francis).
Francis receives a mention in a minor story in Laurence Sterne's novel Tristram Shandy. The narrator claims that the king, wishing to win the favour of Switzerland, offers to make the country the godmother of his son. When, however, their choice of name conflicts, he declares war.
He is also mentioned in Jean de la Brète's novel Reine – Mon oncle et mon curé, where the main character Reine de Lavalle idolises him after reading his biography, much to the dismay of the local priest.

He often receives mentions in novels on the lives of either of the Boleyn sisters – Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn , was the sister of English queen consort Anne Boleyn and a member of the Boleyn family, which enjoyed considerable influence during the reign of King Henry VIII of England...

 (d. 1543) and her sister, Queen Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

 (executed 1536), both of whom were for a time educated at his court. Mary had, according to several accounts, been Francis' one-time mistress and Anne had been a favourite of his sister: the novels The Lady in the Tower, The Other Boleyn Girl
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Other Boleyn Girl is a historical fiction novel written by British author Philippa Gregory, loosely based on the life of 16th-century aristocrat Mary Boleyn. Reviews were mixed; some said it was a brilliantly claustrophobic look at palace life in Tudor England, while others have consistently...

,
The Last Boleyn, Dear Heart, How Like You This? and Mademoiselle Boleyn feature Francis in their story.

Francis is also in Diane Haeger's novel "Courtesan" about Diane de Poitiers and Henri II.

Samuel Shellabarger's
Samuel Shellabarger
Samuel Shellabarger was an American educator and author of both scholarly works and best-selling historical novels. He was born in Washington, D.C., on 18 May 1888, but his parents both died while he was a baby...

 novel The King's Cavalier describes Francis the man, and the cultural and political circumstances of his reign, in some detail.

He has also featured as a recurring character in the Showtime series The Tudors, opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and Natalie Dormer
Natalie Dormer
Natalie Dormer is an English actress. She is best known for her roles as Victoria in Casanova and as the ill-fated queen Anne Boleyn in the Showtime series The Tudors.-Early life and current lifestyle:...

 as Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

. Francis is played by French actor, Emmanuel Leconte
Emmanuel Leconte
Emmanuel Leconte is a French actor best known for his role as King Francis I in the television hit series The Tudors. He has also has starred in: Monsieur Max , La Ravisseuse , and À tout de suite...

.

He and his court set the scene for Friedrich Schiller
Friedrich Schiller
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life , Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

's ballad Der Handschuh
Der Handschuh
Der Handschuh is a ballad by Friedrich Schiller, written in 1797, the year of his friendly ballad competition with Goethe.-History:...

(The Glove).

Marriage and issue


One alleged out-of-wedlock issue, Henri de la Rue.

On 18 May 1514, Francis married his second cousin, Claude of France, Duchess of Brittany
Claude of France
Claude of France was a princess and queen consort of France and ruling Duchess of Brittany. She was the eldest daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne, Duchess of Brittany....

, who was the daughter of Louis XII, King of France, and Anne, Duchess of Brittany. The couple had seven children:
Name Picture Birth Death Notes
Louise, Dauphine of France 19 August 1515 21 September 1517 Died aged two, of convulsions. No issue.
Charlotte, Dauphine of France 23 October 1516 18 September 1524 Died aged seven of measles
Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbilli, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses...

, no issue.
Francis, Duke of Brittany 28 February 1518 10 August 1536 Poisoned at the age of eighteen, no issue.
Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, King of France
31 March 1519 10 July 1559 Married Catherine de'Medici, had issue.
Madeleine, Queen Consort of Scotland 10 August 1520 7 July 1537 Married James V of Scotland
James V of Scotland
James V was King of Scots from 9 September 1513 until his death, which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss...

, but died of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 at age sixteen. No issue.
Charles, Duke of Orléans 22 January 1522 9 September 1545 Died of the plague aged twenty-three, no issue.
Margaret
Margaret of France, Duchess of Berry
Margaret of Valois, Duchess of Berry was the daughter of King Francis I of France and Claude, Duchess of Brittany.-Early life:Margaret was born at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye...

, Duchess of Berry
Duchess of Berry
-First Creation:-Second Creation:-Eighth Creation:-Ninth Creation:-Tenth Creation:...

(since 1550)
5 June 1523 15 September 1574 Married Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
Emmanuel Philibert was Duke of Savoy from 1553 to 1580....

 and had one son.


On 7 August 1530, Francis I married his second wife Eleanor of Austria, a sister of the Emperor Charles V. The couple had no children. During his reign, Francis kept two official mistresses at court. The first was Françoise de Foix
Françoise de Foix
Françoise de Foix, Comtesse de Châteaubriant was a mistress of Francis I of France.-Background:Françoise was the daughter of Jean de Foix, Vicomte de Lautrec, and Jeanne d'Aydie. Her father was the son of Pierre de Foix, Vicomte de Lautrec; Pierre had been a younger brother of Gaston IV of Foix,...

, comtesse de Chateaubriand. In 1526, she was replaced by the blonde-haired, cultured Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly
Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly
Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly , Duchess of Étampes, was the mistress of Francis I of France.She was a daughter of Adrien de Pisseleu, seigneur d'Heilly, a nobleman of Picardy, who, with the rise of his daughter at court, was made seigneur of Meudon, master of waters and forests of Île de France, of...

, duchesse d'Étampes who, with the death of Queen Claude two years earlier, wielded far more political power at court than her predecessor had done. Another of his earlier mistresses, was allegedly Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn , was the sister of English queen consort Anne Boleyn and a member of the Boleyn family, which enjoyed considerable influence during the reign of King Henry VIII of England...

, mistress of King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and sister of Henry's future wife, Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

.

Ancestors





Further reading

  • Clough, C.H., "Francis I and the Courtiers of Castiglione’s Courtier." European Studies Review. vol viii, 1978.
  • Denieul-Cormier, Anne. The Renaissance in France. trans. Anne and Christopher Fremantle. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1969.
  • Grant, A.J. The French Monarchy, Volume I. New York: Howard Fertig, 1970.
  • Guy, John. Tudor England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
  • Jensen, De Lamar. Renaissance Europe. Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company, 1992.
  • Knecht, R.J. Renaissance Warrior and Patron: The Reign of Francis I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • Major, J. Russell. From Renaissance Monarchy to Absolute Monarchy. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
  • Seward, Desmond. François I: Prince of the Renaissance. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1973.

|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-