Henry II of France

Henry II of France

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Henry II of France'
Start a new discussion about 'Henry II of France'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Henry II of France can also refer to Henry VI of England
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

.

Henry II (31 March 1519 – 10 July 1559) 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
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
The Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a royal palace in the commune of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, in the département of Yvelines, about 19 km west of Paris, France. Today, it houses the Musée d'Archéologie Nationale ....

, near Paris, the son of Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I 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 monarch...

 and Claude, 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....

 (daughter of Louis XII of France
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...

 and Anne, Duchess of Brittany).

His father was captured 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...

 in 1525 by his sworn enemy, 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 held prisoner in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. To obtain his release it was eventually agreed that Henry and his older brother be sent to Spain in his place. They remained in captivity for three years.

Henry married Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

 (13 April 1519 – 5 January 1589) on 28 October 1533, when they were both fourteen years old. The following year, he became romantically involved with a thirty-five-year-old widow, Diane de Poitiers
Diane de Poitiers
Diane de Poitiers was a French noblewoman and a prominent courtier at the courts of kings Francis I and his son, Henry II of France. She became notorious as the latter's favourite mistress...

. They had always been very close: she had publicly embraced him on the day he set off to Spain, and during a jousting
Jousting
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two knights mounted on horses and using lances, often as part of a tournament.Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry. The first camels tournament was staged in 1066, but jousting itself did not...

 tournament, he insisted his lance carry her ribbon instead of his wife's. Diane became Henry's most trusted confidante and, for the next twenty-five years, wielded considerable influence behind the scenes, even signing royal documents. Extremely confident, mature and intelligent, she left Catherine powerless to intervene. She did, however, insist that Henry sleep with Catherine in order to produce heirs to the throne.

When his elder brother, Francis, died in 1536 after a game of tennis, Henry became heir to the throne. He succeeded his father on his 28th birthday and was crowned King of France on 25 July 1547 at Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Reims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

.

Reign



Henry's reign was marked by wars with Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, and the persecution of the Protestant Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

s. Henry II severely punished them, particularly the ministers: burning them at the stake or cutting off their tongues for uttering heresies. Even those only suspected of being Huguenots could be imprisoned. The Edict of Châteaubriant
Edict of Châteaubriant
The Edict of Châteaubriant, issued from the seat of Anne, duc de Montmorency in Brittany, was promulgated by Henri II of France, 27 June 1551. The Edict was one of an increasingly severe series of measures taken by Henry II against Protestants, whom he regarded as heretics...

 (27 June 1551) called upon the civil and ecclesiastical courts to detect and punish all heretics and placed severe restrictions on Huguenots, including the loss of one-third of their property to informers, and confiscations. It also strictly regulated publications
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

 by prohibiting the sale, importation or printing of any unapproved book. It was during the reign of Henry II that Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

 attempts at establishing a colony in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 were made, with the short-lived formation of France Antarctique
France Antarctique
France Antarctique was a French colony south of the Equator, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which existed between 1555 and 1567, and had control over the coast from Rio de Janeiro to Cabo Frio...

.

Italian War of 1551–1559



The Italian War of 1551–1559
Italian War of 1551
The Italian War of 1551 , sometimes known as the Habsburg-Valois War, began when Henry II of France, who had succeeded Francis I to the throne, declared war against Charles V with the intent of recapturing Italy and ensuring French, rather than Habsburg, domination of European...

, sometimes known as the Hapsburg–Valois War, began when Henry declared war against 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...

 with the intent of recapturing Italy and ensuring French, rather than Habsburg, domination of European affairs. Henry II allied with German Protestant princes at the Treaty of Chambord
Treaty of Chambord
The Treaty of Chambord was an agreement signed on 15 January 1552 at the Château de Chambord between the Catholic King Henry II of France and three Protestant princes of the Holy Roman Empire led by Elector Maurice of Saxony. Based on the terms of the treaty, Maurice ceded the vicariate over the...

 in 1552. Simultaneously, the continuation of his father's 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...

 allowed Henry II to push for French conquests towards the Rhine while a Franco-Ottoman fleet defended southern France. An early offensive into Lorraine
Lorraine (province)
The Duchy of Upper Lorraine was an historical duchy roughly corresponding with the present-day northeastern Lorraine region of France, including parts of modern Luxembourg and Germany. The main cities were Metz, Verdun, and the historic capital Nancy....

 was successful, with Henry capturing the three episcopal cities of Metz
Metz
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

, Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

, and Verdun
Verdun
Verdun is a city in the Meuse department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Verdun is the biggest city in Meuse, although the capital of the department is the slightly smaller city of Bar-le-Duc.- History :...

, and securing them by defeating the Habsburg army at the Battle of Renty
Battle of Renty
The Battle of Renty was fought on August 12, 1554, between France and the Holy Roman Empire at Renty, a northern French secondary theatre of the Italian Wars. The French were led by Francis, Duke of Guise, while the Imperial forces were led by Emperor Charles V of Habsburg.On August 8, the French...

 in 1554. However the attempted French invasion of Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

 in 1553 was defeated at the Battle of Marciano
Battle of Marciano
The Battle of Marciano occurred in the countryside of Marciano della Chiana, near Arezzo, Tuscany, on August 2, 1554, during the Italian War of 1551...

.

After Charles's abdication in 1556 split the Habsburg empire between Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 and Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

, the focus of the war shifted to Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, where Phillip, in conjunction with Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

, defeated the French at St. Quentin
Battle of St. Quentin (1557)
The Battle of Saint-Quentin of 1557 was fought during the Franco-Habsburg War . The Spanish, who had regained the support of the English, won a significant victory over the French at Saint-Quentin, in northern France.- Battle :...

. England's entry into the war later that year led to the French capture of Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

, and French armies plundered Spanish possessions in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

. Henry was nonetheless forced to accept the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, in which he renounced any further claims to Italy.

The Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis was signed between Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 and Henry on 2 April and between Henry and Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 on 3 April 1559 at Le Cateau-Cambrésis
Le Cateau-Cambrésis
Le Cateau-Cambrésis is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.The term Cambrésis indicates that it lies in the county of that name which fell to the Prince-Bishop of Cambrai.-History:...

, around twenty kilometers southeast of Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. Under its terms, France restored Piedmont and Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

 to the Duke of Savoy, but retained Saluzzo
Saluzzo
Saluzzo is a town and former principality in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont region, Italy.The city of Saluzzo is built on a hill overlooking a vast, well-cultivated plain. Iron, lead, silver, marble, slate etc...

, Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

 and the bishoprics of Metz
Diocese of Metz
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metz is a Diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. In the Middle Ages it was in effect an independent state, part of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by the bishop who had the ex officio title of count. It was annexed to France by King Henry II in...

, Toul
Diocese of Toul
The Diocese of Toul was a Roman Catholic diocese seated at Toul in present-day France. It existed from 365 until 1824. From 1048 until 1552 , it was also a state of the Holy Roman Empire.- History :...

, and Verdun. Spain retained Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

. Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

, married Margaret of France, Duchess of Berry
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...

, the sister of Henry II, and Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 married Henry's daughter Élisabeth.

Henry raised the young Mary, Queen of Scots, at his court, hoping to use her ultimately to establish a dynastic claim to Scotland. On 24 April 1558, Henry's fourteen-year-old son Francis was married to Mary in a union intended to give the future king of France not only the throne of Scotland but a claim to the throne of England. Henry had Mary sign secret documents, illegal in Scottish law, that would ensure Valois rule in Scotland even if she died without an heir (Guy 2004:91). Mary's claim to the English throne quickly became an issue when Mary I of England
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 died later in 1558, Henry and his Catholic advisers regarding Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 unfit to reign because of her illegitimacy.

Patent innovation


Henry II introduced the concept of publishing the description of an invention in the form of a patent. The idea was to require an inventor to disclose his invention in exchange for monopoly rights to the patent. The description is called a patent “specification”. The first patent specification was submitted by the inventor Abel Foullon
Abel Foullon
Abel Foullon; France, was an author, director of the Mint for Henry II of France and also an engineer to the king of France after Leonardo da Vinci....

 for "Usaige & Description de l'holmetre" (a type of rangefinder
Rangefinder
A rangefinder is a device that measures distance from the observer to a target, for the purposes of surveying, determining focus in photography, or accurately aiming a weapon. Some devices use active methods to measure ; others measure distance using trigonometry...

). Publication was delayed until after the patent expired in 1561.

Death


Henry II was an avid hunter and a participant in jousts and tournaments. He had been warned about jousting by Nostradamus, who had predicted his death in a famous quatrain. On 30 June 1559, at the Place Royale
Place des Vosges
The Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris.It is located in the Marais district, and it straddles the dividing-line between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris.- History :...

 at the Hôtel des Tournelles
Hôtel des Tournelles
The hôtel des Tournelles was a now-demolished collection of buildings in Paris built from the 14th century onwards, to the north of the site of what is now place des Vosges. It is named after its many 'tournelles' or little towers....

, during a match to celebrate the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis with his longtime enemies, the Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

s of Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, and to celebrate the marriage of his daughter Elisabeth of Valois
Elisabeth of Valois
Elisabeth of Valois was the eldest daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici.-Early life:She was born in the Château de Fontainebleau...

 to King Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, King Henry was mortally wounded by the lance of Gabriel Montgomery, captain of the King's Scottish Guard. The lance pierced his eyes and, despite the efforts of royal surgeon Ambroise Paré
Ambroise Paré
Ambroise Paré was a French surgeon. He was the great official royal surgeon for kings Henry II, Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III and is considered as one of the fathers of surgery and modern forensic pathology. He was a leader in surgical techniques and battlefield medicine, especially the...

, he died on 10 July 1559 from septicaemia
Sepsis
Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition that is characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state and the presence of a known or suspected infection. The body may develop this inflammatory response by the immune system to microbes in the blood, urine, lungs, skin, or other tissues...

. He was buried in a cadaver tomb
Cadaver tomb
A cadaver tomb or transi is a church monument or tomb featuring an effigy in the macabre form of a decomposing corpse. The topos was particularly characteristic of the later Middle Ages....

 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...

. Henry's death was a factor in the end of jousting as a sport.

As Henry lay dying, Queen Catherine
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

 limited access to his bedside and denied his mistress Diane de Poitiers
Diane de Poitiers
Diane de Poitiers was a French noblewoman and a prominent courtier at the courts of kings Francis I and his son, Henry II of France. She became notorious as the latter's favourite mistress...

 access to him, even though he repeatedly asked for her. Following his death, Catherine sent Diane into exile, where she lived in comfort on her own properties until her death.

Henry was succeeded by his son, Francis II
Francis II of France
Francis II was aged 15 when he succeeded to the throne of France after the accidental death of his father, King Henry II, in 1559. He reigned for 18 months before he died in December 1560...

, who died the following year and was succeeded by his two brothers. Their mother acted as Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

. For the forty years following Henry II's death, France was filled with turbulence as Protestants and Catholics fought the bitter French Wars of Religion
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...

.

Ancestors and Descendants





See Children of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici

Henry II also had four illegitimate children:
  • By Catherine Michelle: Elaine de Francias
    Elaine de francias
    Elaine de Francias, Comtesse de Montmorency was the illegitimate daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine Michelle.Henry questioned whether or not to give her a title and it was not until his deathbed that he admitted being her father. After this confession, he gave her the title Countess of...

     (1557–1635). Henry supposedly debated whether or not to give her a title and only on his deathbed did he admit to being her father. He gave her the title Comtesse de Montmorency. It is not known why he was so secretive about this one daughter.
  • By Filippa Duci
    Filippa Duci
    Filippa Duci , dame de Couy, was a Piedmontese courtesan.-Life:...

    : Diane, duchesse d'Angoulême
    Diane de France
    Diane de France was the natural daughter of Henry II, King of France, and his Piedmontese mistress Filippa Duci. Some sources claim that she was the daughter of Diane de Poitiers....

     (1538–1619). Some sources have stated that the child was the natural daughter of Henry's long-time mistress, Diane de Poitiers
    Diane de Poitiers
    Diane de Poitiers was a French noblewoman and a prominent courtier at the courts of kings Francis I and his son, Henry II of France. She became notorious as the latter's favourite mistress...

    . This is probably not the case since it is on record that Henry had Filippa Duci watched closely throughout her pregnancy. She gave birth in a convent and it appears that she remained there for the rest of her life. At the age of fourteen, the younger Diane married Orazio Farnese, Duke of Castro, who died young in battle. Her second marriage was to François, duc de Montmorency.
  • By Lady Janet Stewart
    Lady Janet Stewart
    Janet Stewart, Lady Fleming was an illegitimate daughter of James IV of Scotland and served as governess to her niece, Mary, Queen of Scots. Janet was briefly a mistress to Henry II of France, by whom she had an illegitimate son, Henri d'Angouleme...

     (1508–1563), herself an illegitimate daughter of James IV of Scotland
    James IV of Scotland
    James IV was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from not only Scotland, but also from all...

    : Henri d'Angouleme
    Henri d'Angouleme
    Henri d'Angoulême, sometimes referred to as Henri de France or Henri de Valois, born in 1551 at Aix-la-Chapelle. He was the illegitimate son of Henry II of France and Janet Stewart. He was known to write sonnets, one of which was set to music by Fabrice Caietain...

     (1551 – June 1586). He was legitimized and became governor of Provence
    Provence
    Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

    .
  • By Nicole de Savigny: a son, Henri (1557–1621). He was given the title of comte de Saint-Rémy. One of his last descendants was Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy, Comtesse de la Motte
    Comtesse de la Motte
    Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy, "Comtesse de la Motte" was a notorious French adventuress and thief; she was married to Nicholas de la Motte whose family's claim to nobility is dubious. She herself was an impoverished descendant of the Valois royal family through an illegitimate son of King Henry II...

    , famous for her role in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace
    Affair of the diamond necklace
    The Affair of the Diamond Necklace was a mysterious incident in the 1780s at the court of Louis XVI of France involving his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette. The reputation of the Queen, which was already tarnished by gossip, was ruined by the implication that she had participated in a crime to defraud...

    .

Prophecy


Nostradamus
Nostradamus
Michel de Nostredame , usually Latinised to Nostradamus, was a French apothecary and reputed seer who published collections of prophecies that have since become famous worldwide. He is best known for his book Les Propheties , the first edition of which appeared in 1555...

, a French astrological writer known for his prophecies, is often said to have become famous when one of his quatrain
Quatrain
A quatrain is a stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines of verse. Existing in various forms, the quatrain appears in poems from the poetic traditions of various ancient civilizations including Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and China; and, continues into the 21st century, where it is...

s was construed as a prediction of the death of King Henry II:

CI, Q 35
The young lion shall overcome the older one,

on the field of combat in single battle,

He shall pierce his eyes in a golden cage,

Two forces one, then he shall die a cruel death.

But, in fact, the link was first proposed in print only in 1614, fifty-five years after the event and forty-eight after Nostradamus' death; thus it qualifies as a postdiction
Postdiction
According to critics of paranormal beliefs, postdiction is an effect of hindsight bias that explains claimed predictions of significant events, such as plane crashes and natural disasters...

, or vaticinium ex eventu. The Italian astrologer Luca Gaurico
Luca Gaurico
Luca Gaurico was an Italian astrologer, astronomer, and mathematician. He was born to a poor family in the Kingdom of Naples, and studied judicial astrology, a subject he defended in his Oratio de Inventoribus et Astrologiae Laudibus...

, a contemporary of Nostradamus, is also said to have predicted the king's death.