Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne

Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne

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Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne (c. 1501 – 28 April 1519) was a younger daughter of Jean III de La Tour (1467– 28 March 1501), Count of Auvergne and Lauraguais, and Jeanne de Bourbon-Vendôme (1465–1511). She was a penultimate representative of the senior branch of the house de La Tour d'Auvergne
La Tour d'Auvergne
La Tour d'Auvergne was a French noble family. Its senior branch, extinct in 1501, held the titles of count of Auvergne and count of Boulogne for about half a century. Its junior branch, extinct in 1802, held the title of duke of Bouillon since 1594 and the titles of duke of Albret and duke of...

. Madeleine is perhaps best known for being the mother of 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....

, the future Queen of France.

Marriage negotiations


As part of his efforts to gain power in Italy, Francis I of France
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...

 turned to making certain strategic alliances. On 8 December 1515, he and Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

 met and signed an agreement of friendship, in which Francis agreed to ensure the Vatican's authority over the Catholic Church in France, and Leo promised to support Francis' claim to the throne of Naples. This agreement, like most others of the time, was cemented with a marriage alliance. Leo's nephew Lorenzo II de' Medici had just become the leader of the Florentine republic in 1516. Francis wrote to congratulate him by stating, "I intend to help you with all my power. I also wish to marry you off to some beautiful and good lady of noble birth and of my kin, so that the love which I bear you may grow and be strengthened". The "good lady" Francis proposed: his wealthy and distant relative Madeleine. Lorenzo duly accepted, as it was a great honor to be tied to the French royal family, especially since he was merely a commoner, albeit an extremely wealthy one. For Madeleine and her family, they were delighted to be tied into the sphere of the Pope himself.

Wedding celebrations


She married Duke Lorenzo II de' Medicis in 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:...

 on 5 May 1518. Their wedding was a sumptuous festival that marked not only their union, but also the birth of a dauphin for Francis I. As with the other festivities Francis put on throughout his life, dancing figured very prominently. Dancing was done mostly in the Italian style. Seventy-two ladies were disguised in Italian, German, and other fashionable costumes, making for quite a rich display of silk and color. Francis gave Madeleine 10,000 gold coins, while Lorenzo offered rich gifts to France's nobility.

Death


She died in Italy shortly before her husband on 28 April of the following year, of what is believed to have been the plague (some speculate that it may have been syphilis given to her from her husband). She had just given birth to a daughter, 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....

 (1519–1589), the future Queen Consort of France.

Inheritance


As both of their parents were deceased, Madeleine and her elder sister Anne
Anne, Countess of Auvergne
Anne de La Tour d'Auvergne was sovereign Countess of Auvergne from 1501 until 1524, and Duchess of Albany by marriage to John Stewart, Duke of Albany. She was called in her marriage contract, 'Anne de Boulogne fille de Jehan Comte de Boulogne et Auvergne.'-Family:She was the eldest of two...

 shared extensive properties in Auvergne, Clermont, Berry, Castres, and Louraguais. Anne inherited Auvergne
Auvergne (province)
Auvergne was a historic province in south central France. It was originally the feudal domain of the Counts of Auvergne. It is now the geographical and cultural area that corresponds to the former province....

 and married John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany
John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany
John Stewart, Duke of Albany was Regent of the Kingdom of Scotland, Duke of Albany in peerage of Scotland and Count of Auvergne and Lauraguais in France.-Early life:...

 in 1505. She outlived Madeleine by five years but died childless, after which the Counties of Auvergne
Auvergne (province)
Auvergne was a historic province in south central France. It was originally the feudal domain of the Counts of Auvergne. It is now the geographical and cultural area that corresponds to the former province....

 and Boulogne
Count of Boulogne
The county of Boulogne was a historical region in the Low Countries. It consisted of a part of the present-day French département of the Pas-de-Calais , in parts of which there is still a Dutch-speaking minority....

 as well as the barony of La Tour
La Tour
-France:Several communes in France:* La Tour, Alpes-Maritimes, in the Alpes-Maritimes département* La Tour, Haute-Savoie, in the Haute-Savoie département* La Tour-Blanche, in the Dordogne département* La Tour-d'Aigues, in the Vaucluse département...

 passed to Madeleine's daughter 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....

and then to the French Crown.

Sources