Madeleine, Summer Queen of Scotland – a fragile flower destined to wither

Madeleine de Valois was born on the 10th of August 1520 to King François I of France and his first wife Queen Claude, Duchess of Brittany, at Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris.    The couple’s 5th child and 3rd daughter, Madeleine was a sickly girl since her early childhood.  Despite all...

Dauphin François of France: poisoned or died of natural causes?

Duke François III of Brittany, who was also Dauphin of France and an heir apparent, was the eldest son of King François I of France and his first wife, Queen Claude of France, who also was his cousin as daughter of King Louise XII and his second spouse, Anne de...

The Drama of Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany

On the 10th of August 1241, Eleanor Fair Maid of Brittany (House of Plantagenet) died as a nun at the age of 57 or 59.  Originally buried at St James’ Priory, Bristol, her remains were then exhumed and reburied at Amesbury Abbey by King Henry III of England (her cousin),...

‘The Peace of the Ladies’, and the misfortunes of King François I of France

The Treaty of Cambrai, also called ‘Peace of the Ladies’ (French: ‘Paix Des Dames’), was signed on the 3rd of August because of the efforts of two powerful women – Louise de Savoy, the mother of King François I of France, and Archduchess Margaret of Austria, who was Emperor Charles...

Queen Elizabeth I’s Famous Tilbury Speech

On the 9th of August 1588 (old calendar), Queen Elizabeth I of England appeared before her troops gathered at Tilbury, in Essex in preparation to repel the possible invasion by the Spanish Armada.  Nevertheless, by the time, the once powerful Armada had been driven from the Strait of Dover in...

Guillaume Dufay: a renowned Franco-Flemish composer

Guillaume Dufay was born on the 5th of August 1397 near Brussels, Burgundian Netherlands (modern Belgium).  Becoming a renowned Franco-Flemish composer, he lived a long life and died on the 27th of November 1474 in Cambrai (modern France).  Being probably the illegitimate son of a priest and Marie Dufay, Guillaume...

King Henri I of the Franks: the weak royal demesne of France

King Henri I of the Franks, born c 1008 in Reims, died on the 4th of August 1060, in Vitry-aux-Loges in France.  He was crowned at Reims in 1027 in his father’s lifetime, following the sudden demise of his elder brother Hugh Magnus.   Son of Robert Capet (King Robert II)...

Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici: the cultural heir of Lorenzo de’ Medici Il Magnifico

Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici was born in Florence on the 4th of August 1463 to Pierfrancesco the Elder and his wife, Laudomia Acciaioli.  Pierfrancesco the Elder belonged to the junior Medici branch, which descended from Lorenzo di Giovanni de’ Medici known as Lorenzo the Elder, son of Giovanni di...

King William II of England: shot by an arrow while hunting

On the 2nd of August 1100, King William II of England, the second surviving son of William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, passed away.  Their two other surviving sons were Robert II Curthose, and Henry (the future King Henry I of England).  William I was known as...

Ferdinando I de’ Medici: a Cardinal who ascended to the ducal throne

Ferdinando I de’ Medici was born on the 30th of July 1549.  He was the fifth son of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his first wife, Eleanor of Toledo.  Ferdinando’s older brothers were: Francesco, Giovanni (died of malaria at the age of 18), Pietro (passed away...