The meeting of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn with François I of France in Calais

Imagine that we are in the city of Calais in Tudor England.  This place had a special meaning for King Henry VIII because it was the last remnant of the once substantial English possessions on the continent.  King Henry and his beloved Anne Boleyn sailed to Calais to meet with...

Renée of France: a Valois princess, a Protestant Duchess of Ferrara

The Valois Princess Renée of France was born on the 25th of October 1510 at Château de Blois, in the town of Blois, in the Loire Valley, France.  The second surviving daughter of King Louis XII of France and Anne de Bretagne (Anne of Brittany), Renée was the first French...

Claude de Lorraine, Duke de Guise: founder of the House of Guise

Claude de Lorraine, who was also known as Claude de Guise, was born the 20th of October 20, 1496 at Château de Condé in Condé (now this place is called Custines in north-eastern France), in Lorraine.  He had an eventful life, having been a favorite of King François I of...

The religious tolerance in France and the Affair of the Placards of 1534

Gradually, after the publication of ‘Ninety-five Theses’ by Martin Luther in 1517, more and people were growing interested in new religious ideas.  However, in the early 1520s, Reformation doctrines were still understood by a small number of educated people, but by the end of this decade, they could already be...

Françoise de Foix: the first long-term maîtresse-en-titre of King François I of France

Françoise de Foix, who was the first long-term maîtresse-en-titre of King François I of France, was born about 1495, but we don’t know her date and year of birth for a certainty.  Since her early youth, she served to Queen Anne of France, King Louis XII’s wife and Duchess of...

Claudin de Sermisy: a genius composer of the French Renaissance

Claudin de Sermisy (born circa 1490) passed away on the 13th of October 1562.  Together with Clément Janequin, his friend and also rival for the affections of the art-loving King François I of France and for his popularity, he was one of the most important and famed composers of French...

The chronology of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s visit to Calais in October 1532

King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn sailed to Calais on the 11th of October 1532 after she had been elevated to Marquess of Pembroke in an elaborate ceremony on the 1st of September 1532.  Some time passed before the monarch and the lady of his dreams met with his French...

King François I of France: the Battle of Marignano of 1515

King François I of France ascended to the throne of his kingdom on the 1st of January 1515 after the death of Louis XII of France, his 1st cousin once removed.  At the age of only 20, François was young, strong, handsome, cultured, courageous, vainglorious, and somewhat arrogant.  He had...

Clément Marot: a talented French Renaissance poet who influenced Reformation

A great Renaissance French poet, Clément Marot was born at Cahors, the capital of the province of Quercy, on the 23rd of November 1496.  His father, Jean Marot, was also a poet and served as escripvain (a poet-historian) to Anne de Bretagne, Queen of France.  Although in his youth Clément...

King François I of France: a godfather of the French Renaissance

King François I of France was born on the 12th of September at Cognac, Aquitaine, France.  The only son of Charles d’Orléans, Count d’Angoulême, and his wife, Louise de Savoy, François was a great-great-grandson of King Charles V of France called the Wise (le Sage).  A son of the man with...

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 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...

Claude of France: a gentle queen whose life was too short

Queen Claude of France, the eldest daughter of King Louis XII of France from his marriage to Anne of Brittany and the first wife King François I of France, died on 20th of July 1524 after a brief illness, at the age of only 24 at Château de Blois and...