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Winifred Stephens Whale.

Margaret of France, duchess of Savoy, 1523-1574; a biography with a photogravure frontispiece and sixteen other illustrations online

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MARGARET OF FRANCE
DUCHESS OF SAVOY



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

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MARGARET
OF FRANCE

DUCHESS OF SAVOY 1523-74

A BIOGRAPHY BY WINIFRED STEPHENS
WITH A PHOTOGRAVURE FRONTISPIECE
AND SIXTEEN OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS



" Une femme eminente par sa sagesse, son irreprochable
vertu et l'energie d'une ame vraiment virile." — De Thou.



LONDON: JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD
NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY MCMXII



WILLIAM BKENDON AND SON, LTD., PRINTERS, PLYMOUTH



LIBRARY

UNIVERSH CALIFORNIA

SANTA BARBARA



PREFACE

ENGLAND has ever been the friend of
Italy ; and before Italy existed, save
as a geographical expression, England
was the friend of that royal house of
Savoy which has rendered a united Italy possible.
From early times down to those dark and more
recent days when in Italy " but to think was to be
suspect, to speak was ruin and to act was death/'
the sympathy of England, expressed in manifold
ways, alike by poets and novelists, by statesmen
and diplomatists, has meant much to Italy. And,
during the last sixty years, many a link has been
forged in " the golden chain " which unites the two
countries. To-day to utter the names of Lord
John Russell, or of Mr. Gladstone, or of Mrs.
Browning, is to make a patriotic Italian's heart
thrill with joy.

England has followed closely the history of the
Italian peninsula during the last sixty years.
Our countrymen were filled with enthusiasm by
Cavour's attempt to establish in Piedmont parlia-
mentary government on the English model.
Eagerly did Englishmen welcome an alliance with



Preface

Piedmont on behalf of the common rights of
nations during the Crimean War. On Russian
battle-fields the valour displayed by the Pied-
montese troops aroused the admiration of our
soldiers. And, when Victor Emmanuel II visited
England, in December, 1855, as the guest of Queen
Victoria, his reception was no less enthusiastic
and no less magnificent than that which a few
months earlier had been accorded to the Emperor
of the French.

In i860, Garibaldi's British legion, the seven
hundred officers and men who went from England
to fight for Italian independence, were received at
Naples with transports of joy. When the British
soldiers in their loose red tunics were seen in
Neapolitan streets, the patriotic fervour of the
Italians knew no bounds. They waved flags
and showered flowers on the troops, until every
man had his rifle begarlanded. The other day,
among those who stood proudly by at the un-
veiling of the statue of Victor Emmanuel II, the
first sovereign of United Italy, were six aged
veterans, the only survivors of that British legion,
who had journeyed all the way from London * to
witness that auspicious ceremony.

English appreciation of the artistic Italian
temperament and of the inventive Italian mind is
reciprocated in Italy by a sincere admiration of
our institutions, which expresses itself in all

1 They started from Charing Cross on the ist of June, 191 1.

vi



Preface

manner of ways, incidentally by the recent
inauguration of the boy-scout movement in certain
Italian cities, but more especially in the respect
for British constitutional traditions which ani-
mates the methods of Italian statesmen. It must
have sounded strangely familiar to those of our
countrymen who listened to King Humbert on the
Capitol last March, to hear the King declaring as
the national ideals of Italy — free representation in
Parliament and in municipal assemblies, tranquil
harmony between Church and State, freedom
of thought, universal peace and progress.

At a time when the services rendered to the
cause of Italian freedom by England's ancient
ally, the royal house of Savoy, are present to
every mind, when Emmanuel Philibert, the six-
teenth century founder of Savoyard greatness is
being especially glorified, ] it may not be amiss to
recall the life-story of Emmanuel Philibert's gifted
consort, Margaret of France, daughter of King
Francis I.

Margaret was one of those numerous French
princesses to whom Savoy and Italy owe a great
debt of gratitude. It is interesting to note in
passing that a French princess, when she came
to Italy as the bride of a Duke of Savoy, usually
brought blessings in her hand, whereas an Italian
princess going to France as the bride of a French

1 See Emanuele Filiberto, a play, written by Raffaele Fiore
and acted by Salvini, published 1911.

vii



Preface

King usually carried in her train nothing but
disaster.

But let not my readers think that this volume
will be entirely concerned with Italy. Margaret
of France, when she married Emmanuel Philibert,
was already an accomplished woman of the world,
and a femme savante, honoured in her own country
as the friend of poets and of scholars. I shall
therefore have much to say of her life in France,
and of that most brilliant phase of the French
Renaissance which owed so much to her
patronage.

Moreover, Margaret, at the time of her marriage,
was already known throughout Europe as the
protectress of the Huguenots. And the persecuted
Protestants of Piedmont expected great things
from her coming among them. Their hopes were
not disappointed. For to Margaret was it given
to still the strife of religious warfare in her adopted
land, and in France to rescue from Catholic daggers
at the Massacre of St. Bartholomew one of the
choicest spirits of the age, her some-time Chan-
cellor, Michel de 1' Hospital.

In the words of that famous Chancellor, Mar-
garet, as Duchess of Savoy, drew the eyes of
Europe upon her. For her marriage with Em-
manuel Philibert, arranged by the Treaty of
Cateau-Cambresis, made her the mediator between
the great powers of France and Spain. It would
hardly be an exaggeration to say that she held

viii



Preface

the peace of Europe in her hand. And we may
safely assert that, largely owing to her influence,
the complicated terms of the Cateau-Cambresis
Treaty, though bristling with difficulties, were
executed without bloodshed.

Yet, among her multifarious and cosmopolitan
cares, the interests of her husband's land were
never absent from Margaret's mind, and so
strenuously did she strive to further them that
she might appropriately have adopted as her
motto the cry of another Savoyard princess, a
later Margaret, 1 Sempre avanti Savoia.

" You shall not tell me by languages and titles
a catalogue of the volumes you have read, you
shall make me feel what periods you have lived,"
wrote Emerson.

And such must be the aspiration of all who
attempt to record history. How near this work
approaches to that high standard I must leave my
readers to judge. Suffice it to say that, in order to
breathe the atmosphere of Margaret's time, I
have studied contemporary letters and records, I
have gazed upon pictures and portraits of the
day, I have visited cities and palaces wherein
Margaret dwelt.

In writing this book I have received valuable
help from experts to whom it is a pleasure to take

1 The present Queen Dowager of Italy, who, in danger of
shipwreck, on a voyage to Sicily, is said to have encouraged the
distracted captain with the cry Sempre avanti Savoia.

ix



Preface

this opportunity of expressing my thanks : to
Miss Constance White, whose name occurs in the
notes to this volume ; to M. de La Ronciere,
Superintendent of printed books in the Biblio-
theque Nationale, to M. Pierre Champion, Archi-
viste Paleographe, and to Signor Buraggi, Keeper
of the Archivio di Stato at Turin.

Before closing this preface it may be well to
give a few words of explanation as to the spelling
of proper names. In a work of this description to
adopt any hard and fast rule, to consistently
write all foreign names in the foreign manner,
or all foreign names in English, is difficult. There
is a danger that the invariable adherence to the
latter rule, which may involve the writer in the
translation, for example, of Louis into Lewis, may
offend the eye or jar the ear of an English reader.
On the other hand, the constant use of certain
foreign names, that of " Marguerite " or of
Emmanuele Filiberto for example, might strike
a discordant note. Even Froude, who does not
usually translate foreign names, forbears to use
that of " Marguerite," and we find him writing,
" Margaret, Duchess of Parma," " Margaret,
Princess of France." For the heroine of this bio-
graphy — as well as for her aunt and her niece,
Froude's example has been followed. For Mar-
garet's father, so well known among us as " King
Francis I," and for Philip II, who was once the
King of this realm, the English form has likewise



Preface

been employed. The numerous Henries who enter
these pages have been described as " Henry,"
because in the sixteenth century that English form
happened to be also the French. But foreign
names will usually be found written in the foreign
manner.

WINIFRED STEPHENS

London, 1911



XI



CONTENTS

PAGE

Chronological Table ....... xxi

Introduction ......... xxvii

CHAPTER I

MARGARET AND HER FAMILY CIRCLE

Birth and Baptism of Margaret — Her Parents — Her
Mother's death — Her Father's Imprisonment — Her
Aunt, Margaret of Angouleme — Childhood on the Loire —
Imprisonment of the French Princes in Spain — Their
Return to France with Queen Eleonore — Margaret's
friend, Le Beau Brissac ...... 3

CHAPTER II

EARLY INFLUENCES

The Coming to France of Catherine de Medicis and Mar-
garet's Affection for her — Their education together — The
Moral Atmosphere of the Court — The Death of the
Dauphin — Sickness at Fontainebleau — An Autumn
Party at Chatillon-sur-Loing ..... 30

CHAPTER III

LOVE AND MARRIAGE IN THE FAMILY OF KING FRANCIS

The great matches of the sixteenth century — James V of
Scotland and the daughters of King Francis — James's
Marriage with Margaret's sister, Madeleine — The Death
of Madeleine — Matrimonial Schemes for Margaret —
Charles V's Visit to France — The Death of Francis I . 53

xiii



Contents



CHAPTER IV

MARGARET AT THE COURT OF HENRY II



PAGE



Margaret's Household — The Duel between Jarnac and La
Chataigneraie — Moulins and Lyon — Marriage of Jeanne
d'Albret — Death of the first Margaret . . .72

CHAPTER V

A CAUSE CELEBRE

The Defendant, Jacques de Savoie, Due de Nemours — The
Plaintiff, Francoise de Rohan, Dame de Garnache — The
Wooing of Francoise — Nemours' Treachery in Italy —
The Ball at Blois — Catherine's Warning — Margaret's
Intervention — A Kiss in the name of Marriage — The
Ordeal — Flight of Francoise — Birth of Henri de Savoie
— Thirty-four Years of Litigation — Margaret's Evidence
— The Agreement of 1577 — Last Years of Francoise —
Death of Jacques de Nemours. . . . . 91

CHAPTER VI

MARGARET AND MEN OF LETTERS

Margaret the Pallas Athene of the Pleiade — Her Protection
of Ronsard and the Poet's Gratitude — The Salon in La
Rue St. Andre-des-Arcs — Le Tombeau de Marguerite de
Valois ... . . . . . .109

CHAPTER VII

THE ROMANCE OF JOACHIM DU BELLAY

Margaret at Les Tournelles in 1549 — Morel presents her
with Du Bellay's Works, La Defence and VOlive — Was
l'Olive Margaret ? — Margaret's Kindness dispels the
Poet's Melancholy — The Gift of a Handkerchief — Du
Bellay in Rome — Les Regrets — His grief at Margaret's
Departure from France — His early Death, 1560 . .126

xiv



Contents



CHAPTER VIII

MARGARET, DUCHESS OF BERRY



PAGB



Margaret's Gift for Government — Her Salon at Bourges

The University— Her Disputes with the Mayor and

Aldermen — Her Attempts to revive the Woollen Industry

of Bourges IJ5



CHAPTER IX

COURTSHIP EMMANUEL PHILIBERT

Margaret's views as to a Husband — Proposals to marry her
to Alessandro Farnese and to Philip of Spain — The
Savoy Alliance first proposed in 1526 — Proposal renewed
in 1538— Did Margaret and Emmanuel Philibert then
fall in love ? — Alliance refused as not good enough for
Margaret — The Fortunes of the House of Savoy — Early
life of Emmanuel Philibert — He commands the Forces
of Spain — Renewed Proposals for his Marriage with
Margaret, 1550-1557— The Battle of St. Quentin, 1557 145



CHAPTERS X



BETROTHAL AND THE TREATY OF CATEAU-CAMBRESIS

St. Q>nentin and the fortunes of Emmanuel Philibert — Ne-
gotiations in the Abbey of Cercamp — The Duke of
Savoy proposes for Margaret's niece, Claude — But ac-
cepts Margaret, who is offered to him by the Constable
— Negotiations at Cateau-Cambresis — The Constable's
joy at obtaining a husband for Margaret — Margaret's
assumption of the role of diplomatist — Unpopularity
of the match in France and in Piedmont . . .174

b xv



Contents

CHAPTER XI

A SAD WEDDING

PAGE

The Bridegroom's Departure from Brussels for Paris —
Signing of the Marriage Contract at Les Tournelles —
The formal Betrothal and Preparations for the Wedding
— Margaret's Trousseau — The Tournament and the
Wounding of King Henry — The Art of Surgery in the
sixteenth century — Margaret's midnight Wedding — The
King's Death . . . . . . .190

CHAPTER XII

Margaret's departure for savoy and arrival

AT NICE

A brief Honeymoon — Five weeks of Mourning — Illness
of the Duke of Savoy — The Coronation of Francis II—
Return of Emmanuel Philibert to Savoy — Margaret at
Paris and Blois — Her Parting with Queen Catherine —
Her Departure for Savoy, escorted by Michel de 1' Hos-
pital — Her Reception at Lyon — Her Arrival at Marseille
— Meeting between the Duke and Duchess — Festivities
at Nice — Descent of the Corsair Occhiali — Margaret as
executrix of Jean de la Vigne, French Ambassador at
Constantinople ....... 206

CHAPTER XIII

MARRIAGE AND MOTHERHOOD

Margaret's Illness — Correspondence with Catherine — The
Birth of Charles Emmanuel — His Education and Up-
bringing — The Duke's Illness and Margaret's Govern-
ment of his Principality — The Duke as a Husband —
Margaret's magnanimity ...... 228

xvi



Contents

CHAPTER XIV

THE HIGHER POLITICS

PAGE

Margaret's difficulties as Duchess of Savoy — The Question
of the French Fortresses in Piedmont — The French retire
from four fortresses — Entrance of the Duke and Duchess
into their capital ....... 246

CHAPTER XV

MARGARET AND THE PROTESTANTS

Margaret's Religion — Was she a Protestant ? — Her Protec-
tion of the Waldenses — The Treaty of Lausanne — Her
Intervention in the French Wars of Religion — She visits
the Court at Lyon — The Massacre of St. Bartholomew . 257

CHAPTER XVI

LAST YEARS

Margaret's Liberality — Her protection of Art and Learning
in Savoy — French Visitors at Turin — Paul de Foix
and Henry III of France — Henry's cession of the last
fortresses held by the French in Piedmont — The Rebel,
Damville, at Turin — Sickness in the royal palace —
Margaret's last letters and Death — The Policy of Savoy
after her death ....... 283

APPENDICES

A. Two of Margaret's Autograph Letters . . .319

B. The Seymour Sisters, Authoresses of Le Tombeau de

Marguerite de Valois . . . . . -323

C. Nicolas Denisot, Editor of Le Tombeau de Marguerite

de Valois 332

D. Letter showing the part played by Margaret in the

pacification of the Waldenses . . . . -339

Bibliography 34 1

lNDEX 353

xvii



ILLUSTRATIONS



Margaret of Valois, Daughter of Francis I . Frontispiece

After a portrait of the Clouet school at Chantilly.

_ _ __ FACING PAGE

The Three Margarets . . . ... xxvii

Portrait by Corneille de Lyon, said to represent Queen
Claude . . . . ... 5

Charles de Cosse, Marechal de Brissac . . . 26

From a drawing by Francois Clouet at Chantilly.

The Dauphin Francois, Brother of Margaret of France . 47

From a portrait by Corneille de Lyon at Chantilly.



King Henry II of France

From a portrait by Francois Clouet in the Louvre, Paris.



72



Margaret of France in 1548 . . ... 86

From a painting by Corneille de Lyon at Versailles.

A Woodcut representing Margaret of Angouleme . . 90

The frontispiece of Le Tombeau de Marguerite de Valois.

Jacques de Savoie, Due de Nemours, about 1560 . . 102

From a portrait of the Clouet school at Chantilly.

Margaret of France as Pallas Athene . . .110

From a Limoges Enamel, signed " Jehan de Court," in the Wallace
Collection.

Title-page of "Le Tombeau de Marguerite de Valois" . 121
Charles III, Duke of Savoy, Father of Emmanuel Philibert 147

From a portrait attributed to Jean Clouet in the Pinacoteca at Turin.

Emmanuel Philibert in infancy, depicted as a Cardinal . 157

From a painting in the Pinacoteca at Turin.

Margaret of Valois at about the age of Three . . 194

From a crayon by Francois Clouet in the Bibliotheque Nationale.

xix



Illustrations



FACING PAGE

Charles Emmanuel, Son of Margaret of France, with his

Dwarf . . .... 237

From a painting in the Pinacoteca at Turin.

Anne de Montmorency . . ... 279

From a Clouet drawing at Chantilly.

Emmanuel Philibert . . . ... 294

From a painting by Giacomo Vighi (l'Argento) in the Pinacoteca at Turin.



XX



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE

1523. Margaret of France born at St. Germain-en-Laye.

1524. Death of Queen Claude, Margaret's mother.
Death of Princess Charlotte, Margaret's sister.

1525. The Battle of Pa via and Francis I taken prisoner.
Death of the Duke of Alencon, husband of Margaret's aunt,

Margaret of Angouleme.

1526. The Treaty of Madrid. Francis I, released from captivity,

returns to France. His place in prison taken by his
sons, the Dauphin and the Duke of Orleans. Rejection
of the proposal made by Charles III, Duke of Savoy, to
marry Margaret to his son Louis, Prince of Piedmont.

1527. Marriage of the Duchess of Alencon with Henry d'Albret,

King of Navarre.

1527. War between Francis I and the Emperor, Charles V.

1528. Birth of Emmanuel Philibert, afterwards Duke of Savoy.

1529. " The Peace of the Ladies " signed at Cambray.

1530. Release and return of the French princes to France.
Marriage of Francis I with Eleonore of Portugal, the

Emperor's sister.
1533. Marriage of Henry, Duke of Orleans, with Catherine de
Medicis.

1536. Sudden death of the Dauphin at Tournon.
The Emperor invades Provence.

The French conquest of Piedmont.
James V of Scotland visits France.

1537. His marriage with Margaret's sister, Madeleine.
Madeleine's departure for Scotland.

Her death.

Margaret's illness at Fontainebleau.

Montmorency's campaign in Piedmont.

Francis I signs the Truce of Moncon with the Emperor.

1538. Death of Beatrice, Duchess of Savoy.

Meeting of Francis I and the Emperor Charles V at Nice
and abortive negotiations for Margaret's marriage
with Emmanuel Philibert, Prince of Piedmont.

xxi



Chronological Table

1538. Proposal to marry Margaret to Philip of Spain, afterwards

Philip II.

1539. Proposal, emanating from France, to marry Margaret

to the Emperor Charles V.
The Emperor's visit to France.

1 540. Margaret's friend, the Constable, Anne de Montmorency,

withdraws from court.
Renewed war with the Emperor.

1543. Margaret's rejection of the suit of Antoine, Duke of

Vendome, afterwards King of Navarre.
Marriage of Philip II with Mary of Portugal.

1 544. The Peace of Crepy.

1545. Death of Margaret's youngest brother, Charles, Duke

of Orleans.

1 547. Death of Francis I.

Accession of Margaret's brother, Henry II.

The duel between Jarnac and La Chateigneraie.

Further abortive negotiations for Margaret's marriage

with Prince Philip.
Cardinal Alessandro Farnese solicits Margaret's hand,

but is rejected.

1548. Margaret, accompanying the court on a royal progress,

visits Moulins and Lyon. The wedding of Jeanne
d'Albret and Antoine, duke of Vendome.

1549. The death of Margaret of Angouleme.

Margaret of France takes Ronsard and the new poets

under her protection.
Margaret comes to Paris for the King's state entry into

his capital.
Joachim du Bellay is presented to her.

1550. Margaret becomes Duchess of Berry.

She appoints Michel de l'Hospital her Chancellor.
Appearance of Ronsard 's Odes dedicated to Margaret.
Presentation to Margaret of Le Tombeau de Marguerite,
de Valois containing Latin verses by three English
maidens.
The Marechal de'Brissac is appointed Governor of Pied-
mont.
1552. Renewal of the French War with the Emperor.
Illness of Catherine de Medicis at Joinville.
Renewed proposal for the marriage of Margaret and
"Emmanuel Philibert.
xxii



Chronological Table



1552. Emmanuel Philibert, in the army of Ferdinand Gonzaga,

at the siege of Bena, first serves against France.

1553. Commanding in the army of the Seigneur de Bugnicourt,

Emmanuel Philibert contributes to the capture of

Terouenne.
His appointment as commander of the imperial forces in

Flanders.
He takes Hesdin.
Death of his father, Charles III, Duke of Savoy.

1554. Margaret rejects the suit of Emmanuel Philibert, now

Duke of Savoy.
Abortive negotiations for the marriage of Emmanuel

Philibert with Princess Elizabeth of England.
His visit to England.
His victorious campaigns in the Netherlands.

1556. Truce of Vaucelles.

Nicolas Denisot's Mission to Calais.

1557. Renewal of War.
Siege of St. Quentin.
Battle of St. Quentin.
Imprisonment of the Constable.
Margaret falls ill of the whooping-cough.

Birth of Henry de Savoie, son of Francoise de Rohan.

1558. The taking of Calais by the Duke of Guise.
Margaret with the King and Queen go to Beauvais.
Meeting of plenipotentiaries at Cercamp to negotiate

a treaty.
Emmanuel Philibert proposes to marry Margaret's niece.

Princess Claude.
The French reject the proposal, and offer Margaret.
The Duke of Savoy accepts the offer.
Liberation of the Constable.
Marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, to the Dauphin

Francis, Margaret's nephew.

1559. Marriage of Princess Claude and the Duke of Lorraine.
The Treaty of Cateau - Cambresis finally settles that

Margaret shall marry Emmanuel Philibert, and that

he shall be restored to his dominions.
The Duke of Savoy's arrival in Paris.
Marriage of Princess Elizabeth of France, Margaret's

niece, with Philip II of Spain, the Duke of Alva acting

as proxy.

xxiii



Chronological Table



1559.- Signing of Margaret's marriage contract at Les Tournelles.
Her betrothal.
The wounding of King Henry at the tournament in the

Rue St. Antoine.
Margaret's hurried wedding.
Henry's death.

Departure of the Duke of Savoy for Flanders.
Margaret's mourning at St. Germain.
She gives evidence on behalf of the Duke of Nemours in

a suit brought against him by Francoise de Rohan.
Return to France of the Duke of Savoy.
His illness at Villers-Cotterets.
Coronation of Francis II.
The Duke's return to Savoy.
Margaret in Paris.

Her departure for Nice with Michel de 1' Hospital.
The death of Margaret's friend, Jean de la Vigne, French

Ambassador at Constantinople.

1560. The Death of Joachim du Bellay.
Margaret's arrival at Nice.

She receives a deputation from the Waldenses, the Pro-
testants of Piedmont.

Descent of the Corsair, " Occhiali," on the port of Ville-
franche.

The Marechal de Brissac is succeeded by the Seigneur de
Bordillon as Governor of the French fortresses ni
Piedmont.

The Duke's illness.

Margaret's illness.

Departure of Michel de l'Hospital for the French court.

His appointment as Chancellor of France.

The Conspiracy of Amboise.

Death of Francis II and accession of Charles IX.

1561. The astrologer, Nostradamus, visits Margaret at Vercelli

in order to prophesy the sex of her expected child.
Expeditions against the Waldenses.

Death of Margaret's friend, the Duchess of Montpensier.
A council held at Lyon to discuss the rival claims of

Emmanuel Philibert and France to territory in Savoy

and in Piedmont.
The Treaty of Cavour signed between the Duke of Savoy

and the Waldenses.

xxiv



Chronological Table



1562. The birth of Margaret's son, Charles Emmanuel.
Outbreak of religious war in France.

The siege of Bourges.

The death of Antoine de Vendome of wounds received
at the siege of Rouen.

Emmanuel Philibert sends troops to aid the Catholics in
France.

Visit of the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Bishop of Orleans
to Piedmont.

Surrender to Savoy of Turin, Villanuova d'Asti, Chieri
and Chivasso, towns held by the French according to
the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis. France takes in-
stead Perusia and Savigliano.

The Duke and Duchess make their state entry into their



Online LibraryWinifred Stephens WhaleMargaret of France, duchess of Savoy, 1523-1574; a biography with a photogravure frontispiece and sixteen other illustrations → online text (page 1 of 25)