FRANCOIS I

(1494-1547)
Francois I, king of France (1515-47) was a humanist, a patron of the arts, and a gallant military figure. Francois, the son of Charles de Valois-Orleans and Louise of Savoy, became heir presumptive upon the accession of his cousin Louis XII in 1498. Educated in the humanist tradition, he studied the classics but preferred arms to letters. Both Francois's mother, with whom he lived until 1508, and his elder sister, Marguerite de Navarre,* exerted tremendous influence over him his entire life.
From 1512 to 1513 Francois gained experience on the battlefield defending France's borders as well as influence with foreign ambassadors. Shortly before his death, Louis XII married his young daughter Claude to Francois, who on 1 January 1515 became king.
Within the first year of his reign, Francois invaded Italy in order to recover Milan. At the bloody battle of Marginano, Francois defeated the Swiss merce­naries of Massimiliano Sforza and his ally Pope Leo X.* Anxious to appease Francois, Leo X negotiated the Concordat of Bologna with Francois, giving him the privilege of nominating prelates in exchange for upholding ecclesiastical privileges. In 1520 Francois attempted to arrange an Anglo-French alliance but was unsuccessful despite his efforts to secure Henry VIII's* trust on the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
In 1521 the French loss of Milan marked the onset of twenty-seven years of warfare between Francois and Emperor Charles V.* When Francois pressed his mother's claim to inherit Bourbon lands, he incited a Bourbon invasion of Prov­ence. Francois routed the attackers and pursued them into Italy, where French troops laid siege to Pavia, a disastrous affair, for in 1525 Francois was wounded in battle and captured by Charles V's army.
The emperor imprisoned Francois in Madrid and demanded an exorbitant ransom for his freedom. Francois considered abdication, but his advisors finally persuaded him to sign the Treaty of Madrid in 1526. The surrendered French provinces, however, refused to abandon their king. The emperor was outraged with Francois and held his eldest two sons hostage until 1530, when Francois's mother negotiated the more realistic Treaty of Cambrai with Margaret of Austria, the emperor's aunt. In 1533 Francois married his second son, Henri, to Catherine de'Medici,* the niece of Clement VII, and in 1536 the dauphin died, supposedly poisoned by the emperor's agents. Francois achieved one last diplomatic coup, the Franco-Turkish alliance against Charles V, before his death of a wasting illness in 1547.
Francois I maintained a Renaissance court, attractive to noblemen, poets, mu­sicians, and scholars alike. He was known for his elegant manners, athletic abilities, and sexual escapades; he curtailed the abuses of overly ambitious no­bles, entertained the court with lavish processions, and wrote heartbreaking po­ems, songs, and letters to his subjects during his imprisonment. Francois encouraged religious tolerance: he admired Desiderius Erasmus,* acted as patron to Francois Rabelais,* and delayed the extermination of the Waldensian sect until his death. Notwithstanding his continuous and costly struggles with the emperor, Francois remained the beloved grand roi François.
Bibliography
R. J. Knecht, Renaissance Warrior and Patron: The Reign of Francis I, 1996.
Whitney Leeson

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Francois — François Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Pour les articles homonymes, voir Saint François et Saint François. François est un nom propre qui peut entrer dans la désignation de personnes,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Francois — François [fʀɑ̃ˈswa] (selten auch Francois) ist eine französische Variation des Namens Franz. Träger des Vornamens: François II. de Tournon (1489−1562), französischer Kleriker, und Erzbischof von Lyon François Haby (1861−1938), deutscher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • François — [fʀɑ̃ˈswa] (selten auch Francois) ist eine französische Variation des Namens Franz. Träger des Vornamens: François II. de Tournon (1489–1562), französischer Kleriker, und Erzbischof von Lyon François Haby (1861–1938), deutscher Unternehmer und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • François I — François Ier  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents souverains partageant un même nom. François Ier est un nom porté par plusieurs souverains européens : François Ier (1414 1450), duc de Bretagne de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Francois II — François II  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents souverains partageant un même nom. Le nom de François II fut porté par plusieurs souverains et seigneurs européens : Sommaire 1 Empereurs 2 Rois …   Wikipédia en Français

  • François K. — François Kevorkian Musicien français né en 1954, François Kevorkian est producteur, DJ, remixeur et propriétaire d un prestigieux studio d enregistrement (Axis, New York) assimilé au genre new wave voir House. Il est d origine arménienne. Il est… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Francois d'O — François d O Blason de la maison d’O : d’hermine au chef endenché de gueules François d’O, marquis d’O, seigneur de Fresnes et de Maillebois, né en 1535 à Paris où il est mort le 24 octobre 1594, est un financier …   Wikipédia en Français

  • François d'O — François d’O, Marquis de Maillebois († 24. Oktober 1594) war einer der Mignons des französischen Königs Heinrich III. Er war der ältere Bruder Jeans II. d’O und stammte vom Schloss O, das heute zur Gemeinde Mortrée in der Normandie gehört. Er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Francois IV — François IV  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents souverains partageant un même nom. François IV (1586 1612), duc de Mantoue de 1612 à 1612) ; François IV (1779 1846), duc de Modène de 1814 à 1846. Ce document provient de «… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • François d’O — François d’O, Marquis de Maillebois († 24. Oktober 1594) war einer der Mignons des französischen Königs Heinrich III. Er war der ältere Bruder Jeans II. d’O und stammte vom Schloss O, das heute zur Gemeinde Mortrée in der Normandie gehört. Er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • François — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Pour les articles homonymes, voir Saint François et Saint François …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.