Francis I.

king of France, surnamed “the Great, and the restorer of learning,” succeeded his father-in-law Louis XII. who died without a son in 1515. Francis I. was the only son of Charles duke of Orleans, constable of AngoulSroe, and born at Cognac, September 12, 1494. Immediately after his coronation he took the title of cluke of Milan, and put himself at the head of a powerful army to assert his right to that duchy. The Swiss, who defended it, opposed his enterprize, and attacked him. near Marignana; but they were cut to pieces in a sanguinary contest, and about 15,000 left dead on the field. The famous Trivulce, who had been engaged in eighteen battles, called this “The battle of the Giants,” and the others “Children’s play.” It was on this occasion that the king desired to be knighted by the famous Bayard. That rank was originally the highest that could be aspired to: princes of the blood were not called monseigneur, nor their wives madaine, till they had been knighted; nor might any one claim that honour, unless he could trace his nobility at least three generations back, both on his father’s and mother’s side, and also bore an unblemished character, especially for military courage and valour. The creation of a knight was attended with few ceremonies, except at some festivals, inwhich case a great number were observed. This institution, which may be traced up to the first race, contributed not a little to polish the minds of the French, by restraining them within the bounds of a benevolent morality. They swore to spare neither life or fortune in defence of religion, in fighting against the infidels, and in protecting the widow, the orphan, and all who were defenceless. By this victory at Marignana, Francis I. became master of the Milanese, which was ceded to him by Maximilian Sforza, who then retired into France. Pope Leo X. alarmed by these conquests, held a conference with the king at Bologna, obtained from him the abolition of the Pragmatic Sanction, and settled the Concordate, which was confirmed the year following in the Latcran council. From that time the kings of France appointed to all consistorial benefices, and the pope received | one year’s income upon every change. The treaty of N.oyon was concluded the same year between Charles V. and Francis I. one principal article or‘ which was the restoration of Navarre. Charles V. on the death of Maximilian I. being elected emperor, 1519, in opposition to Francis, the jealousy which subsisted between those two princes broke out immediately, and kindled a long war, which proved fatal to all Europe. The French, commanded by Andrew de Foix, conquered Navarre in 1520, and lost it again almost directly; they drove the English and Imperialists from Picardy; took Hesdin, Fontarabia, and several other places; but lost Milan and Tournay in 1521. The following year, Odet de Foix, viscount of Lautrec, was defeated at the bloody battle of Bicoque, which was followed by the loss of Cremona, Genoa, and a great part of Italy. Nor did their misfortunes end here. The constable of Bourbon, persecuted by the duchess of Angouleme, joined the emperor 1523, and, being appointed commander of his forces in 1524, defeated admiral Bonevet’s rear at the retreat of Rebec, and retook all the Milanese. He afterwards entered Provence with a powerful army, but was obliged to raise the siege of Marseilles, and retired with loss. Francis I. however, went into Italy, retook Milan, and was going to besiege Pavia; but, having imprudently detached part of his troops to send them to Nappies, he was defeated by the constable de Bpurbon in a bloody battle before Pavia, February 24, 1525, after, having two horses killed under him, and displaying prodigious valour. His greatness of mind never appeared more conspicuously than after this unfortunate engagement. In a letter to his mother he says, “Every thing is lost but honour.” He was conducted as a prisoner to Madrid, and returned the following year, after the treaty which was concluded in that city, January 14, 1526. This treaty, extorted by force, was not fulfilled; the emperor had insisted on the duchy of Burgundy being ceded to him but, when Lannoi went to demand it in his master’s name, he was introduced to anaudience given to the deputies of Burgundy, who declared to the king, that he had no power to give up any province of his kingdom. Upon this the war re-commenced immediately. Francis I. sent forces into Italy, under the command of Lautrec, who rescued Clement VII. and at first gained great adVantages, but perished afterwards, with his army, by | sickness. The king, who had been some years a widower, concluded the treaty of Cambray in 1529, by which he engaged to marry Eleanor of Austria, the emperor’s sister; and his two sons, who had been given as hostages, were Ransomed at the king’s return for two millions in gold. The ambition of possessing Milan, caused peace again to be broken. Francis took Savoy in 1535, drove the emperor from Provence in 153G, entered into an alliance with 8olyman II. emperor of the Turks; took Hesdin, and seyeral other places, in 1537, and made a truce of ten years with Charles V. at Nice, 1538, which did not, however, Jast long. The emperor, going to punish the people of Ghent, who had rebelled, obtained a passage through France, by promising Francis the investiture of the duchy of Milan for which of his children he pleased; but. after being received in France with the highest honours in 1539, he was no sooner arrived in Flanders than he refused to keep his promise. This broke the truce; the war was renewed, and carried on with various success on both sides. The king’s troops entered Italy, Roussillorr, and Luxemburg. Francis of Bourbon, comte d‘Enguien, won the battle of Cerizoles in 154*, and took Montferrat. Francis I. gained over to his side Barbarossa, and Gustavus Vasa, Icing of Sweden; while, on the other hand, Henry VIII. of England espoused the interests of Charles V. and took Bologna, ’1544. A peace was at last concluded with he emperor at Cressy, September 18, 1544, and with Henry VIII. June 7, 154fi; but Francis did not long enjoy the tranquillity which this peace procured him; he died at the castle of Rambouillet the last day of March, 1547, aged fifty-three. This prince possessed the most shining qualities: he was witty, mild, magnanimous, generous, and benevolent. The revival of polite literature in Europe was chiefly owing to his care; he patronized the learned, founded the royal college at Paris, furnished a library at Fountainbleau at a great expence, and built several palaces, which he ornamented with pictures, statues, and costly furniture. When dying, he particularly requested his son to dimiuish the taxes which he had been obliged to levy for defraying the expences of the war; and put it in his power to do so, for he left 400,000 crowns of gold in his coffers, with a quarter of his revenues which was then due. It was this sovereign who ordered all public acts to "be written in French. Upon the whole he appears to | have been one of the greatest ornaments of the French throne. 1

1 Hist, of France*-r-RoberUon’ Hist, of Charlei V. <cc.