Estrees, John D'

, grand-master of the artillery of France, was born in 1486, of a distinguished and ancient family, and died in 1567, at the age of eighty-one. He was at first page to queen Anne of Brittany, and afterwards performed great services to the kings Francis I. and Henry II. being the first who put the French artillery on a respectable footing. He signalized himself at the taking of Calais in 1558, and on several other occasions gave eminent proofs of sagacity and courage. He is also said to have been the first gentleman of Picardy who embraced the protestant religion. Brantome, in his Capitaines François, says, “that M. d’Estrées was one of the worthy men of his rank, without offence to others, and the most intrepid in trenches and batteries; for he went to them holding up his head, as if it had been to a hunting party in the fields; and the greatest part of the time he went on horseback, mounted on a great German hack, above twenty years old, and as intrepid as his master; for as to cannonades and arquebusades that were fired in the trench, neither the one nor the other ever lowered their heads for them; and he shewed himself half the body high above the trench, for he was tall and conspicuous as well as his horse. Hq was the ablest man in the world in knowing the fittest spots for erecting a local battery, and in directing it best; accordingly, he was one of the confidents that mons. de Guise wished to have about him for making conquests and taking towns, as he did at Calais. It was he who the first provided us with those fine founderies of artillery which we make use of to this day; and even of our cannon, which do not fear being fired a hundred times one after the other, as I may say, without bursting, without splitting, without breaking, as he proved in one before the king, when the first essay was made; but we do not choose to cram them | in this manner, for we spare goodness as much as we can. Before this mode of casting, our cannons were not near so good, but a hundred times more fragile, and requiring to be very often refreshed with vinegar, which occasioned much more trouble. He was of a very large person, a fine and venerable old man, with a beard that reached down very low, and seemed to have been his old comrade in war in the days of yore, which he had all along made his profession, and where he learned to' be somewhat cruel.1