Lesdiguieres, Francis De Bonne, Duke De

, peer, marechal, and constable of France, governor of Dauphiny, and one of the greatest generals of his age, was born April 1, 1543, at St. Bonnet de Chamsaut, in Dauphiny, of a noble and ancient family. He was among the chiefs of the protestants, for whom he took several places, and when Henry IV. ascended the throne, received fresh marks of his esteem, being appointed lieutenant-general of his forces in Piedmont, Savoy, and Dauphiny. Lesdiguieres defeated the duke of Savoy at the battle of Esparon, April 15, 1591, and in several other engagements; and when the king blamed him for having suffered that prince to build Fort Barreaux, he replied, “Let the duke of Savoy be at that expence; your majesty wants a fortress opposite to Montmelian, and when it is built and stored, we will take it.” He kept his word, and conquered Savoy. This brave man received the marechal’s staff in 1607, and his estate of Lesdiguieres was made a dukedom, as a reward for his services. At length he abjured protestantism at Grenoble, and was afterwards presented by his son-in-law, the maredial de Crequi, with letters, in which the king appointed him constable, July 24, 1622. He commanded the troops in Italy in 1625, and died at Valence in Dauphiny, Sept. 28, 1626, aged eighty-four. His secretary, Lewis Videl, has written his life, or rather his eulogy, 1638, folio. There were, however, many defects in his moral character, and his apostacy is said to have been founded in avarice. 2