Charles III, Duke of Bourbon

Last updated
Charles of Montpensier
Duke of Bourbon and Auvergne, Count of La Marche, Clermont-en-Beauvaisis, l'Isle-Jourdain and Forez, Lord of Beaujeu
Chateau de Beauregard - Charles of Bourbon.jpg
A 16th century portrait of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon.
Born17 February 1490
Montpensier
Died6 May 1527(1527-05-06) (aged 37)
Rome
Noble family Bourbon
Spouse(s)
Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon
(m. 1505;died 1521)
Father Gilbert, Count of Montpensier
Mother Clara Gonzaga

Charles III, Duke of Bourbon (17 February 1490 – 6 May 1527) was a French military leader, the Count of Montpensier, Clermont and Auvergne, and Dauphin of Auvergne from 1501 to 1523, then Duke of Bourbon and Auvergne, Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis, Forez and La Marche, and Lord of Beaujeu from 1505 to 1521. He was also the Constable of France from 1515 to 1521. Also known as the Constable of Bourbon, he was the last of the great feudal lords to oppose the King of France himself. He commanded the Imperial troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in what became known as the Sack of Rome in 1527, where he was killed.

Sack of Rome (1527) 1527 Habsburg siege and subsequent sack of Papal Rome

The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out in Rome, then part of the Papal States, by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The largely protestant German Landsknechts, starved for unpaid wages and stationed in Italy for the Italian Wars, entered the city of Rome and sacked it in a manner reminiscent of the barbarian pillages committed 1,100 years earlier. Spanish tercios and Italian mercenaries also took part in the sack. The sack debilitated the League of Cognac - an alliance formed by France, Milan, Venice, Florence and the Papacy against Charles V. Pope Clement VII took refuge in Castel Sant' Angelo, where he remained until a ransom was paid to the pillagers. Benvenuto Cellini, eyewitness to the events, described the sack in his works.

Contents

Biography

A 19th-century portrait of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, by Bernard Gaillot. Charles III, Duke of Bourbon.jpg
A 19th-century portrait of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, by Bernard Gaillot.
An engraving of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon. KarlIIIvonBourbon01 cropped.jpg
An engraving of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon.
A supposed portrait of the Connetable de Bourbon, by Jean Clouet. Connetable Bourbon.jpg
A supposed portrait of the Connetable de Bourbon, by Jean Clouet.
A 17th century portrait of the 1527 Sack of Rome, where Charles III, Duke of Bourbon was killed. Sack of Rome of 1527 by Johannes Lingelbach 17th century.jpg
A 17th century portrait of the 1527 Sack of Rome, where Charles III, Duke of Bourbon was killed.

Charles was born at Montpensier, the second son of Gilbert, Count of Montpensier by his wife Clara Gonzaga (1 July 1464- 2 June 1503). Clara was a daughter of Federico I Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua, by his wife Margaret of Bavaria. Gilbert died in 1496, and his elder son Louis II, Count of Montpensier died unwed in 1501, leaving Charles the heir to the family's titles and extensive lands in Auvergne. [1]

Montpensier, Puy-de-Dôme Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Montpensier is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme département in Auvergne region of central France.

Gilbert, Count of Montpensier Count of Clermont-en-Auvergne and Montpensier and Dauphin dAuvergne

Gilbert de Bourbon, Count of Montpensier was the son of Louis de Bourbon and Gabrielle La Tour, Count of Montpensier and Dauphin d'Auvergne. He was appointed to the Order of Saint Michael by Charles VIII in October 1483.

Clara Gonzaga Italian noble

Clara Gonzaga, Countess of Montpensier, Dauphine of Auvergne, Duchess of Sessa was an Italian noblewoman of the House of Gonzaga. She was the daughter of Federico I Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua and the wife of Gilbert, Count of Montpensier.

Marriage

Charles married his agnatic second cousin, Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon. It was a dynastic match, intended to settle the question of succession to the Bourbon estates, which had arisen because Suzanne's father, the last of the senior Bourbon line, had died without sons. Charles was the scion of the next-senior Bourbon line, and thus the "heir male" of the House of Bourbon, while Suzanne was the "heir general." With the marriage, Charles's position as Duke of Bourbon became undisputed. This cementing of position was important for another reason: with the death of Charles IV, Duke of Alençon in 1525, Charles became the agnatic heir to the French royal line in case of a failure of male heirs (which indeed happened in 1589, when Charles would have been 99 years old had he still been alive at that point in time).

Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon Duchess of bourbon

Suzanne de Bourbon was suo jure Duchess of Bourbon and Auvergne from 1503 to her death alongside her co-regent and spouse Charles de Bourbon.

House of Bourbon European royal house of French origin

The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, the royal House of France. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg currently have monarchs of the House of Bourbon.

Duke of Bourbon

Duke of Bourbon is a title in the peerage of France. It was created in the first half of the 14th century for the eldest son of Robert of France, Count of Clermont and Beatrice of Burgundy, heiress of the lordship of Bourbon. In 1416, with the death of John of Valois, the Dukes of Bourbon were simultaneously Dukes of Auvergne.

John I, Duke of Bourbon
Charles I, Duke of Bourbon Louis I, Count of Montpensier
Margaret of Bourbon
× Philip II, Duke of Savoy
Peter II, Duke of Bourbon
× Anne of France
Gilbert, Count of Montpensier
Louise of Savoy
× Charles, Count of Angoulême
Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon Charles III, Duke of Bourbon
Francis I of France

Career

A portrait of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon from around 1520. Profil charles connetable bourbon.jpg
A portrait of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon from around 1520.

Already distinguished as a soldier in the Italian Wars, Charles was appointed Constable of France by Francis I of France in 1515, and was rewarded for his services at the Battle of Marignano (where he commanded the vanguard) with the Governorship of Milan. [2] However, Francis was uneasy with the proud and wealthy duke, and soon recalled him from Milan and refused to honor his debts. Charles was further angered by the appointment of Charles IV of Alençon, the King's brother-in-law, as commander of the vanguard during the campaigns in the Netherlands, an office which should have been his.

Italian Wars Wars in Italy from the 15th to 16th centuries

The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a long series of wars fought between 1494 and 1559 in Italy during the Renaissance. The Italian peninsula, economically advanced but politically divided between several states, became the main battleground for European supremacy. The conflicts involved the major powers of Italy and Europe, in a series of events that followed the end of the 40-years long Peace of Lodi agreed in 1454 with the formation of an Italic League.

Francis I of France King of France

Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death in 1547. He was the son of Charles, Count of Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy. He succeeded his cousin and father-in-law Louis XII, who died without a son.

Battle of Marignano Battle in 1515 primarily between Switzerland and France

The Battle of Marignano was fought during the phase of the Italian Wars (1494–1559) called the War of the League of Cambrai, between France and the Old Swiss Confederacy. It took place on 13-14 September 1515, near the town today called Melegnano, 16 km southeast of Milan. It resulted in a victory for French forces.

The death of his wife in 1521 provoked the final breach between Charles and Francis I. Suzanne had left all her estates to Charles, but the King's mother, Louise of Savoy, claimed them as the heir in proximity in blood, due to their previous entailments. She proposed to settle the question by marrying Charles; he refused the proposal because Louise was over forty-five years of age and fourteen years older than him. On behalf of his mother, Francis confiscated a portion of the Bourbon estates before the lawsuit had even been opened. Seeing no hope of prevailing, Charles made a secret agreement to betray his King and offer his services to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. The Emperor, the Constable, and King Henry VIII of England devised a grand plan to partition France. This however came to nothing because the plot was discovered; Charles was stripped of his offices and proclaimed a traitor. He fled into Italy in 1523 and entered the imperial service.

Louise of Savoy Mother of King Francis I of France

Louise of Savoy was a French noble and regent, Duchess suo jure of Auvergne and Bourbon, Duchess of Nemours, and the mother of King Francis I. She was politically active and served as the regent of France in 1515, in 1525–1526 and in 1529.

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 16th-century Holy Roman Emperor

Charles V was Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria from 1519, King of Spain from 1516, and Lord of the Netherlands as titular Duke of Burgundy from 1506. Head of the rising House of Habsburg during the first half of the 16th century, his dominions in Europe included the Holy Roman Empire extending from Germany to northern Italy with direct rule over the Austrian hereditary lands and the burgundian Low Countries, and a unified Spain with its southern Italian kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia. Furthermore, his reign encompassed both the long-lasting Spanish and short-lived German colonizations of the Americas. The personal union of the European and American territories of Charles V was the first collection of realms labelled "the empire on which the sun never sets".

Henry VIII of England King of England and Ireland

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. He was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage annulled. His disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy"; he invested heavily in the Navy, increasing its size greatly from a few to more than 50 ships.

In 1524, he drove the French under Bonnivet from Lombardy, and fought at the Battle of Pavia. The Emperor gave Duke Charles command of a mixed Spanish-German army (which included a number of Lutherans) sent to chastise Pope Clement VII. He neglected to supply this army with money or food, and Charles was only able to keep it together by promises of loot. Though Clement arranged a truce with the Emperor, the army continued its advance, reaching Rome in May 1527. The death of Duke Charles — the artist and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini claimed that he fired the shot that killed him — outside the walls removed the last restraints from the army, which resulted in the sack of Rome. [3]

Guillaume Gouffier, seigneur de Bonnivet French admiral

Guillaume Gouffier, seigneur de Bonnivet was a French soldier.

Lombardy Region of Italy

Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres (9,206 sq mi). About 10 million people, forming one-sixth of Italy's population, live in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest regions in Europe. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.

Battle of Pavia 1525 battle during the Italian War of 1521–1526

The Battle of Pavia, fought on the morning of 24 February 1525, was the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26 between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg empire of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor as well as ruler of Spain, Austria, the Low Countries, and the Two Sicilies.

Progeny and succession

By Suzanne, Charles was the father of twins and of Francis of Bourbon, Count of Clermont. Officially, since neither survived a year of age, the senior line of the Dukes of Bourbon was extinct in male line with his death in battle, and the junior line (Dukes of Vendôme) were not allowed to inherit, because Charles had forfeited his fiefs by committing treason. However, the county of Montpensier and dauphinate of Auvergne were later returned to his sister Louise.

Ancestry

Notes

  1. Pardoe, Julie, The Court and Reign of Francis the First, King of France, (Lea and Blanchard:Philadelphia, 1849), 39.
  2. Duruy, Victor, Martha Ward Carey, and John Franklin Jameson, A history of France, (Thomas Y. Crowell and Co.:Boston, 1889), 301.
  3. Treat, James, The Catacombs of Rome, (The Old Corner Bookstore Inc.: Boston, 1907), 81.

Related Research Articles

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Duke of Mercœur

The Seigneurs and Dukes of Mercœur were a line of powerful lords deriving their name from the estate of Mercœur in Auvergne, France. The line became extinct in the 14th century, and passed by inheritance to the dauphins of Auvergne, counts of Clermont. In 1426 it passed to the Bourbons by the marriage, of Jeanne de Clermont, dauphine of Auvergne, to Louis I, Count of Montpensier. It formed part of the confiscated estates of the Constable de Bourbon, and was given by Francis I and Louise of Savoy to Antoine, Duke of Lorraine, and his wife, Renée of Bourbon, sister of the Constable. Nicholas of Lorraine, son of Duke Antoine, was created Duke of Mercœur and a peer of France in 1569. His son Philippe Emmanuel left a daughter, who married the duc de Vendôme in 1609.

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Louise de Bourbon was the Duchess of Montpensier, suo jure from February 1538 to 1561. She was the great great great grandmother of La Grande Mademoiselle.

Louis, Duke of Montpensier Duke of Montpensier

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House of Bourbon-Montpensier Wikimedia list article

The House of Bourbon-Montpensier or Maison de Bourbon-Montpensier was a semi royal family. The name of Bourbon comes from a marriage between Marie de Valois, comtesse de Montpensier (1375–1434) who married Jean de Bourbon - the duc de Bourbon. The second name of Montpensier, comes from the title of the family.

Marie dAlbret, Countess of Rethel French nobility

Marie d'Albret, Countess of Rethel, Countess of Nevers was the suo jure Countess of Rethel, a title which she inherited at the age of nine upon the death of her mother, Charlotte of Nevers, Sovereign Countess of Rethel, on 23 August 1500. She was the wife of Charles II of Cleves, Count of Nevers.

References

Preceded by
Louis II
Count of Clermont and Montpensier
Dauphin of Auvergne

1501–1527
Succeeded by
Louise
Preceded by
Francis
Duke of Châtellerault
1515–1527
Preceded by
Suzanne
Duke of Auvergne and Bourbon
Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis, Forez, Gien and La Marche

1521–1527