François, Duke of Montpensier

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Francois de Bourbon by Thierry Bellange Franciszek de Montpensier.JPG
François de Bourbon by Thierry Bellange

François de Bourbon (1542 4 June 1592) was the Duke of Montpensier and member of the House of Bourbon. He was the brother of Charlotte de Bourbon, Princess of Orange and wife of William the Silent, Prince of Orange. He was the great grandfather of La Grande Mademoiselle cousin of Louis XIV.



François was born in 1542 to Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier and his wife Jacqueline de Longwy. From birth he was known as the Dauphin of Auvergne until his father's death in 1582 when he inherited his father's titles and estates. From then on he was styled the Duke of Montpensier; he also inherited the title Prince of the Dombes as well as the Lordship of Châtellerault and Viscounty of Brosse.

As a teenager, he actively took part in the war against the Huguenots. He also organised the prize of Saint-Jean-d'Angély in 1569 and fought against Protestants at Saintonge. In 1574, he was named Governor of Languedoc and the Dauphiné by Henry III of France. A zealous Roman Catholic, he stayed close to Henry III and didn't join the Holy League. At the death of Henry III, François allied himself with Henry IV of France, his own cousin, who took the French throne in 1589.

He died some time after he was created Governor of Normandy. He was succeeded by his son Henri de Bourbon.

Family life

In 1566 he married Renée d'Anjou (1550-1597), only surviving daughter of Nicolas d'Anjou-Mézières and Gabrielle de Mareuil. Renée was a great-great-great-granddaughter of Louis II of Naples. François and Renée had one son:



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