Online Encyclopedia

FRANCOIS DE VENDOME BEAUFORT

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 586 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FRANCOIS DE VENDOME BEAUFORT  , Duc DE (1616–1669), a picturesque figure in French
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history of the 17th century, was the second son of Cesar de Vendome, and grandson of Henry IV., by Gabrielle d'Estrees . He began his career in the army and served in the first
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campaigns of the
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Thirty Years' War, but his ambitions and unscrupulous character soon found a more congenial field in the intrigues of the court . In 1642 he joined in the conspiracy of Cinq Mars against Richelieu, and upon its failure was obliged to live in exile in England until Richelieu's
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death . Returning to France, he became the centre of a
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group, known as the " Importants," in which court ladies predominated, especially the duchess of Chevreuse and the duchess ofMontbazon . For an instant after the king's death, this group seemed likely to prevail, and Beaufort to be the head of the new government . But Mazarin gained the office, and Beaufort, accused of a plot to
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murder Mazarin, was imprisoned in
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Vincennes, in September 1643 . He escaped on the 31st of May 1648, just in time to join the
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Fronde, which began in August 1648 . He was then with the parlement and the princes, against Mazarin . His
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personal appearance, his affectation of popular manners, his quality of grandson (legitimized), of Henry IV., rendered him a favouriteof the Parisians, who acclaimed him everywhere . He was known as the Roi
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des Halles (" king of the markets "), and popular subscriptions were opened to pay his debts . He had hopes of becoming prime minister . But among the members of the parlement and the other leaders of the Fronde, he was regarded as merely a tool .

His intelligence was but mediocre, and he showed no

talent during the war . Mazarin, on his return to Paris, exiled him in
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October 1652; and he was only allowed to return in 1654, when the cardinal had no longer any reason to fear him . Henceforth Beaufort no longer intrigued . In 1658 he was named general superintendent of navigation, or chief of the
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naval army, and faithfully served the king in naval
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wars from that on . In 1664 he directed the expedition against the pirates of Algiers . In 1669 he led the French troops defending
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Candia against the
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Turks, and was killed in a
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night sortie, on the 15th of
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June 1669 . His
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body was brought back to France with
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great pomp, and official honours rendered it . See the
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memoirs of the time, notably those of La Rochefoucauld, the Cardinal de Retz, and Madame de Motteville . Also D'Avenel, Richelieu et la monarchie absolue (1884); Cheruel, La France sous le ministere de Mazarin (1879) ; and La France sous la minorite de Louis XIV (1882) .

End of Article: FRANCOIS DE VENDOME BEAUFORT
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Additional information and Comments

Hi, Beaufort, if he had one quality was to be a great soldier (see the battle of Arras). Something else: his body never was brought back, simply because it was never found.
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