Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 411 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CREQUY, a French family which originated in Picardy, and took its name from a small lordship in the present Pas-de-Calais. Its genealogy goes back to the loth century, and from it originated the noble houses of Blecourt, Canaples, Heilly and Royon. Henri de Crequy was killed at the siege of Damietta in 1240; Jacques de Crequy, marshal of Guienne, was killed at Agincourt with his brothers jean and Raoul; Jean de Crequy, lord of Canaples, was in the Burgundian service, and took part in the defence of Paris against Joan of Arc in 1429, received the order of the Golden Fleece in 1431, and was ambassador to Aragon and France; Antoine de Crequy was one of the boldest captains of Francis I., and died in consequence of an accident at the siege of Hesdin in 1523. Jean VIII., sire de Crequy, prince de Poix, seigneur de Canaples (d. 1555), left three sons, the eldest of whom, Antoine de Crequy (1535–1574), inherited the family estates on the death of his brothers at St Quentin in 1557. He was raised to the cardinalate, and his nephew, and heir, Antoine de Blanche-fort, assumed the name and arms of Crequy. Charles I. de Blanchefort, marquis de Crequy, prince de Poix, duc de Lesdiguieres (1578–1638), marshal of France, son of the last-named, saw his first fighting before Laon in 1594, and was wounded at the capture of Saint Jean d'Angely in 1621. In the next year he became a marshal of France. He served through the Piedmontese campaign in aid of Savoy in 1624 as second in command to the constable, Francois de Bonne, duc de Lesdiguieres, whose daughter Madeleine he had married in 1595• He inherited in 1626 the estates and title of his father-in-law, who had induced him, after the death of his first wife, to marry her half-sister Francoise. He was also lieutenant-general of Dauphine. In. 1633 he was ambassador to Rome, and in 1636 to Venice. He fought in the Italian campaigns of 163o, 1635, 1636 and 1637, when he helped to defeat the Spaniards at Monte Baldo. He was killed on the 17th of March 1638 in an attempt to raise the siege of Crema, a fortress in the Milanese. He had a quarrel extending over years with Philip, the bastard of Savoy, which ended in a duel fatal to Philip in 1599; and in 162o he defended Saint-Aignan, who was his prisoner of war, against a prosecution threatened by Louis XIII. Some of his letters are preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and his life was written by N. Chorier (Grenoble, 1683). His eldest son, Francois, comte de Sault, duc de Lesdiguieres (1600–1677), governor and lieutenant-general of Dauphine, took the name and arms of Bonne. The younger, Charles II. de Crequy, seigneur de Canaples, was killed at the siege of Chambery in 163o, leaving three sons—Charles III., sieur de Blanchefort, prince de Poix, duc de Crequy (1623?–1687); Alphonse de Crequy, comte de Canaples (d. 1711), who became on the extinction of the elder branch of the family in 1702 duc de Lesdiguieres, and eventually succeeded also to his younger brother's honours; and Francois, chevalier de Crequy and marquis de Marines, marshal of France (1625–1687). The last-named was born in 1625, and as a boy took part in the Thirty Years' War, distinguishing himself so greatly that at the age of twenty-six he was made a marechal de camp, and a lieutenant-general before he was thirty. He was regarded as the most brilliant of the younger officers, and won the favour of Louis XIV. by his fidelity to the court during the second Fronde. In 1667 he served on the Rhine, and in 1668 he commanded the covering army during Louis XIV.'s siege of Lille, after the surrender of which the king rewarded him with the marshalate. In 1670 he overran the duchy of Lorraine. Shortly after this Turenne, his old commander, was made marshal-general, and all the marshals were placed under his orders. Many resented this, and Crequy, in particular, whose career of uninterrupted success had made him over-confident, went into exile rather than serve under Turenne. After the death of Turenne and the retirement of Conde, he became the most important general officer in the army, but his over-confidence was punished by the severe defeat of Conzer Bruck (1675) and the surrender of Trier and his own captivity which followed. But in the later campaigns of this war (see DUTCH WARS) he showed himself again a cool, daring and successful commander, and, carrying on the tradition of Turenne and Conde, he was in his turn the pattern of the younger generals of the stamp of Luxembourg and Villars. He died in Paris on the 3rd of February 1687. Alphonse de Crequy had not the talent of his brothers, and lost his various appointments in France. He went to London in 1672, where he became closely allied with Saint Evremond, and was one of the intimates of King Charles II. Charles III. de Crequy served in the campaigns of 1642 and 1645 in the Thirty Years' War, and in Catalonia in 1649. In 1646, after the siege of Orbitello, he was made lieutenant-general by Louis. By faithful service during the king's minority he had won the gratitude of Anne of Austria and of Mazarin, and in 1652 he became duc de Crequy and a peer of France. The latter half of his life was spent at court, where he held the office of first gentle-man of the royal chamber, which had been bought for him by his grandfather. In 1659 he was sent to Spain with gifts for the infanta Maria Theresa, and on a similar errand to Bavaria in 168o before the marriage of the dauphin. He was ambassador to Rome from 1662 to 1665, and to England in 1677; and became governor of Paris in 1675. He died in Paris on the 13th of February 1687. His only daughter, Madeleine, married Charles de la Tremoille (1655-1709). The marshal Francois de Crequy had two sons, whose brilliant military abilities bade fair to rival his own. The elder, Francois Joseph, marquis de Crequy (1662-1702), already held the grade of lieutenant-general when he was killed at Luzzara on the 13th of August 1702; and Nicolas Charles, sire de Crequy, was killed before Tournai in 1696 at the age of twenty-seven. A younger branch of the Crequy family, that of Hemont, was represented by Louis Marie, marquis de Crequy (1705-1741), author of the Principes philosophiques des saints solitaires d'Egypte (1779), and husband of the marquise separately noticed below, and became extinct with the death in 18o1 of his son, Charles Marie, who had some military reputation. For a detailed genealogy of the family and its alliances see Moreri, Dictionnaire historique; Annuaire de la noblesse francaise (1856 and 1867). There is much information about the Crequys in the Memoires of Saint-Simon.
End of Article: CREQUY
CREPUSCULAR (from Lat. crepusculum, twilight)

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