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MONTLUC (or MoNLuc), BLAISE DE

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 787 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MONTLUC (or MoNLuc), BLAISE DE LASSARAN-MASSENCOME, SEIGNEUR DE (c. 1502-1577), marshal of France, was born about 1502, at the family seat near Condom in the modern department of Gers. He was the eldest son, and his family was a good one, but, like most gentlemen of Gascony, he had to trust to his sword. He served first as a private archer and man-at-arms in Italy, with Bayard for his captain, fought all through the wars of Francis I., and was knighted on the field of Cerisoles (1544), to which victory he had brilliantly contributed as adviser to the young duke of Enghien. Having apparently enjoyed no patronage, he was by this time a man of middle age. Thenceforward, however, his merits were recognized. His chief feat was the famous defence of Siena (1555), which he has told so admirably. When the religious wars broke out in France, Montluc, a staunch royalist, held Guyenne for the king. Henry III. made him in 1574 marshal of France, an honour which he had earned by nearly half a century of service and by numerous wounds. He died at Estillac near Agen in 1577. Montluc's eminence above other soldiers of his day is due to his Commentaires de Messire Blaise de Montluc (Bordeaux, 1592), in which he described his fifty years of service (1521—1574). This book, the " soldier's Bible " (or " breviary," according to others), as Henry IV. called it, is one of the most admirable of the many admirable books of memoirs produced by the unlearned gentry of France at that time.. It is said to have been dictated, which may possibly account in some degree for the singular vivacity and picturesqueness of the style. The Commentaires are to be found conveniently in the collection of Michaud and Poujoulat, but the standard edition is that of the Societe de l'histoire de France, ed. by M. de Ruble (5 vols., 1865-1872). See Rustow, Militarische Biographien, v. i. (Zurich, 1858). MONTLUcON, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement, and the most important industrial centre in the department of Allier. Pop. (1906), 31,888. It is situated on the Cher, 5o m. S.W. of Moulins by the Orleans railway. The upper town, on an eminence on the right bank, consists of steep, narrow, winding streets, and preserves several buildings of the 15th and 16th centuries; the lower town, traversed by the Cher, is the seat of the industries, which embrace the manufacture of glass, chemicals, mirrors, sewing-machines, and iron and steel production. The Commentry coal-mines and Neris, a town with thermal springs, are a few miles distant to the south-east. Of the churches, Notre-Dame is of the 15th century, St Pierre partly of the 12th and St Paul modern. The town-hall, with a library, occupies the site of an old Ursuline convent, and two other convents are used as college and hospital. Overlooking the town is the castle rebuilt by Louis II., duke of Bourbon, and taken by Henry IV. during the religious wars; it serves as a barracks. Montlucon is the seat of a sub-prefect and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a board of trade arbitration, a chamber of commerce and a lycee. The town, which formed part of the duchy of Bourbon, was taken by the English in 1171, and by Philip Augustus in 1181; the English were beaten under its walls in the 14th century.
End of Article: MONTLUC (or MoNLuc), BLAISE DE
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