Anne de Montmorency

Anne, Duke of Montmorency, Honorary Knight of the Garter (15 March 1493, Chantilly, Oise – 12 November 1567, Paris) was a French soldier, statesman and diplomat. He became Marshal of France and Constable of France.

Anne de Montmorency
Duke of Montmorency
Anne de Montmorency (1530)
Anne de Montmorency, by Jean Clouet, 1530
Born15 March 1493
Died12 November 1567 (aged 74)
Noble familyMontmorency
Spouse(s)Madeleine of Savoy
FatherWilliam of Montmorency
MotherAnne St. Pol
ReligionRoman Catholic
Arms of Anne de Montmorency, Duc de Montmorency, KG
Garter arms of Anne de Montmorency, Duc de Montmorency, KG

Early life

Montmorency was born at Chantilly to the ancient Montmorency family. The son of William of Montmorency and Anne St. Pol,[1] his father had a senior status in the household of Francis, Count of Angoulême (the future King Francis I).[2]

Reign of Francis I

When Francis acceded to the throne in January 1515, Montmorency became an influential member of his court. When the king reasserted the French claim to Milan the same year, Montmorency followed his king into Italy and distinguished himself at Marignano.

Montmorency was named captain of the Bastille in 1516 and became governor of Novara. In 1518 he was one of the hostages in England for Francis I's debt to Henry VIII for the city of Tournai. He returned to France to attend a short and unsuccessful peace conference between the French and the Holy Roman Empire in May 1519. The following year he was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and afterwards had charge of diplomatic negotiations in England when relations between the two countries again began to sour.[3]

In August 1521, Montmorency helped to command the defence of Mézières against the Imperial German army. In the same year he commanded the Swiss in Italy. His troops were defeated in the Battle of La Bicocca on 27 April 1522, but he was made Marshal of France in recognition of his courage.[4]

Montmorency spent the next three years defending northern France against the English invasion of 1523. By that time England had allied with the Holy Roman Empire. In 1524 he again joined Francis I in a campaign to retake Milan. On 24 February 1525, an army of Italians, Spanish and Germans defeated the French at the Battle of Pavia and captured both de Montmorency and his king. Both were sent to Spain but Montmorency was released soon afterwards. He was one of the negotiators of the Treaty of Madrid in 1526 and attended his king when he was exchanged for his two eldest sons. In 1530 he returned the king's sons to France.[3]

BLW Dish with Scenes from the Trojan War
Dish with a scene of the Trojan War, from a large armorial service of maiolica commissioned by Montmorency from Guido Durantino of Urbino, 1535

On 23 March 1526, Anne de Montmorency was named Grand Master of France charged with supervision of the royal household and the king's private service. In 1527 he married Madeleine, the daughter of René of Savoy.[4] He supported the king's efforts to form an alliance against Charles V. He worked with Cardinal Wolsey to form an alliance between Francis I and Henry VIII in 1527. This led to a new war against the Holy Roman Empire that ended with the Peace of Cambrai.

In 1536, Francis I invaded the Duchy of Savoy, against the advice of Montmorency, staking claim to the lands of the duchy but also to pressure Charles V to give Milan back to him. Charles V invaded Provence from Northern Italy in retaliation. Francis appointed Montmorency, who had now retired from the court, to be the governor of Languedoc, the lieutenant general in the southeast of France and they led the defence of Provence using scorched earth tactics. Montmorency evacuated Aix-en-Provence and concentrated his forces near Avignon. By the early autumn Charles V had been forced to retreat his army to Genoa and lift the siege of Marseille.

Montmorency joined the king in Picardy and at the end of the Netherlands campaign marched to relieve Turin. He led the French troops in 1537 when they attacked Artois in the Netherlands and captured many towns before the ten-year truce. On 10 February 1538 the king made him Constable of France.

Chateau de Chantilly statue
Equestrian monument to Anne de Montmorency in the courtyard of his Château de Chantilly

Afterwards Montmorency begun to support peace with the Holy Roman Emperor, against the prevailing attitude of the court. He renewed negotiations with the Holy Roman Empire and encouraged the Pope Paul III to create a settlement. He managed to get the two kings to meet at Aigues-Mortes in July 1538. According to the deal he had brokered, Francis expected that Charles V would give Milan to one of Francis' sons as a sign of alliance, but Charles gave the title to his son Philip.

This result was a diplomatic failure and de Montmorency fell out of royal favor. Francis I turned to his rivals Cardinal Tournon, Claude d'Annebault and his mistress Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly, the Duchess of Étampes. Montmorency retired from court in June 1541. Having lost his post as a governor of Languedoc, he was forbidden to exercise his other offices. He continued to maintain correspondence with the prince Henry.

Henry II

Montmorency did not return to public life until the accession of Henry II in March 1547. The new king gave him back all his former offices and dismissed the duchesse d'Étampes and her followers. In 1548 Montmorency crushed the insurrections in the southwest, particularly at Bordeaux. From 1549-50 Montmorency led the war in the Boulonnais, negotiating the treaty for the surrender of Boulogne on 24 March 1550. As a reward the king created him a duke and peer of France and in 1551 his barony was expanded into a duchy.[5] Soon afterwards his armies fought in the northeast when the French army seized Metz, Toul and Verdun.[3]

Francis II

Montmorency's attempt to relieve St Quentin on 10 August 1557 led to his defeat and capture by Spanish Habsburg forces. He was not released until October 1558 at the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis. By this time the Guises had supplanted him and the 15-year-old king Francis II treated him with indifference. Montmorency had to give up his Great Master status to the Duke of Guise. However, his son was appointed marshal by way of indemnity. He himself retired to his estates.[3]

French Wars of Religion

On the accession of Charles IX in 1560 Montmorency again assumed his duties in the court.[3] However, when the Protestant-minded House of Bourbon asserted influence over the young king, the Roman Catholic Montmorency left the court. In April 1561 he allied himself with Francis, Duke of Guise, his former enemy, and Jacques d'Albon, Marshal Saint-Andre to form the Triumvirate, an association for the defense of Catholicism.

Montmorency played an important part in the war of 1562. He was captured early in the Battle of Dreux when the cavalry under him was routed. Montmorency's soldiers eventually won the battle, but it was one of the bloodiest of the 16th century. He helped negotiate the Treaty of Amboise on 19 March 1563. In 1567 the Huguenots agitated for a fairer settlement.


Anne de Montmorency gisant Prieur Louvre L.P.445
Montmorency's gisant, now on display at the Louvre.

On 10 November 1567, aged 74, Montmorency led the royal army to victory at Saint-Denis, but was fatally wounded and died two days later.[6]


His marriage produced twelve children:

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Ward, Prothero & Leathes 1911, p. viii.
  2. ^ Potter 1995, p. 97.
  3. ^ a b c d e Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Montmorency, Anne, Duc de" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 18 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 787–788.
  4. ^ a b Knecht 1982, p. 194.
  5. ^ Carroll 2009, p. 55.
  6. ^ Tucker 2010, p. 525.
  7. ^ Potter 2004, p. 60.


  • Carroll, Stuart (2009). Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and the Making of Europe. Oxford University Press.
  • Knecht, R. J. (1982). Francis I. Cambridge University Press.
  • Potter, David (1995). A History of France, 1460-1560. St. Martin's Press.
  • Potter, David, ed. (2004). Foreign Intelligence and Information in Elizabethan England: Two English Treatises on the State of France, 1580-1584. Cambridge University Press.
  • Tucker, Spencer C., ed. (2010). A Global Chronology of Conflict. ABC-CLIO.
  • Ward, A.W.; Prothero, G.W.; Leathes, Stanley, eds. (1911). The Cambridge Modern History. Cambridge University Press.
Anne de Montmorency
Born: 25 March 1493 Died: 12 November 1567
Preceded by
elevated from Barony
Duc de Montmorency
Succeeded by

Anne, alternatively spelled Ann, is a form of the Latin female given name Anna. This in turn is a representation of the Hebrew Hannah, which means 'favour' or 'grace.' Anne is sometimes used as a male name in the Netherlands, particularly in the Frisian speaking part (for example, author Anne de Vries). In this incarnation, it is related to Germanic arn-names and means 'eagle'. It has also been used for males in France (Anne de Montmorency) and Scotland (Lord Anne Hamilton).

Anne is a common name and the following lists represent a small selection. For a comprehensive list, see instead: All pages with titles beginning with Anne.

Anne Lascaris

Anne Lascaris (November 1487 – July 1554), countess of Tende and of Villars, was a French noblewoman. She was the daughter of Jean-Antoine II de Lascaris, comte de Tende and Ventimiglia, lord of Mentone, and his wife Isabeau (or Isabelle) d'Anglure-Estoges.At 11 and a half years old, Anne married Louis de Clermont-Lodève, vicomte de Nébousan, then on 28 January 1501 she married René, le Grand Bâtard de Savoie 1468-1525), comte de Villars-en-Bresse, governor of Nice and Provence, admiral of France. With no male heirs, her father's properties and titles devolved on Anne at his death on 13 August 1509. Anne and René had the following children.

Madeleine (c. 1510 - c. 1586), court official, married Anne de Montmorency

Claude of Savoy (27 March 1507 – 23 April 1566), count of Tende

Honorat II of Savoy (1509-20 September 1580), count of Villars, marshal of France in 1571, married Françoise de Foix

Marguerite, wife of Antoine II Luxembourg-Ligny (died 1557), count of Brienne

Isabeau, wife of René de Batarnay, count of BouchageIn 1515, Lucien, Lord of Monaco bought the feudal rights over the city of Mentone, from the family of Anne Lascaris, thus bringing the city, as a whole, under Monaco's sovereignty until the French Revolution.

Anne de Laval (1385–1466)

Anne de Laval (1385 – 25 January 1466) was a medieval French noblewoman. She was the daughter of Jeanne de Laval-Tinténiac and her second husband Guy XII de Laval (died 1412), governor of Brittany and baron of Laval (Jeanne's first husband had been Bertrand du Guesclin).

Barthélemy Prieur

Barthélemy Prieur (c. 1536-1611) was a French sculptor.

Prieur was born to a Huguenot family in Berzieux, Champagne (now in the department of the Marne). He traveled to Italy, where he worked from 1564 to 1568 for Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy in Turin. Upon his return to France, he worked principally on funerary monuments and busts, but also on small bronzes.

In 1571 he began employment under Jean Bullant at the Palais du Louvre, where he was a contemporary of Germain Pilon. In 1585 he created the monument to Christophe de Thou, now preserved in the Louvre Museum, and was named sculptor to king Henry IV in 1591. He restored the Roman marble now called the Diana of Versailles in 1602.

Several of his bronzes are preserved in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, including Gladiator, Lion Devouring a Doe, Seated Woman Pulling a Thorn from Her Heel, and Small Horse. His bronze busts of King Henry IV and his wife Marie de' Medici (circa 1600) are now in the Ashmolean Museum. His Monument du coeur du connétable Anne de Montmorency is on display in the Louvre.

Battle of Dreux

The Battle of Dreux was fought on 19 December 1562 between Catholics and Huguenots. The Catholics were led by Anne de Montmorency while Louis I, Prince of Condé led the Huguenots. Though commanders from both sides were captured, the French Catholics won the battle.

Battle of Saint-Denis (1567)

The Battle of Saint-Denis was fought on 10 November 1567 between Catholics and Protestants during the French Wars of Religion in Saint-Denis near Paris, France.

Anne de Montmorency with 16,000 Royalists fell on Condé's 3,500 Huguenots. The Huguenots surprisingly held on for some hours before being driven off.The Protestants were defeated, but the Catholic commander Anne de Montmorency was mortally wounded.

The Protestants fell back to the east to link up with German mercenaries.

Battle of St. Quentin (1557)

The Battle of Saint-Quentin of 1557 was fought at Saint-Quentin, Picardy, in northern France, during the Italian War of 1551–1559. The battle was won by Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy and forces loyal to Phillip II of Spain, who controlled the Spanish Netherlands.

Charles de Montmorency-Damville

Charles de Montmorency-Damville (1537-1612) was a French nobleman, Baron of Damville, Admiral of France.He was the third son of Anne de Montmorency, Duke of Montmorency and Marshal of France, and Madeleine, the daughter of René of Savoy. Originally his title was Seigneur de Méru, and in 1579, after his older brother died, Charles became Baron of Damville.From the youngest age he participated in the wars which France led almost continuously at the time. In 1557, he, together with his father, was taken prisoner after the Battle of St. Quentin. In 1562 in the course of the French Wars of Religion he participated in the Battle of Dreux, where his father headed the Catholic army against the Huguenots. In 1563, king Charles IX made him the lieutenant general of Paris and Ile-de-France. Further, Charles de Montmorency participated in the Battle of Saint-Denis in 1567 and subsequently was named the colonel general of the Swiss. In 1569, he participated in the Battle of Moncontour, and in 1572—1573, in the siege of La Rochelle. In 1574, however, Charles de Montmorency got out of favor and had to retire to the countryside.In 1588 he returned to Paris, and in 1589, participated in the Battle of Arques on the side of Henry IV of France who won the battle. In 1592, he fought in the Battle of Craon, and in 1596 was appointed Admiral of France.

Château d'Écouen

The Château d'Écouen is an historic château in the commune of Écouen, some 20 km north of Paris, France, and a notable example of French Renaissance architecture. Since 1975 it contains the collections of the Musée national de la Renaissance (National Museum of the Renaissance).The château was built between 1539 and 1555 for Anne de Montmorency, the Connétable de France or Grand Constable, chief minister and commander of the French army of King Francois I, and then for Henri II. It contains important collections of painting, sculpture, ceramics, stained glass, furniture, textiles and other arts of the French Renaissance.

Château de Chantilly

The Château de Chantilly (pronounced [ʃɑ.to də ʃɑ̃.ti.ji]) is a historic château located in the town of Chantilly, France, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Paris.

The site comprises two attached buildings: the Petit Château built around 1560 for Anne de Montmorency, and the Grand Château, which was destroyed during the French Revolution and rebuilt in the 1870s.

Owned by the Institut de France, to which it was bequeathed in the will of Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale, the château houses the Musée Condé. It is open to the public.

Floris of Montmorency

Floris van Montmorency, baron of Montigny (?, 1528 - Simancas, 14 October 1570) was a noble and diplomat from the Spanish Netherlands.

He was born as the son of Jozef van Montmorency, Count of Nevele and Anna van Egmont the Elder, and was the younger brother of Philip de Montmorency, Count of Horn.

Floris had a military training at the court of his relative Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France.

He accompanied Emperor Charles V to Spain after his abdication. At his return, Floris became a Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece with the support of William the Silent and against the wishes of Philip II of Spain. He was also appointed as Governor of the Tournaisis.

As the rest of the high nobility in Flanders, Floris was a strong opponent to Cardinal Granvelle.

In April 1566, he was sent by the Council of State with John IV of Glymes to Spain in a last attempt to avoid war. As Glymes was wounded on the leg before leaving, Floris travelled alone. When the Beeldenstorm raged across the Low Countries, Floris was arrested and kept in house arrest in the castle at Simancas. When Egmont en Horn were arrested in Brussels, Floris was also condemned to death by the Council of Troubles. Instead of returning him to the Low Countries for his sentence to be executed, Philip II of Spain had Floris strangled in secret despite the pleas of his new wife Anna of Austria to release Floris, and spread the rumor that he had died of disease.

Gaspard I de Coligny

Gaspard I de Coligny, Count of Coligny, seigneur de Châtillon (1465/1470–1522), known as the Marshal of Châtillon, was a French soldier.

He was born in Châtillon-Coligny, the second son of Jean III de Coligny and Eleanor de Courcelles. He served in the Italian Wars from 1495 to 1515 and was created Marshal of France in 1516. He died in Dax.

By his wife, Louise de Montmorency, sister of Anne de Montmorency, he had three sons:

Odet, Cardinal de Châtillon

Gaspard, Admiral of France

François, Seigneur d'AndelotAll three played an important part in the first period of the French Wars of Religion.

Henry II style

The Henry II style was the chief artistic movement of the sixteenth century in France, part of Northern Mannerism. It came immediately after High Renaissance and was largely the product of Italian influences. Francis I and his daughter-in-law, Catherine de' Medici, had imported to France a number Italian artists of Raphael's or Michelangelo's school; the Frenchmen who followed them in working in the Mannerist idiom. Besides the work of Italians in France, many Frenchman picked up Italianisms while studying art in Italy during the middle of the century. The Henry II style, though named after Henry II of France, in fact lasted from about 1530 until 1590 under five French monarchs, their mistresses and their queens.

The most lasting products of the Henry II style were architectural. First Rosso Fiorentino and then Francesco Primaticcio and Sebastiano Serlio served Henry II as court artisans, constructing his gallery and the Aile de la Belle Cheminée (1568). The French architect Pierre Lescot and the sculptor Jean Goujon rebuilt the Palais du Louvre around the now famous square court. The Château d'Anet, commissioned by Diane de Poitiers, mistress of Henry II, was designed by Philibert Delorme, who studied in Rome. The very mannerist château housed a statue of Diana by Benvenuto Cellini, who was working in France. In 1564 Delorme began work on the Tuileries, the most outstanding Parisian palais of the Henry II style. It too exhibited a mannerist treatment of classical themes, for which Delorm had developed his own "French order" of columns.

Jean Bullant, another architect who studied in Rome, also produced designs that combined classical "themes" in a mannerist structure. The Château d'Écouen and the Château de Chantilly, both for Anne de Montmorency, exemplify the Henry II-style château, which was proliferating among the nobility. A very thorough catalogue of engravings of sixteenth-century French architecture was produced by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau the Elder under the title Les plus excellents bastiments de France (between 1576 and 1579, in two volumes). Much of the buildings so engraved have been destroyed (like the Tuileries) or significantly altered (like Écouen), so that Cerceau's reproductions are the best guide to the Henry II style.

In painting, like in architecture, the French were influenced by Italian mannerism and many Italian painters and sculptors were active members of the First School of Fontainebleau, which in turn produced an active and talented crop of native painters and sculptors, such as Germain Pilon and Juste de Juste. By the end of the century the Henry II style, a Gallicised form of Italian mannerism, had been replaced by a more consistent classicism, with hints of the coming Baroque. Its immediately successor in French art historiography is the Henry IV style.

Jean Bullant

Jean Bullant (1515 – 13 October 1578) was a French architect and sculptor who built the tombs of Anne de Montmorency, Grand Connétable of France, Henri II, and Catherine de' Medici. He also worked on the Tuileries, the Louvre, and the Château d'Écouen. Bullant was a Huguenot.

Madeleine of Savoy

Madeleine of Savoy (1510-1574) was a French court official, and the wife of constable Anne de Montmorency, a leading soldier and politician, who she married in 1526. After she was widowed in 1567 she served as Première dame d'honneur to the queen of France, Elisabeth of Austria, from 1570 until 1574.


Montmorency-Laval is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Francois de Montmorency Laval, M.E.P. (1623–1708), the first Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec, appointed by Pope Alexander VII

Mathieu Jean Felicite de Montmorency-Laval, Duc de Montmorency (1767–1826), prominent French statesman during the French Revolution and Bourbon Restoration

Anne de Montmorency-Laval (1385–1466), medieval French noblewoman

Anne-Adrien-Pierre de Montmorency-Laval (1768–1837), 3rd Duc de Laval and a peer of France

Gilles de Montmorency-Laval (1405–1440), Baron de Rais, leader in the French army, companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc, and a confessed serial killer of children

Guy André Pierre de Montmorency-Laval (1723–1798), 1st duke of Laval, first baron of Marche, marquis de Lezay, French general and marshal of France

Louis-Joseph de Montmorency-Laval, French cardinal of the Catholic Church and Bishop of Metz at the time of the French Revolution

Pierre Chambiges

Pierre Chambiges, (died 19 June 1544), was a French master mason (maître des œuvres de maçonnerie et pavement de la Ville de Paris) and architect to François I of France and his son Henri II.

As surveyor and architect, Chambiges was involved in numerous royal and official projects:

The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Senlis

The Palais du Louvre

The Hôtel de ville of Paris; he oversaw the construction of the design by Domenico da Cortona (1533 onwards; demolished)

The Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the Pavillon de la Muette in the park

The Château de Fontainebleau

The Château de Challeau, near Fontainebleau (modified, then demolished)For Anne de Montmorency he designed and built the Château de Chantilly.

The son of mason Martin Chambiges (c.1465–1532), whose west front of the cathedral of Troyes, begun in 1507 occupied him for several decades, he died in Paris.

Pierre Reymond

Pierre Reymond (1513-1584) was a French enamelist.

Reymond managed a large workshop in Limoges, where one of his disciples was Pierre Courteys. As was the practice of the time, pieces produced in his workshop bore his initials even though they were not necessarily his work. He specialized in tableware decorated with mythological scenes including cups, plates, bowls, and dishes.Reymond also made the enamelled altarpiece commissioned by Anne de Montmorency for the chapel of his Château d'Écouen.The Petit Palais in Paris, France has a display of one of Reymond's work.

Valet de chambre

Valet de chambre (French pronunciation: ​[valɛ də ʃɑ̃bʁ]), or varlet de chambre, was a court appointment introduced in the late Middle Ages, common from the 14th century onwards. Royal households had many persons appointed at any time. While some valets simply waited on the patron, or looked after his clothes and other personal needs, itself potentially a powerful and lucrative position, others had more specialized functions. At the most prestigious level it could be akin to a monarch or ruler's personal secretary, as was the case of Anne de Montmorency at the court of Francis I of France. For noblemen pursuing a career as courtiers, like Étienne de Vesc, it was a common early step on the ladder to higher offices.

For some this brought entry into the lucrative court business of asking for favours on behalf of clients, and passing messages to the monarch or lord heading the court. Valets might supply specialized services of various kinds to the patron, as artists, musicians, poets, scholars, librarians, doctors or apothecaries and curators of collections. Valets comprised a mixture of nobles hoping to rise in their career, and those—often of humble origin—whose specialized abilities the monarch wanted to use or reward.

The title of valet enabled access to the monarch or other employer; the "chambre" originally referred to rooms such as the throne room, or the Privy chamber where the ruler conducted his more private meetings, but services extended to the bedroom as well. Sometimes, as in Spain and England, different bodies of valets were responsible for the bedroom and the daytime rooms. Often, the moment the ruler went outdoors a whole new division of staff took over.

From the late 14th century onwards the term is found in connection with an artist, author, architect, or musician's position within a noble or royal circle, with painters increasingly receiving the title as the social prestige of artists became increasingly distinct from that of craftsmen. The benefits for the artist were a position of understood status in the court hierarchy, with a salary, livery clothes to wear (in the early period at least), the right to meals at the palace, often in a special mess-room, and benefits such as exclusion from local guild regulations, and, if all went well, a lifetime pension. The valet would frequently be housed, at least when working in the palace, but often permanently. Lump-sums might be paid to the valet, especially to provide a dowry for a daughter; sons were often able to join the court as well.

Coligny family tree
Guillaume de Montmorency
Anne Pot
Gaspard I
Louise de Montmorency
Anne de Montmorency
daughter of
René of Savoy
Gaspard II
François de
10 others
Gaspard III

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.