Saturday, September 12, 2009

Today in History, Happy Birthday Francis I

On September 12Th 1494 Francis I of France was born.
He was crowned king of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until his death. Francis I is considered to be France's first Renaissance monarch. His reign saw France make immense cultural advances.

He was also a rival of Henry VIII, and they even competed in their womanizing skills. Anne Boleyn's sister Mary was Francois's mistress until he passed her off to Henry. Which his pious wife Claude probably did not like but she never said a word about his womanizing games.

On 31 March 1547, on his son and heir's 28Th birthday. It is said that "he died complaining about the weight of a crown that he had first perceived as a gift from God"


  1. Why did he get rid of the Boylen girl? What kind of cultural changes did he make possible? Maybe that is his redeeming grace.

  2. He certainly was a Renaissance king bringing Leonardo Da Vinci to his court and participating in The Field of Cloth with his rival and friend Henry VIII. He was the father of my favorite Henri II even if their relationship was lacking quite a bit.

  3. Katie, he got rid of Mary Boleyn because she made an embarrassment of herself when she started sleeping her way through his court after he had enjoyed an affair with her himself. Among other problems, her conduct was neither too bright nor terribly complimentary to the royal ego!

    In my nonfiction book, ROYAL AFFAIRS, there is a chapter on the real Mary Boleyn (as opposed to any fictional versions of her) and her affair with Henry VIII. Her scandalous behavior at the French court gained her quite the reputation. Francis called her his "hackney" because he loved to ride her.

    I'm always fascinated by the lifelong rivalry he had with Henry VIII, which played itself out during the Field of Cloth of Gold, but on other occasions as well. the sovereigns were always trying to one-up each other.

    Jasmine, I'd be interested to learn why Henri II is your favorite.

  4. Very good all, I love to see everyone thinking and wanting more!

    Leslie, you are so true and bring up her "hackney" nickname.


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