Personalities of the Italian Wars

Personalities of the Italian Wars. A work in progress …

Charles of Bourbon

At his peak Charles was Duke of Bourbon, Auvergne and Chatellraut; Count of Clermont, Montpensier, Forez, Lord of Baujeu, of Combraille, of Morcoeur, d’Annonay, Roch-en-Regnier and Bourbon-Lancy. A Bourbon on his father’s side, he also became the heir to the major stem of that family through his wife Suzanne (Chamberlin, 1979). The Bourbon were the second family in France, and would in time succeed the Valois to the throne when when that family died out. Charles’ mother was a of the Gonzaga family who had rule Mantua in Italy for centuries. Aside from being more richest man in France he was also a brave soldier and skilled general. He was the architect of the French victory in Lombardy in 1515, and as a consequence Francois awarded him the post of Governor of Lombardy. In ?? Francois abruptly replaced Bourbon with the brother of his most recent mistress. The King’s campaign against Bourbon continued in 1521 when Bourbon was forced to serve as second in command to the incompetent Duke d’Alencon (the king’s brother in law) fighting against the Spanish in the Netherlands. When his wife died in ??, the King’s mother, Louise, immediately offered herself to the grieving Bourbon, only to be rejected. With Louise now an implacable enemy, a law suit for the control of the Bourbon lands ensued – Louise also being a Bourbon of the major line, like Suzanne – and eventually Charles was forced to negotiate with the Imperialists an agreement was reached July 1522. The resulting conspiracy was revealed to Francois and Bourbon was forced into exile in Italy.

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