BEAUJEU. The French province of Beaujolais was formed by the development of the ancient seigniory of Beaujeu (department of Rhône, arrondissement of Villefranche). The lords of Beaujeu held from the 10th century onwards a high rank in feudal society. In 1210 Guichard of Beaujeu was sent by Philip Augustus on an embassy to Pope Innocent III.; he was present at the French attack on Dover, where he died in 1216. His son Humbert took part in the wars against the Albigenses and became constable of France. Isabeau, daughter of this Humbert, married Renaud, count of Forez; and their second son, Louis, assumed the name and arms of Beaujeu. His son Guichard, called the Great, had a very warlike life, fighting for the king of France, for the count of Savoy and for his own hand. He was taken prisoner by the Dauphinois in 1325, thereby losing important estates. Guichard's son, Edward of Beaujeu, marshal of France, fought at Crécy, and perished in the battle of Ardres in 1351. His son died without issue in 1374, and was succeeded by his cousin, Edward of Beaujeu, lord of Perreux, who gave his estates of Beaujolais and Dombes to Louis II., duke of Bourbon, in 1400. Pierre de Bourbon was lord of Beaujeu in 1474, when he married Anne of France, daughter of Louis XI., and this is why that princess retained the name of lady of Beaujeu. Louise of Savoy, mother of Francis I., got Beaujolais assigned to herself despite the claims of the constable de Bourbon. In 1531 the province was reunited to the crown; but Francis II. gave it back to the Montpensier branch of the Bourbons in 1560, from which house it passed to that of Orleans. The title of comte de Beaujolais was borne by a son of Philippe "Egalité," duke of Orleans, born in 1779, died in 1808.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)