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Choiseul, Cesar

CHOISEUL, CESAR, Duc de (1602-1675), French marshal and diplomatist, generally known for the best part of his life as the marshal du Plessis-Praslin, came of the old French family of Choiseul, which arose in the valley of the Upper Marne in the 10th century and divided into many branches, three of the names of which, Hostel, Praslin and du Plessis, were borne, at one time or another, by the subject of this article. Entering the army at the age of fourteen as proprietary colonel of an infantry regiment, he shared in almost all the exploits of the French arms during the reign of Louis XIII. He took part in the siege of La Rochelle, assisted to defend the island of Ré against the attacks of the English under the duke of Buckingham, and accompanied the French forces to Italy in 1629. In 1630 he was appointed ambassador at the court of the duke of Savoy, and was engaged in diplomatic and administrative work in Italy until 1635, when war was declared between France and Spain. In the war that followed Plessis-Praslin distinguished himself in various battles and sieges in Italy, including the action called the "Route de Quiers" and the celebrated four-cornered operations round Turin. In 1640 he was made governor of Turin, and in 1642 lieutenant-general, and after further service in Italy he was made a marshal of France (1645) and appointed second in command in Catalonia. During the first War of the Fronde, which broke out in 1649, he assisted Condé in the brief siege of Paris; and in the second war, remaining loyal to the queen regent and the court party, he won his greatest triumph in defeating Turenne and the allied Spaniards and rebels at Rethel (or Blanc-Champ) in 1650. He then held high office at the court of Louis XIV., became minister of state in 1652, and in November 1665 was created duc de Choiseul. He was concerned in some of the negotiations between Louis and Charles II. of England which led to the treaty of Dover, and died in Paris on the 23rd of December 1675.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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