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Etampes, Anne De Pisseleu D'heilly

ETAMPES, ANNE DE PISSELEU D'HEILLY, Duchesse d' (1508-c.1580), mistress of Francis I. of France, daughter of Guillaume de Pisseleu, sieur d'Heilly, a nobleman of Picardy. She came to court before 1522, and was one of the maids of honour of Louise of Savoy. Francis I. made her his mistress, probably on his return from his captivity at Madrid (1526), and soon gave up Madame de Châteaubriant for her. Anne was sprightly, pretty, witty and cultured, and succeeded in keeping the favour of the king till the end of the reign (1547). The liaison received some official recognition; when Queen Eleanor entered Paris (1530), the king and Anne occupied the same window. In 1533 Francis gave her in marriage to Jean de Brosse, whom he created duc d'Etampes. The influence of the duchesse d'Etampes, especially in the last years of the reign, was considerable. She upheld Admiral Chabot against the constable de Montmorency, who was supported by her rival, Diane de Poitiers, the dauphin's mistress. She was a friend to new ideas, and co-operated with the king's sister, Marguerite d'Angoulême. She used her influence to elevate and enrich her family, her uncle, Antoine Sanguin (d. 1559), being made bishop of Orleans in 1535 and a cardinal in 1539. [1] The accusations made against her of having allowed herself to be won over by the emperor Charles V. and of playing the traitor in 1544 rest on no serious proof. After the death of Francis I. (1547) she was dismissed from the court by Diane de Poitiers, humiliated in every way, and died in obscurity much later, probably in the reign of Henry III.

See Paulin Paris, Etudes sur François Ier (Paris, 1885).

[1] The château of Meudon, belonging to the Sanguin family, was handed over to the duchesse d'Etampes in 1539. Sanguin was translated to Limoges in 1546, and became archbishop of Toulouse in 1550.

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

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