LA FLECHE, a town of western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Sarthe on the Loire, 31 m. S.S.W. of Le Mans by rail. Pop. (1906) town 7800; commune 10,663. The chief interest of the town lies in the Prytanee, a famous school for the sons of officers, originally a college founded for the Jesuits in 1607 by Henry IV. The buildings, including a fine chapel, were erected.from 1620 to 1653 and are surrounded by a park. A bronze statue of Henry IV. stands in the marketplace. La Fleche is the seat of a sub-prefect and of a tribunal of first instance, and carries on tanning, flour-milling, and the manufacture of paper, starch, wooden shoes and gloves. It is an agricultural market.
The lords of La Fleche became counts of Maine about noo, but the lordship became separate from the county and passed in the 16th century to the family of Bourbon and thus to Henry IV.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)