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Le Coq, Robert

LE COQ, ROBERT (d. 1373), French bishop, was born at Montdidier, although he belonged to a bourgeois family of Orleans, where he first attended school before coming to Paris. In Paris he became advocate to the parlement (1347); then King John appointed him master of requests, and in 1351, a year during which he received many other honours, he became bishop of Laon. At the opening of 1354 he was sent with the cardinal of Boulogne, Pierre I., duke of Bourbon, and Jean VI., count of Vendome, to Mantes to treat with Charles the Bad, king of Navarre, who had caused the constable, Charles of Spain, to be assassinated, and from this time dates his connexion with this king. At the meeting of the estates which opened in Paris in October 1356 Le Coq played a leading role and was one of the most outspoken of the orators, especially when petitions were presented to the dauphin Charles, denouncing the bad government of the realm and demanding the banishment of the royal councillors. Soon, however, the credit of the estates having gone down, he withdrew to his diocese, but at the request of the bourgeois of Paris he speedily returned. The king of Navarre had succeeded in escaping from prison and had entered Paris, where his party was in the ascendant; and Robert le Coq became the most powerful person in his council. No one dared to contradict him, and he brought into it whom he pleased. He did not scruple to reveal to the king of Navarre secret deliberations, but his fortune soon turned. He ran great danger at the estates of Compiegne in May 1358, where his dismissal was demanded, and he had to flee to St Denis, where Charles the Bad and Etienne Marcel came to find him. After the death of Marcel, he tried, unsuccessfully, to deliver Laon, his episcopal town, to the king of Navarre, and he was excluded from the amnesty promised in the treaty of Calais (1360) by King John to the partisans of Charles the Bad. His temporalities had been seized, and he was obliged to flee from France. In 1363, thanks to the support of the king of Navarre, he was given the bishopric of Calahorra in the kingdom of Aragon, which he administered until his death in 1373.

See L. C. Douet d'Arcq, " Acte d'accusation centre Robert le Coq, eveque de Laon " in Bibliotheque de I'Ecole des Charles, 1st series, t. it., pp. 350-387; and R. Delachenal, " La Bibliotheque d'un avocat du XIV" siecle, inventaire estimatif des livres de Robert le Coq," in Nouvelle revue historique de droitfrançais et etr anger ( 1 887) , pp. 524-537.

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

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