Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Francis I

Francis I. (1494-1547). This King of France was the son of Charles, Comte d'Angouleme, and Louise of Savoy, and succeeded his uncle, Louis XII., whose daughter he married, in 1515. He immediately set about the reconquest from Maximilien Sforza of the Milanese duchy, which he claimed through his mother. The Swiss mercenaries were defeated at Marignano, and Francis proceeded to Rome, where he concluded a concordat with Leo X. Having been an unsuccessful candidate for the Empire, he sought the aid of Henry VIII. against his rival, and the meeting at Ardres, called the "Field of the Cloth of Gold," took, place in 1520. In the first war between Francis and Charles V., however, England took sides with the latter, and the French king, attacked on all sides, was defeated and made prisoner at Pavia in 1525. After renouncing his Italian possessions and the suzerainty over Flanders and Burgundy, Francis was released, but immediately recommenced the war. The Pope was taken prisoner and Rome sacked, but by the Treaty of Cambrai (1529) France got little better terms than before. Five years later, the "Most Christian King" renewed the war, with Solyman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Turks, as his ally. The treaty concluded at Nice for ten years lasted only four, and in his last war, though England was the ally of the Emperor, Francis was less unfortunate than he had been before. Charles V., defeated at Cerisolles, deserted his ally, and made the separate peace of Crepy (1544), but war with England continued two years longer, Boulogne remaining in the hands of the latter at its close. Francis was indifferent in religious matters; he persecuted the Protestants in the Vaudois, but supported them in Germany. Though a typical Frenchman with his love of military glory and of gallantry, the Italian element in his character appeared alike in the shiftiness of his diplomacy and in his magnificent patronage of literature and art. He founded the Royal College of Paris and collected a fine library at Fontainebleau, beside building several palaces and filling them with the treasures of art. His portrait painted by Titian is in the Louvre.