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Count of Angouleme; also Francois I

Born: 1494 AD
Died: 1547 AD
Nationality: French
Categories: Duke, King, Monarch

1494 – Francis I, called the Father and Restorer of Letters (le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), born on the 12th of September in France.  Francis I is considered to be France’s first Renaissance monarch. His reign saw France make immense cultural advances. He was a contemporary of King Henry VIII of England and of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, his great rivals, and Suleiman the Magnificent, his ally.

1514 – At a young age, by instigation of king Louis, on 18th of May married, to Claude of France, the daughter of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany and heiress of Brittany. Because of the Salic Law that stated that women could not inherit the throne of France, the throne passed to Francis I at the death of Louis XII, as he was the descendant of the eldest surviving male line of the Capetian Dynasty.

1515 –  He was crowned King of France in the cathedral at Reims and reigned.

1524 – He assisted the citizens of Lyon to finance the expedition of Giovanni da Verrazzano to North America; on this expedition, Verrazzano claimed Newfoundland for the French crown.

1525 – His most devastating defeat occurred at the Battle of Pavia, where he was captured by Charles: Cesare Hercolani hurt his horse and Francis was captured by Spaniards Juan de Urbieta, Diego Dávila and Afonso Pita.

1534 – He sent Jacques Cartier to explore the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to find certaines îles et pays où l’on dit qu’il se doit trouver grande quantité d’or et autres riches choses ("certain islands and lands where it is said there must be great quantities of gold and other riches").

1537 – He signed the Ordonnance de Montpellier, decreeing that his library be given a copy of every book to be sold in France.

1539 – In his castle in Villers-Cotterêts, Aisne, He signed the edict which made French the administrative language instead of Latin. The same edict required priests to register births, marriages and deaths and to establish a registry office in every parish.

1541 – He sent Jean-François de la Roque de Roberval to settle Canada and to provide for the spread of "the Holy Catholic faith."

1543 – The two powers even combined for a joint naval assault on Nice.

1547 – Died on the 31st of March. It is said that he died complaining about the weight of a crown that he had first perceived as a gift from God.