Montbazon: king Louis XI's jails, Hercule the Breton and Marie the plotter

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Montbazon castle Castle Castle of the Loire Valley Imprisonment Foulques Nerra Hercule de Rohan Marie d’Avaugour Louis XI Cardinal La Balue

Hello, Foulques, again!

Montbazon went down in history in 992, when the mighty count of Anjou Foulques Nerra, who was conquering Tours, surrounded the city with ramparts. We think that he raised the castle on lands belonging to Cormery abbey. Indeed, lords of Montbazon had to give them, each year, a pension of 5 pennies!

Eudes I, count of Blois and Tours, later seized the stronghold. ″Ahhh, the felon!″ growled Foulques. ″I’ll show him what I’m made of!″ But Eudes, his enemy, kicked the bucket… Once he was dead, his son turned up. But this one was waging war with his neighbours, so Foulques get back Montbazon! So there! And he gave it to his governor Guillaume de Mireabeau, the ancestor of the first lords of Montbazon.

Then, Philibert Savary get the castle in 1205. 7 lords from the same house succeeded one another, before Montbazon fell to the La Rochefoucauld. Hey, in 1459, François II de La Rochefoucauld, duke of Brittany, even paid homage to the king of France Charles VII!

Louis’ jails

After Charles VII, here was his son, Louis XI. He loved dark jails, Loulou. A perfect place to lock his enemies! Especially one, the cardinal La Balue: Louis locked him in the keep of Loches, then in Montbazon. Here, his jailer was a man named the lord d'Estouville... La Balue was released in 1480.

Hercule the Breton

Then, we had the Rohan turning up. A very old Breton family! Among them, some big names: do you know Hercule de Rohan? Ah, ah, Hercules… a great name for this giant, who was with the king Henri IV, in his carriage, the day he was murdered by the mad Ravaillac… Hercule even get a dagger’s stab on his arm! He was 60 when he re-married Marie d’Avaugour, a pretty and adventurous lady… an unfaithful woman, said the gossip!

A countess without virtues!

The lady was Marie d’Avangour, lady of Montbazon, born countess de Vertus. Aaah, she didn’t have virtues (Vertus) at all! And some says she wasn’t pretty at all: the chronicler Saint-Simon wrote she had a fat belly, a long nose and… a big breast! He nicknamed her ″the colossus″…

Another one, the cardinal de Gondi, wrote: ″She only loved her own pleasure, and above all, her interest. She was someone who was so disrespectful with virtue.″ Marie liked plots, and men too. She collected lovers, and spent all their fortune! The king finally exiled her in Montbazon… because of a stupid love story!


And also!