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François d'O and his castle: the king's minion and his musk pies

The castle | Elizaveta Butryn / CC-BY-SA
Castle Festivities François d’O O castle

Dolled up!

This beautiful castle was named after an old Norman family.

Jean d'O, king Charles VIII's chamberlain, raised a brand new castle on the foundations of a former fortress built by his ancestries.

Then François d'O embellished it during the 16th century.

François was the most famous guy, in this family. François d'O was a very close friend of king's brother, Henri of Anjou (the future king of France Henri III): in fact, he was one of his famous mignons ("minions")! Those men wore make up, earrings... like women!

The French chronicler L’Estoile wrote in his Journal du règne d'Henri III the word mignon appeared in 1576. He said:

"They had curly-haired, with a little velvet cap on their heads, like women, and also big ruff."

James I of England had also his own minions: the most famous one was count of Somerset, Robert Carr.

Parties and musk pies

D'O became a wealthy man; he was Lord High Treasurer in 1578, general lieutenant in Normandy in 1580…

Sully wrote in his Mémoires: "This very rich man, rich of all the kingdom’s money, was magnificent in his furniture and his retinue, more than the king of France himself."

L’Estoile even wrote about all the pies he served during feasts, made with musk and amber: luxurious and expensive ingredients...

He organized beautiful parties in his castle: at that time, the Court wore jewels and rich fabrics, men dressed like women, women like men... They had lot of fun!

But all this parties ruined him, and he died in 1594, childless.

Sully said: "His parents, his servants, his creditors didn’t wait his last breath to deprive him of his money. So in the end, just after his death, they only left the naked walls of the bedroom."

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!