1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Nemours, Lords and Dukes of
NEMOURS, LORDS AND DUKES OF. In the 12th and 13th centuries the lordship of Nemours, in Gâtinais, France, was in possession of the house of Villebeon, a member of which, Gautier, was marshal of France in the middle of the 13th century. The lordship was sold to King Philip III. in 1274 and 1276 by Jean and Philippe de Nemours, and was then made a county and given to Jean de Grailly, captal de Buch in 1364. In 1404 Charles VI. of France gave it to Charles III. of Evreux, king of Navarre, and erected it into a duchy in the peerage of France (duché-pairie). Charles III.’s daughter, Beatrix, brought the duchy to her husband Jacques de Bourbon, count of La Marche, and by the marriage of their daughter, Eleanor, to Bernard of Armagnac, count of Pardiac, it passed to the house of Armagnac. After being confiscated and restored several times, the duchy reverted to the French crown in 1505, after the extinction of the house of Armagnac-Pardiac. In 1507 it was given by Louis XII. to his nephew, Gaston de Foix, who was killed at Ravenna in 1512. The duchy then returned to the royal domain, and was detached from it successively for Giuliano de Medici and his wife Philiberta of Savoy in 1515, for Louise of Savoy in 1524, and for Philip of Savoy, count of Genevois, in 1528. The descendants of the last-mentioned duke possessed the duchy until its sale to Louis XIV. In 1572 Louis gave it to his brother Philip, duke of Orleans, whose descendants possessed it until the Revolution. The title of duc de Nemours was afterwards given to Louis Charles, son of King Louis Philippe, who is dealt with separately below.
The following are the most noteworthy of the earlier dukes of Nemours.
James of Armagnac, duke of Nemours (c. 1433–1477), was the son of Bernard d’Armagnac, count of Pardiac, and Eleanor of Bourbon-La Marche. As comte de Castres, he served under Charles VII. in Normandy in 1449 and 1450; and afterwards in Guienne. On the accession of Louis XI. the king loaded him with honours, married him to his god-daughter, Louise of Anjou, and recognized his title to the duchy of Nemours in 1462. Sent by Louis to pacify Roussillon, Nemours felt that he had been insufficiently rewarded for the rapid success of this expedition, and joined the League of the Public Weal in 1465. He subsequently became reconciled with Louis, but soon resumed his intrigues. After twice pardoning him, the king’s patience became exhausted, and he besieged the duke’s chateau at Carlat and took him prisoner. Nemours was treated with the utmost rigour, being shut up in a cage; and was finally condemned to death by the parlement and beheaded on the 4th of August 1477.
Philip of Savoy, duke of Nemours (1490–1533), was a son of Philip, duke of Savoy, and brother of Louise of Savoy, mother of Francis I. of France. Originally destined for the priesthood, he was given the bishopric of Geneva at the age of five, but resigned it in 1510, when he was made count of Genevois. He served under Louis XII., with whom he was present at the battle of Agnadello (1509), under the emperor Charles V. in 1520, and finally under his nephew, Francis I. In 1528 Francis gave him the duchy of Nemours and married him to Charlotte of Orléans-Longueville. He died on the 25th of November 1533.
His son, James (1531–1585), became duke of Nemours in 1533. He distinguished himself at the sieges of Lens and Metz (1552–1553), at the battle of Renty (1554) and in the campaign of Piedmont (1555). He was a supporter of the Guises, and had to retire for some time into Savoy in consequence of a plot. On his return to France he fought the Huguenots, and signalized himself by his successes in Dauphiné and Lyonnais. In 1567 he induced the court to return from Meaux to Paris, took part in the battle of Saint Denis, protested against the peace of Longjumeau, and repulsed the invasion of Wolfgang, count palatine of Zweibrücken. He devoted his last years to letters and art, and died at Annecy on the 15th of June 1585.
By his wife Anne of Este, the widow of Francis, duke of Guise, the duke left a son, Charles Emmanuel (1567–1595), who in his youth was called prince of Genevois. Involved in political intrigues by his relationship with the Guises, he was imprisoned after the assassination of Henry, duke of Guise, and his brother the cardinal of Lorraine, in 1588, but contrived to escape. He fought at Ivry and Arques, and was governor of Paris when it was besieged by Henry IV. After quarrelling with his half-brother Charles of Lorraine, duke of Mayenne, he withdrew to his government of Lyonnais, where he endeavoured to make himself independent. He was imprisoned, however, in the château of Pierre-Encise by the archbishop of Lyons. After his escape he attacked Lyons, but was defeated owing to the intervention of the constable de Montmorency. He died at Annecy in July 1595.
His brother Henry (1572–1632), called originally marquis de Saint-Sorlin, succeeded him as duke. In 1588 he took the marquisate of Saluzzo from the French for his cousin, the duke of Savoy. The princes of Guise, his half-brothers, induced him to join the League, and in 1591 he was made governor of Dauphiné in the name of that faction. He made his submission to Henry IV. in 1596. After quarrelling with the duke of Savoy he withdrew to Burgundy and joined the Spaniards in their war against Savoy. After peace had been proclaimed on the 14th of November 1616, he retired to the French court. He died in 1632, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Louis, and on the death of the latter in 1641 by his second son, Charles Amadeus (1624–1652), who served in the army of Flanders in 1645, and in the following year commanded the light cavalry at the siege of Courtrai. In 1652 he took part in the war of the Fronde, and fought at Bléneau and at the Faubourg St Antoine, where he was wounded. On the 30th of July of the same year he was killed in a duel by his brother-in-law, François de Vendôme, duke of Beaufort. He had two daughters, Marie Jeanne Baptiste (d. 1724), who married Charles Emmanuel of Savoy in 1665; and Marie Françoise Elisabeth, who married Alphonso VI., king of Portugal, in 1666. His brother Henry (1625–1659), who had been archbishop of Reims, but now withdrew from orders, succeeded to the title. In 1657 he married Marie d’Orléans-Longueville (1625–1707), daughter of Henry II. of Orléans, duke of Longueville. This duchess of Nemours is a famous personage. At an early age she was involved in the first Fronde, which was directed by her father and her stepmother. Anne Geneviève de Bourbon-Condé, the celebrated duchesse de Longueville; and when her husband died in 1659, leaving her childless, the rest of her life was mainly spent in contesting her inheritance with her stepmother. She left some interesting Mémoires, which are published by C. B. Petitot in the Collection complète des mémoires (1819–1829).