In 1473 a fresh expedition was sent against him; Lectoure was surrendered; and the Count killed, perhaps murdered. His fate deserves less sympathy than it has found. The independence of Armagnac, Rouergue and La Marche was at an end.
His brother, Jacques, had a similar history. Raised to the duchy of Nemours and the pairie by Louis XI, he became a traitor in 1465, and was implicated in all the treacherous machinations of his brother. His fate was delayed till 1476, when he was arrested. His trial left something to be desired in point of fairness, but there can be little doubt that substantial justice was done, when he was executed in 1477. Charles VIII restored the duchy to his sons, one of whom died in the King's service at the battle of Cerignola. With him the male line of Armagnac became extinct.
The House of Albret was more fortunate. Though implicated in the League of the Public Weal, and in the Breton rebellion, this House incurred no forfeiture. But the long rule of Alain le Grand (1471-1522) illustrates pathetically the humiliations, vexations, and losses that so great a prince had constantly to endure through the steady pressure of the King's agents, lawyers, and financiers, and, in some cases, through the ill-will of his own subjects. In spite of his vast domains, his appeal Courts, his more than princely revenue, he was unable to meet his still greater expenses, swelled by the new luxury and by legal costs, without a heavy pension from the King. A man, reckoned to have received from the Crown in his fifty years no less than six millions l.t., cannot, however powerful he was, be regarded as independent. By marriage his House in the next generation acquired Navarre with Foix, and was ultimately merged in Bourbon, and in the Crown.
Other appanages call for little remark. Bourbon, with its ap-pendants, Auvergne, Beaujolais, Forez, and (1477) La Marche, was the most important. It was preserved from reunion to the Crown by the influence of Anne of Beaujeu, who secured it for her daughter and her husband, the Count of Montpensier. The duchy of Orleans with the county of Blois was united to the Crown at the accession of Louis XII. None of these important fiefs were free from the royal taxes or authority, though they enjoyed some administrative independence.
Princes and minor nobles alike were gradually brought into the King's obedience by the King's pay. While the poor gentlemen entered the King's service as guards, as men-at-arms, or even as archers, the great princes drew the King's pensions, or aspired to the lucrative captainship of a body of ordonnances. If of sufficient dignity and influence they might hope for the still more valuable post of governor in some province. When they had once learnt to rely on the mercenary's stipend, they could not easily bring themselves to exchange it for the old honourable, though lawless, independence. Gradually