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7-10-2015, 02:37

EARLY 17TH CENTURY FRENCH



Enfantsperdus led by King’s Musketeers


'ith the assassination of Henri IV on the eve of a declaration of war against Spain, France remained somewhat inward looking and militarily weak with the ascension of the eight-year-old Louis XIII to the throne with his mother, Marie de Medici, as regent. Although he legally came of age when he reached the age of thirteen, it wasn’t until some years later that he finally threw off the influence of his mother,

The first conflicts of Louis’ reign were to be internal. A rebellion by a number of nobles in 1620 was easily suppressed by royal forces, but this was followed by troubles with the Protestant Huguenots within France, supported, albeit ineffectively, by England.

Following the rise of Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu, to the position of the King’s first minister in 1624, France entered a period of stability and started once again to look to its interests on the international stage, especially in regard to its traditional rivals, the Habsburgs. With borders with Spain in both the Pyrenees and the Low Countries, plus the growing ascendancy of the Austrian Habsburgs in the Thirty Years’ War, the French feared encirclement. To counter this they intervened with armies in Piedmont and northern Italy, in an attempt to break the so called “Spanish Road” that linked Spain’s Italian possessions with the Low Countries, and also, more covertly, by financial support for the Dutch and German Protestants.

It was in this period that the Musketeers of the Guard, as made famous by Alexandre Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers”, were founded. Players may be interested to know that one Charles Ogier de Batz de Castelmore, Comte d’Artagnan, joined the company in 1632, possibly aided by the influence of a family friend, Jean-Armand du Peyrer, Comte de Troisville (or Tresville). D’Artagnan rose to the rank of captain of the company and was killed at the siege of Maastricht in 1673.

This list covers French armies from the assassination of Henri IV in 1610 until the entry of French armies into the main Thirty Years’ War conflict in 1635.



 

 

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