Savoy, Louise of (1476–1531)

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Savoy, Louise of (14761531)

Mother of King Francis I and influential figure in the culture and government of Renaissance France. The daughter of Philip II, the Duke of Savoy, and Margaret of Bourbon, Louise was married at the age of twelve to Charles of Valois, the count of Angouleme and cousin of King Louis XII. She had two children, Marguerite de Navarre and Francis, the future king. Louise effectively promoted the interests of her son, bringing him to the royal court of France and arranging his engagement to Claude of France, the daughter of King Louis XII. After the wedding took place in 1514, Louis formally recognized Francis as his heir. In the next year, on the death of Louis, Francis ascended the throne of France and rewarded his mother with the counties of Angouleme, Maine, and Beaufort.

Louise took an active part in diplomacy. After the defeat of the French army at the Battle of Pavia in 1525, she helped to negotiate the Treaty of Cambrai between France and the Holy Roman Empire in 1529. This Ladies' Peace, signed by Louise and Margaret of Austria, ended a long-standing feud between France and Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, over control of Italy.

See Also: France; Francis I; Margaret of Austria