Monday, 19 June 2017

The Spare Prince IX

Henri II
The Dauphin’s Marriage

By this time Henri’s sexual passions were beyond being slaked by Diane, who remained his closest advisor. Instead Henri met with courtesans in a bedroom guarded by his valet Griffon. Diane turned a blind eye to these sorties while the queen minded more Diane’s continued hold over Henri.

On 24th April 1558 the marriage between the Dauphin François and Mary, Queen of Scotland was celebrated at Notre-Dame with the bride’s uncle François in charge of the celebrations instead of the absent Constable, still a prisoner of the Spanish.

The married couple were a great contrast with the sickly stuttering bridegroom now allied with a beautiful young lady taller than he was. The bride was clad in;

‘A robe white as a lily, fashioned so sumptuously and richly that it would be impossible to describe it. The train, which was of marvellous length, was borne by two young demoiselles….on her head she wore a golden crown studded with pearls, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other gems of priceless value.’[i]

Mary Queen of Scots
The wedding feast featured twelve man-made horses covered in gold and silver cloth[ii] pulling coaches full of singers who entertained the bridal party. These were accompanied by six silver-sailed ships that appeared to float over the floor. These and other amusements would have even further exhausted the already depleted treasury.

At court, Mary was a favourite with everyone bar the queen. She learned to play lute and virginals, she was competent in prose, poetry, horsemanship, falconry and needlework, and was taught French, Italian, Latin, Spanish, and Greek. Twenty days before the wedding, Mary signed a secret agreement bequeathing Scotland and her claim to England to the French crown if she died without issue. This success further bolstered the standing of the Guise family at court.

On 17th November the ailing queen in England, Mary Tudor, died. That same month the Scottish Parliament granted the crown matrimonial to François[iii], a reminder to the English that Scotland, allied with France, was still a danger on her northern borders.

Henri was concerned about Montmorency’s continued imprisonment, he wrote the old man regularly, assuring Montmorency of his love and friendship. Diane too was becoming concerned about the preponderance of the Guise family in state affairs. The Guise family were busy promoting their own interests The Venetian ambassador wrote of Diane’s change of stance;

‘At present there is open rupture and enmity between her and the Cardinal of Lorraine, she is being so united with the Constable that they are one and the same thing.’[iv]

Montmorency was able to use his enforced stay in Ghent to hold informal peace talks. Henri was not the only one who was short of money; Philip was too. He knew Henri needed peace as badly as he did. Henri too was irritated with François de Guise who he believed had talked him into the last war in Italy.

In October 1558 Henri’s old mentor was finally released on a short parole and he met with an emotional Henri. Montmorency shared the king’s bedchamber that night and the two men spent their time denigrating the Guise tendency for ambition, greed and general hawkishness. Henri was inconsolable when Montmorency had to return to his imprisonment two days later.

It was not until 3rd April 1559 that the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis was signed; there were two treaties, one between France and England

·         France was to retain Calais for eight years and then pay an indemnity or return the town to the English and sixteen cannon captured were to be returned to the English

·         French fortresses on the Scottish border were to be dismantled.

Cateau-Cambrésis Part Two

The other treaty between France and Spain was more complex. Although the terms were not seen by the French as advantageous for France, Henri did strengthen France strategically, giving up possessions in northern Italy that would have been expensive and difficult to defend in order to strengthen France’s borders.

·         All Tuscan possessions were handed to the Duke of Mantua or the Duke of Florence.

·         Spanish rights to Milan and Naples were recognised

·         Bresse, Savoy and Piedmont were handed back to the Duke of Savoy

·         France kept the bishoprics of Toul, Metz and Verdun

·         France kept the Marquisate of Saluzzo and five strongholds in Piedmont including Turin.

·         Corsica was given back to the Genoese

Elisabeth de Valois
Queen Catherine was horrified by the terms of the treaty and, on her knees, begged Henri to refuse to ratify it; advice he wisely took no notice of. Catherine blamed the treaty on Diane. Henri’s bosom friend François de Guise was also horrified by the agreements made and left court at Christmas while the negotiations were still ongoing. He told Henri;

‘I swear to you, Sire, that there is evil in taking this road. For if you do nothing but lose for the next thirty years you would not give up as much as now at a single stroke.’[v]

The treaty also called for two marriages; one was of the Princess Elisabeth to Philip, now a widower for the second time. Elisabeth was married by proxy on 22nd June; the Duke of Alva standing in for his master. Elisabeth’s dowry was 400,000 livres[vi], money her father could ill afford. The other marriage was between the Duke of Savoy and Henri’s sister Marguerite. The Princess Claude married Duke Charles of Lorraine on 22nd January 1559.

Montmorency married his son Henri[vii] to Diane’s granddaughter Antoinette de la Marck a few days after the wedding of Princess Claude. The wedding was celebrated at the Constable’s chateau at Écouen. The previous year Henri had married his illegitimate daughter Diane to Montmorency’s eldest son François.

The Tournament of Death

Hotel des Tournelles
Marguerite’s marriage was scheduled for 4th July and her dowry fixed at 300,000 livres[viii]. To honour his sister and daughter’s marriages Henri ordered a magnificent five day tournament to take place in the Rue Saint-Antoine in front of the Hôtel des Tournelles.

On the third day of the tournament Henri appeared in the lists riding a Turkish stallion given to him by Emanuel-Philibert. He wore, as usual, an outfit in black and white to honour Diane. Having vanquished his first two opponents Henri rode against Gabriel de Montgomery, Seigneur de Lorges and captain of the Garde Écossaise.

Losing against de Lorges resulted in Henri demanding another bout against the advice of his wife and courtiers. The two men broke their lances and, under tournament rules, should have immediately dropped them. Instead de Lorges held onto his and the lance glanced upwards and slipped under the king’s visor. Several splinters of needle sharp wood pierced Henri’s head just over his right eye.

The tournament
Henri was taken off his horse and carried into the Hôtel des Tournelles where Queen Catherine held vigil by his bed. There he was attended by the famous physician Vesalius who had hurried from Brussels. Vesalius, after experimenting on the head of a murder victim proclaimed that Henri’s brain was undamaged.

For three days Henri was able to talk and even attended to some state business but on 4th July he developed a fever. The next day, as her brother lay dying, Marguerite was married elsewhere in the palace. At 1 pm on 10th July Henri died; the post-mortem found that a splinter of bone had pierced the brain.

The Protestants believed that his death was divine punishments for Henri’s attacks on their religion. Nicholas Throckmorton, the English ambassador, wrote;

‘The noblemen, gentlemen and ladies did lament the misfortune, the townsmen and people did rejoice, and let not openly to say that the king’s dissolute life and his tyranny to the professors of the Gospel had procured God’s vengeance.’[ix]

France was left with a callow youth as king, and the country ruled by a woman who detested heresy and was determined to do all she could to stamp it out.


Martyrs and Murderers – Stuart Carroll, Oxford University Press 2009

Catherine de Medici – Leonie Frieda, a Phoenix Paperback 2003

Philip of Spain – Henry Kamen, Yale University Press 1997

French Renaissance Monarchy – RJ Knecht, Longman Group 1996

The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France – RJ Knecht, Fontana Press 1996

Catherine de’ Medici – RJ Knecht, Pearson Education Ltd 1998

A History of France – David Potter, The MacMillan Press 1995

Henri II – H Noel Williams, Methuen and Co 1910 (reprint 2016)


[i] Henri II - Williams
[ii] The royal children had similarly caparisoned hobby-horses
[iii] After his marriage to Mary François was known as the Roi-Dauphin and Mary as the Reine-Dauphine
[iv] Catherine de Medici - Frieda
[v] Ibid
[vi] In 2015 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is 136,800,000.00 labour earnings of that income or wealth is £2,012,000,000.00 economic status value of that income or wealth is £4,934,000,000.00 economic power value of that income or wealth is £58,270,000,000.00
[vii] He later inherited his father’s dukedom after the death of his brother François. The couple had two children
[viii] In 2015 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £102,600,000.00 labour earnings of that income or wealth is £1,509,000,000.00 economic status value of that income or wealth is £3,701,000,000.00 economic power value of that income or wealth is £43,700,000,000.00
[ix] Henri II - Williams

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Spare Prince VIII

Henri II
An Italian Interlude

The newly installed King Philip decided to trade for time and on 5th February 1556 the Truce of Vaucelles was signed with France giving Spain a five year breathing space. It gave Philip Franche-Comté. It is highly likely that Henri accepted a truce rather than a treaty because the French treasury was empty and the crown owed over two million éçus[i].

Cardinal Carafa visited Paris, ostensibly to discuss peace, in reality to press for war. His uncle told François de Tournon,

‘It is time to break the truce and to give the crown of Naples to the King of France.’[ii]

Philip did not wait for the French and the pope to come to an agreement but had Alba make a pre-emptive strike into Latium. By mid-September Alba’s troops had captured Anagni opening up the road to Rome. Cardinal Carafa turned to Henri for help and he agreed to send an army to the pope’s aid.

Ercole d'Este 
François de Guise was appointed Lieutenant General in the Italian peninsula and over 200 of the nobility joined up to seek glory. They were well aware that the overarching plan was to conquer the kingdom of Naples for France[iii]. François de Guise left Turin on 9th January 1557 with 11,000 infantry, 1,800 cavalry and a few guns. The weather was terrible as the army marched down the Po Valley leaving horses and men floundering in mud.

De Guise met up with his father-in-law Ercole d’Ésté Duke of Ferrara and Cardinal Carafa at Reggio nell’Emila. The news arrived that the pope was dying and had only created two new French cardinals which would be insufficient to force through the appointment of Henri as king of Naples. Given that his Italian allies refused him subsidies and the Turks were not prepared to act in the French interest Henri decided to cut his losses in Italy.

The Truce is Broken

Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy
In the summer of 1557 Philip launched an invasion of northern France under the leadership of Emanuel-Philibert of Savoy. Montmorency awaited him with an army and the two sides clashed at St Quentin on 10th August. Montmorency was taken prisoner as the French army was beaten ignominiously. The Parisians blamed the Cardinal of Lorraine for wishing this war upon them

‘The Parisians ….ceaselessly lacerate the Cardinal of Lorraine as the principal author of this war; they recall that he went to Rome to conclude an alliance with the pope and that, aided by his family, he has since pressed the king as hard as possible to go to war.’[iv]

Henri recalled François de Guise and his army from Italy as a first step to save France from the Spanish incursion. François was back at court by October and was appointed Lieutenant General of the kingdom with extraordinary powers while his brother Cardinal Lorraine was put in charge of domestic and foreign policy in place of the absent Montmorency.

The two brothers planned to take back Calais for France, encouraged by the Hapsburg-Tudor alliance. Henri arranged to borrow the monies necessary to fund the campaign. The clergy promised to fund one third of the 3,000,000 crowns needed for the exercise while the towns loaned the remainder to Henri at 8.3% interest[v]. In return Henri promised to reduce taxation.

Henri chose to launch the attack in winter and François’ army crossed into the Pale on 31st December 1557 and seized the outworks before taking the castle. The town fell on 7th January. Henri made his entrance into Calais in mid-January as his troops were attacking Guîsnes. To reward the Guise family Henri finally agreed to the marriage between the Dauphin and Mary of Scotland, despite Montmorency’s objections.

Paul de Termes was made Governor of Calais and in June he and Jean d’Estouville de Villebon took and sacked Dunkerque, Nieupoort and Bergues. De Termes was captured during an attempt to take Gravelines. In late August the Vidame de Chartres cleared out the remaining English garrisons in Picardy.

Renewed Attacks on Heresy

Prince de Conde
In July 1557, horrified that the nobility were being contaminated by heresy Henri issued the Edict of Compiègne. The Prince de Condé espoused the new religion and one of the Coligny brothers[vi] François was a keen supporter. The Calvinists sent eighty-eight missionaries into France in the seven years between 1555 and 1562. Their converts came mainly from the urban middle class and the main strength of the movement was in towns like Poitiers and Orléans.

The edict was directed at the Calvinists and applied to death penalty for all those who failed to take the sacrament. Lutherans were exempt as many of Henri’s allies, mercenaries and bankers were of that faith. Henri had been given permission by the pope to start a French Inquisition.

‘In accordance with the persuasion and advice that Cardinal Caraffa has given me on the part of our Holy Father, to introduce here the Inquisition, according to legal form, as the true means of extirpating the root of such errors.’[vii]

The cardinals of Lorraine, Bourbon and Châtillon[viii] were chosen to head the new body. It was Cardinal Lorraine who was the most eager proponent of the new body which fell foul of the French magistrates who disputed the Inquisition’s right to take on tasks hitherto supervised by them.

François de Coligny arranged for his estates in Brittany to become evangelised with the aid of a Parisian pastor, setting up a permanent church at le Croisic and reinvigorated the church at Angers. François was arrested when he returned to Paris and pressured to recant even as another missionary was being introduced to François’ brothers, Gaspard[ix] and Cardinal Odet[x]

Heresy in Paris

Francois de Coligny
In September 1557 an angry mob broke up a Calvinist meeting in Paris and the congregation included members of the nobility, royal officials, artisans and servants. The armed nobles managed to get away but 132 people were arrested and thrown in prison. They were tried in Parlement and three were burnt to death on 14th September.

On 15th January 1558 Henri appeared before Parlement to obtain registration of his edict against heresy. The defeat at Saint-Quentin meant that the edict was never enforced. The conversions continued unabated. The German Protestant princes wrote to Henri requesting clemency for their co-religionists; Henri told them to mind their own business.

In May 1558 the Protestants, taking advantage of the momentary softening of the anti-heretic actions, staged a mass demonstration in Paris where a group of 4-5,000 people, protected by armed nobles, sang psalms in the Pré-aux-Clercs, a field within sight of the Louvre. The demonstration lasted several days despite a ban by Parlement. Henri felt that the display at Pré-aux-Clercs was a challenge to his authority. He quarrelled violently with François de Coligny and removed him from his position of Colonel-General of Infantry.

Encouraged by the Cardinal de Lorraine,
‘To prove to the King of Spain his firmness in the faith’[xi]
St-Chapelle (R background)
on 10th June 1559 Henri attended a special mercuriale[xii] called to counter the increasing numbers of staff holding heretical views. The king was horrified by the opinions of some of the councillors and ordered the arrest of eight suspects.

His actions against heresy may very well have been given extra weight by the attempted assassination of himself when emerging after a service at the Sainte-Chappelle[xiii]. A chancellery clerk, whose brother had been tried and executed for blasphemy and other charges, tried to stab Henri. Henri wanted to talk to his attacker but he had been disposed of, allegedly by the Calvinists who did not want their secrets to fall into official hands.

The French Calvinists were becoming more organised and in May 1559 held a synod in Paris which resulted in the drafting of a Confession of Faith and Ecclesiastical Discipline.


Martyrs and Murderers – Stuart Carroll, Oxford University Press 2009

Suleiman – André Clot, Saqui Books 2012

Catherine de Medici – Leonie Frieda, a Phoenix Paperback 2003

Philip of Spain – Henry Kamen, Yale University Press 1997

French Renaissance Monarchy – RJ Knecht, Longman Group 1996

The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France – RJ Knecht, Fontana Press 1996

Catherine de’ Medici – RJ Knecht, Pearson Education Ltd 1998

A History of France – David Potter, The MacMillan Press 1995

Henri II – H Noel Williams, Methuen and Co 1910 (reprint 2016)


[i] Only 650,000 éçus of which were secured. Henri issued a series of edicts that consolidated his debt moving from short-term to long-term loans at 16%. But by the end of October 1555 Henri had contracted further debts of at least 340,000 éçus In 2015 the relative: labour cost of that project is £1,456,000,000.00 economic cost of that project is £49,800,000,000.00 Problems paying these debts meant that in April 1557 the French line of credit ran out  
[ii] The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France - Knecht
[iii] There was some historical precedent for this as Joanna of Naples had appointed one of the French royal family as her heir see
[iv] The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France - Knecht
[v] The nobility failed to fund any part of the expedition
[vi] Nephews of Anne de Montmorency
[vii] Henri II - Williams
[viii] Named Grand Inquisitor in 1561
[ix] One of France’s admirals
[x] Who was to formally become a Protestant in 1561
[xi] Henri II - Williams
[xii] The name given to the three monthly religious review of government staff

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Spare Prince VII

Henri crushes heresy underfoot
Persecuting Heretics

By 1547 the French monarchy had ranged itself against the Protestant tide sweeping over northern Europe. Henri was allegedly encouraged by Diane to persecute the heretics in France. Montmorency was another of Henri’s advisers not known for his liberal tendencies. François de Guise too was strongly anti-Protestant; he encouraged Henri to believe that conciliation with the papacy was necessary and that France should support Pope Paul III and after him Pope Julius III. Henri certainly attended more than one auto-da-fé.

On 5th April 1547 Henri issued an edict against blasphemy and set up a special tribunal[i] of the Paris Parlement to deal with cases of heresy, by-passing the ecclesiastical courts. By March 1550 the tribunal had handed down 39 death sentences out of 215 cases heard before it. There were other sentences, apart from death, ranging from public penance to public whipping, loss of all goods and possessions, exile and being sent for a galley slave. Confiscated estates were handed out to Henri’s favourites and few refused. The Maréchal de Vieilleville was one of the few who objected to enrich himself in this manner;

‘It would be to incur the pains of hell for next to nothing.’[ii]

The church objected to its exclusion from all but cases involving clerics and eventually in June 1551 Henri issued the Edict of Châteaubriant. Only simple heresy was henceforth to be dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts. From now on;

·         Parlement personnel were to be reviewed every three months to ensure they did not suffer from the taint of heresy.

·         All public appointments were made subject to the appointee receiving a certificate of Catholicity.

·         All teachers were to be good Catholics

·         Magistrates were to seek out heretics and destroy forbidden books.

·         Money was not allowed to be sent to Geneva or other hotbeds of Protestantism.

·         Attending church was made obligatory

·         Bishops had to reside in their bishoprics and the articles of faith[iii] were to be read out from the pulpit every Sunday; without adherence to the articles no-one was allowed to preach.  

The edict resulted in an exodus of heretics to Geneva, prepared to exile themselves for their faith. By 1560 it is estimated that close to 10,000 people may have left France for the safety of Geneva which became a centre for the printing of heretical books.

The Emperor’s Revenge

In April 1553 Charles, in revenge for his defeat in Metz, invaded Picardy besieging Thérouanne. When the town surrendered he had it razed to the ground. France was surrounded by enemies; England and Spain were allied by the marriage between the two monarchs, Mary Tudor whose brother Edward died in July 1553[iv], and Charles’ son Philip.

Henri decided that the answer was to invade the Low Countries; in June 1554 three French armies reached the southern Netherlands and on 28th they captured Mariembourg[v]. On 12th July Henri and Montmorency captured Bouvignes and the 800 man Spanish garrison was put to the sword. The French marched on Brussels and, in an attempt to draw Charles out of his stronghold, attacked the fort of Renty on 10th August.

Francois de Montmorency
Battle was joined on 13th but Charles held on to Renty and on 15th Henri called off the campaign. Montmorency was accused of failing to capture Charles and the Venetian envoy Giovanni Capello reported;

‘He used to be regarded as pusillanimous; now he is seen as a veritable coward, as he is afraid of chasing an enemy who was beaten and almost fleeing.’[vi]

The Guises were at the forefront of the Constable’s critics whose son François was held captive[vii] by Charles. Montmorency longed for peace while the Guise family saw their future in war.

War Comes to Italy

The war was also fought in long-contested northern Italy where the Cardinals Francois de Tournon and Ippolito d’Ésté held a conference with French allies about creating a diversion in Italy. On 26th July the citizens of Siena rose against the Spanish garrison and expelled it. The following month Paul de Termes[viii] took control of Siena’s defence and appointed Cardinal d’Ésté as governor.

Cosimo de’ Medici, Duke of Florence[ix] intrigued with Charles to bring Siena back under imperial control. Pedro Alvarez de Toledo, the Viceroy of Naples laid siege to Siena in January 1553 but was forced to raise the attempt when France’s ally, the Ottoman Empire, threatened the south of Italy. Henri had written to Suleiman asking him to send a fleet in the spring and early in 1553 Baron de la Garde[x] travelled to Constantinople to liaise with the Turks.
Battle of Marciano
The Turkish fleet was joined by French galleys and, given that Siena was safe, followed Henri’s orders to attack Corsica[xi], which fell to the invaders easily enough. The Genoese captured much of the island back the following year in an expedition under the command of Andrea Doria, although all the French troops were not cleared out until 1555.

Piero Strozzi[xii] was placed in charge of Tuscany but he was defeated on 2nd August 1554 at the battle of Marciano[xiii] which was followed by the besieging of Siena. The city fell in April 1555. Elsewhere in Italy things had being going France’s way; Casale and Ivrea fell and Marshall Brissac took Montferrat and controlled the exits from the Po valley.

The Emperor’s Departure

Emperor Ferdinand
Following the disappointment of Siena’s fall Montmorency attempted to negotiate a general peace; talks began in May 1555 in Marck[xiv]. Diane too was interested in peace as her nephew Robert de la Marck had also been taken prisoner. The French treasury was depleted with the cost of raising and keeping so many armies on the march.

By now Charles’ ill-health was getting the better of him and between October 1555 and January 1556 he laid down his titles and responsibilities, leaving the empire to his brother Ferdinand and Spain to his son Philip. In an emotional speech Charles told his audience of his travels;

‘I have made eight voyages in the seas of the Mediterranean and three in the seas of Spain, and soon I shall make a fourth voyage when I return there to be buried.’’[xv]

Charles retired to the monastery of Yuste[xvi].

Following the death of Pope Julius III in March 1555[xvii] the rabidly anti-Spanish Paul IV became pope; he hated Charles and nourished ambitions for his nephews. The new pope was a great believer in nepotism and demanded the see of Naples for his cardinal-nephew Cardinal Carafa[xviii] and Piacenza for another nephew Giovanni, the Duke of Paliano[xix] who had been placed at the head of the papal army. Philip refuse to accommodate the pope’s demand and in return Paul IV excommunicated Philip and his father.

Philip II
Henri was delighted by Philip’s intransigence and planned;

‘To force the emperor and his allies to shift the main burden of the war to Italy in order to relieve our territories and subjects on this side [of the Alps]’[xx]

At the instigation of the Cardinal of Lorraine the Franco-papal alliance was signed in December 1555, despite the concerns of Montmorency who pointed out that the papal treasury was empty and the pope lacked allies in Italy.


Martyrs and Murderers – Stuart Carroll, Oxford University Press 2009

Suleiman – André Clot, Saqui Books 2012

Catherine de Medici – Leonie Frieda, a Phoenix Paperback 2003

Philip of Spain – Henry Kamen, Yale University Press 1997

Charles V – Harald Kleinschmidt, Sutton Publishing 2004

French Renaissance Monarchy – RJ Knecht, Longman Group 1996

The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France – RJ Knecht, Fontana Press 1996

Catherine de’ Medici – RJ Knecht, Pearson Education Ltd 1998

A History of France – David Potter, The MacMillan Press 1995

Emperor Charles V – James D Tracey, Cambridge University Press 2010

Henri II – H Noel Williams, Methuen and Co 1910 (reprint 2016)


[i] Called the Chambre Ardente as a result of the severity of its sentencing
[ii] Henri II - Williams
[iii] Laid down by the Paris Faculty of Theology in 1543
[iv] The short-lived claim by the Duke of Northumberland on behalf of his daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey was ended with her execution
[v] Now a suburb of the town of Couvin in the Ardennes
[vi] The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France - Knecht
[vii] Taken during the fall of Thérouanne
[viii] Henri’s lieutenant in Italy
[ix] Upgraded in 1569 to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
[x] Former ambassador to the Sublime Porte and General of the Galleys.
[xi] Part of the Genoese Republic territory, causing Genoa to ally with the Holy Roman Emperor
[xii] Leader of the Florentine exiles; a favourite of Catherine de’ Medici’s who mortgaged some of her dower lands in the Auvergne to fund him and his supporters
[xiii] Also known as the battle of Scannagallo
[xiv] The talks were unsuccessful as Henri demanded that the status quo be preserved while Charles insisted on a return to the pre-war position
[xv] Philip of Spain - Kamen
[xvii] Whose successor Marcellus II died 22 days after his election
[xviii] Formerly a condottiero
[xix] To replace Paliano which the Spanish had recently conquered.
[xx] The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France - Knecht