Monday, February 18, 2019

The Seven Deadly Sins----

The Notorious Babou family.
"Among the most notorious French families of the period of the Renaissance was one known by the name of Babou de la Bourdaisiere, the latter part of that appellation being derived from the castle of La Bourdaisiere which reared its towers beside the Loire, near Vouvray, and still existed in the eighteenth century, when, however, it passed into the possession of Louis XV's minister, the famous Duke de Choiseul, who caused it to be demolished. The men of the Bourdaisiere race were not particularly remarkable, but the women were undoubtedly; being usually beautiful and all but invariably most amorous. For a hundred years they figured continuously in the chronique scandaleuse of France. They began to be particularly prominent in the reign of Francis I, where there was one who boasted that she had been not only the mistress of that King but also of the Emperor Charles V and of Pope Clement VII. One can count, however, well-nigh thirty women of this family whose love affairs became notorious. (The Favourites of Henri of Navarre)
Image result for marie gaudin, mistress of francois i of france
Marie Gaudin

Marie Gaudin, Dame de La Bourdaisiere (1495-1580)
Dame de la Bourdaisière

French courtesan

Daughter of  Victor Gaudin, the Queen's financier , and Agnès Morin, Lady of the Ralluères.

Wife of Philibert Babou (1484-1557), mar 1510.

Her lovers were:
1. Francois I de France
2. Karl V of Germany
3. Pope Leo X

"Her mother, Francoise Babou de la Bourdaisiere, Dame d'Estrees, Marquise de Coeuvres, was of Touraine, and beloved to a by no means ancient family. The Babous gained their first eminence through the marriage of Philibert Babou, Seigneur de Souliers, Mayor of Tours, with Marie Gaudin, Dame de la Bourdaisiere, who was celebrated for her beauty. Marie Gaudin, afterwards became a mistress of Francis I, and from that moment her house reaped a harvest of riches and honours." (Gabrielle d'Estrees: 2)

30 women of a family line notorious for their love affairs.
"The lovely Gabrielle d'Estrees was descended on her mother's side from a family of which some thirty women were notorious for their love affairs. One had been a mistress of the French King Francis I, one of the Emperor Charles V and another mistress of Pope Clement VII. Gabrielle had five sisters and a brother and she was called 'La Belle Gabrielle,' and with her sisters and brother were known in Paris as the Seven Deadly Sins. She was twenty when the King saw her and was struck with her beauty. He managed to get her married to an obliging old widower, then later had the marriage annulled when the old man would not claim his marital rights. Hen then established Gabrielle as his, the King's official mistress. Henry was 38 at this time. In 1593 she became pregnant and Cesar was born in 1594. In January when the marriage was annulled she was given the title of Marchioness of Monceaux and eventually Duchesse de Beaufort and Cesar was legitimized. It was one of his sons who was thought to be the 'Man in the Iron Mask'." (The Aromatherapy Book: Applications and Inhalations: 320)

Gabrielle's parents' extramarital affairs.

"Gabrielle d'Estrees who thus enslaved the heart of the hero, which carried him to a throne through a hundred fights and inconceivable hardships, was cradled one day in the year 1573 in Touraine. From her mother, Francoise Babou, she inherited both beauty and frailness; for the Babou women were famous alike for their loveliness and for a virtue as facile even as that of Marie Gaudin, the pretty plaything of Francois I, who left Francois' arms to find a husband in Philip Babou and thus to transmit her charms and frailty to Gabrielle. Her father, Antoine, son of Jean d'Estrees, a valiant solder under five kings, was a man of pleasure who drank and sang his way through life, preferring Cupid to Mars and the joie de vivre to the call of duty. It is perhaps little wonder that Antoine's wife, after bearing seven children to her husband, left him to find at least more loyalty in the Marquess of Tourel-Alegre, a lover twenty years younger than herself. Thus it was that, deserted by her mother, and with a father too addicted to pleasure to spare a thought for his children, Gabrielle grew to beautiful girlhood under the care of an aunt---now living in the family chateau in Picardy, now in the great Paris mansion, the Hotel d'Estrees; and with so little guidance from precept or example that, in later years, she and her six sisters and brothers were known as the 'Seven Deadly Sins.'" (Love Affairs of the Courts of Europe)

"In 1592, Gabrielle's mother left her husband and went to live with Yves d'Alegre, Governor of Issoire. But her conduct and that of her lover so exasperated the townspeople that, on the following New Year's Eve, they rose in revolt, stormed the governor's house, and murdered them both." (Queen Margot: Wife of Henry of Navarre: 331)

"Elsewhere was the chateau de Coeuvres, near Soissons, where Henri stopped om November 1590 while trailing Parma's army. The chateau belonged to an unimportant courtier, Antoine d'Estrees. One of his daughters. Gabrielle d'Estrees, caught the king's eye/ At seventeen, Gabrielle had the physical attributes prized in Henri's time---a fleshy body, a fair complexion, and full lips---although she lacked Corisande's quick qit and exalted tone. Gabrielle's mother, Francoise Babou de la Bourdaisiere, belonged to a family whose women were renowned for their beauty and for their success at the court of France as companions to the powerful. Francoise Babou had played her part in the court intrigues of the 1570s, while Gabrielle's sister, Diane had been a mistress of Epernon, and their aunt Isabelle, marquise de Sourdis, was the mistress of Chancellor de Cheverny." (Henri IV of France: His Reign and Age: 161)

Gabrielle & her siblings as 'the '7 deadly sins'.

1. Angélique d'Estrees (1570-1634)
Abbess of Maubisson.

French abbess.

Name variations: Abbess of Maubisson. 

Daughter and one of eight children of Antoine d'Estrées, marquis of Coeuvres, and Françoise Babou de la Bourdaisière d'Estrées; sister of François-Annibal d'Estrées, bishop of Noyon and constable of France, and Gabrielle d'Estrées (1573–1599). Quite nearly as corrupt as her mother, Angélique d'Estrées had numerous affairs, then joined the Convent of Maubisson, where she rose to become abbess. She not only continued to take lovers, but encouraged the young nuns in her charge to do the same, outraging even the lenient church hierarchy of the time. She was eventually banished to the Renaissance equivalent of a home for delinquents, where she lived out the remainder of her life under close observation.

Her lover was:
1. Henri III de France.
Lover in 1585.

"In 1580, around the age of ten, she was received as a novice at Saint-Louis de Poissy abbey. She became the mistress of Henri III , just like her mother a few years earlier. His connection with the king is known from correspondence of ambassadors to the king's court in 1585 .The April 26 of the same year, king Henri III asks in a letter to the marquis of Pisani, ambassador in Rome to obtain him near the new pope Sixte V, the abbey of Maubuisson, but the pope finds it too young and grants him the abbey Sainte-Marie de Berteaucourt 2. She became abbess from 1586 to 1610, succeeding Antoinette Charlotte de Halluin." (Wikipedia)

2. Marguerite d'Estrees (1565-1590), mar 1585 Gabriel Bournel, Seigneur de Namps

3. Diane d'Estrees (1566-1618), mar 1596 Jean de Montluc, Seigneur de Balagny

French author. 

Name variations: Dame de Balagny. Born in 1572; daughter and one of eight children of Antoine d'Estrées, marquis of Coeuvres, and Françoise Babou de la Bourdaisière d'Estrées; sister of François-Annibal d'Estrées, bishop of Noyon and constable of France, and Gabrielle d'Estrées (1573–1599); second wife of Louis de Balagny, Prince de Cambrai; children: several. Just a year older than Gabrielle and very close to her sister, Diane d'Estrées provided much of what is known about Gabrielle in her book Memorial to Gabrielle, Duchess de Beaufort. Diane married Louis de Balagny and had several children."

4. Gabrielle d'Estrees (1571-1599)
5. François Annibal, Duc d'Estrees (1572-1670), Bishop of Noyon & Constable of France
6. Julienne-Hyppolite d'Estrees (1580-1649)

Gabrielle's aunts as 'the seven deadly sins'.

1. Françoise Babou de La Bourdaisière (1544-1592)
2. Madeleine Babou de La Bourdaisière (1548-1577), Abbesse de Beaumont les Tours, 1574-1577
3. Isabeau Babou de La Bourdaisière (1551-1625)
4. Anne Babou de La Bourdaisière 1552-1613)
5. Michelle Babou de La Bourdaisière (1553-1584)
6. Antoinette Babou de La Bourdaisière (1560-1580)
7. Madeleine Babou de La Bourdaisière (1561-1605)
8. Diane Babou de La Bourdaisière (1563-1633)

"Before the close of the sixteenth century, the King of France, Henri IV, who was said to have had as many mistresses as there were days in the year, fell under the spell of an extraordinary young woman, Gabrielle d'Estrees. Despite Voltaire's later eulogy to her as the pure, young maiden of his Henriade, Gabrielle d'Estrees came from a family of courtesans---her seven aunts were known as 'the seven deadly sins,' and her mother ran off with her lover. Henri IV fell so deeply in love with the 'marvelous blond of Picardy, that he resolved to have his marriage to his queen annulled and to marry his mistress. . . ." (Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours: xxiv)

The richest in spirited ladies France has ever seen.

"On her mother's side, Gabrielle d'Estrees was of a family which the chronicler Tallemant des Reaux described with palpable relish as 'the richest in spirited ladies France has ever seen. There are at least twenty-five or twenty-six of them, nuns and married ladies alike, all of whom delight in sexual congress.' Among the married ladies was Gabrielle's mother, who ran away with a lover when the children were small. One of the nuns was Gabrielle's sister, the abbess of Maubuisson, who was eventually obliged to leave her convent after bearing twelve children, by different fathers. Another sister is probably seen here with Gabrielle in the bathtub: Julienne d'Estrees, Duchess de Villars. She did not balk sitting bare-chested below the pulpit when a Capuchin monk she fancied was preaching. The God-fearing man was forced to flee the confessional and indeed the city, so persistent were her passionate advances. No wonder Julienne, the abbess, Gabrielle, three further daughters, and the one son of M. d'Estrees were widely known collective as 'the seven deadly sins'." (What Great Paintings Say, Vol. 2: 205)

The Seven Deadly Sins.

"Gabrielle became Henry IV's mistress almost as a family tradition. Her maternal lineage was renowned for both beauty and the wealth and influence that trade in sexual favors could gain. Late in the seventeenth century, Louis de Rouvroy, the duke of Saint-Simon, dubbed Gabrielle and her six sisters 'the seven deadly sins.'

"The Estrees family was descended from Jean d'Estrees, who began his public career as a page to Anne of Brittany and then followed a conventional career of military service to the king, which led to titles, wealth, and advantageous marriages. Jean served Louis XII in the Italian wars; Francis I rewarded him with a position as captain of fifty men at arms; and under Henry II, Jean became grand master of the artillery. While in Italy, he rescued Jacques, the illegitimate son of Jean of Bourbon, for which he was given Jacques's daughter in marriage. Gabrielle and Henry were thus four generations removed from a common Bourbon ancestor.

"Antoine, Gabrielle's father, was proud of his connection. Antoine attached himself to Francis, Henry III's younger brother, who appointed him a gentleman of his chamber and then rewarded him with royal governorships. Henry III, to detach him from Francis's service, made Antoine governor of several other territories and a Chevalier of the Order of the Holy Spirit. Antoine was also one of the earliest nobles to ally firmly with Henry IV after the assassination of Henry III. On the paternal side, Gabrielle belonged to a high-ranking noble family with long and profitable service to the crown throughout the Renaissance.

"Gabrielle's maternal progenitors had greatly enhanced the family through their extramarital liaisons. Marie Gaudin, Gabrielle's great-grandmother and the wife of Philibert Babou, was one of Francis I's many unofficial mistresses, which led to the elevation of the Babou family and the gift to Marie of the chateau of La Bourdaisiere in the Loire Valley. Marie's son Jean de Babou advanced the family considerably in more orthodox ways; he was grand master of the artillery, served as ambassador to Rome under Catherine de Medici, and made an advantageous marriage to Francoise Robertet, the daughter of one of Henry II's ministers. Their daughter and Gabrielle's mother, Francoise, and her sisters, were renowned for their beauty and bad reputations. Francoise, who served as lady-in-waiting to Mary Stuart when she became Francis II's bride, was notorious for her extramarital affairs. Although she took a series of lovers immediately after marriage to Antoine d'Estrees, she later settled into a period of maternity, bearing ten children in ten years, nine of whom lived.

"Then Francoise became grist for the sixteenth-century scandal mill. She had an affair with Louis of Berenger, lord of Guast and Marguerite de Valois's nemesis. When Guast was assassinated in one of the many duels of Henry III's mignons, Yves, the marquis of Allegre, subsequently killed Guast's assassin in a duel. Francoise, grateful that Allegre had killed her lover's assassin, offered him money then herself as a reward. When Allegre accepted the latter, Francoise left her husband and children, taking only her youngest daughter with her. The abandonment of her family provoked quire a scandal, exacerbated when Francoise bore a daughter out of wedlock. The saga came to be a satisfying end by contemporary standards, when Allegre's disgruntled tenants murdered him and Francoise in their beds.

"Perhaps not surprisingly, Gabrielle, born into this scandal-plagued family in 1573, was less well trained in proper comportment than in feminine wiles. Her own mother, it was claimed, offered her to Henry III, although there is no evidence beyond the fact that Francoise presented Gabrielle at court. According to the often-repeated story, Henry III evinced no interest in Gabrielle, reputedly remarking that if he were interested in a thin blonde, he would seek out his wife. Gabrielle's father, perhaps with more desperation than good sense, turned the education of his daughters over to his wife's sister Isabelle Babou de Sourdis, wife of the former governor of Chartres and mistress of the chancellor Philippe Hurault de Cheverny. (Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France)