1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Anne of France

ANNE OF FRANCE (1460-1522), dame de Beaujeu, was the eldest daughter of Louis XI. and Charlotte of Savoy. Louis XI. betrothed her at first to Nicholas of Anjou, and afterwards offered her hand successively to Charles the Bold, to the duke of Brittany, and even to his own brother, Charles of France. Finally she married Pierre de Beaujeu, a younger brother of the duke of Bourbon. Before his death Louis XI. entrusted to Pierre de Beaujeu and Anne the entire charge of his son, Charles VIII., a lad of thirteen; and from 1483 to 1492 the Beaujeus exercised a virtual regency. Anne was a true daughter of Louis XI. Energetic, obstinate, cunning and unscrupulous, she inherited, too, her father’s avarice and rapacity. Although they made some concessions, the Beaujeus succeeded in maintaining the results of the previous reign, and in triumphing over the feudal intrigues and coalitions, as was seen from the meeting of the estates general in 1484, and the results of the “Mad War” (1485) and the war with Brittany (1488); and in spite of the efforts of Maximilian of Austria they concluded the marriage of Charles VIII. and Anne, duchess of Brittany (1491). But a short time afterwards the king disengaged himself completely from their tutelage, to the great detriment of the kingdom. In 1488 Pierre de Beaujeu had succeeded to the Bourbonnais, the last great fief of France. He died in 1503, but Anne survived him twenty years. From her establishments at Moulins and Chantelle in the Bourbonnais she continued henceforth vigorously to defend the Bourbon cause against the royal family. Anne’s only daughter, Suzanne, had married in 1505 her cousin, Charles of Bourbon, count of Montpensier, the future constable; and the question of the succession of Suzanne, who died in 1521, was the determining factor of the treason of the constable de Bourbon (1523). Anne had died some months before, on the 14th of November 1522.

See P. Pelicier, Essai sur le gouvernement de la Dame de Beaujeu (Chartres, 1882).

 (J. I.) 

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