1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lautrec, Odet de Foix, Vicomte de

LAUTREC, ODET DE FOIX, Vicomte de (1488–1528), French soldier. The branch of the viscounts of Lautrec originated with Pierre, the grandson of Archambaud de Grailly, captal de Buch, who came into possession of the county of Foix in 1401. Odet de Foix and his two brothers, the seigneur de Lescun and the seigneur de l’Esparre or Asparros, served Francis I. as captains; and the influence of their sister, Françoise de Châteaubriant, who became the king’ mistress, gained them high offices. In 1515 Lautrec took part in the campaign of Marignano. In 1516 he received the government of the Milanese, and by his severity made the French domination insupportable. In 1521 he succeeded in defending the duchy against the Spanish army, but in 1522 he was completely defeated at the battle of the Bicocca, and was forced to evacuate the Milanese. The mutiny of his Swiss troops had compelled him, against his wish, to engage in the battle. Created marshal of France, he received again, in 1527, the command of the army of Italy, occupied the Milanese, and was then sent to undertake the conquest of the kingdom of Naples. The defection of Andrea Doria and the plague which broke out in the French camp brought on a fresh disaster. Lautrec himself caught the infection, and died on the 15th of August 1528. He had the reputation of a gallant and able soldier, but this reputation scarcely seems to be justified by the facts; though he was always badly used by fortune.

There is abundant MS. correspondence in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. See the Works of Brantôme (Coll. Société d’Histoire de France, vol. iii., 1867); Memoirs of Martin du Bellay (Coll. Michaud and Poujoulat, vol. v., 1838).