3 July 2007
MARGUERITE DE VALOIS (1553-1616, 'la Reine Margot', Consort of Henry of Navarre, from 1589 King Henry IV of France). Autograph letter signed (as Queen of Navarre) with her monogram ('M' and fermesses) to her brother (Henry III of France), n.p. [Nérac], n.d. , 1½ pages, folio, autograph address on verso of 2nd leaf (seal slits, fragment of paper tie).
A profession of loyalty to Henry III to whom she strives to render service, and referring to a gentleman of her husband's court, who knows of her efforts to end the division between her husband and Maréchal de Biron, of which she no longer has any hope: 'se iantilhomme est au roi mon mari qui sait unne partie des peines enquoi ie suis pour la division qui est entre le roi mon mari et monsieur le marechal de biron pour obeir au commandemant qui vous a pleu me faire iai fait et fais encoire se que ie puis pour les remettre bien ensemble mais tant dunne part que dautre ie i voi si peu daparanse que ie nan puis rien esperer de bien ie vous supplie tres humblement me faire tant dhonneur que de panser qui men deplait extrememant'.
Armand de Goutant Biron (1525-1592), a moderate Catholic, had been in the service of the previous Queen of Navarre, and his bravery attracted the attention of Charles de Cosse, Maréchal de Brissac, through whose support he was created Marshal of France in 1577. As Lieutenant-General of Guyenne, he disputed the authority of the King of Navarre who complained of his insolence, but, on the death of Henry III in 1589, Biron was one of the first to recognise him as Henry IV.
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