1494 (12th September)
King Francis I of France was born Francis d’Orleans at Chateau de Cognac, Cognac to Charles, Count of Angouleme and Louise of Savoy.
1498 (7th April)
King Charles VIII
died after hitting his head on a door lintel. As he had no surviving children he was succeeded by Louis d’Orleans who became King Louis XII
. King Louis had no male children and Francis became heir to the French throne.
Francis began his education. He was tutored by Marshal de Gie.
King Louis XII still had no children. He had his marriage annulled and married Charles VIII’s widow, Anne of Brittany.
1499 (13th October)
A daughter, Claude, was born to King Louis XII and Anne of Brittany.
1501 (10th August)
It was agreed that Louis’ daughter Claude would marry Charles, son of Philip and Joanna of Castile
when the children came of age.
Francis’ tutor Marshal de Gie, fell from favour. He was replaced by Artus Gouffier who instructed him in geography, grammar, maths, reading and writing. Francis was taught Latin and history by Francois de Rochefort and his mother, Louise of Savoy, taught him Italian and Spanish. Francis also received instruction in horse riding, archery, jousting, wrestling, hunting, dancing and music.
1504 (22nd September)
First Treaty of Blois
This treaty between Maximillian I, Philip of Burgundy and Louis XII further agreed the marriage of Louis’ daughter Claude to Charles, son of Philip. It was agreed that Claude’s dowry would include Brittany, Burgundy and Blois, while Charles would inherit Naples.
Louis XII was taken ill. He decided that rather than ally France with the Habsburgs his daughter should marry Francis d’Orleans and he should succeed as King of France. Francis and Claude were betrothed. This decision set off a lifelong rivalry between Charles and Francis.
While Francis had been growing up, France had been at war for control over the Italian states. Pope Julius II had formed the League of Cambrai to rid Italy of all foreign invaders.
Italian Wars – League of Cambrai
The forces of the League of Cambrai had succeeded in driving the French out of Italy.
1514 (9th January)
Louis’ wife, Anne of Brittany, died of a kidney stone.
1514 (18th May)
Francis married Claude, daughter of King Louis XII, at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
1514 (9th October)
1514 (24th December)
Louis was taken ill suffering from a severe case of gout.
1515 (1st January)
King Louis XII died. Francis succeeded as King Francis I.
1515 (25th January)
Francis was crowned King of France at Reims Cathedral. His wife, Claude was crowned Queen Consort.
1515 (after January)
At the insistence of Queen Claude, work began refurbishing the Castle at Blois. As part of this work a new library was added.
1515 (19th August)
A daughter, Louise, was born to Francis and Claude.
1515 (13th – 14th September)
Italian Wars – Battle of Marignano
This battle, fought between France and Venice and Milan, saw the French victorious.
Italian Wars – Treaties of Noyon and Brussels
The terms of these treaties restored French dominance in northern Italy.
1516 (23rd October)
A daughter, Charlotte, was born to Francis and Claude.
Francis I founded the port of Le Havre in northern France.
1515 (19th August)
Francis’ daughter, Louise died.
The influence of the Italian Renaissance had spread to France and Francis began collecting art works including the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
1518 (28th February)
A son, Francis, was born to Francis and Claude.
Work began on a new Castle at Chambord.
1519 (12th January)
The Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, died. Francis decided to put himself forward as a candidate for the position.
1519 (31st March)
A son, Henry, was born to Francis and Claude.
1520 (7th June)
1520 (10th August)
A daughter, Madeleine, was born to Francis and Claude.
1520 (26th October)
Having won the election easily, Charles V
was crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Aachen.
Charles V, newly elected Holy Roman Emperor, decided to take Milan and expelled the French from the city.
1522 (22nd January)
A son, Charles, was born to Francis and Claude.
1522 (277th April)
Italian Wars – Battle of Bicocca
Charles V defeated the French and expelled them from Lombardy.
Francis had initially been tolerant of the new Protestantism beliefs. However, he now saw its spread as a threat to Catholicism and began burning heretics.
1523 (5th June)
A daughter, Margaret, was born to Francis and Claude.
Francis helped to fund Giovanni da Verrazzano’s expedition to north America. Verrazzano claimed Newfoundland for France.
Francis marched at the head of an army to retake Lombardy and Milan. He managed to recover many towns.
1524 (20th July)
Queen Claude of France died. The cause of her death is not known.
1524 (8th September)
Francis’ daughter, Charlotte, died.
1525 (24th February)
Italian Wars – Battle of Pavia
The town of Pavia had held against the French. Charles V’s army gave battle and defeated the French. Francis I was captured and imprisoned in Madrid.
1526 (14th January)
Italian Wars – Treaty of Madrid
This treaty with Charles V secured Francis’ release in exchange for Burgundy. Francis also had to send his sons, Francis and Henry, as hostages to the Spanish court.
1526 (6th March)
Francis was released from captivity.
1526 (22nd May)
Italian Wars – League of Cognac
In contravention of the Treaty of Madrid, which Francis declared null and void as signed under duress, Francis joined this league with Florence, Venice, Milan and Pope Clement VII to reduce the power of Charles V in Italy.
Francis began an extra-marital affair with Anne de Pisseleu d’Heilly.
Work began on the Chateau de Madrid, near the Bois de Boulogne.
1527 (18th August)
Treaty of Amiens
This treaty between England and France agreed a commercial treaty and also moves to free the Pope and Francis I’s sons from Charles V. The treaty was to be sealed with the marriage of Princess Mary
to Francis I’s second son, Henry.
Francis ordered work to begin on the refurbishment of the Palace of Fontainebleau.
1530 (7th July)
Francis I married Eleanor of Austria, sister of Charles V.
1533 (13th August)
Francis I reached an agreement with Fez Ahmed ben Mohammed, ruler of Morocco.
1533 (28th October)
Francis’ son, Henry, married Catherine de Medici at the Eglise Saint-Ferreol les Augustins in Marseilles.
1534 (20th April)
French explorer, Jaques Cartier left France seeking a north-west passage to Asia.
1534 (24th July)
Jaques Cartier reached Canada but believed he had reached Asia. He claimed Gaspe Bay for France.
1534 (17th October)
Affair of the Placards
Overnight, Protestants had posted anti-Catholic placards at various points in Paris, Blois, Rouen, Tours and Orleans. Francis saw this as a personal attack as well as an attack on Catholicism. He ordered persecution of Protestants to be stepped up.
Work began on a new administration centre. the Hotel de Ville.
1535 (19th May)
French explorer, Jaques Cartier left France on a second voyage. He sailed up the St Lawrence river believing it to be a northwest passage until he reached a series of rapids which he named La Chine (French for China). Now named the Lachine Rapids they are in the province of Quebec. Cartier returned to France the following year.
The French ambassador in Turkey, Jean de la Foret, managed to secure a commercial treaty between the Ottoman Empire and France.
Following the death of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, in October 1535, Charles V had given Milan to his son, Philip. Francis marched to Italy to gain control of Milan.
Francis managed to take control of Turin but was unable to take Milan.
In response to Francis’ invasion of Italy, Charles V invaded Provence in France and took Aix-en-Provence. He attempted to march on to Marseilles but was blocked by the French.
1536 (10th August)
Francis’ son, Francis, died.
1536 (late August)
Francis stationed a French/Ottoman naval force off the coast of Marseilles then launched an attack on Genoa. Unfortunately for the French King the Italian city had been reinforced and was too difficult to take. Francis marched to Piedmont instead and took a number of towns.
Francis I enjoyed reading and writing. He issued an order that the royal library should be given a copy of every book sold in France.
1537 (1st January)
1537 (2nd July)
Francis’ daughter Madeleine, died.
1538 (18th June)
Italian Wars – Truce of Nice
Francis and Charles agreed a truce and halted hostilities.
1539 (10th August)
Ordinance of Villers-Cotterets
This Ordinance reformed French administration by declaring French rather than Latin to be the official language of France.
1540 (1st June)
Edict of Fontainebleau
This royal edict declared Protestantism to be a treasonable offence.
1541 (23rd May)
French explorer, Jaques Cartier returned to Canada. Francis I had asked him to support Jean-Francois de la Rocque de Roberval in the colonisation of the region.
Francis declared war on Charles V and resolved to take Milan. However, Charles had made an alliance with Henry VIII and while Francis was in Italy the English King invaded France.
1544 (18th September)
Italian Wars – Treaty of Crepy
Charles V was forced to agree a peace with Francis I because he no longer had funds to continue the conflict.
1547 (31st March)
King Francis I died at the Chateau de Rambouillet.