Amboise, Georges D (1)

Amboise, Georges D' (1)

a French cardinal and diplomatist, was born at Chaumont-sur-Loire in 1460. From his birth he was designed for the Church, as the younger son of the family. He studied canon law, and at the age of fourteen received the title of bishop of Montauban, and then became almoner of the king, although so young. He gained the friendship of the duke of Orleans, son- in-law of the king, who was similar to him in tastes, and was also of the same age. After the death of Louis XI, the duke of Orleans and Anna of Beaujeu each claimed the regency; but the latter was successful, and the duke was obliged to take refuge with Francis II, duke of Brittany (May, 1484). D'Amboise, attempting to persuade the king in his behalf, was betrayed by a messenger, arrested, and imprisoned for more than two years. After the battle of Saint-Aubin du Cormier (July 28, 1488), Francis II was obliged to capitulate. D'Amboise, exiled in the diocese of Montauban, sought to obtain liberty for himself and the duke of Orleans, whose interests were very dear to him. The attempt of the duke to assist in bringing about the marriage of the king with princess Anne of Brittany gained for him great favor, which favor reverted to D'Amboise. He was made archbishop of Narbonne and Rouen, and obtained in 1493, through the duke of Orleans, the appointment of governor of Normandy, which he succeeded in reducing to order; at the time of the expedition of Charles VIII into Italy, D'Amboise was accused of serving the interests of the duke of Orleans instead of attending to the affairs of his diocese. In November, 1494, he joined the duke at Asti, and withdrew from the service of the king. Eventually, however, Louis XII, having revived his project for regaining possession of Milan, D'Amboise rejoined him. Setting out for Italy with that king, the cardinal received from Alexander VI the title of legate a latere, with the prerogatives belonging to it. The conquest of Milan, Genoa, and a part of Piedmont was accomplished. At the advice of D'Amboise, the king founded at Milan a chair of theology, of law, and of medicine, and appointed to these positions celebrated professors. D'Amboise established a senate of select persons, who administered justice without favor or delay; and he persuaded the king to give the government of Milan and all the duchy to marshal Trivulce, and to associate with him the brave Stuart D'Aubigny. D'Amboise rendered great service to the people of Milan, who were loud in their expressions of praise and delight at what he had done for them. After the death of the archduke Philip, son of the emperor Maximilian and son-in-law of Ferdinand, king of Arragon, these two sovereigns sought the regency of Castile; and D'Amboise, being chosen for judge between them, decided in favor of the king of Arragon. After the death of pope Alexander VI, D'Amboise endeavored to raise himself to the papal throne; but, having failed in this, became the dangerous enemy of Pius III and Julius II. To secure his own election, he encouraged a schism between the French Church and. the see of Rome, and convened a separate council, held first at Pisa, afterwards at Milan and Lyons; but his plans were frustrated by the failures of the French army in Italy. D'Amnboise died at Lyons, May 25, 1510, and was interred with imposing ceremonies in the cathedral at Rouen, where his nephew, the archbishop, erected in 1522 a magnificent marble monument. He was a dexterous and experienced statesman; but was accused of avarice, vanity, and ambition. His biography was written by Montague (1631) and Legendre (1724). He left Lettres au Roi Louis XII (Brussels, 1712). See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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