Bellay, Jean Du

Bellay, Jean Du an eminent French cardinal, was born in 1492; was made bishop of Bayonne, and in 1532 bishop of Paris. In 1533 he returned from England, whither, in 1527, he had been sent as ambassador to Henry VIII, who was then on the point of a rupture with the court of Rome, but who promised Du Bellay that he would not take the final step provided that he were allowed time to defend himself by his proctor. Du Bellay hastened to Rome, where he arrived in 1584, and obtained the required delay from Clement VII, which he sent instantly by a courier to England; but the courier not returning by the day fixed by the pope, sentence of excommunication was pronounced against Henry, and his kingdom laid under an interdict, in spite of the protestations of Du Bellay, at the instigation of the agents of Charles V. The courier arrived two days afterward. In 1535 the bishop was made cardinal, and served Francis I so effectually as his lieutenant general (!) that he made him successively bishop of Limoges (1541), archbishop of Bordeaux (1544), and bishop of Mans (1546). After the death of Francis Du Bellay was superseded by the Cardinal de Lorraine, and retired to Rome, when he was made bishop of Ostia, and died February 16th, 1560. Bellay was a friend of letters, and united with Budaeus in urging Francis I to establish the College de France. He wrote Poems, printed by Stephens (1560); Epistola Apologetica (1543, 8vo); and many letters. — Biog. Univ. tom. 4, p. 94; Niceron, Memoires, tom. 16; Hoefer, Biog. Generale, 5, 227.

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