Neufchatel, Charles De

Neufchatel, Charles de a French prelate, who lived in the latter part of the 15th century, was the son of Jean de Neufchatel (q.v.). Charles was chief singer in the Cathedral of Besanoon when Quentin Monart governed that church. When the latter died, the age of Charles did not permit the canons to confer upon him the vacant title by vote of election; they could simply make him a candidate, and this they did. Charles had for competitor the celebrated cardinal of Arras, Jean Jouffroy. Yet the credit of his family prevailed over the power of the cardinal; after having been made a candidate by the canons of Besaneoni, he was nominated by the pope. The city of Besan9on had itself wished this nomination, the facile and benevolent character of Charles giving it hope that his administration would be peaceful. He met their expectations, and even wished, in the year 1471, to efface the last trace of the discords which had troubled the government of his predecessor; he consented then to the destruction of the Chateau de Brigilles, newly rebuilt, and the citizens pledged themselves, through gratitude to him, to pay 600 florins in gold. In the mean time, the civil tumults being appeased, the city and church of Besan9on were desolated by foreign war. After the death of Charles the Bold, the French, united to the Lorraines, invaded the FrancheComtd, and made great ravages. Charles de Neufchatel at first resisted the enemy's forces; but Louis XI was a very skillful prince, who knew how to intimidate and corrupt. The duke Maximilian, learning that Charles de Neufchftel had taken sides with France. declared he had forfeited his office, and even obliged him to leave his archiepiscopal palace. Charles then retired, and enjoyed the society and protection of king Louis, who, as the story goes, assigned him a pension of 4000 livres. Charles de Neufchatel was at the court of France in the year 1480, when Louis, bishop of Bayeux, died. The king immediately nominated Neufchatel administrator of that church (March 6). He could not indeed institute as bishop a confirmed archbishop; he could simply, by a sort of incardination, place him over the government of a vacant bishopric. Thus the canons of Besan9on, deprived of their living archbishop, had not the right to give him a successor. Charles received for some time the revenues from his archbishopric, which, joined to his pension and his salary as administrator, made him one of the richest prelates of the kingdom. Neufchatel died towards the close of the 15th century. His body was transported to Bayeux, his heart to Besancon. See Gallia Christ. vetus. volume 1; Dunod, Histoire de l'Eglise de Besancon, volume 1; L'Abbe Richard, Hist. des Dioc. de Besancon et de S. Claude.

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