Poncher, Etienne

Poncher, Etienne a French prelate, noted also as a diplomatist, was born at Tours in 1446. He was the son of a magistrate, studied law, and while yet a youth was provided with several canonicates. In 1485 he obtained the charge of counselor-clerk at the Parliament of Paris, and in 1498 he became President aux Enquetes. He was elected bishop of Paris Feb. 25,1503, in compliance with the request of king Louis XII, whom he was at that time accompanying to Milan. The same prince entrusted him in 1506 with several diplomatic missions to Germany; and Poncher, in the following year, being again in Italy with the king, was alone bold enough to speak in contradiction to the angry feelings of the king against the Venetians, and to oppose the confederation of Cambrai. Louis XII, who had already appointed Poncher chancellor of the duchy of Milan, bestowed on him in 1509 the abbey of Fleuri, and in 1512 made him the guardian of the seal of France, which office he kept till the death of the king, Jan. 1, 1515. Francis I appointed him, with Arthur Gouffier, one of the plenipotentiaries who signed, on Aug. 16, 1517, the treaty of Noyon between Francis and Charles V. In the same year Poncher went to Spain as ambassador of France, and in 1518 he was sent to Henry VIII of England, with whom he signed a new treaty of alliance. In virtue of the concordat he was transferred, March 14, 1519, to the archiepiscopal see of Sens. He died at Lyons. Feb. 24, 1524. Poncher published Constitutions synodales, which are still held in great esteem, especially in regard to the sacraments. — - Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v.

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